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Fragrance Addiction Pt. 2: Warning Signs and Self Care

Last week, we talked about Fragrance addiction, and why it’s prominent and under-discussed. In this week’s segment, we’ll talk about the next obvious topics: How do you know if you have a fragrance addiction? And how can you help yourself if you have one?

The nature of addiction

Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive despite harmful consequences.

American Society of Addiction Medication

Most of this is pretty well-known, but the fact is that addiction has very sneaky ways of showing up in our lives. It can be easier to identify specific warning signs of certain addictions rather than wait for behavior to be confirmed as ‘compulsive’ or consequences as ‘harmful.’ It can be helpful to haves a list of signs that you might have, or be headed toward, fragrance addiction.

Warning Signs

  1. You think about buying a new perfume daily, no matter how recently you purchased one. Thinking about purchasing new perfume daily, especially soon after a purchase, can indicate a simultaneous need to buy fragrance and a dissatisfaction with any fragrance you purchase – a dangerous cycle. Anyone interested in a hobby will regularly discover specific items they’re interested in; the danger is buying simply for the sake of buying.
  2. You find yourself buying more bottles at the same time, and buying a single perfume is no longer satisfying to you. Retail addictions build up tolerance over time. If you find yourself wanting to buy several fragrances simultaneously, you may be on a slippery slope.
  3. You often set, then exceed, a budget or limit on fragrance spending. More than any previous sign, this offers the greatest sign of addiction. While setting a budget is a good habit for any hobby, breaking set limits can display a lack of control over time.
  4. You hide your spending from others in order to avoid their concern or judgment. Hiding your spending habits from others not only minimizes your own accountability; it can also erode others’ trust, especially with partners or dependents who are directly impacted by your own financial health.

Self-Help Tips

So what do you do if you know you’re addicted or close to it, and don’t know how to stop? There are a number of ways to erode the temptation. Here are a handful of tactics you can use to cut back:

  1. Cut down, or eliminate, exposure to fragrance content. Most fragrance-related content, by nature, is built on recommending new fragrances by accentuating their positive qualities and framing their spot in one’s collection. Muting or leaving fragrance groups on social media, unsubscribing from fragrance channels, and limiting exposure to outlets – even this one – cuts off the internal voices that encourage spending. I’ve seen countless comments on fragrance addiction videos that swear by this tactic.
  2. Commit to a no-slack plan for allowing fragrance purchases. Chances are, if you regularly buy fragrances, you’ve already budgeted your spending at one point. If you have a habit of setting such budgets and breaking them, it’s probably not worthwhile to set another – try something else on the list. However, if you haven’t set a budget before and you’d like to change your spending, go ahead and try it. If you break it, you’ll know you need to take more drastic action.
  3. Unsubscribe from email lists that send offers on fragrance. Almost every fragrance website bombards email inboxes with deals after a purchase is made. Unsubscribing from such email lists cuts the temptation to buy something just because it’s on sale.
  4. Tell others who care about you about your attempt to cut back on fragrance purchases. Being accountable to others gives you a backup if you’re feeling weak. Having someone to lean on gives you a lot more strength in your attempt to cut back. It also gives you yet another reason to think twice before making an unhealthy purchase.
  5. Actively enjoy what you have by wearing and writing about fragrances in your collection. This tactic is one that’s helped me personally. Each fragrance in my collection was, at one point, the fragrance I was most excited about, whether I had just received it or was still waiting on its delivery. Writing about your own fragrances and creating charts or diagrams about which occasions and seasons you love to wear them can be a great replacement for consuming content about fragrances you don’t own. And chances are, you’ll find renewed appreciation for what you already have.

Fragrance addiction can happen to anyone, and the prevalence of enabling factors within the industry make it particularly difficult to identify and treat. A healthy relationship to fragrance offers more opportunities for genuine, safe enjoyment. Every day offers the opportunity to get better, and we at the Fandomentals are excited to step into a future where addiction continues to be destigmatized and all of us can enjoy fragrance in the ways that suit us best.

Have strong thoughts about this piece you need to share? Or maybe there’s something else on your mind you’re wanting to talk about with fellow Fandomentals? Head on over to our Community server to join in the conversation!

Author

  • John Darr is the Lifestyle Editor at the Fandomentals, where they obsess over perfume and underground music. Their wacky poetry is floating around the internet - beware! Follow them for fragrance and poetry content @johndarrextreme on Instagram.

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