If you've been reading my blog for a while, I'm sure you know by now that one of my biggest weaknesses is niche fragrance. Scent subscription box Olfactif has been on my wishlist for a while, so when they reached out to me last month with a box to review, I was delighted to accept! What makes Olfactif unique to the all of the other fragrance subscriptions out there, you might be wondering? Read on to find out!
OK first of all, if you're not familiar with Olfactif at all, it's a monthly subscription service for sampling niche fragrances. As I'm sure many of you are aware there are several services like this now, but Olfactif was one of the first, and there are a few key attributes that set them apart:
- Olfactif costs $18 per month including shipping (USA only, for three fragrance samples). That pricing seems fairly standard for a subscription of this type, but what's really cool is that subscribers get an $18 credit (via promo code) that can be applied to the purchase of a full-sized bottle. No messing around with points or referrals, just an instant $18 discount if you happen to really love one of the sampled scents and want to buy a full size.
- Olfactif offers discounts for longer subscription length periods, but regardless of the price you pay, you still get that $18 credit per month. Cool!
- Olfactif doesn't have any sort of profiling system at present—the boxes are curated around a theme and all subscribers in the same gender category receive the same scents. Speaking of which...
- As of last month, Olfactif started offering a special subscription option tailored to men! If you're interested in signing up for this, use code 4MEN to get 15% off a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription (or 15% off your first month of a monthly subscription). You can still subscribe to the "classic" version of Olfactif, which they define as unisex.
- Curious about some of the scents Olfactif sells that didn't show up in the box? They also sell samples!
Another cool thing about Olfactif is the packaging—all of the samples are specially branded and put into Olfactif's unique, sleek boxes.
Pull the ribbon and the bottom of the box pops out like a little drawer! Not only does this look cool, but it makes the samples easy to store if you want to hang on to them for a while—these types of boxes are easy to stack on a bookcase.
August's theme was... EARTH, WIND, FIRE!
"Remember when you were a kid and the summer seemed to last forever? Here’s an incontrovertible truth of adulthood: Just when summer seems to have begun, we look up and realize that it’s nearly gone. But fleeting time is also precious time. We know that the end of summer is to be savored, so we pay closer attention to the sensations that make summer so magical: the warm, soft earth that invites our bare feet; the wind that carries the scent of salty air and cotton candy from the fair; the heat that draws and keeps us outside. All three are in this collection for you to relish as summer winds down—before turning into something equally glorious."
This seems like a very appropriate theme for the end of summer. Though I would argue that the heat tends to draw modern souls inside, near the precious air conditioner.
The fragrances of the moment:
EARTH: The Good Earth by Atelier de Geste ($120):
Notes of galbanum, fresh leaf bouquet, geranium, peony, bamboo, opoponax, and precious moss oil.
Very clean, crisp and green. The strongest note (to my nose) is oak moss. While this isn't exactly my usual style, it ended up being my favorite of the bunch—it's surprisingly potent without being cloying.
WIND: What I Did On My Holidays by 4160 Tuesdays ($90):
Notes of mint, coconut suntan lotion, sea air, lavender, candy floss, vanilla.
As promised, this scent is strongly reminiscent of a summer holiday—on first spritz I get a strong, cool scent (mint), followed by sweetness, which quickly turns to lavender and sea air. This doesn't quite work for me as a perfume, but I'd love to stick it in a diffuser or something. It's very refreshing.
FIRE: Dark Horse by Dame Perfumery Scottsdale ($65):
Notes of bergamot, lemon, cinnamon, jasmine, carnation, rose, clove, guaiac wood, vetiver, vanilla, and musk.
I was a bit nervous about this one because scents with vetiver sometimes go weird on my skin, and unfortunately this was no exception. Which means I washed it off shortly after spritzing to avoid gagging. It did smell very warm and spicy to me in those brief moments before scrubbing though. Kind of like a bonfire? A bonfire with evil vetiver, anyway.
I think this was a really well-curated box in terms of the theme, and it got me to try some perfumers and notes I might not otherwise have, so mission accomplished. While I didn't like any of the scents enough to plop down cash on a full-sized bottle I do appreciate the credit... and for serious fragrance collectors that's major advantage. The packaging of Olfactif's samples is cool and everything, but nothing beats a beautiful perfume bottle.
Like what you see? You can subscribe here. Don't forget that code 4MEN gets you 15% off the new men's subscription!
What do you think of the August Olfactif box? Based on the notes, which of these scents do you think would you have liked the most?
Disclosure: The box featured in this post was provided to me by Olfactif for review, however any opinions expressed above are honest and my own. I did not receive any other form of compensation. Some or all of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on them. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.