Friday, March 11, 2016

Olfactif March 2016 Niche Fragrance Subscription Box Review

Olfactif is for the fragrance brave. If you like cotton candy, one note scents, look the other way. The monthly subscription by Olfactif sends samples of niche, independent perfumers and their brands. The fragrances you'll receive will be unisex although if you're a man looking for a uniquely manly scent, they do have a men's version that has fewer florals.
I'm always amazed at the scent combinations by some of these specialized noses. I don't pretend to be an expert on fragrance but some have been so complex, they're like a seven course dinner. With dessert. Olfactif gives you the opportunity to try exotic perfumes and credits the cost of your subscription toward full bottle purchases.

The Cost: $18/month

What You Get: Three niche perfume samples in 2.25ml spray vials, carefully packaged and sent to your door every month. You'll also receive $18 toward the purchase of a full size bottle for the month.

Soliflore Gardenia by Dame Perfumery- I have long searched for the perfect gardenia scent. I have gardenias planted in my garden just so I can float the flowers in a bowl near me. I *adore* gardenia. However, it has been very, very difficult for me to find a good gardenia scent. Impossible really. This Soliflore Gardenia is the closest to the most beautifully authentic scent I've ever met. There's an underlying element when first applied that goes waxy if you put your nose right up to it but after that passes, it's pure heaven. I need more of this. I cannot stop loving having the scent of gardenia waft across me as I type. /swoon
Memoir Woman by Amouage- This is a sultry scent so different from the Gardenia it's almost a shock. Top Notes are Mandarin, Cardamom, Absinth and Pink Pepper while the Middle Notes feature Pepper, Clove Bud, Opulent White Blossoms, Rose, Jasmine, Precious Dark Wood and Frankincense. Base notes are Styrax, Oakmoss, Castoreum, Leather, Labdanum, Fenugreek and Musk.

With all that floating around in there, for me the leather, frankincense, dark wood and clove bud are really apparent. The edge is tempered by the rose and jasmine which makes it suitably unisex. Otherwise, I'd say it was too manly. It's not. It reminds of me of polished wood and red velvet like a speakeasy in the 30's with Marlene Dietrich crooning in the background. If you smell this, you'll know exactly what I mean.
Mon Jardin by Bottega Profumiera- This is my least favorite. Mainly because I'm not a big fan of florals. Gardenia and jasmine being the exceptions. Mon Jardin has notes of tangerine, bergamot, neroli, orange flower, jasmine, fig leaves, iris, musk and sandalwood. To me, it mainly smells like soap, grandma, baby powder and headaches. It's not nearly as complex and glorious as the Memoir Woman and not as pure as the Gardenia. Unfair to rate these against eachother because they're so different but there you go.

VERDICT: While I can't guarantee that every scent will be a slam dunk for me, between the chemistry of my husband and I, we've managed to find some favorites over the last few months. It's amazing how long a sample vial like this can last, too. Some are so "mood" inducing, that I wear them only for specific occasions (like December's Dark Nights in Havana is so El Gaucho/Metropolitan Grill date night- lush, dark and full of flavors). Others have been too floral (and I freely admit I hate florals) but the vast majority have been great conversation starters (What are you wearing? It smells wonderful!) and quite the adventure to wear and appreciate.

I am so in love with the Gardenia by Dame Perfumery. I already bought the rollerball, I love it that much. If you love gardenia at all, you've got to find a way to try this.

If you're interested in signing up for Olfactif,  you can do that here. Remember, if you choose to purchase a full size bottle, the cost of your subscription will be credited to you. If you are bold and adventurous when it comes to perfume, you'll love this. If you sign up now, I believe you will receive this exact box. I think it will tell you when you sign up.

*affiliate links were used in this post.

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