Perfumed Resolutions

Must Get Organised | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Must Get Organised | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie


There have been some thoughts concerning perfumes on my mind. What’s new, you may say. True, I probably think about perfumes every day. I’m a self-professed perfume addict. I want to call myself a perfume connoisseur — it sounds much posher — but in reality, I’m simply an addict. Being an addict and a magpie, that’s a fatal combination. Now I have box after box of tiny sample vials and I have no clue what I have in them. Some of them are spilling out of a bowl on my dresser and sometimes I knock one of them off and it ends up as an instant room fragrance. When I want to try something, I have to dig around and think hard to figure out where on earth I put it. Needless to say, there are many that I haven’t had a chance to try yet. So, to get to the point, this is what has been nagging me; there has to be a structure in my perfume sampling and I have to get organised.

Although I no longer crave to try every single perfume released under the sun, I don’t think my incessant obsession in discovering something different will cease to exist anytime soon. I just love the experiences — some are extraordinarily intense and some are just a gentle emotional nudge — perfumes bring about; which means that there will be even more vials added to those boxes this year. I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions but out of necessity, I decided to make a few and I’m determined to stick to it for a long time. Yes, I am that desperate. So here it is:

Magpie’s Resolutions — In other words, Sample Organising Challenge

  1. Test at least one perfume sample more or less every day.
  2. Enter the data of the tested sample in Excel on the same day.
  3. Put the tested samples away IMMEDIATELY in the appropriate cubby space in drawers.
Diaro App - I'm using this app for my perfume journal | Screen shot of my perfume journal

Diaro App – I’m using this app for my perfume journal | Actual screen shot of my perfume journal

That’s it! Simple. Everything lines up in an elegant streaming flow. If I can keep up with this commitment with a healthy dose of motivation, by the end of 2016 or even before that, I will have beautifully organised samples in one place and also a database. My perfume life will run more smoothly, plus I will gain the habits and routines necessary to keep it that way. Clutter free! No more chaos!

It’s still early days but so far, so good. I also started using an app called Diaro to keep a bite-sized perfume journal. Wish me best for my well organised perfume life in 2016.

34 thoughts on “Perfumed Resolutions

  1. In theory it sounds great. I suggest you get it going before Milan. Hahahahahaha. You’re gonna freak out. See you soon! ❤️

    • Yeah, I know, that thought came into my mind. 😀 That’s one of the reasons I want to get this thing going!! Seriously, if I go bananas there, lock me in somewhere safe for other people’s sake.

  2. Wow, you have a perfume journal app, you’re already way ahead of the game.

    I know what you mean though. I’m constantly knocking over sample vials and they are taking over the corner of the living room where I have my PC. I will never keep a written record/excel sheet but I do intend to sort through and actually throw some away. My problem is holding onto stuff I know deep down does not really interest me or stuff that has a tiny dribble for “reference”. They’re just cluttering up the place and they need TO GO. I just can’t seem to throw samples away…I can’t believe anyone would want them but maybe I should get a bag together and see. At least they would be out of the way.

    Thanks for the reminder! I will give it a go tomorrow.

    • “Reference”, I know. I have so many samples with minuscule amount for “reference purpose”. I have no idea if it comes to any use… I unloaded quite a few to other people. I’m like you, I have a difficulty throwing samples away. I think a lot of people are happy to grab a bagful of samples though. A giveaway on your new blog, maybe? 😉

  3. It’s a great plan. I need to do something about mine although I have gotten rid of quite a few samples by passing them on to others. The journal is a great idea.

    • It is a great plan; the thing is I must stick to it! 😀 Really, I’m so fed up with the disorganized state. Something got to be done. I love that journal app and I now use it for many things other than perfumes.

  4. The journal app is a great idea. I looked at it but then decided i didn’t need yet another thing to list perfumes in. I already have a ‘diary’ that i keep lists of samples ‘tried’, ‘wants’, and ‘really wants’. I have a word doc and an excel sheet as well so i need to merge them all. Trouble is, the ‘samples tried’ list is small and the ‘want to try list’ is very long! lol. Good luck with keeping up to date with your entries. 🙂

    • Pats, you are far better organised than me. I kind of have the ‘want to try’ lists, but they are everywhere on a notebook, word documents, and random pieces of paper. I need to merge all of them somehow. Now the plan is laid, I’ve got to stick to it.:)

  5. What a great idea, this app. Recognize your point, keeping stuff for reference. I had a great system for samples to store them by alfabet but stopped doing That it would be a good idea to start doing That again, it is just so much 🙂 Superb idea, THE diario app! Must be fun as Well. Looks great as Well. Loved your post.

    • I enjoy using the app. It is handy to use from my PCs, tablet, and phones. Not only for perfumes, I also use it for jotting down the ideas, saving URLs for interesting articles, daily thoughts and so on. They are still in an improving the app stage but I have a feeling that I’m going to have a long term relationship with it. 🙂

  6. Happy 2016 dear!
    Did I ever tell that I love your magpie drawings. They are so good. Are you using some sort of touch screen graphic program to make them?

    As to the resolutions, I have never made any because I just don’t believe that New Year’s Eve magic will make them easier to fulfill. But whenever I feel I should make one in the course of the year, I will probably do it and try to make it happen.

    Wishing you good luck with organization. If you go to Esxence, this will be additional challenge for you because you’re going to come back with extra +50 samples in your suitcase

    • Thank you, Lucas! What I normally do is draw on a sketch pad first and sometimes fill in some colours using watercolour, scan it, and then colour it using a graphic tablet and Photoshop. Having said that, when I can’t be bothered to connect my Bamboo pen tablet, I just use a mouse. 😀
      I thought about Esxence and that was one of the reasons I wanted to get going with my organising challenge!

      • Those drawings are really great.
        Personally I don’t have any Excel spreadsheet for my samples. I have 3 drawers full of samples and somehow I manage to remember which sample belongs with which drawers (and even their corners)
        Esxence will be an amazing experience for you and I’ll be happy to guide you through it for even more fun

        • Lucas, I think you have better brain than mine. 😀 I’m so looking forward to Esxence and Val the CQ also kindly offered to hold my hands. I think I would need every help to get through it since I have’t got a clue what’s going to be like. Thank you so much!!

  7. That sounds like the perfect plan. I think we all suffer from the sample conundrum. I attempted to get organized about a year and a half ago. It worked for a short time, but now I’m back to a massive mess. That app sounds interesting…I think I have to check it out. Happy New Year! Good luck with your motivating venture! I love your illustration too!

    • Happy New Year, Mr Hound! The perfect plan is there, the motivation is there. I think except for a very few well organised perfumistas, we all suffer from the same chaotic conditions.At least you made an attempt! 🙂

  8. Another major hoarder of ‘reference’ samples here, haha. I admire your sense of order and tidiness. I used to keep a record of what I wore and tested each day – just the name of what it was, not my reactions to it or anything – but stopped doing it as I found I never looked back at what I had written or did any kind of analysis with the data, Undina-style. I don’t think I care enough anymore about my perfume behaviour, though occasionally the mess gets to me and I had a massive sort out in the summer, which is still broadly working. A lot of samples have been given away and I am down to just two boxes of ‘pending’ ie awaiting testing. Good luck with your journal – it looks great!

    • I’m glad to know you are a ‘reference’ hoarder too. 😉 I do admire Undina’s style – I don’t think I would ever get there though. I’m going to try one step at a time. At least you have pending boxes to separate them. I had a good intention at the beginning but somehow they all jumbled up. Must try hard!

  9. I love everyone’s suggestions here! I am not (yet) overwhelmed by samples as I haven’t collected that many, but I have started storing them in one of those lucite compartment boxes for lipsticks. They stand upright and I can see what they are. Love the journal ideas!

  10. Poor Magpie looks a little overwhelmed, or maybe just mulling over what organization method to use. The Diaro app looks great (and thanks for the link to see it enlarged) but I know I wouldn’t have consistency to maintain it. Having a hard enough time with a simple spreadsheet.
    I think I may have to use Lucas’s method as “visual” filing works better for me. I certainly don’t have 3 drawers full …yet

    • “Yet” is the point. 😀 Tribbles, sorry samples, can increase in numbers in overwhelming speed. My little bird brain cannot keep track of them anymore without serious effort. Ha. At least you already have a spreadsheet!

  11. I think it’s a great idea! I installed the app to see if I can use it for anything (maybe my wardrobe?) For my perfumes I have a database though it’s desktop only – so for a while I’ve been thinking about a mobile extension to it.

    My samples are organized probably at 80-85% rate. Almost everything I’ve accumulated in 2015 is still not sorted into a more permanent way but at least I’ve added most of the samples to the database and even tested some of them. Still need to sort them and keep going through the testing.

    Are you going to record only initial testing of each perfume or all the subsequent ones as well?

    • I’m going to add records whenever I get some other insights. Well, at least that’s the idea. 😀 I really should have arranged them in order from the beginning but I’ve never expected to accumulate this many… Such is life.
      I’m so interested in your database. I was thinking about putting it together with SQL & browser but given up with the idea for now… 80-85% organisation is amazing. I truly admire you, Undina!
      Using the app for wardrobe would be a great idea. Now I’m using it to keep some ideas and to save links to articles as well. It would be interesting to see how this app will develop. 🙂

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