Monday Question – Are You Easily Seduced To Buy More Than You Intended To?

Do you go perfume shopping with a plan and nothing at all can interfere with that?

Are you susceptible to the seductions of a very good sales assistant?

Are you easily seduced by actually seeing the bottles and smelling new things at the store prompting you to buy on impulse?

Do you ever diverge from your path of budgeted and planned acquisition?

Or are you more of a free spirit when it comes to shopping?


My Answer:


I do have a plan. Always. I do not always stick to that plan though. My fickle nature is sometimes stronger than all my well-laid plans and I end up with either more or something entirely different to what I set out to purchase.

Some stores are notoriously dangerous for me, either because I love absolutely everything they have (and regular readers know what orange store that is!) or a very competent and engaging sales assistant might compell me to buy something more or something else than intended. Although the latter is rare, as sadly, competent and engaging SA’s are a rare breed.

What about you? Are you always keeping to the straight and narrow or do you give in to seduction?


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43 Responses to Monday Question – Are You Easily Seduced To Buy More Than You Intended To?

  1. Hey Birgit,
    Nowadays I find it easier to have a plan but like you a good SA can manoeuvre me into an added purchase.
    A particularly friendly SA can turn me into a regular shopping madman. Firstly because I genuinely tend to like people who are enjoying their work and good at it. Secondly, I think that good SAs should be given extra good sales so the people they work for know. Thirdly, it is part of cultivating a good relationship with a SA, which can be extremely helpful later when you need the last parfum of whatever from the other side of town. If you are good to them and they understand their job then you get a little bit special treatment. Fourthly, I feel good when I have big bags of frags and the SA has a smile on their face for the rest of the day, which often generates better sales for them too. Winning circle.
    Portia xx

  2. Natalie says:

    I am SO chuffed that not only am I reading blogs (it has been ages), but I am also the second person to comment on this post! Although my “purchase plan” has varied over time, I am fairly consistent in having a list of 2-5 bottles that I intend to buy “eventually” with room for some less planned purchases that are not on the list (if there is a sale, or I just feel like buying something). Rather than sticking to a strict plan, it is more important to me to feel like I’ve bought what I wanted and nothing that I didn’t.

    • Olfactoria says:

      So glad you are here, dear Nathalie! xx
      “Nothing that I didn’t” – that is the really important part! Impulse buys often lead to buyers remorse and that feels so bad, don’t I know it! 😉

  3. Sandra says:

    Morning! I used to buy impulsively without a plan. Nowadays I have a much more calculated approach. I keep a list of wish list bottles (which changes frequently) and only if the bottle has remained on the list for a long time will I buy it. I have slowed down considerably in my purchases.

  4. Alice says:

    Yes, I do have a plan! I’ve just bought Mistral Patchouli (love it!) which I had been planning for quite a while. The overall plan is to buy very few, and slowly prune my collection.
    However… when stressed I am prone to buying unplanned things, to distract me from a difficult day ahead, or a bad day I’ve just been through. At such moments I’m particularly vulnerable to a good SA, especially the line ‘it really suits you’! (in a similar vein I also love those quizzes that purport to select a perfume for you based on your style or personality). I know its all nonsense, but when I’ve somehow lost direction (perhaps the bad day raised questions about my competence/judgement etc) its terribly comforting to walk away with a quick fix in an elegant bottle. And a lot cheaper than therapy! 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Alice! Retail therapy can be quite effective, as long as it doesn’t get out of hand, it is such a nice way to make oneself happy.

  5. Ines says:

    I have a general plan but that usually doesn’t work once I’m in the store where riches abound. 🙂
    Plus, I think I might have a shopping addiction…

  6. Lady Jane Grey says:

    No, no, no, that’s all behind me already… These days I always have a very concrete target, mostly thoroughly tested already. No surprises here anymore – which is sometimes a pity, because I like surprises…

  7. annemariec says:

    I’m usually pretty careful these days. Evidence: I was in Melbourne the other week and had a financial windfall to devote to perfume if I wanted. I resisted all temptation and bought what I planned to get – 50 mls of L’Ambre des Merveilles. Which I can get at home but I had worked out that L’Ambre was what I wanted most, so that’s what I got. Aren’t I good!? 🙂

    And happy. After a long time I have finally recognised what you have been saying for ages Birgit: L’Ambre is about as close to perfume perfection as one can get.

  8. Sabine says:

    I might get tempted by sales or offers from a specific shop (like spend £150 at Liberty and get a big bag of free beauty goodies) but in general I do spend a long time pondering before I buy a FB and it’s more a question of when to buy then what to buy. Living in London means having access to so many perfume shops that I don’t feel the need to rush it and the seduction factor becomes less of an issue. I go out sniffing stuff once a week, but probably only buy something every 3 or 4 months. Unless I go to Paris…

  9. Alexandra says:

    Well had I answered this last week I could have been calm and calculated and explain that now I am very sensible and keep a well-edited perfume wish list of 5 perfumes and I stick to that and I could tell you that I very carefully have my next purchase planned for the end of the month when I finally intend to buy ELdO’s Rossy de Palma perfume – HOWEVER (and I blame Portia entirely) I have just impulse bought Mohur Extrait – so there goes my imaginary cool restraint…

  10. LeSputnik says:

    I love the process of choosing which perfumes I am going to try, then I try them if and when I find them, which is impossible to predict for me, and last, I buy them. It can take years! But I also have on line “impulsive” purchases after a while, so try to make a logic out of that!

  11. Figuier says:

    Good question! I like to think that I’ve managed to develop a good system of sampling extensively, making wishlists, planning, & eventually purchasing. But having a well established wishlist also means that if I spot a serious discount on a desired item, there’s nothing stopping me from pouncing straight away (ebay is lethal for this!) Which isn’t necessarily great for budgeting, but it does mean I get to combine feeling thrifty with a bit of retail excitement…Also if a perfume is properly cheap I’m much more likely to buy it on a whim, which means the more expensive items on my wishlist end up lingering there for a very long time.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I understand that very well. There is a very expensive perfume on my list. If I hadn’t bought five cheap ones I’d already have it and probably be happier… 🙂

      • Figuier says:

        Sounds like your wishlist looks a bit like mine then; By Kilian Rose Oud has been waiting near the top for about 3 years now 😉 On the upside, it does help delay gratification quite nicely: just imagine how great it’ll feel when you *finally* do feel financially & mentally ready to splurge on that extra-special item…

  12. Suzanne says:

    I have a plan and, most of the time, I’m pretty good at sticking to it. But then, most of the time I’m buying online rather than at a store, so it’s pretty easy to keep to a plan then. But even when I’m traveling, I tend to have specific perfumes in mind that I want to purchase and those are usually the ones I get, though I allow myself to take home some unexpected purchases as well (just not too many). 🙂

  13. cookie queen says:

    Perfume purchases are few and far between. I know after the first, or perhaps the second spritz if I want something. I don’t care for most things so that takes care of that. But I do spontaneously buy make up. If the shop assistant is good, which as pointed out is mega-rare, I will buy more. But mostly I know more than they do. An advantage of age, as I tried to tell the girl on the MAC counter recently as she insisted on doing my eyes in purple and blue. No buy. 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      I am also very susceptible to buying lipgloss and the like, but that has gotten better the more I know what I can and will wear.
      Blue and purple? Nope. 😉

  14. chamekke says:

    I’m very careful when shopping, rarely buy on impulse, and ALWAYS react negatively to sales pressure – it makes me throw on the brakes and say, “I’ll think about it….” Then I go away and think about it. Carefully 🙂

    Also, I always test and re-test perfumes before buying. For sure I’d love to indulge in the occasional blind buy, but we’re on a budget these days and I can’t afford to make expensive mistakes! So when I buy a FB, it has to be a keeper.

  15. Laurels says:

    I try not to buy anything I haven’t tested several times, because sometimes perfumes change on me. Bargains, however, are my weakness, and I’ve been known to buy something blind if it’s cheap enough and I’ve read good things about it. I’m trying not to do that very often, though. Your point about saving up for something you really love is well taken.

  16. SallyM says:

    I’m in awe of the responses above and admire all of the restraint shown by fellow perfumistas.
    And then there’s me. I’m just pitiful when it comes to sticking with The Perfume Plan, which is ironic seeing as I was brought up in a “Stay Within the Lines” environment (although probably not really so surprising when I look back and see how much of a rebel I’ve been – when I first went to school I hated that I had to sit still and do as I was told and couldn’t just colour/play/read when *I* wanted to – I declared “thanks very much mum, but I think I’ll stay home from now on”…).
    I do make a list when I go out sniffing, but then I don’t stick to it. If I don’t like anything on the list, I don’t just stop there, but smell other things. If the store doesn’t carry all of the things on the list then I allow myself to smell other things. If I go with a friend to smell things on *her* list with no list of my own then I smell other things. As far as purchases are concerned, I’m equally hopeless. I’m lucky enough to know 2 great SAs (which is a double edged sword!) – one at Sephora and one at The Perfume House here in Portland. I blame them for my collection of samples and my departure from vintage collecting respectively. I am always determined to just “try and not buy” when I go to the PH but as soon as I step through the doors, I’m doomed. I’d be bankrupt if I ever went to Paris. And finally I blame perfume blogs for my increasingly long Wish List at STC. I love you all!!!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you for your lovely honest comment. I’m sure there are many like you out there (and most of us are like that sometimes). There is just so much great perfume out there!!! 🙂

  17. rickyrebarco says:

    I am the worst at resisting sales pressure especially if what is being sold is pretty and smells nice. I once went home with $350 worth of Chanel makeup when all I had really wanted was a lipstick and eye shadow- needless to say I do not go near those Chanel ladies and gents again-lol. They are really good at what they do- what can I say?

    I rarely visit dept. stores or niche scent stores because of my no resistance problem. I most often buy online where I can send it back if I’m beset with a fit of buyer’s remorse. I just love stuff- I know I have a problem so I’ve learned how to deal with it. And if I make a mistake I sell it on Ebay. I love Ebay for that reason. I also have a rule that if a new perfume comes in the house another one has to leave. I stick to it pretty well. I have been keeping my bottles at a steady 100 for over a year but sometimes it’s hard, like when Chanel comes out with 2 stunning perfume extraits at the same time- my nemesis and my love- Chanel!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Online shopping can be very helpful to avoid direct influence of SA’s.
      Which two of the three new extraits do you crave?

    • SallyM says:

      ha! I can so relate to your experience with Chanel makeup, albeit in a different venue. Every time I go to Costco “just for chicken” I end up spending $250. Or if I go to get a book for my grand daughter’s birthday, I come out with a library for myself.
      We have the same rule with books – no buying anymore until the same number goes out, which is really hard now since we had a mad culling session and those left are The Ones to Keep.
      I have a huge perfume collection – in my defense, I’ve been collecting for 40 years – and I kept promising that frags on my rotation tray would not be increased because there was no more room. So I was at an estate sale and bought another tray…

  18. Undina says:

    I wasn’t sure if I even had to answer… 😉

    Let’s put it this way: one has approximately as many chances to sell me Brooklyn Bridge as a bottle of perfume I didn’t plan to buy.

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