Three scents or “chapters” per box or “edition”, each designed specifically for this brand. An interesting way of trying scents in a new form of postal perfume.
You can read an article on Edition 1, the launch box, over on Fragrantica.
There’s a vibe of convenient luxury about Yu Parfums, if such a thing even exists. Every other month, a box of three scents arrives through your letterbox. The scents are conceived around a theme and formulated specially for the brand (this isn’t a subscription service of other brand’s scents). The first box was themed around woody elements and this, the latest box, is themed around the tactile elements of fragrance and scents which can evoke specific fabrics.
Yu Parfums have clearly given plenty of thought to their offering. The scents come packaged in a very pleasing box which has the shape of a hardback book, the idea being that you can store the individual boxes on a shelf like books, taking up less space and looking elegant at the same time. Inside each box, three scents are presented along with scent strips and a travel case that the fragrances slot into.
The brand prides itself on picking a sustainable ingredient to go into each fragrance, and only fills the 100ml bottles upon request in order to minimise wastage.
The brand partners with respected perfumers who are all credited in each Edition (in this case Julie Pluchet and Christian Provenzano).
Listed notes: Cashmere, cream, musk, sandalwood, blonde woods, violet leaf, orris.
Chapter IV has been formulated to evoke the snuggly, cosy feeling of a soft woollen jumper (or “sweater” if you are from The States). It opens with a powdery, fuzziness that on skin has a slightly gingery temperament about it. The warmth comes through nicely and a friendly, easy-to-wear fragrance unfurls quickly. As the scent ages through a wear, the creamier facets come out, smoothing the edges off the composition. Chapter IV is one of those fragrances which make your skin glow, the sort of scent that barely feels like you are wearing anything, just enhancing lovely, natural skin muskiness.
This fragrance is perfect for days when you want to feel cosy and comforted (a common theme at the moment for sure) but also for days when you want to wear something, but you don’t want it to dominate, so days when you want to lounge around in cashmere PJs all day, sipping warm drinks.
Listed notes: Mimosa, cassis, jasmine sambac, orange blossom, silk and musks.
The inspiration for Chapter V is organza fabric and I like the fact that they picked the stiffer, more austere organza rather than flowing silk, which might have felt a bit more like it had been “done” already.
Whereas Chapter IV goes for warmth and skin-like muskiness, Chapter V is colder, crisper and more austere. There is an iris-like cool transparency to the scent, which edges towards soapy at times with a clean crispness through the wear. Within the blend, astringent greenery peeks through but the more floral elements – the mimosa and the jasmine – keep that in check so it is a facet of a larger picture. There are hints of wateriness about the perfume without it being overstated and this delicate, watercolour fragrance feels thoughtfully constructed but perhaps a little less evocative of a fabric than Chapters IV and VI are. The whole impression is of a spring morning with dew on the grass, perhaps walking barefoot over the lawn wrapped in an organza shawl from the evening before. Pretty, light, transparent, this feels like another easy to wear, daytime fragrance but one which would make many people feel both chic and comfortable.
Listed notes: Suede, oud, suederal, styrax, papyrus, magnolia and ambrette seed.
For the final scent in this edition we come to suede, or leather. This fragrance is designed to evoke the scent of luxury goods and Chapter VI takes this trio of fragrances in a bolder direction. Whereas Chapters IV and V have a lot of space in their compositions, Chapter VI is much denser and bolder. It opens with a sweet, rich leatheriness undercut by overripe fruits. At times it feels rather like the fruits are just on the verge of spoiling they are so ripe and squishy. The suede facets of the scent run alongside the fruity aspects, so that it feels as if the luxury leather goods have had an overripe fruit mashed into their surface. There’s a warmth and a stickiness which never really abates.
There is most definitely an opulence to this scent which those who fall for it will find intoxicating, it is just what it sets out to be: very sweet, very leathery, very enveloping. If you like full-throttle leather perfumes, and particularly ones which match the leather with an intense sweetness then this is the one from the box for you to try first.
The sweet, balsamic opening is backed by oud and musks before a more animalic tone creeps in. Finally, the scent reveals an ambery finish with a savoury saffron hint to keep it at least a little bit anchored down. Prepare to feel a real sense of energy and vibrancy with this scent when you spray it though, it’s much more potent than the earlier chapters. A different beast entirely, Chapter VI feels like an evening scent, a dressed up fragrance for heading out for the night.
Yu Parfums have hit on a neat idea with their elegant boxes of scents. It’s nice that they are making the fragrances especially for their brand, and not collating scents from other people, and it’s a great idea to make the fragrances available in larger bottles even if it is only for a limited time/quantity. The packaging is spot on, and the experience is lux and very much enjoyable.
There is a nice range exhibited in this particular box which feels like it demonstrates breadth of content. So far each box has been by two perfumers and it would be nice to see them go for three in one edition, just to see if that adds that extra dimension to the experience and variety in the fragrances presented. All in all though this is a really nice way to try new things you definitely won’t have tried anywhere else and in a quantity and frequency which feels manageable rather than over-facing.
Yu Parfums are available from their web shop. If you buy them on a rolling basis, the cost is £40 per box, a six month contract will set you back £105 and a twelve month one is £190 – so considerable savings to be made for agreeing to be in it for the longer haul from the get go.
If you fall in love with a particular scent and decide to go for the full size bottle, these are priced at £120 for 100ml and again you can find these on their online store.
The other stuff
We were very kindly given a sample box of Edition 2 by Yu Parfums, with no strings attached and no requirement to review, either positively or negatively.
Photos by The Sniff.