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With A Collection Worth Around €15,000, This Guy Might Be Malta’s Biggest Perfume Collector

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Having gotten his hands on some top-notch perfume 19 years ago, 30-year-old Buġibba resident Darren Grima – also known as The Perfume Collector – might now have one of the country’s biggest perfume collections.

Lovin Malta spoke to Darren to figure out what triggered this unconventional obsession.

“My passion for perfume started at the age of 11 when my father had bought a bottle of Paco Rabanne Ultra Violet. I would sneak into the bathroom and spray some of it before school,” Darren said.

Of course, as a young student, Darren couldn’t exactly afford top-tier perfume, so he was forced to make do with a more affordable alternative.

“With the little pocket money I had, I settled for Axe deodorant – which I eventually bought in 10 different scents,” Darren continued.

“But as I grew older and started working, I was able to afford a couple of designer bottles.”

Whilst Darren was always enamoured with perfume, this hobby was kicked up a notch during a very unlikely time – COVID-19.

“As COVID-19 struck I went from having a full-time job to a part-time job. Eventually, my anxiety disorder got worse and it was followed by a huge depression,” Darren said.

“Having so much time to myself and not being able to socialise, I dedicated most of my time to researching and reviewing perfumes. This helped me focus on something I’m really passionate about.”

And whilst not everyone might share Darren’s passion for perfume, he is now trying to make this hobby more accessible by associating different perfume scents with relevant local scenes. You can check out all of these associations on his very own Instagram page.

“In Maltese they say ‘l-ewwel ma tiekol l-għajn’ (you eat with your eyes first). I disagree with that,“ Darren explained.

“If you went to an Indian restaurant for example, you’d immediately smell the aromatic spices, instantly triggering your appetite.”

For Darren, smelling different perfumes is like triggering different memories. A particular scent can transport him to a scene miles away from where he is. His collection, which currently consists of 105 different bottles, is made up of perfumes from pretty much every corner of the world.

“My collection includes a wide range of designers as well as niche brands from all over the world – from Japan and Malaysia to Saudi Arabia and France,” Darren said.

“Before I buy a new perfume I always do my research to check what notes it contains – then I review it based on its sillage, that is how long it stays in the air, and longevity, meaning how long it actually stays.”

Do you have an unconventional obsession? Let us know in the comment section

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