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Olfactif Subscription Box Review – December 2015

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Olfactif Subscription Box Review December 2015 - box

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.

COUPON: Receive 15% off your first collection by joining their mailing list (it was a pop-up when I went to the site).

Ships to: US 

Check out our past Olfactif reviews and other great fragrance boxes in the Perfume Subscription Box Directory.

Olfactif Subscription Box Review December 2015 - card1

Olfactif Subscription Box Review December 2015 - card2

Each Olfactif collection comes with a card offering instructions on how to try out the fragrances.

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. 

Also, 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 “Smoldering” and the collection included three warm fragrances with a hint of smoke.  I was excited for the theme, as I’ve been really into fragrances like this lately! 

Olfactif Subscription Box Review December 2015 - samples

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…

Scent Intense by Costume National – This has notes of amber, woods, jasmine tea, and mother of pearl hibiscus.  The smokiness of this one fades fairly quickly and this becomes almost a clean, floral fragrance, but the woods modify that into something quite wearable for me.

Otis & Me by Jazmin Sarai – This has notes of black pepper, bergamot, cardamom absolute, Turkish rose absolute, incense, and coffee grains.  I’m  kind of glad that the coffee isn’t too noticeable.  The bergamot is pretty strong here but I’m liking that.  The smokiness of this one takes a little longer to fade than with Scent Intense.  (This scent is inspired by the song “Cigarettes and Coffee” by Otis Redding.  I will have to seek this song out because pretty much the only Otis Redding song the oldies station back home ever played was “Dock of the Bay.”)

Laudano Nero by Tiziana Terenzi – This is the most expensive fragrance this month, so of course it has to be my favorite.  That seems to be the rule with Olfactif!  It has notes of wormwood, cognac, rosemary, tobacco, myrtle, amber, red rose, black locust honey, cedar, iris, sandalwood, ash, slate, cashmere, laurel, incense, camphor, oud, vetiver, musk, oak, vanilla, and labdanum.  Of all the scents this month, the incense/smokiness lingers longest here.  It really does smell like a room where you’ve just burned incense (I burn incense all the time in my yoga/exercise room because it’s in a damp basement and that helps it smell better).  I also love tobacco notes in fragrances (even though I hate the smell of cigarettes – but it’s not the same at all) and there are a lot of other interesting components to this scent.

Verdict: This was another 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 December 2015 Olfactif collection?  What was your favorite fragrance this month?

Written by Ragan Buckley

Ragan Buckley

Ragan stumbled across My Subscription Addiction in late 2013 and immediately subscribed to way too many beauty boxes. She’s now focused on boxes for her cats and dog, vegan/vegetarian food boxes, and craft subscriptions (and she didn’t give up beauty boxes entirely).
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.


  1. I love this subscription because I am exposed to unique fragrances that I would never have known about. I consider myself a perfumista, so I am always looking for something that wows me. I have been with them for about 2 years now and have yet to use my voucher. But, my sample collection is anything but boring.

  2. My tastes align with yours and I have never been disappointed with this subscription as my one year anniversary approaches. Each month I get a new rotation of scents, many of which are beyond what I’d indulge in. They have amazing customer service as well!

    • I think I’ve only gotten one scent that didn’t agree with me. It smelled amazing but it made my neck and wrists totally red for hours. (To be fair, they did send out a warning about it — too much cinnamon oil, I guess…)

      I haven’t used a voucher yet, though. Most of these are wonderful but just not in my price range…

      • Thankfully the only one I’ve disliked was the golden-chypre for $395. Imaginary Author’s Memories of a Tresspasser was too delicious for me to resist. It arrived packaged with care and accompanied by a hand written note. Little things like that mean a lot to me.

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