Resistance is NOT Futile: Hermes Caleche

I’m trying to save my perfume pennies for a big spend a little later in the year on a 40 ml bottle of Chanel’s 31 rue Cambon. I’ve thought about it, and I am certain it is worth it.

So I’m practising restraint. I have allowed myself one TPC order this month, and a $25 spend on Olympic Orchid’s A Midsummer Day’s Dream next month. After that I will hopefully maybe make the big spend.

This resolve was challenged last weekend when in an antique shop I found a sealed 7.5 ml mini of Hermes’ Caleche, in pristine condition and with a pristine, satin-lined box. Price was $AUD55, about half what I will pay for the 31RC. I’ve got a good grasp of the value of vintage fragrances and thought that this was on the pricey side of reasonable. It is sealed and boxed, after all, which is pleasing both for the perfume lover and the perfume bottle lover.

Well, I left it. Not worth it if I’m not a box-and-bottle collector. Wasn’t I cock-a-hoop when I got home, and after a glass or two of red wine, didn’t I boast to our Danielle on email of my powers of resistance. Loyally, she agreed, and remarked that in the perfume community we don’t support each other enough over the perfume not bought. Resistance is NOT futile, she said; it enables better things in the future.

It didn’t last. My first mistake was to give myself a spritz of modern Caleche as I passed through the mall a few days later, and I found it not half bad. Mistake #2 was to meander over to eBay to confirm my estimate of the value of Caleche. I saw a mini going cheap – and snap! It was mine.

Well, it was $15, including international shipping, an EDP, with box. So really, not too bad a transgression I thought. But later for some reason I looked at it again on eBay and read the writing in the box. Oh lord. It’s a ‘Soie de Parfum‘. What the hell is that? Oh but of course, it is a reformulation, released in 1992. It would be.

So that was all very stupid, and my boasting to Danielle now rang very hollow.

Anyway, what perfume purchases have you resisted recently? Let’s keep each other buoyed up for the perfumes which are worth having.

19 thoughts on “Resistance is NOT Futile: Hermes Caleche

  1. I am a very bad person to discuss restraint with, because I only know it from hearsay. 😉
    So I better be quiet and listen to what the others will say, hopefully some good tips will roll in…

  2. Hmm, I was going to say, I’m with you but can’t offer any word of encouragement and then I read Olfactoria’s comment. I’m afraid I agree with her. Well, not so much agree as I’m exactly like her. 😀
    I’m sure I must have resisted a purchase sometime in the past few years but just can’t remember it at the moment. 🙂

    1. Olfactoria and Ines, I think dee’s plan of a monthly budget is a good one but so far I have been bad. I’ve also pondered keeping a perfume fund in the house by shoving coins and $5 notes in a jar, but I know it would all be spent instantly in all those little things you need change for. I’ve tried channeling money in other directions, like nice tea, or plants, but I just end up buying those ON TOP of the perfume purchases. BUT – I keep trying! Not giving up!

  3. Well, really, the Soie de Parfum doesn’t sound all that bad:

    Unless you wanted the “powdery woods.”

    I am bad about resisting under-$20 ebay purchases, but recently have been merely watching several things I’d like to have at ebay. Have turned down every bottle split since December (nothing appealed). Attempting to save for a “vacation” scent, hopefully something Italian-but-not-citrus for a short trip to Malta early next month.

    1. Hi mals, thanks for stopping by. Yes, the Soie de Parfum could be lovely; I doubt it will be money wasted. I’m not attracted by the soapiness that Robin mentions, but the dry-down sounds good.

      It’s the -$20 eBay that are the danger. Best not to even LOOK at eBay, I find. I feel much better at spending small amounts at the indie perfume houses like Sonoma Scent Studio and Olympic Orchids.

      1. Adding: Italian but not citrus sounds great. If you find it, do mention it on your blog. Seriously – I’m interested.

        For fun I just typed in ‘Medit’ into TPC’s search engine and got stacks of results that must contain Mediterranean, and variations, in the description somewhere. Of course I’m just looking, not buying …

  4. Anne-Marie, this is hilarious! I just finally read your post, and I had no idea you caved on the Caleche! LOL!

    I’d like to say that I have more restraint, but as I confessed to Birgit earlier, I “accidently” bought a 100mL of JHAG Calamity J. It was an accident, since, while I planned to eventually buy it, I was not planning to get it anytime soon.

    How it happened? A new, unopened bottle on eBay for $81! How could I resist? Anyway, Memoir Woman is still next on the official “to buy” list, and I am NOT going to purchase anything else in the meantime. 🙂

    1. Ah ha! Caught ya!

      Still, the Calamity J. was a bargain. Was it an unwanted gift? They are often fantastic buys. And for that cost per ml, you’ve done very well indeed.

      I did make a ‘real’ accidental purchase once in my early days buying online. I think I was confused about the cost of shipping (some online sellers can make that info very hard to find) so kept clicking on, and all of a sudden realised I had actually made the purchase. How I blushed with shame and horror. But I was the proud owner of 50 mls of Chamade EDP, so I’ve never regretted it.

      1. LOL, I’m busted!

        Oh man, one time I kept bidding, and then retracting my bid on a bottle of PG Bois Blond—and I did it like three times.

        Not maliciously, of course! I was having trouble understanding the USD to British pounds conversion, and I kept bidding waaay too high! It was a nightmare, and I finally realized that I just needed to STOP. 🙂 I eventually got my bottle of BB, but it was not that day!

  5. I may be blonde, but this I know…stay away from eBay! 😉 Or I could have found myself the owner of that exorbitantly priced bottle of vintage, sealed Fidji, a steal at only 140$…

    For all sorts of reasons, I’ve had to curtail my impulse purchases – perfume and otherwise – for the past year, but I’ve deluded myself repeatedly that samples don’t count…;)

    I’ll give an example of that (non) river in Egypt phenomenon: In January last year, while working on the first draft of QD, I decided to save my pennies by not dying my hair – for eight long months. My reward was a bell jar…of Fleurs d’Oranger. It was worth it!

    Depending on how it goes next week, I know what my next reward will be…that hotly coveted bottle of Boxeuses.

    And of course, all the samples First in Fragrance is willing to send, because we all know – samples don’t count! 😉

    1. Marvellous! So resistance IS possible, and makes the rewards ever sweeter. Those perfumes sounds really worth working for. I agree about eBay. I have found that I am happier, meaning just generally happier in myself, if I stay away from eBay because I’m not constantly thinking of stuff I want.

  6. I’m very sensitive (smell-wise, not allergic) to spoiled perfumes and not (yet) a big fan of vintage ones, so after having several unpleasant accidents with ebay purchases I’m reluctant to spend my money there: if to count all sending back (when a seller was courteous enough to accept a return), costs that I decided to absorb not to spend more time and money on returns and my disappointments, the bargains I’ve got there were not that great.

    1. Vinatage perfume is inherently risky, yes, and you have to weigh that risk against the prices. I’ve actually only smelled one perfume that I think was completely off, a mini of Guerlain’s Habit Rouge that I picked up for .50c in an antique shop once. Very glad I didn’t get it from eBay! Other than that my purchases have just had off top notes, which I can tolerate. There are two sorts, in my experience: those that smell of nail varnish, and those that bring back a memory of vinyl seat covers in a car on a hot day! Lovely.

  7. Success Story!

    Last night I was out shopping with the hubby, and one of our stops was at a Marshall’s, where I was sorely tempted by, but did NOT purchase:

    Bulgari Omnia, $29.99
    Lolita Lempika (Homme & Fleur de Coreille), $16.99 ea

    Great prices, and all three on my “to sniff” list. I’m doing pretty well on my new year’s resolution not to buy unsniffed 🙂

  8. Oh well done you! I hope you had a good feeling at having NOT purchased. I can’t keep up with those Omnias. They sound nice, but nothing to die for – like Memoir Woman sounds.

    1. I do feel good… but part of me wonders, did I pass up something really great???

      But you’re totally right about the Memoir—by the gods, I wish that Beautyhabit sold Amouage so I could take advantage of the $25 off coupon! I was browsing around the site for a while before I got ahold of myself—like, seriously, I DO NOT need to shop just because there is a sale going on 😉


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