perfume collection

Four Things That Stop Me Being a Minimalist

[This post is sponsored by Notino]

“Hey, Amber, how’s that whole ‘move towards minimalism‘ you kept going on about a few years ago going? Funny how we never heard anything else about that, no?”

OK, absolutely no one asked that.

Seeing as spring has finally sprung in this part of the world, though, and I’ve just wasted most of the warm weather we’ve had by frantically emptying out my house, I figured now was as good a time as any to revisit the topic.

Now, joking aside, I actually think minimalism is a pretty good lifestyle choice for me. Over the last few years, for instance, I’ve been fairly ruthlessly clearing out my wardrobe. (To the point where I was left with absolutely nothing to wear….), my desk drawers are practically empty, and I’ve become much more selective about what I allow into the house in the first place.

More than that, though, I just enjoy having less stuff. It makes me feel comfortable and relaxed. It lowers my stress levels, and allows me to feel in control of my life, even when I’m blatantly not.


Of course there had to be a but, didn’t there?

In addition to the fact that I live with two people who are decidedly NOT into the minimalist lifestyle – which makes true organisation pretty much impossible, I’ve discovered – I’ve also identified a few “maximalist”, if you will, tendencies in myself. There are some things, you see, that I just can’t resist, no matter how hard I try, or how much I long to have every drawer in the house perfectly organised. I’m talking here about…


Because I am basic, I love scented candles. It’s at the point now where every time I go to the supermarket, I have to be talked out of trying to buy another one from the display they keep by the door. (Luckily we get most of our groceries delivered, or I’d be bankrupt by now, but would at least have a LOT of candles to keep me warm…)

In my defense, I do actually use all the candles, but I have different ones for different seasons/occasions, which means I can never justify getting rid of any, because who knows when I might need it? Exactly.

I’ve written about my Yankee Candle obsession in the past (I particularly love their crackle wick candles, which crackle as they burn, allowing you to pretend you’re in a charming log cabin, about to embark upon an adventure or something), but a recent discovery is the Bath & Body Works range, which also has a fantastic range of scents.

I’m now fast running out of candle storage, but, on the plus side, my house always smells amazing, so…


I used to be all about the “signature scent”, but then my signature scent was discontinued (It was Jean Paul Gaultier’s ‘Fragile‘, just in case you’re wondering. I do still have a couple of bottles, because it sometimes comes up on eBay, but I have to ration it carefully, and mostly keep it for special occasions…), and I abruptly veered from one extreme to other, swapping the single bottle of Classique on my dressing table for this little lot (plus quite a few more, which didn’t make the cut for the photo…)

small perfume collectionThe latest addition to the collection is Gucci’s ‘Bloom’, which I sampled at the airport when we went on holiday earlier this month, and instantly fell in love with.

I will never have the minimal dressing table of my dreams now, but my shallow habit of choosing perfume for the bottle almost as much as the scent means I’m actually OK with that…


When I say “lingerie”, you’re probably imagining drawers filled with gorgeous, silky, skimpy things, aren’t you? Well, think again, folks, because that ain’t what I’m obsessed with. (Although, when I do want to buy “nice” lingerie, I recommend ZARA, which has a surprisingly fantastic lingerie section) No, I’m talking about plain old underwear here: the boring, practical kind, that I just never seem to have enough of, no matter how much of it I buy.

My justification here is my firm belief that everything you wear should make you feel good, whether or not anyone outside your house gets to see it. On that basis, I threw out all of my old, worn-out undies and PJs a while back, and, OK, that means I hardly have any nightclothes now, because I’m still working on that one, but I do have a LOT of knickers, and that’s the main thing, really, isn’t it?

(P.S. For everyday undies, my go-to is H&M, particularly their seamless range, which is super-comfy…)


Finally, the obvious justification for this one is that I write for a living, so I’m never without a notebook or three, but I do I REALLY need two entire drawers of the things, I ask myself? And, yes; yes, I do, is the answer.

Although my phone is surgically attached to my hand at all times, when it comes to my fiction writing, I much prefer the old-fashioned ‘pen and paper’ approach (See also: PENS, MY SECRET VICE), hence the notebook collection. After many years, however, I’m pleased to announce that I have finally managed to break my habit of buying notebooks and then refusing to “spoil” them by actually writing in them, so that’s some unexpected character growth for me right there.

So, there you have it, folks: these are the four things standing between me and a completely minimal home (Or the six things, if you count Terry and Max), and, to be totally honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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books by Amber Eve
  • Anita


    wait what?! Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Classique is discontinued??! Really? I’ve been buying it with no problems, bought my last bottle only a few months ago, and it’s still on Boots and lots of other websites…

    Anyway, I’m totes with you on the scented candle obsession!

    March 30, 2022
  • Myra Boyle


    I buy perfume dependent on how much I like the bottle , but don’t wear it much these days so am out of that habit. I’m also out of the habit of buying novels based on the cover (I just borrow library books these days). I’m reading Sally Rooney’s Normal People because I liked the tv adaptation and the book is better.
    I have a penchant for buying luggage (I have no idea why I like it) and have been known to buy expensive luggage and take it back because it is too expensive, and because I already have enough.

    March 30, 2022
  • Miss Kitty


    My downfall is books. I love books, I read all the time, and I love the look of wall-to-wall bookshelves crammed with books. My only problem is, what do you do when you run out of wall space for more bookshelves? (Or your husband runs out of patience when you come home with another book) I did have a bit of a cull a couple of years ago, getting rid of quite a lot that I didn’t really enjoy or had no idea why I had bought, but I’ve already filled up the spaces left by those books. Something about being surrounded by books makes me happy, and I’ve no inclination to change it.

    March 31, 2022
    • Fiona


      Mine too. I have three bookcases in the living room but there are also books in the hall, books in the wardrobe, books in my son’s room that I claim are for him to grow into, but I really just don’t want to part with… and I work in a library so I always have books out on my card as well. I also have a kindle full of books, but at least they aren’t taking up much space!

      March 31, 2022
  • Erin


    Gucci Bloom got me as well. It was the NYC flagship Macy’s this past Christmas. Love it. I can’t relate to minimalism. I collect (or hoard, let’s be real) everything mentioned in you post, in the comments, and then some lol. I do think it’s a great thing to aspire to though, and wish I could be more minimalist. I’m trying every day 😉

    April 1, 2022
  • Lucy


    I resonated with this post so much! These are exactly the four things that stop me from living that minimalistic lifestyle! I love perfume and buying perfume just for the prettiness of the bottles. Also being a blogger it means I’m obsessed with notebooks and stationary x

    Lucy |

    April 4, 2022
  • Erika


    Ah, the notebooks! I cannot pass one up and have many many that are too good to spoil by writing in them. 😁

    April 18, 2022