Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Paper Bag Challenge (aka Fragrance Beauty Roulette)
A couple of weeks ago, I gathered up 20+ perfume samples and decants that weren't getting enough love and sent them to somebody interested in expanding their fragrance horizons. I then reorganized my many vials, totally sure that I'd made major headway in my collection...and I realized I still have upwards of 100 of the little suckers. Shamefacedly, I admit that I also had more samples headed toward me via various splitting and sampling services. But can you really blame me when there's a jasmine-rose-vanilla fragrance named after the Peacock Throne? THE FREAKING PEACOCK THRONE?!
Um. I digress.
My issue with fragrance hoarding comes from the fact that I have so many and try so much. I put a perfume on for a few days, tuck it away in my drawer to make room for something else, and then when I try to clean out my collection, I can't remember if I really loved that particular scent. I'm bad at keeping notes about individual fragrances unless it's an insta-love/hate or I'm writing a review. So I keep it, just in case.
I decided that, since I'm really enjoying my Finish 13 by Halloween challenge, I should tack on another Project Pan/Beauty Roulette style fun fest: a Paper Bag Challenge! The goal will be to try at least three fragrances, selected at random, over the course of a week; then I can decide whether or not I want to keep them. I'll keep track of my selections and decisions using an Excel spreadsheet.
I tossed about half of my samples and splits in to a paper bag, just because I worry about leakage and I wanted to be able to pull everything out and upright relatively quickly. Then I closed my eyes, gently shuffled the vials around with my hand, and picked three at random. My first selections: L'Artisan Timbuktu, Tokyo Milk La Vie La Mort, and Etat Libre d'Orange La Fin Du Monde.
Now, because the semester has just started and none of these first three is particularly potent or daring, I was able to try one-a-day for three days straight. And...I made the decision to get rid of all three. La Fin Du Monde is cool in theory (popcorn note), but it turns really screechy on my skin. I forgot that I don't like La Vie La Mort at all--there's too much tuberose and very little complexity. And while Timbuktu is lovely, it doesn't totally rock my world. That's the trick, really: I only want to keep things I truly love and could see myself using up or buying in a larger size. With all three of those babies dealt with, I'm due to start another week already.
I don't think I'll go through every set of three quite as quickly. Again, I'm funny about the scents I wear to work, so there will be days when I use an old faithful full bottle (like Byredo Black Saffron or Imaginary Authors Memoirs of a Trespasser) instead of re-acquainting myself with a decant. But I'm hoping to go through my sample collection and cull it immensely. I've been posting weekly updates on my Instagram page, and I'll try to do a few update posts here as well.