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Olfactif Perfume Subscription Box Review – March 2015

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Olfactif Perfume Subscription Box Review – March 2015 Box

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.

Olfactif Perfume Subscription Box Review – March 2015 Photo

Olfactif sent us this box for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

Olfactif Perfume Subscription Box Review – March 2015 Items

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

Check out all of our Olfactif reviews!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your Wish List or Subscription List!

Olfactif Perfume Subscription Box Review – March 2015 Info

Every Olfactif box contains an informational card detailing the fragrances and theme for the month. This month’s theme is “Inspiration is Everywhere,” which points out the infinite number of people, places, and things can inspire perfumers (or any artist, really).

This theme card is also beautifully written and I love the themes Olfactif comes up with. When I first started reviewing Olfactif, I initially thought “How many themes can there be for a perfume sub? Flowers, vanillas, and woods?” I’ve been impressed with the creativity and originality of themes that they’ve presented.

Olfactif Perfume Subscription Box Review – March 2015 Info 2

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.

Olfactif Perfume Subscription Box Review – March 2015 Everywhere

Neon Graffiti from Jazmin Saraï – This fragrance was inspired by the song “Sunshowers” by M.I.A. The perfumer is a classically trained singer/songwriter, and makes perfumes inspired by songs that hold sentimental importance to her. Neon Graffiti contains notes of bergamot, grapefruit, cardamom absolute, cool mint, mimosa absolute, sunflower accord, cedarwood, incense, and abrox. It’s a poignant perfume that feels crisp and tropical. After watching the music video (which is set in a rain forest), I can see a connection, too. It’s not my personal taste for myself, but I enjoy seeing the story and inspiration behind its creation.

Blood Sweat Tears from Atelier de Geste – Atelier de Geste is a Brooklyn-based performance-inspired studio, and the perfumer also makes clothing and sculptures. This scent, specifically, “is a flowing, pulsating, mutating scent featuring the essences that keep us moving in our daily lives: teas, tobacco, jasmine, ancient fruit.” Its notes include black tea, green tea, bergamot, tobacco, spices, fig, jasmine, wood, bark, and sandalwood. I wasn’t sure I’d like this perfume because of the bergamot, spices, and tobacco notes, but it’s actually much lighter than I thought it would be (especially after it settles into its middle and base notes). I can really smell the fig and teas!

1804 from Histories de Parfums – This perfume has an interesting story behind it. Here’s what the website says:

“1804 is inspired by Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, born in Paris on July 1, 1804. She would later become the baroness of Dudevant. But if you know her at all, you probably know her as George Sand, the pen name she used as one of France’s celebrated novelists. She smoked tobacco in public, wore men’s clothing, and had well-publicized affairs, including one with composer Frédéric Chopin.”

Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin is definitely an inspiration for how she laughed in the face of stereotypes and gender roles, but this perfume is also a very interesting take on the way she inspired the perfumer. The main note is absolutely Hawaiian pineapple, and other notes include Tahitian gardenia, Corsican peach, clove, nutmeg, Indian jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, sandalwood, patchouli, benzoin, vanilla, and white musk.

This perfume is probably my favorite of the three. It’s a fruity, tropical, light scent that’s well balanced by the sandalwood, patchouli, and white musk.

Verdict: This month’s Olfactif had a really great theme and I enjoyed learning about the stories and inspiration behind each fragrance. I think Olfactif does a great job with their subscription: the packaging is really nice and I like that the cost of the box gets attributed to your account as a credit towards a full-size fragrance each month (they don’t stack up or carry over each month, though). 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 their own 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.

Written by Haley Faye

Haley Faye

Haley Faye first discovered Beauty Army and Birchbox in 2012 and instantly fell hard and fast for the world of subscription boxes. Over the years of writing for MSA she has found many subscriptions to fuel her addiction, but her favorites include fashion, geeky, beauty, and mom/baby boxes to share with her son.
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

6 Comments

  1. Just curious, is anyone subscribed to both this and Scentbird? How do they stack up against one another in value/your satisfaction with each box?

    • Judi – I actually review both! I think they’re very different, and what each one offers may not be what everyone is looking for.

      Olfactif is great for learning more about the world of perfume and the different stories, notes, and inspirations that can be involved. You get 3 sample vials each month, which are not personalized to your preferences (for the sake of their monthly themes). Olfactif also offers the $18 cost for the monthly box towards the purchase of a full-size bottle of perfume, so if you’re hoping to find a new signature scent or purchase full-sized bottles, Olfactif is a good choice. I’d also like to point out that only one or two months have had a sweeter perfume since I started getting their boxes in October. They also like to feature lots of independent perfumers, too. You’re not likely to find Chanel or Coach fragrances in Olfactif.

      Scentbird is great for personaliztion – you can browse their selection and pick a scent to get a large 8 ml spray vial of (Olfactif’s vials are 2.25 ml, and a typical rollerball you can buy from a store is 10 ml, to help give you some reference). Their selection includes lots of name-brand perfumes and many fragrances you can find at places like Sephora or department stores. They also offer a “Perfume of the Month,” so if you don’t know what to pick you can go with that for the month. As you rate perfumes and express your preferences more, their suggestions for your taste get more accurate/narrowed down. For more information about their subscription, products, and values, you can also check out all our Scentbird reviews here: mysubscriptionaddiction.com/search/scentbird

      Hope this helps! =]

  2. Curious, how many uses do you get from each one?

    • Holly, These are the size of typical perfume samples you might find in something like Birchbox. I’d say you could probably get enough sprays to wear a sample for 5-7 days. Maybe 10-14 sprays total?

    • I have used each at least a 1/2 a dozen times and they are about half full.

  3. I’m torn on this subscription, I subscribed after your review last month and had them ship me the Feb. scents. I loved all of them and that again is the case this month. My problem is I can’t keep falling in love with $$$ perfumes and still afford all my sub boxes!!! Last month it was Memories of a Trespasser, my son said it made me smell like a cigar and although the top note was indeed quite overwhelming it mellowed into a warm scent that for some reason brought to mind Hemmingway passages. The Blood Sweat and Tears is my favorite this month. Hopefully next month I’ll hate them all and save my wallet some stress. 😉

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