Olfactif Subscription Box Review – November 2015
Olfactif is a monthly perfume sampling subscription. Every month, you’ll receive a curated collection of three niche fragrances (2.25 mL for most, occasionally 1.75 mL) by perfume artists from around the world. You will also receive an $18 credit towards a full-sized purchase of one of the month’s featured fragrances.
Olfactif offers a unisex collection and recently began offering a men’s collection as well. This is a review of the unisex collection.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this subscription box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Olfactif
The Cost: $18
The Products: Three 2.25 mL sample spray bottles from three fragrance artists from around the world.
Ships to: US
Each Olfactif collection comes with a card offering instructions on how to try out the fragrances. This month, my Olfactif box also included an offer from Tasting Room (a wine subscription).
It’s important to note that fragrances may smell different when you wear them than when you spray them on a card or piece of paper. They may also smell different on different people due to individual body chemistries. (This month, Olfactif says the fragrances in the collection may even smell different each time you wear them!)
Also, and this is especially true this month, but the fragrances develop and change over time, with different notes becoming prominent. “Top” notes form your initial impression but evaporate within a few minutes, so you may still love a fragrance even if you are not fond of the top notes. “Middle” or “heart” notes emerge after you’ve been wearing the fragrance for a few minutes up to an hour. “Base” notes are large, heavy molecules that persist for a long time. They are often richer than the top or middle notes, although they may contribute to how you perceive the top and middle notes due to their interactions with the other fragrance components.
The collection also included an information card about this month’s theme and the notes in the individual fragrances that were sent. This month’s theme was “Layered” and the collection included three rich, complex fragrances where different notes rise to prominence over time.
Good to know: Olfactif sent out an email recently explaining that they’d changed their vials a bit. Subscribers will still receive the same amount of fragrance as before, it just might appear to be a little less because of the changes in the vials. (Some fragrances that are more expensive may arrive in slightly lesser amounts, but that was noted on the card where applicable.)
Each Olfactif collection comes in a custom black case. I am very pleased with myself this month for actually opening this properly. In past months, I have been somewhat challenged when it comes to these and I have mangled them…
1826 by Histoires de Parfums – This is described as having notes of bergamot, tangerine, white flowers, violet, cinnamon, ginger, patchouli, amber, incense, blond woods, white musk, and vanilla. Oddly, I thought this smelled a bit of anise/licorice when I first sprayed it, even though that is not in the list. After a time, the florals became more noticeable, although I would not call this a floral fragrance. The citrus (bergamot and tangerine) was not as noticeable, although I have had a bit of a stuffy nose lately and that may be contributing to my perceptions of this fragrance.
La Fin du Monde by Etat Libre d’Orange – I’ve sampled Etat Libre d’Orange fragrances from Birchbox before but wasn’t really a fan (Birchbox has a way of sending me all the worst possible fragrances for me, though). This is described as having notes of popcorn, carrot seed, cumin, sesame, black pepper, freesia, vetiver, sandalwood, ambrette seed, iris, styrax, and gunpowder. This was, for me, a little bit lighter than the other two fragrances this month, and more herbal. It changed less over time than the other two. It worked out for me a lot better than the samples Birchbox has sent from this perfumery, though!
Trayee by Neela Vermiere Creations – This was my favorite fragrance of the month. Of course it is also the one that is $260 for a full-sized bottle (go figure). It is described as having notes of blue ginger from Madagascar, elemi oil, cinnamon bark, ganja effects (!), blackcurrant, basil, jasmine, cardamom, clove, saffron, sandalwood, vetiver, incense, patchouli, myrrh, vanilla, cedar, amber, oud, and oakmoss. I am generally not a fan of floral fragrances and prefer “oriental,” “spicy,” or “woody” fragrances. This is definitely my type of fragrance. The incense was apparent at first – there was an initial smokiness – but the spices show up later and stick around, and the patchouli was muted on me.
Verdict: This was a great month for me from Olfactif. The scents were definitely all autumn-type scents, which are my favorites. I would also, for the most part, never have encountered these fragrances from another source. I like that you get a voucher towards the cost of a full-size fragrance, although please note that the vouchers don’t stack – you use it that month or you lose it! The packaging is lovely, as well.
For the most part, I have received a lot of spicy, smoky, woody, herbal, and oriental fragrances from Olfactif over the past few months, and fewer sweet, strongly floral, or clean and fresh types of fragrances. That matches perfectly with my taste in fragrances, so this is a good subscription for me. But it is important to keep this in mind when you are thinking of signing up, since the subscription is not customizable.
What do you think of the November 2015 Olfactif collection? What was your favorite fragrance this month?