I’m just going to come right and say that I am hugely impressed with the many offerings of The Perfume Society. Having read the many issues of The Scented Letter, attended two marvellous events (Tea With Turin and An Evening with Le Galion), played with their innately intelligent fragrance finder FR.ed and now, having received one of their Discovery Boxes, I feel as if they are quickly becoming one of the best fragrance resources, not only on the web, but in real life too.
So what are these Discovery Boxes I speak of? Well, I’m glad you asked. Essentially, The Perfume Society offer a monthly themed box of perfume samples, including new launches and not-so-new favourites, along with tasting notes and a generous helping of blotters to boot. The idea is to give you a themed collection of fragrances to sniff in your own home at your own leisure, providing you with the tools to really sink your teeth, or should I say nostrils, into some intriguing samples. Without spoiling too much of this review in advance (I know this is a habit of mine), I’d say that they succeed!
The Perfume Society very kindly sent me their latest Discovery Box entitled ‘Exquisite Essences’. The theme of this box is simple: exquisite pleasures in scent form, and it contains a wide variety of samples from mainstream brands and niche houses. It’s packaged beautifully with samples neatly arranged, informative tasting cards with high quality, glossy images and some blotters, all wrapped up in smart tissue. My initial impression is that the whole thing has been carefully put together, not just the arrangement of the box, but also the selection of fragrances, which really fit the theme of ‘exquisite’. The samples included within the box are:
– Equinox Bloom by Penhaligons’
– Fior di Panna by Lorenzo Dante Ferro, Venetian Master Perfumer
– Rose Pompom by Annick Goutal
– Coeur de Jardin by Miller Harris
– Byzantium Saffron by The Merchant of Venice
– Song for a Queen by Dear Rose
– Jardin de vie Agrume by Weleda
– Goldea by Bvlgari
– Iris Rose by E.Courdray
– Botanical Essence Nº.20 by Liz Earle
– Signorina Misteriosa by Salvatore Ferragamo
– Terryfic Oud by Terry de Gunzburg
The Verdict? I’m sold. Firstly, I was impressed by the generosity of the box. With a total of 12 samples, high quality printed tasting cards (more on those in a second) and more blotters than you need, the whole thing feels incredibly good value for money at £12.50 for VIP subscribers and £17.50 for non-subscribers, especially as I found two loves in the form of Rose Pompom and Coeur de Jardin. But the real selling point for me is the attention to detail that has been applied throughout the box, especially on the tasting cards, which include a thorough description of the notes and story of each fragrance, but also poses questions to the tester to get them to think about what they’re smelling. So, for example on the card for Miller Harris’ Coeur de Jardin, the card asks “fruity notes have come popular, for the freshness they bring to a scent – which can you identify clearly, in the top?” This guidance is thought provoking and it really prompts you to capitalise on the connection between your mind and your nose.
The Discovery Box feels educational in a subtle way. It encourages you to sit down and work your way through the fragrances, spraying, sniffing and most importantly, thinking about each one. Many companies have attempted the idea of a monthly subscription box for perfume, but I’m yet to see one as expertly curated as the offering from The Perfume Society. With a wide variety of past boxes on offer and a special curated box launched each month, The Perfume Society’s Discovery Boxes are a worthy investment full of fragrant fun.
Discovery Boxes are £12.50 for subscribers to The Perfume Society and £17.50 for non subscribers. You can find out more about Discovery Boxes, including how to purchase them at The Perfume Society’s website.
Discovery box supplied by The Perfume Society. Images are my own.