Olfactif Perfume Subscription Box Review – February 2015
Olfactif is a monthly perfume sampling subscription. Every month, you’ll receive a curated collection of three niche fragrances each month (2.25 ml sprays of each) from perfume artists around the world. You will also receive an $18 credit toward the full-bottle purchase of a featured fragrance.
The Subscription Box: Olfactif
The Cost: $18/month
The Products: Three 2.25 ml sample spray bottles of 3 niche fragrances from perfume artists around the world.
Ships to: US
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your Wish List or Subscription List!
Every Olfactif box contains an informational card detailing the fragrances and theme for the month. This month’s theme is “Smelling Color and Texture.” I love the way they explain how the language of fragrance isn’t so hard – dark roses might be “crimson velvet,” or citrus may be “warm, smooth, and strong.”
There are a couple things that are very important to keep in mind when sampling perfumes: First, perfumes literally smell different on every person due to the way the fragrance oils play with an individual’s body chemistry. Secondly, there are many notes in each fragrance and perfumes are designed with a story and progression of notes in mind. The top notes are what you smell right away, the middle notes are what you smell about 10 minutes after spraying, and then the base note is what you smell about 30 minutes of wearing it and what stays with you throughout the day.
Tokyo Blossom from The Different Company – This fragrance is designed from the inspiration of the rainy seasons in Japan, and especially the dandelions they bring. This scent is very fresh, clean, crisp, and not really sweet at all. You can definitely smell the dandelion milk they were inspired by.
Roma Imperiale fom Profumi Del Force – This perfume is supposed to be a well-loved classic, and it’s definitely what is called a floral oriental. You smell the floral notes first and foremost, but as it wears on your skin it settles into a mixture of cinnamon, sandalwood, and vanilla. That being said, this isn’t a sweet fragrance either. This scent is supposed to be reminiscent of white silk chiffon.
Memoirs of a Trespasser from Imaginay Authors – Imaginary Authors is a brand I’ve seen in Olfactif before, and I love their ideas. Every fragrance they create is inspired by a fictional author who wrote a fictional book. They even name them! (The description online of this fragrance begins with ‘”Who needs love when you have cognac?” So says Philip Sava, the fictional author of the fictional book that inspired this very real perfume.’) I love that they have such a unique idea and are so dedicated to the story their perfumes tell. That being said, this fragrance is perfectly described as dark, rich, and boozy. Notes include Madagascar vanilla, guaiac wood, myrrh, benzoin resin, ambrette seed, and oak barrels. When I smell this, what immediately came to mind for me was thick, worn leather that had seen many smoked cigars and shared brandy. It’s definitely not my personal style, but I love the story behind it.
Verdict: This wasn’t my favorite month of Olfactif, but I loved how different each fragrance was and that they helped to make the language of fragrance seem much more understandable and easy!
The world of fragrance has always seemed similar to the world of wine to me – both involve the intentional creation of something with multiple layers, notes, and flavors. Both also require practice and attention to determine the many notes and intricacies of each. Fragrance isn’t something I’m highly practiced in, so I like the breakdowns and information Olfactif provides with their boxes (quickly reading the website for each scent is also a very helpful thing to do).
I like the idea of a perfume sampling box, and I think Olfactif does a great job of it: I adore the packaging and the fact that the cost of the box gets attributed to your account as a credit towards a full-size fragrance each month. Part of me wishes that there could be some light customization of the fragrances sent to you, but I know that this would limit/complicate their ability to present themes to you every month. Also, like I said before, there’s definitely some value in exposing yourself to more fragrances and learning more about them.
After trying a few months of Olfactif, I can say that if you’re someone who only really likes sugary and sweet fragrances, this probably isn’t the best subscription for you. Olfactif exposes you to lots of different scents and pushes you out of your fragrance comfort zone and most of them, so far, haven’t been super sweet perfumes.
What do you think about Olfactif?