Olfactif Subscription Box Review – January 2016
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.)
Subscription Box: Olfactif
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
Each Olfactif collection comes with a card offering instructions on how to try out the fragrances. (Sorry, these turned out kind of blurry this month.)
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 “What’s In a Name?” I really didn’t know what to expect but Olfactif rarely lets me down.
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…
Winter by Dasein – This has notes of blue spruce, black cardamom, forest pine, and French lavender. I was totally getting the spruce and pine notes right away and actually, they lasted a very long time. The lavender and cardamom were much less apparent. Olfactif had another Dasein fragrance (Autumn) a few months ago that smelled lovely just like this one, but which contained too much cinnamon oil and made my skin totally red. Thankfully I am not having that reaction to Winter, because it is my favorite fragrance for this month!
The Dark Heart of Old Havana by 4160 Tuesdays – This has notes of orange, peach, grapefruit, sugar, tobacco, bergamot, tonka, jasmine, vanilla, musk and black pepper. I absolutely loved the top notes here but over time this became super fruity and tropical to me. Maybe a reaction to my body chemistry? Hard to say. I like it, but it’s a very summery scent in my mind, and probably not an everyday thing.
Poopoo Pidoo by Ego Facto – I had heard of this one before so I was curious. Although I think this is a good example of why foreign companies need to run their product names by native speakers before putting items on the market. Because “poopoo” is not a term Americans would typically want associated with perfume! Apparently “poopoo pidoo” is how the French spell Betty Boop’s “boop oop a doop.” Anyway, this has notes of citrus, orange blossom, rice powder, amber, woods, and musk. After the top notes evaporated, this was mostly woody and musky and yet also a little clean (this is just my nose with my body chemistry, though!).
Verdict: This was a good month for me from Olfactif. Probably not my favorite, but I liked the curation and the selections were definitely interesting. 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. This month was a little different from that but I think it is good for them to mix it up every now and then. However, it is important to keep the types of fragrances from past collections in mind when you are thinking of signing up, since the subscription is not customizable.
What do you think of the January 2016 Olfactif collection? What was your favorite fragrance this month?