Indie Friday: The SA List - Sweet Anthem Perfume Subscription | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

23 May, 2014

Indie Friday: The SA List - Sweet Anthem Perfume Subscription

Bought It

Have you ever thought to yourself "Man, I wish there was a subscription service for indie perfume samples!" Anybody? (Just me?) Well, thankfully for me and my need to smell everything ever, such a thing exists.

Meet The SA List, from craft perfumery Sweet Anthem. This is their summer box.

The SA List is a seasonal subscription, sent four times per year. Yes, even if you live in Chicago (insert "Two seasons: Winter and Construction" joke here). Subscribers get two samples of their new/seasonal fragrances and one surprise sample from past releases. Pricing varies depending on how many seasons you sign up for at a time:

  • Current Season Only – $12 (available once the season is live)
  • 2 Seasons – $7/ea ($14)
  • 3 Seasons – $6.65/ea ($20)
  • 4 Seasons – $6/ea ($24)

Those prices include shipping within the continental US. I do believe they ship overseas too—no clue how steep the charges would be, but the FAQ says they do it.  In addition to the samples, subscribers also get a $10 Sweet Anthem e-gift voucher each season to spend on whatever they want in the shop. I think that's a fabulous idea, because if you find a fragrance you really love through the sampling service it's awesome to be able to pick it up at a discount. Or if you hate everything in the box and just want to try something else. (It could happen.) They also have some solid fragrances and samples under $10 for the bargain-hunters out there.

Moving on. Here's what was in my Summer Anthology:

The SA List - Sweet Anthem Perfume Subscription Summer 2014 Anthology

1x 2ml eau de parfum sample of Walden

Notes: Petit Grain, White Pepper, Vintage Florals, Ambergris, Oakmoss

Description: Heaven is under our feet and over our heads. Aquatic musks, vintage florals, and the greenery everywhere.

This scent is FABULOUS. Makes the whole box worth it for me. Can you guess what I spent my $10 voucher on? Anyway, it smells like the perfume version of sitting by a verdant lake on a breezy day. Gorgeous, serene, and unisex.

1x 2ml ea de parfum sample in Cooper

Notes: Fir Needle, Coffee, Vetiver, Teak

Description: What are all these magnificent trees? Nutty vetiver, smoky teak, coffee – black as midnight on a moonless night, and the transcendental Douglas Fir.

Do I spy a Twin Peaks reference here? Fun fact: I have posted on no less than three separate message boards that I wished some indie company would come out with a Twin Peaks-themed perfume collection. Because I'm super-cool like that. Cooper is a very woodsy, masculine scent with a bit of a tart edge - that's the coffee and vetiver, I'm thinking. It's an interesting scent, but I don't think it smells very good on me—vetiver sometimes smells downright repulsive to me, truthfully. Oh well!

1x solid perfume in Eugene
Notes: Agarwood, Black Pepper, Coriander, Musk, Orris, Sandalwood

Description: All your wits will vanish this season with a dry spices blend perfect for making merry. Green spices and black pepper celebrate with clean woods and musk.

This scent doesn't seem to be in production anymore, but according to this blog post (which I randomly found on Google) it was originally part of the winter 2011 collection. It's an incensey, slightly spicy (and very masculine) scent, and has surprisingly good throw for a solid. It's a little too "zesty" for me but I may ask Stan if he wants to try it. It seems very much like a "manly" scent.

1x clamshell sample of Champagne & Rose

This is a lip balm, apparently? It doesn't say on the clamshell but it's pink and not heavily scented so I doubt that it's a solid perfume. I don't really have strong feelings about this—it's hydrating but doesn't really have great color payoff. Nice as an extra, but probably not something I would buy.

Overall impressions:
I love this subscription, and am sad that I didn't subscribe at the beginning of the year when it first launched. While some of the fragrances weren't a success for me, I feel that it was very much worth the $7 I paid, plus I was able to use my voucher towards a solid of Walden and a sample of one of their permanent scents. which certainly adds to the value.

I do have one minor complaint: The packaging. When I received my parcel, I could smell perfume from outside the box. "Uh oh," I thought to myself. Thankfully both of the eau de parfum vials were packaged in little plastic baggies, but one of them (Walden) had clearly leaked inside the bag, and some of it managed to escape. I don't know how, but there was a big Walden-smelling oil stain on the lid of the box so yeahhhhh that's a leak. I appreciate that care was taken to place the vials inside plastic bags, but maybe a different type of vial entirely would be less prone to leakage.

Signup info:
Since there's only one "season" left in the year I think you'll have to wait until it's closer to lauch to sign up, but you can join the waiting list and peruse all the basic info here. I hope they offer this subscription again next year because I would totes sign up for all four seasons.

What do you think of the SA List? Which of these scents sounds most delightful to you?


  1. What a neat subscription! I was looking into the international shipping, and I found out that this company ships to: Australia/New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Poland, and Russia. Shipping costs vary depending on where you are: Canada & UK - $8.50, Australia - $9.00, everywhere else - $15.00.

  2. Are those rates per box or once per subscription? If it's the latter that's a good deal. Shipping out of the US can be disturbingly expensive. :P

  3. Something else to put on my list of stuff I want yet don't reeeeeeally need but will be mine since the price is too nice.

  4. This is an interesting subscription box. Do you get to pick the types of perfumes they send you? Forals, fruity, woody etc?

  5. No they don't, it's random or based on a theme from what I can tell. Sort of inconvenient if you're really picky, but for me it's interesting because it forces you to try things you may not have otherwise. Like I probably wouldn't have picked up "Walden" based on the description but I ended up loving it.

  6. Yeah, the price is amazing! Especially if you sign up for multiple seasons. Which I may have done. :)

  7. thats true

  8. Thank you so much for the review! I really appreciate all the feedback :)

  9. Sure, thanks for stopping by! And keep up the good work. :)

  10. I fully support a Twin Peaks themed set!

    Eugene is my favorite here not only because of the name (idk it just makes me laugh), but the notes sound wonderful. I had never heard of this company before finding your blog, so thanks for sharing, I will definitely be purchasing their next box!

  11. I'm going to say it's per box. Sadly, I've never had a subscription where I paid once for shipping and that was it. D:

  12. I thought I saw something on the site about there being a one-time charge per subscription, but I could be making that up. I guess if you really need to know e-mail the owner!

  13. Awesome! And yeah, someone really needs to make a full Twin Peaks set. One of the scents should have something do with cherry pie.

  14. No, I saw something like that too, but the wording makes it too unclear to understand what it actually means.

  15. Thanks so much for the honest review! Definitely sounds like your kind of box!

  16. Every single time you mention Twin Peaks in a post, I immediately go check out the company! These sound really nice, and they're a great deal!

  17. I've looked at this sub before and I should have put my name on the waitlist. You're absolutely right, it's a crazy good deal. What a wonderful way of getting your perfume fix.

  18. Haha, are you a fan or something? ;)

  19. Schedule yourself a Google calendar reminder to sign up next year! The future makes shopping oh-so-easy.