The Perfume Society do a good range of post-able perfume discovery boxes. Their latest – The Indulgence Box – has treats for lovers of niche, designer and home scents alike.
The Perfume Society are a UK-based subscription organisation, offering a growing range of discovery boxes, a snazzy website, events, courses and a downloadable magazine (which yours truly has appeared in a couple of times). They’re an excellent gateway into the world of fragrance, whether that be niche or more mainstream and their website is a nice jumping off point when you are looking for something new to try.
The Indulgence Box contains a total of 15 different scents to try. One of these is a candle, four are delux miniatures and there is also a complete discovery set of a line thrown in there for good measure.
The Perfume Society discovery boxes usually ship in white, sturdy cardboard boxes which fit perfectly through a letterbox. As this is the Indulgence Box though, for that added touch of luxury, this one is black. There’s no cellophane that I could see, inside is black tissue paper and paper shreddings, so it’s all going for recycling when I’m finished with it (in actual fact, I will probably re-use it because it’s a good, sturdy box). “Lux but unstuffy” would probably be a good way of describing this presentation.
The scents in the Indulgence Box are scatter-gunned across niche and designer, with a home fragrance candle thrown in too. This makes it ideal for people who struggle to make their minds up, or as a gift for someone when you want to make certain that there will be something in the package that they like.
Love Story by Vines House Parfum
Listed notes: violet leaf, pink pepper, raspberry, jasmine, damask rose, geranium, cinnamon, clove, saffron, tonka
The most surprising delight in the Indulgence Box was, for us at least, one of the scents least well known: Love Story by Vines House Parfum, which is presented as an 8ml delux sample. This is a really lovely, unexpectedly sassy little scent which is uplifting and fresh in the sense that it doesn’t feel like a cliche. A spicy lift is grounded and balanced by violet leaf and geranium, whilst fruity, floral elements dance above it all. The saffron adds a welcome leathery touch, whilst a more resinous, warm base ties the whole composition together.
Vines House Parfum aren’t a brand we know well, but on the strength of this scent they are definitely one to watch. This is delicate, full of light and shadow and a really nice scent to wear.
Chypre Sublime by Floral Street
Listed notes: geranium, incense, pink pepper, damask rose, patchouli, violet, olibanum, labdanum and benzoin
Chypre Sublime by Floral Street comes as a generous 10ml delux sample in the box and is a pleasant, easy to wear blend of rose and geranium. The scent is at times a little powdery, and also a little syrupy. The geranium keeps it tethered though and balances the scent nicely, with the more resinous sweet base coming through as the fragrance matures. A good fragrance for someone who likes a vintage vibe, roses, or wants something that projects nicely, and is most definitely present, but inoffensive.
Imperial Green by Lalique
Listed notes: lavender, orange blossom, ambroxan, vetiver and patchouli
Imperial Green is marketed as a fragrance for men, but clearly it could be worn by anyone who decides they like it. The three Lalique scents are 1.8ml carded samples. Clean, fresh, and sparkly, this is a nice fragrance which isn’t unusual in its composition or tone, but it is a well done example of it’s type, with decent staying power and projection. It feels like the sort of scent which would be worn by someone with gravitas, but who doesn’t want to much fancifulness.
Woody Gold by Lalique
Listed notes: bergamot, lemon, jasmine, iris, lily-of-the-valley, vanilla, benzoin and patchouli
Woody Gold is another fairly unadventurous-but-nice-at-what-it-does scent. It is warmer, a little less austere than Imperial Green, with a clean-soapy feel and more gourmand touches from the vanilla and benzoin. Lalique are clearly aiming for a specific client base with this trio of scents as they all feel like they hit a similar vibe. Whilst it is absolutely fine to wear a scent that is marketed at the opposite gender, these do feel like the sort of fragrance which would be very at home on a 50-60 year old man, with some sort of high-powered office job. That’s not to say that they are unpleasant at all, just very much of a type, albeit good examples of that type.
Glorious Indigo by Lalique
Listed notes: ginger, cinnamon, javanol, labdanum, precious woods, papyrus, guaiac wood, black amber and patchouli
Glorious Indigo completes the triple from Lalique in the Indulgence Box and it’s probably the most out there and adventurous composition of the three. A blast of ginger and cinnamon come at you right out of the gate and they’re almost reminiscent of a certain type of soda. This gives way to a woody, sweet and rather compelling base, which draws you in. This isn’t what you would describe as a “clean” scent, but there is a vein of something airy in there which gives the whole composition a lift and allows it space to breathe. An interesting fragrance which was my preferred out of the three from this line.
Giulietta by Tocca
Listed notes: Granny Smith apple, ylang-ylang, tulip, lilac, lily-of-the-valley, iris, rose, orchid, musk, heliotrope, amber, sandalwood and virginia cedar.
Tocca have the best delux samples – they’re adorable little replicas of their beautiful full bottles, just scaled down in size. In the Indulgence Box, Giulietta is presented as a 5ml sample.
Giulietta opens with a lovely crisp, cleanliness from the apple, lilac and lily-of-the-valley. It’s a really pretty composition which balances juicy, fruity aspects with a more floral airiness. Very easy to wear and youthful, this is an appealing and delicate scent with enough punch and power to make it well worthwhile.
Crystal Noir by Versace
Listed notes: pepper, ginger, cardamom, coconut, gardenia, orange blossom, peony, sandalwood, musk, amber
Another delux sample next in the form of Crystal Noir by Versace which is presented as a cute little 5ml flacon. It’s fair to say that expectations for this scent weren’t all that high, but actually what it delivers is a really lovely, comforting and cosy composition. The fragrance has the texture of peach skin, which isn’t listed as a note, but which seemed to exist at the confluence of several other notes. If not peach skin, then the scent is the texture of silk. The coconut also comes through, but it is tempered by orange blossom and gardenia so it doesn’t become too coconutty. The whole fragrance dries down to a smooth, musky sweetness. Very pleasant indeed.
Seven Lovers by Carine Roitfeld
Seven Lovers is Carine Roitfeld‘s line, based around seven imaginary lovers in seven cities. The scents are all interesting and distinct. Vladimir is a leathery, peppery manly concoction which oozes boldness and manliness. Sebastian is much warmer and sweeter, the type of chap you would definitely feel comfortable taking home to meet the parents. Orson smells a bit like he writes poetry in his spare time and will recite his iambic pentameter to you as you try and sleep, whilst Lawrence smells like a dirty yet unsatisfactory fling with a dentist, possibly in his dental chair. Kar-Wai is very polite and will take a shower and wash his hands before, and after, he comes anywhere near you. George is a filthy weekend with a farm labourer, but one which you really don’t feel good about after and finally Aurelien is rich, sweet and has a heart of gold.
Particular favourites from the line were Sebastian and Aurelien which both smelled expensive, well blended and nicely balanced.
Rebel Country candle by Ruth Mastenbroek
Listed notes: lemon balm, wild herbs, hot amber, driftwood, Irish oak, white musk.
Ruth Mastenbroek is doing some fantastic work with candles at the moment and Rebel Country is a beautiful addition to her line up. There is a gorgeous tension in the scent between the lemon balm and herbs, and the white musk and amber. At times there are hints of something animalic, almost feral, but still presentable and polite. This is a really beautiful candle that really puts out scent when it is burned, making your home smell utterly divine.
The Perfume Society Indulgence Box is available from their website where it is priced at £36 for non members and £32 for VIP members.
The other stuff
We were gifted a sample Indulgence Box by The Perfume Society, thank you to them for their kindness.
Photo by The Sniff.