With the pandemic still raging many people are continuing to stay at home and shop online for their perfume discoveries. Hoohaa are the latest brand on the block offering a curated range of scents delivered to your home each month in a convenient way to explore new scents which is only gaining in popularity.
In a market where perfume subscriptions are becoming ten a penny, it’s increasingly hard to stand out. New hipsters on the block, Hoohaa, have done a good job though of catching our attention with interesting scents, beautifully designed packaging, and an offer which is (reasonably) easy to navigate. Their whole shtick is around dropping the hoohaa of perfume shopping and to a large extend they have managed to do that, but without taking the joy out of finding a new scent.
Hoohaa offers a subscription service whereby for £14.95 a month you can pick from one of three “drops”. The first category is called “Easy Does It” and this is for those souls who don’t want challenging or taking out of their comfort zone too far. Perhaps they are new to niche scents, or perfumery altogether? Or perhaps they are figuring out what they like? Either way, the Easy Does It drop is the safest option, the one you would buy for someone when you weren’t certain of their tastes.
One level up from “Easy Does It” we come to “Buckle Up”. These are scents which are a bit more challenging, catering to those who want to expand their horizons but who don’t want to smell weird and wonderful quite yet. Elegant, sophisticated but just a bit more challenging, pick the Buckle Up subscription for your loved ones who have already started their niche fragrance journey but haven’t totally arrived yet at their destination.
The final category of drop is called “Take Me to Mars” and this is the category for those “out there” fragrances which tend to either be loved or hated by connoisseurs. These are difficult, challenging, strange scents but there is always the gamble with fragrances like this that if you fall for one you will absolutely adore it. It’s a risky grouping but one which when it pays off, pays off big time.
The brands that Hoohaa work with are fairly select at the moment, and include 4160 Tuesdays, Frassai, Gallivant, Jorum Studio, Patrick’s Products, Maya Njie, Senyoko, Vaunt and The Zoo. Expect them to expand the offering as the brand becomes more established, however.
The main offering from Hoohaa is their subscription service, however, it is possible to buy full-sized bottles via their website as well, along with the occasional candle and male grooming products.
Hoohaa do group their scents into collections, to help you navigate the products. These are arbitrary but fun but as far as I have been able to ascertain, the collections or themes don’t seem to have a bearing on which scents land in their 10ml-sized subscription service each month.
All the products in the Hoohaa stable are nominally unisex apart from Patrick’s Products (shampoos, conditioners and other male grooming products) which boast masculine branding should you wish to adhere to that sort of division.
The packaging of Hoohaa’s fragrances is stellar. If you like mid-century modern design, or Russian constructivist textiles then these are the little boxes for you. The boxes themselves aren’t shrink wrapped or cellophane sealed, for those of us cutting down on single-use plastics. The bottles that the scents come in are sturdy, and feel weighty in the hand. They are the sort of bottle which you feel you can confidently chuck in a bag, or pack to go away on holiday without risking a spill, leak or break.
The whole Hoohaa package fits neatly through most letterboxes and thus avoids the inconvenient trip to the Post Office to collect your parcel (that is once those of us working from home do eventually go back to our offices).
All in all, the Hoohaa package is really attractive and nicely designed. It’s appropriate for the product and unfussy but is still attractive and different enough to help the brand stand out. Another nice touch is the fact that each bottle has a QR code printed on the side which you can scan and find out all about the scent – or, perhaps more likely, your friends can when they admire how amazing you smell and want to snag their own bottle!
The three scents in the Easy Does It, Buckle Up and Take Me To Mars categories in July 2021 were:
Les Fleurs by Maya Njie
Listed notes: Bergamot, neroli, fig, magnolia, floral musk, woods.
Les Fleurs by Maya Njie is the drop in the Easy Does It category and I have to say, this is an incredibly easy-wearing fruity floral scent. The brand definitely got it right by putting this scent in this category.
Les Fleurs is a really dreamy, transparent floral which opens with a luscious, petally vibe underscored with that velvety texture of fig. As the scent opens there is a moment or two where it is almost blackcurranty before a melody of honeyed sweetness wanders into the picture. Les Fleurs is light, playful, uplifting and it is the sort of scent you can spray for a day at the park, for a first date, for the office, for just about anything really. It’s versatile and gentle without being un-generous with its charms. If you opt for this drop you may find yourself using up the whole sample quite quickly as it is just that easy to spray.
Verano Porteño by Frassai
Listed notes: Bergamot, cardamom, clementine, Sicilian cedrat, magnolia, jasmine, alhelí, vetiver, ambrette, maté.
One step up, in the Buckle Up category we find Verano Porteno by Frassai.
Of the three scents in the selection for this month, the one which turned out to be the most intoxicating is this one. Verano Porteno is a narcotic jasmine scent, rich, sumptuous, with just enough indolic molecules to be warm without tipping over into filthy. This is a scent for hot summer evenings sitting in tropical gardens watching moths flit in the moonlight.
The other ingredients in this scent feel like supporting characters, there but to allow the white florals to fully shine. A gentle, bright citrus lift from the bergamot and clementine starts the scent, followed by the bountiful blossoms of magnolia and jasmine, tempered and supported by the woodier notes. Verano Porteno is smooth, silky and very charming. A seductive scent for when you want to enchant a significant other.
Maxed Out by 4160 Tuesdays
Listed notes: Lime, coconut, rum, tobacco, cannabis, olive, woods, black pepper, vintage musks, cumin, coffee.
The most challenging scent out of the trio is Maxed Out by 4160 Tuesdays, which has rightly been assigned to the Take Me To Mars category. There’s something of the evil villain maniacal laugh about this fragrance which is bordering on the bonkers.
Maxed Out opens with a boozy, warm jumble of notes which give that hedonistic, devil-may-care vibe, but then it quickly becomes the scent of crayons. There’s a warmth which runs throughout, and a sweet/woody facet overlaid with the scent of crayons. As the fragrance continues, it becomes a little leathery and flecks of coffee start to appear, but once you’ve noticed the crayon vibe, it never totally goes away. Quite peculiar, definitely unusual and firmly belonging in the Take Me To Mars category, this is one of those you will either love or hate!
Hoohaa subscriptions are £14.95 a month, for which you get 10ml of whichever drop you opt for. At the moment you can get 15% off your first subscription with the code SMELLGOOD15 (this isn’t a specific code for The Sniff readers, everyone can access it, and we receive no kick backs for referring you via this code).
Hoohaa also stock the fragrances appearing in their monthly drops as full bottles and, for some, as 10mls as well. Browse their complete fragrance list for more information.
The other stuff
We were very kindly gifted the three drops for July by the brand, with no strings attached.
Images by The Sniff.