Olfactif was one of the first perfume subscriptions that I coveted when I first discovered the sub community, but I have so many perfumes that I couldn't justify a membership.
Olfactif was kind enough to send me this box to review, although all opinions are my own.
Olfactif is unique because they send three niche fragrance sample each month. The simplest definition of niche is that it’s harder to find and harder to discover. The simplest definition of mainstream is that it’s easy to find in department stores and at major beauty counters around the world.
What Olfactif loves about the niche world is that artists frequently have much more control over the fragrances they create. They don’t create according to the trend of the moment, and they care deeply about the quality of their work because it becomes a part of their own brand. They also don’t treat perfume as a mere beauty product but as a piece of art that has the power to move, surprise, shock, and inspire. Mainstream perfume marketing often appeals to your desire to be attractive to potential mates.
A monthly subscription is $18, but that price goes down if you buy 3-, 6-, or 12-month subscriptions. You'll also receive a coupon code for $18 any full-size bottle of the current month's perfumes.
My first impression upon receiving the box was awe! Inside the tiny outer box is a mix of sleek engineering and high-class presentation. The black inner box has a small ribbon that when pulled, opens to display your fragrances.
This month's theme is Earth, Wind and Fire. In their words:
"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 its 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 - 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."
The selection for Earth is The Good Earth by Atelier de Geste (50ml for $120). The Good Earth is an olfactive vision of a utopic earth where all is plenty and no one wants for anything. It is uplifting, green, and strong, with top notes that call to mind the sun shining on the green top of a forest canopy and a base that digs deeps into the earth's most precious resins. It was mixed in a historic perfumery in Grasse, France, with the finest essences.
No sulfates, no phtalates, no parabens, no dyes. Notes include galbanum, fresh leaf bouquet, geranium, peony, bamboo, opoponax, and precious moss oil.
What I found so pleasant about this scent is that it changes as time passes. It starts out smelling like a pasture full of different wildflowers, but ends with a sweet leathery musk.
The selection for Wind is What I Did On My Holidays by 4160 Tuesdays (50ml for $90). What I Did On My Holidays is the story of a summer day at the seaside. Suntan lotion and rock pools, in and out of the sea all day until the wind gets too strong, the waves are too high, and you put on your shorts and T-shirt over your slightly damp cooling skin, and head for the café.
What I Did On My Holidays is a lovely, evocative scent tinged with nostalgia. Notes include mint, coconut suntan lotion, sea air, lavender, candy floss, vanilla.
This fragrance is heavy of suntan lotion, pina coladas, and cotton candy. It really is the perfect beachy scent. If I had any complaint, it's that the smell doesn't last very long. You'd probably need to reapply ever couple of hours.
The selection for Fire is Dark Horse by Dame Perfumery (50ml for $65). A "dark horse" is defined as a little-known thing that suddenly, unexpectedly, emerges to prominence, and we're putting our bets on exactly that outcome with Dark Horse from Dame Perfumery Scottsdale. The first hint that this perfume might be something special is on the bottle, which features custom artwork by V. Dave Dame, the perfumer's artist father.
Dark Horse makes you want to run outside and shout thanks to the warm sun. Notes include bergamot, lemon, cinnamon, jasmine, carnation, rose, clove, guaiac wood, vetiver, vanilla, and musk.
Hands-down my favorite of the bunch! I found this to be a very sultry, sensual scent. The florals are strong while not being overwhelming, but the cinnamon, vanilla and musk really stick around for a long time.
Olfactif included two cards. The first announcing their launch of Olfactif for Men. Although most of their fragrances are already unisex, they wanted to provide a service for the... "less adventurous" man.
Use the code "4MEN" to get 15% of your first month, or 15% off your 3-, 6-, or 12-month subscription.
The second card helps you to fully appreciate your experience with each fragrance. Try on each perfume. Smell the scent periodically to see how it changes. As they put it so lovely: The artist is telling you a story. Read it with your nose.
This is such a fun subscription for perfume lovers. So many mainstream fragrances start to smell the same. The unique artistry of the niche perfume market allows you to experience different worlds with your nose. Olfactif seemed to put a lot of thought into their curation for this month's collection. If you've been teetering about signing up, stop and subscribe. It exceeds expectations.