Quarter-Life Crisis

As of July 26, I have officially hit late twenties! (Which makes Scents of Self eight years old, y’all. Scents of Self is A THIRD GRADER. If she’s following in my footsteps, next year she’ll have to switch schools after a few “recess incidents.” Eight year old Ari had not yet quite mastered that most crucial of lessons, “hitting is bad.”) Staring down the harsh reality of never again (or, uh, before) qualifying for “25 under 25” lists, I gave in to my quarter-life equivalent of the mid-life crisis red convertible: a new perfume display shelf! (I had a college roommate whose mom celebrated getting divorced by buying a helicopter. She ended up selling it almost immediately, because “there’s just no place to park a helicopter.” We’ve all been there, girl.)

Shall we stroll down perfume storage memory lane to see just how extensive the upgrade is?
The mini-fridge stage! Pros: protected the perfumes from a newly-adopted Zelda. Cons: it was actually a wine cooler, so the perfumes kept falling through the intended-for-wine-bottles slats.This bookshelf loyally served me from high school all the way through my first post-graduation apartment. That apartment, however, was located in New York, and just a few trips to The Strand quickly exceeded its capacity.A very cute step shelf from Target. Not even close to enough room for the books.

Back to the fridge! Yes, it’s the safest place for a perfume to be (protected from heat and light), but now no one else can see all my beautiful bottles!The most recent storage solution, an eight cube Ikea Kallax. There’s finally enough room for both the perfumes and the books, but it’s not the most elegant piece of furniture.

My previous perfume organizational systems were always pretty much just “prettiest bottles up front,” but I feel like I should be taking advantage of the shelf’s segmentation. Any advice on the best ways to sort a collection?


15 thoughts on “Quarter-Life Crisis

  1. Happy birthday to you and to your blog. You know we’re all proud of your achievements as an owner of a perfumery. You know, I will follow your steps if by any chance I cannot become a perfumer. Love ya!

    1. What an unbelievably lovely thing to say- thank you from the bottom of my heart, Lucas. I will take very close notes on our procedures for you just in case šŸ˜‰ (Although I fully expect that you will never have need of them!)

  2. Happy birthday, and congratulations on your new acquisition! I use several small decorative trays to keep bottles organized within my own perfume cupboard. I like vintage bakelite ones, but I can see you scoring some Deco-ish clear glass trays on Etsy for a few bucks!

  3. Congratulations and fragrant happy birthday wishes to you. It is fun to see how you have stored perfume over the years. I’ve done the refrigerator too. Your most recent shelf is gorgeous, and Zelda is so pretty.

    I store perfume bottles on a glass tray on a small wood end table I put inside my bedroom clothes closet. I don’t have a lot of storage space but luckily that closet is the largest in the house. A few days ago I was tidying and decided to put all the perfume on the floor under the table. As I use a scent or two each day I put it back up on the table. I’ll do this for a few weeks to get a visual picture of what I’m using most. I’m sure I will eventually tire of this game and move everything back up to the table top, but it is entertaining for now.

    1. What a clever system! Is the point to then make a special effort to use the lesser-worn bottles, or to identify the weakest links for future swapping?

      I couldn’t believe how little Zelda was in the fridge picture! I wish I had known how quickly they grow- I would have taken SO many more kitten pictures.

      1. Good question, and the answer is both. After a few weeks when I see what is left on the floor I will have a better idea which perfumes need more love from me and which bottles need more love from someone else.

    1. All hail Hendricks! šŸ˜€ I would have made your Rosie the Riveter solely for the name, but the ingredients sound entirely up my alley, too.

  4. I store mine in bamboo shirt boxes on shelves inside my closet. That way no light exposure, no dusting, and I can admire my beauties whenever I want. I group mine by house.

  5. ah, the quarter life crisis strikes again! I keep reading that by the time you are 30 you need to have an adult fragrance and not wander around leaving wafts of sweet pea behind like a damn teenager, so I’m really committed to “smelling my age” although I’m not going to use that sentence ever again, because it doesn’t sound very appealing, does it?


    1. My view of adult fragrances is the same as my philosophy on bikini bodies, Damn Girl- if you put a bikini on your body, you’ve got yourself a bikini body! šŸ˜‰ And if an adult wafts around sweet pea, it officially becomes an adult fragrance. Rock the sweet pea with pride!

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