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Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review – October 2015

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review October 2015 - box

Escape Monthly is a monthly “vacation in a box” subscription. Each box comes with food, beauty items, and other souvenirs from a new destination. There are three versions – the regular box (what I’m reviewing here), a mini version, and a luxe version. In the regular subscription, you get a tour guide book, which may be of use in planning your next vacation!

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

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review October 2015 - items

The Subscription Box: Escape Monthly

The Cost: $49.95

Ships to: US (free shipping)

The Products: Each box is a destination-inspired monthly delivery of luxury products to help you relax, renew, and escape.

Check out our past Escape Monthly reviews!

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review October 2015 - brochure1

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review October 2015 - brochure2

The box came with a full-color trifold brochure detailing the items included. It also had some information about the destination – California. And it reminded me of a real travel brochure.

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review October 2015 - book

Frommer’s Easy Guide to San Francisco – Value $10

This was the monthly travel guide (the price is for a new paper copy from Amazon). I have never been to San Francisco but I did like flipping through this and there’s always a chance I could go there one day. I think I prefer a more focused guide like this than something that tries to cover the whole state – California is a big, diverse place after all.

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review October 2015 - food

Goldrush Old Fashioned Sourdough Starter (1/2 oz) – Value $6.25

This is a perfect item to go with the San Francisco travel guide. I have made sourdough bread before and it’s actually pretty easy to get a culture started (it’ll go crazy with rye flour, in particular). However, I haven’t baked much bread in my new kitchen so there’s probably not a huge wild yeast population, so this will get put to good use. (I usually cheat, though – use the sourdough starter for the flavor but then throw in a packet of active dry yeast to get the bread to rise better.)

Torn Ranch Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar – Value $3

This was listed as an extra in the brochure. It was gone the same day I opened the box (can’t resist chocolate). I can’t find this exact bar listed in the Torn Ranch shop, though it does appear in some photographs (I linked to some similar bars instead). Torn Ranch is in Northern California so it’s an appropriate inclusion.

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review October 2015 - loofah

Natural Loofah Sponge – Value $0.50

This didn’t make it into the picture of all the items above because it got lost among the packing peanuts! (Sorry the photo is a little blurry.) Loofah is related to cucumbers, which I did not know before. You would want to disinfect this every once in awhile, though – apparently these things can harbor bacteria.

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review October 2015 - lotion

California Mango Cleansing Gel (9 oz) – Value $9.75

California Mango Hand and Body Lotion (9 oz) – Value $9.75

California Mango is headquartered in Huntington Beach, California. I am a sucker for bath and body products and both of these will definitely get used (I have too much open right now to justify putting them in the shower right away). This is a smaller company I probably never would’ve discovered otherwise, which is nice.

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review October 2015 - oils

Napa Organics Plum Kernel Oil (1 oz) – Value $32

This oil is produced in limited quantities in Northern California. It’s supposed to be high in antioxidants and good for reducing the appearance of scars as well as fine lines. I don’t have the best luck using oils on my face, but I do have some scars so we will see how it does with them (too soon to tell).

Napa Organics Lavender Hydrosol (1 oz) – Value $4.67

I didn’t see this exact product on the Napa Organics site, so I linked to something similar. This is a facial mist that I think will actually make a nice winter toner since it is alcohol-free and non-drying.

Exfoliating Soap Bag – Value $4 (?)

This is another non-branded item. You put a bar of soap inside and can wash up in the shower while also exfoliating. So far, I like it. And I hang the bag, soap and all, from a hook in the shower, so the soap doesn’t sit in water in a soap dish all day. I get exfoliation and longer-lasting soap!

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review October 2015 - wallet

Leather Wallet/Passport Holder – Value $19.95

This doesn’t scream “California” to me (in fact, if you look at the label I put next to it, it says “made in China”…). But it is listed as an extra on the information card so I guess that is OK. It’s supposedly big enough to hold a passport and also has spaces for other essentials (money, credit cards, etc.).

Verdict: Including the bonus items, I calculated a value of about $100 for the October Escape Monthly box. That’s definitely better than some of their past boxes, even if you don’t count the non-branded wallet. I did think the box was a little heavy on bath and body items (not a problem for me), but I appreciate that Escape went with California companies – and smaller, lesser known but local brands – for these items. I feel like I made some cool discoveries – I’m liking a lot of products on the Napa Organics site, for example.

What do you think of the October 2015 Escape Monthly Box? Do you subscribe?

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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).

Posted in Escape Monthly Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: escape monthly | 6 comments

Comments (6)

  1. Being a northern Californian (just outside of SF), this box seems okay to me. I think the sourdough starter is really cool, since sourdough is so unique to our part of the country! When I went to school in PA, I was bummed that it was so difficult to find sourdough at all. NorCal is also known for the Napa/Sonoma valley and a lot of day spas, so the loofah, Mango products, and Napa Organics products also seem like they fit okay.

    However, the box also seems kind of a let-down! There are SO MANY small, niche businesses in NorCal, that make a lot of really cool California-related items. Dish towels with a cool California print, or a nice canvas bag with a cool California print would have been awesome to see.

    I haven’t subbed to Escape Monthly in over a year (I usually just get their holiday box), cause the value was dropping pretty fast. I’d say the same for this box: the value just doesn’t seem there for a SF box, because there are SO many cool things about the area that COULD have been included.

    • I think this box might’ve seemed more focused if they’d stuck with one city or small region (say, San Francisco) instead of trying to cover the whole state. And there is always a risk in having so many beauty products in a box that isn’t specifically a beauty box.

      It is really easy to make your own sourdough starter, though. Just put a 1:1 mix of flour:water on the counter and cover it. Stir and add more of each, each day. Any old flour will do (even buckwheat if you are GF), but rye works best. You can buy sourdough at my local Whole Foods in the bakery section, also (I live near Atlanta).

    • I agree with you! I’m from Northern California and this box does nothing for California. There are so many unique and neat items they could of put in the box. San Francisco has so much to offer & all they put in is a guide? It kind of makes me sad. Maybe they should consult with actual people from the particular area they are representing.

  2. I’m shocked… Usually their boxes suck.

  3. I like this box. I think the sourdough starter is cool, I like getting bath products, and since it’s a small lesser-known company, that’s even better! I think it’s pretty good. As for the wallet, it may not scream California, but there’s always a need for a wallet.

  4. I’m sorry but the items they chose to depict California is a bit odd… Although I understand it is quite hard to represent cali when the north and south are two complete different cultures! This is such a confusing box. I would not pay $49.99 for this subscription box containing loose items with no brand and cheap china made products, not even if it was $10 off!! IMO, you can stick all these items in a mailer and label it any destination really! Thanks for your review Ragan 🙂

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