Blofeld indeed acts in a less-than-logical manner over his fake title, which further demonstrates how much of an Achilles heel his snobbery is. He jeopardizes his entire operation just so he can officially be a count. My feeling is that bribery was the last-ditch option for Blofeld--his pride demanded that he first try for a "pure" confirmation from the College. Perhaps it's part of the overall degeneration of Blofeld--from icy mastermind in TB to desperate syphilitic snob in OHMSS to ranting madman in YOLT. (I sometimes wonder if it was Irma Bundt who gave him syphilis, but since that involves picturing them in bed I think about other things instead).
An interesting idea, perhaps Blofeld really believes his claim is legitimate, despite his better knowledge to the contrary, hm...
That would suggest he's already spending large part of his days in Bleuville-fantasy-country while remaining functional on the surface. Would also tally with the rather outlandish scheme of YOLT, involving a large investment without a proper way to cash in - the Nipponese government buying him out to get rid of his castle is a fairly improbable hope; likewise setting up a similar operation - and with the sick sadistic pleasure of observing strangers committing suicide as the only substantial payoff beside walking around in full Samurai-fetish-gear.
I wonder how active Bunt's role in Blofeld's life may have been? She's obviously the director of operations on Piz Gloria, handling all the affairs with the girls. Could it be she's even more of an active force behind the scenes? The operation calls for in-depth expertise on biological warfare and its chemical/biological agents as well as - working! - allergy treatment and sufficient hands-on experience with hypnosis. Neither field seems to be Blofeld's own strong suit, judging by TB's extensive backstory of Blofeld. Could Bunt have been the expert Blofeld needed for this? The various redshirts from SMERSH, Union Corse and so on are obviously mainly there for guard duty, surely none of them is adept beyond the usual shooting-fighting-killing and laboratory worker/assistant skills.*
Once more OHMSS gives an example of a meticulously planned scheme to deal a vital blow to Britain by ingenious use of modern science and ruthless villainy. At closer inspection the affair becomes a needlessly complicated series of obstacles. First to find a group of girls with a farming/ranching background and a specific psychosomatic allergy - psychosomatic because only that form would show results by hypnosis treatment - threatening their future in the family business. Yet these farming/ranching families must be so involved in their produce to guarantee they are present at various agricultural shows, either with their own products or out of interest in their competitors. This group of girls must also be susceptible to deep hypnosis and able to follow posthypnotic instructions to release their respective BW agents at such agricultural fairs over a period of time and keep their pathogen agents safe in the meantime. Fine, fine, fine...
Why not send Bertil, Grunther, Peter or some other minor henchman and do exactly the same without all the fuss about hypnosis and allergies? Such fairs are not exactly high security areas. Would have worked much faster. Once more it's Fleming's outstanding talent to cover up the obvious with the outrageous and still get away with it. During reading OHMSS I don't ask such questions, the sheer flow and excitement of the adventure keep me from becoming overly critical.
*As an aside: Bond muses about the typical 'communist-cell pattern' of Blofeld's outfit, sounding incredibly expert on such matters. But the fact is a cell-pattern is vital for any clandestine operation and at least since World War II basic intelligence practice of all intelligence services. Bond's expertise is tarnished here because the cell structure in this case doesn't make sense in Blofeld's operation, with all groups apparently working together and knowing each other.