Our US perfume box is ready to make its next round. If you are in the States and would like to participate, here is how you can do it. And whether you’re participating or not, please read Claire’s perfume descriptions below.
An organizational note: when you’re ready to ship your box onto someone else, please send me the full list of samples in the box and your perfume notes.
How does it work: To enter, please post a comment answer these questions: 1) are you in the USA, and if you’re a winner, can I share your email address with Claire? ; 2) do you agree to pass the box onto someone else within two weeks or so (add a couple of your own samples and share your sampling notes with the rest of us)? and 3) what perfume are you wearing today?
I will pick the next person to receive the box via a random number generator. I will announce that person in this spot and contact them via email. Next destination: Noele.
When a winner is ready to pass the box onto someone else, they should get in touch with me. Please include the full list of samples and your sampling notes (what you’ve discovered, what you’ve liked/disliked, any observations you care to include).
To check the progress of our boxes, please click on the Traveling Sample Box tag.
Sonoma Scent Studio, To Dream:
Honeyed, smokey opening with some hazy floral presence at the very start. This quickly gives way to a richer, woodier, greener note- the resins and violet show themselves, still draped in the smoke. The honey melts away slowly- or rather, plays hide-and-seek with the violet, who occasionally holds hands with a rose and drags her gently out of the shadows before she escapes and runs quickly back. The musk and woods stay solidly in the forefront, softened byt the heliotrope, “greened” by the violet. Just beneath, the leather and cacao notes are consistent in the dry down, rounding out and enhancing the gravitas of the smokey, musky woods while keeping them humble, playful. Its wonderfully layered and quite nice to perceive the constituents which really work in concert on my skin. I like the smokey, musky sexiness, but it’s not at all skanky- you could wear it all day.
Several hours later, this love affair has come to a disappointing end: Unfortunately the late dry down is incongruously sweet in a way that is almost sickening to me, and that I associate with cheap, mass-market perfumes.
Parfums de Nicolai Eau d’Eté:
Nice, crisp summery opening. It reminds me of wind from a mown field coming through an open window, or placing a bundle of herbs in the armoire after drying on the line in the sun. Herbaceous, slightly bitter but still round enough that the citrus doesn’t feel to sharp. There is a nice muskiness that develops quickly, but I find that after a bit of time, the lime remains to singular, and while it’s a nicely made perfume, I’m not a fan of lime on my own skin. This would be compelling to me as an ambient fragrance but the dry down is a bit too sharp on my skin.
Parfums de Nicolai Patchouli Intense:
This is aptly titled- it is quite intense! The opening is very woody and green, but over time the vanilla emerges and softens the wood, lending a sweet but very subtle undercurrent. I like this but it is a bit too green for me to wear- I would love to smell it on a man.
Eau de Cartier Zeste de Soleil:
I am branching out here because I usually would not be interested in this and the following 2 samples, but I thought I would give them a try. This has a wonderfully effervescent opening, bright, lemony, but it quickly dulls to something akin to a cleaning product.
Elizabeth & James Nirvana:
Soft, sweet, well-rounded, classical, white floral opening. This stays lovely for quite a while and starts to dry into a powdery, old-fashioned floral but becomes acrid during the end stage, developing an acidic edge which is unpleasant.
Roses de Chloé:
Innocent, junior-high-like opening, akin to some of the perfumes of my youth, but quickly turns into hairspray.
L’Artisan Parfumer Explosions d’Émotions:
This is my favorite so far- a wonderful balance of sweet and woods, very unexpected. The “hot milk” accord reads as a slightly boozy gourmand note on my skin, which I usually don’t like (not a fan of smelling like food) but this is well-balanced by the smoky “gunpowder” note and the woods- it is never cloying, just gentle and the lactonic and booziness is actually quite sexy; round, sensual, reminds me of smells of the body in the best way. I love the dance between the sweetness and the warm, sophisticated woods. The combination stays robust, and the dry down never fades into one-dimensionality. The two main notes stay in solid communication the whole way down.
Parfums Delrae Coup de Foudre:
This green rose is beautifully made: A wonderful bright straightforward opening, like a truly honest face, it presents itself frankly, never an overblown, clichéd rose. The greenness is a surprise, and tempered by the citrus the other florals provide a gentle softness that is never sweet. Very much like the first whiff of unopened buds in spring- the full sweet scent isn’t available yet, but there is a precursor that is fresh and hints at the fecund ripeness around the corner. It makes a statement on me, and while I enjoyed smelling it, there is something a little old-fashioned in it that I would feel self-conscious in. Plus, I am realizing that citrus is simply too acrid on me, most of the time.
Carthusia Fiori di Capri:
Beautiful, ethereal, windy, white flower opening. It is breathy, quite like smelling flowers in proximity to the sea with that same airy, fresh feeling. The greenness of the carnation opens next, and gives gravitas to the scent- spice and a bit of powder, but without feeling old-ladyish or prim. The drydown is sensual- amber and woods, but the floral lightness sticks around for quite a while!
Roses de Chloé
Eau de Cartier
Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana
Knize Ten EdT
Amouage Opus II
Elizabeth and James Nirvana
Aerin Gardenia Rattan
Tom Ford Velvet Orchid
Versace Bright Crystal
Calvin Klein Endless Euphoria
Michael Kors Glam Jasmine
Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb (x2)
Bottega Veneta Essence Aromatique
Lancome La Vie est Belle
Thierry Mugler Angel
Eau de Lacoste
Hanae Mori EdT
Comme des Garçons X Undercover Holygrail
Hermes Jour D’Hermes
Sonoma Scent Studio To Dream
Parfums Delrae Coup de Foudre
Parfums Nicolai Eau d’Eté & Patchouli Intense
M. Micalef Parfums Denis Durand
I ADDED THESE SAMPLES:
Serge Lutens Daim Blond
Nuit de Cellophane
By Killian Cruel Intentions
Carthusia Via Camarelle
Fiori di Capri
Les Parfums de Rosine Ecume de Rose
Isabey Fleur Nocturne
The Vagabond Prince Land of Warriors
Xerjoff Oud Stars Al Khatt
Tiziana Terenzi Gold Rose Oudh
10 Corso Como EdP
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Ambre Precieux Ultime
Keiko Mecheri Bois de Santal
Photography by Bois de Jasmin