Building a Perfume Collection


I think that the most important thing to know when it comes to building a perfume collection is that it takes time. Perfumes are notoriously expensive, and while there are ways to save on them, there is something special about slowly curating a collection. Every perfume I own is strongly connected to memories, whether those are the seasons I wear them in or the time at which I first got them. Smell always has a strong connection to memory, and that’s another important thing to keep in mind.

Some people rely on a signature scent. A perfume that they are so happy with that that’s the only one they ever need. I admire those people. Personally, I’m indecisive and my perfume choice changes with my mood, with the weather, and with the people I’ll be around. If you’re indecisive like I am, it’s helpful to keep that sort of thing in mind when selecting perfumes. When you go to spritz one on, how will you choose?

I got my first perfume at 17 or 18. I can’t remember exactly why I was suddenly so interested in perfumes, but it seemed like a very adult sort of thing to have. I took my time figuring out what I wanted. Nothing too sweet sounding, nothing to floral. And eventually I landed on DS & Durga’s Mississippi Medicine. It has notes of birch tar and viola, white spruce and incense. Overall a very masculine, smoky, woody scent, and I bought it without having smelled it first. To this day, it’s still my first choice to wear in the fall and winter.


Now, six years later, I’ve got quite a few perfumes. But I’ve gotten a lot smarter and more particular when it comes to choosing them.

My strongest recommendation to you, is that when you buy a perfume, make sure it’s not too like anything you already have. Of course, people tend to have scent families or even particular notes that they love. Knowing those things can be the best way to seek out new perfumes. But a collection filled with perfumes that all pretty much smell the same seems like a bit of a waste of money to me.

If you’re totally lost, and have no idea where to begin, I highly recommend going to a place like Sephora, where there’s a large variety of scents and brands and the staff isn’t trying to sell you something from one particular brand. They’ll help you to narrow down the sort of scents you like and be able to make recommendations based on that.

Overall, just don’t be afraid to try something new, but always smell it on your skin, never just on those little scent sticks! And take your time building a collection, it will be worth waiting for. Check out my collection linked below.