Indie Friday: The Sweet Anthem/SA List - Fall 2014 Fragrance Anthology | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

19 September, 2014

Indie Friday: The Sweet Anthem/SA List - Fall 2014 Fragrance Anthology

Bought It

At long last, my SA List fall box is here! There was a bit of a shipping mix-up which resulted in me getting this waaaay late, but the owner was super-fast to rectify the situation once I noticed it was missing, so kudos to her for that.

Not familiar with the The SA List? It's a seasonal fragrance sampling service from craft perfumery Sweet Anthem. The SA List is sent out four times per year, and ubscribers get two samples of their new/seasonal fragrances and at least 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 think they ship overseas too—I'd recommend contacting them for rates as I'm not sure what they are.  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. An excellent idea in my opinion, because it's nice to be able to purchase a larger size of a sample you love at a discount, or get some regular catalog samples if you hated all of them!

The Sweet Anthem/SA List - Fall 2014 Fragrance Anthology

This time I got four things to try: Samples of the two seasonal fragrances, an eau de parfum sample of an older fragrance, and a solid perfume stick.

The Sweet Anthem/SA List - Fall 2014 Fragrance Anthology petra ella owl tara solid fragrance eau de parfum samples


Ella (sent as Eau de Parfum, $18 for 10ml or $48 for 30ml)

  • Head notes: Agarwood, Black Tea
  • Heart notes: Lavender
  • Base notes: Pumpkin

Shop description:
A dream is a wish your heart makes. Aldehydic lavender, smoky black tea and agarwood, strewn with pumpkin spices. Simple and stunning.  Ella was designed by Katya N. for 2014's Dream Fragrance Contest and was crowned the winner by our community! Katya earns eternal bragging rights, and our thanks for creating such a fantastic fragrance proposal.

My thoughts: I asked my boyfriend to sniff this and he said "Mmm, fall library!" I think that sums this scent up well. There's definitely a good bit of lavender in there too, or as my boyfriend would call it, "mmmmm, that fresh smell."

Petra (sent as Eau de Parfum, $18 for 10ml or $48 for 30ml)
  • Head notes: Candle Smoke, Cherry
  • Heart notes: Heliotrope, Immortelle
  • Base notes: Madagascar Vanilla, Myrrh

Shop description: American teenage nostalgia. Lingering candle smoke, tart cherry, a powdery, vintage style floral center, and a dry-down of real vanilla and resinous myrrh.

My thoughts: This smelled like cherries and marzipan to me on first sniff, which is weird because there's no almond listed amongst the notes. This dries down to a more powdery, old-fashioned floral with a twinge of fruitiness and something ... is that the myrrh? I'm not sure. This doesn't smell like my teenage nostalgia—I'd be drowning myself in Dior Poison or CK One for that. But it does somehow make me think of an earlier time. Perhaps earlier than my time.


Owl (sent as Eau de Parfum, available as a solid for $8.50 or oil for $28.00)

  • Head notes:Chai Spices, Juniper Berry
  • Heart notes: Jasmine, Mimosa
  • Base notes: Black and White Amber

Shop description:
Tyto alba – essence of a barn owl. A spicy bird and a tale from the rafters. Indolic jasmine, softened by mimosa and black and white ambers, warmed with Chai spices and juniper berry, all on a base of earthy, grassy, vetiver.

My thoughts: I was a bit nervous when I read "vetiver" as vetiver sometimes turns into funky, barfy nastiness on me—who knows why. But I think this might actually be my favorite scent from this batch. It starts out a bit spicy and dries down to something a bit sweeter and softer. Quite lovely! I wish this was available solo as an eau de parfum or oil, because I would probably buy it. It seems very appropriate for the upcoming winter season (YES, I KNOW IT'S NOT EVEN TECHNICALLY FALL YET. A quarter goes in the seasonal swear jar.) Update: The owner informed me that she's added some solo solids and oils of Owl to the shop! Yay! Find them here.

Tara (sent as solid perfume, $6.50 for 5ml)
  • Head notes: Saffron, Thyme
  • Heart notes: Damascus Rose, Red Currant
  • Base notes: Black Tea, Rosewood, Tobacco

Shop description:
A royal rose in the throes of war - surrounded by a corona of currants, thyme, saffron, cedarwood branches, and ancient spice trade tea blends.

My thoughts: The red currant is strong in this one, at least on my skin. It smells more tart and fruity than anything else to my nose, but there certainly is an herbal and "tea" element to it as well as it dries down. I asked my boyfriend to sniff—he made a perplexed face and said "Rosesssss....? ROSES!" Oh yeah, those are in there too. I'm not sure this is exactly my style, but it might be an interesting one to try for folks who hate sickly sweet scents.

The clear winner of this batch for me was Owl. If I had to pick a second-favorite I'd probably go for Petra—maybe that's what I'll use my voucher on? I think Ella probably has more mass-appeal though. I like it, but I think at this point I have to really love a scent to purchase a full size.

New subscriptions for the SA List are currently closed, but according to the website they'll open up again around the end of November. You can join the waiting list here. I plan on signing up again for next year, assuming there isn't a ridiculously large price increase.

What do you think of my Fall SA List bundle? Which of these scents sounds most appealing?


  1. Tara sounds straight up my alley! I'm so terribly picky with scents, though, that I don't think I can get any value out of a subscription box like this.

  2. A box full of mystery fragrances is definitely not a good idea if you're very particular. Sweet Anthem does sell single sample vials of their perfume oils and EDPs though, so if any of these sound amaaaaazing you could always test a few out that way.

  3. I wish our computers had s scratch and sniff options so that I could smell these! I like fruity/sweet smells I don't like overly floral scents. I'm really not sure which one I would like the most. Maybe the first?

  4. I really like the description for Owl! Ella sounds nice, too, mostly because now I really want to know what a fall library smells like lol.

  5. I got this as well, except my solid perfume is in Sofie, which I am glad (as I allergic to rose) Sopie is agarwood, amber, black tea, black current, benzoin, neroli and smells divine!

  6. One of these days I will remember my plan to head over to visit their shop in person. I spent most of the summer with a dragging on cough from a late spring cold, so perfumery was not at the top of my mental list, but now...

  7. None of these are ridiculously sweet, but if I had to guess I'd say you'd probably like the first best. It smells slightly sweet and earthy/spicy but not super-duper floral, if that makes sense.

  8. Haha yes, "fall library" is definitely a place you want to be! ;)

  9. Sophie sounds really lovely! I really like neroli.

  10. Ooh, thanks for letting me know! I'll update my post as well. :)

  11. yes, it is! I have to purchase the perfume oil now....

  12. Cold + perfume shop doesn't sound like the best combo ever. I'd love to visit, but obviously it's quite far away from where I live ... you should go if you can!