I love the idea of subscription boxes, and I've been tempted by more than a few. When Tara from Olfactif reached out to let me give hers a try (she's a fellow Chicagoan, by the way), I felt instantly supportive. Her goal is to provide a variety of niche fragrance samples, from the more well known to the obscure. The selection I received is titled "Vignettes of Spring", and includes three sample vials of the following:
Fig Tree by Sonoma Scent Studio (Laurie Erickson)
The Soft Lawn by Imaginary Authors (Josh Meyer)
Voleur de Roses by L'Artisan Parfumeur (Michel Almairac)
All three make sense to me presented as a spring sampler. I already had samples of Fig Tree and Voleur de Roses, but was very interested by The Soft Lawn by Imaginary Authors-- a brand that I'd not yet tried.
Imaginary Authors creator Josh Meyer
The packaging is impressive. The slide-out matte black box is something you'll want to keep, and the printed material included is lovely and professional. This is no "happy hands at home" sort of thing, it feels like a luxe little treasure.
The subscription cost is $18 a month, and if you decide to buy a full sized bottle of one of the three fragrances, that fee is applied towards your purchase. Also, the first month is FREE for everyone. There are good incentives here. Part of the experience is on the web at www.Olfactif.com, where Tara shares behind-the-scenes content about everything niche.
I think that the ideal customer for this service is the beginner to intermediate niche enthusiast, or even someone who doesn't know a thing about niche or what it means. Gift subscriptions will be available very soon, and this could potentially be a very good tool in an effort for perfume nuts to bridge the gap between themselves and friends and family who say they just don't get our obsession. Even seasoned perfume lovers can appreciate what Olfactif has to offer-- I don't know about you, but I love a surprise! You will never know what's being sent your way until you get it. That's sort of the perfume lover's equivalent of riding a rollercoaster or some other nail-biting experience. With Tara as your friendly guide, Olfactif feels more like a pal dishing about cool scents that she loves than an impersonal, generic service.
Tara from Olfactif has been kind enough to offer one reader of this blog a complimentary 3-month subscription to her perfume sampling service. All you have to do is comment below with an answer to this question:
What was the last fragrance you tried a sample of and just had to buy right away?
There will be a random drawing for the winner on Tuesday evening, April 16th at 8pm central time. I will announce in a new blog post who the winner is, and they are responsible for contacting me within two days' time at eyelineronacat at gmail dot com with their mailing information, otherwise another winner will be chosen. The winner's subscription will begin with May's selection.
Good luck to everyone! I'm off to sniff The Soft Lawn again, as it seems I can't get enough of eau de tennis balls.
[Contest is open to everyone, everywhere. Check out a recent interview with Tara on Sense of Scent, and you can follow Olfactif on Twitter HERE]
Sample subscription box provided by Olfactif free of charge for my consideration.