[Gifted] Regular readers will know I’ve been a massive fan of the Secret Scent Box over the past year which I’ve kindly been gifted almost every month for 6 months, I’ve fell in love with the subscription model for fragrances and as a result tried things I wouldn’t have ever picked up in a shop to sniff – leading me to some purchases of fragrances too. So when Scentful reached out and asked me if I would like to try their box I gladly said yes please!
Scentful is a fragrance subscription which has a male and female fragrance subscription, arriving monthly you receive two 5ml samples of fragrance per month. The box has only had two previous editions, so there’s not much history to go on yet in terms of brands featured, but so far Dolce and Gabbana, Versace, Marc Jacobs and Emporio Armani have been featured. Looking at previous boxes they seem to feature a lot of popular fragrances rather than ones which are new to the market (we’ll discuss this in a comparison later).
It’s a post box friendly sized packaging and very similar to it’s competitors in a lovely matte box with the fragrances nestled inside within velvet foam. The two vials are made of glass rather than plastic and they’re a bit larger, I think overall they’re a bit less likely to get lost in your handbag. The one thing I’d say is that the writing on the vials is in black so sitting in a black box on black velvet means you open the box and can’t read what’s inside, which takes away that little ooh factor when you first open. A very minor complaint – but I’ve got used to loving that feeling when I open up a similar subscription and can see straight away which one it is I want to grab first! The box features an information card with details about the fragrance and as well as the notes listed. All helpful information for fragrance addicts like me.
Let’s talk about the two fragrances in Scentful’s September 2020 edition.
Michael Kors Wonderlust
Oriental | 100ml Full RRP Price £95
I used to be a total sucker for Michael Kors perfumes, Very Hollywood even featured in my recent favourites in August. I’ve never owned Wonderlust, but it’s one of the ones I seem to find myself gravitating towards every year around Christmas when I’m looking at sets to treat myself to in the sales. I get what they mean by Oriental when they say this, but I think I would have been more inclined to call it a warm floral – the base notes are immediately obvious of first spritz to me of Sandalwood and Benzoin (a bark) the heart notes of Heliotrope and Dianthus are very noticeable to me and balanced out with some spiciness from pink pepper. One of the top notes is Almond milk and it adds this subtle creaminess. There’s a lot going on with this perfume with warm, floral, spicy and creamy notes it creates a well balanced and complex perfume. I don’t normally think about floral perfumes much at this time of year, but I think this is a perfect one for transitioning into Autumn and can see it’s appeal year round.
The wear time on this fragrance has been really good, I find Michael Kors fragrances last well on my skin and this one is no exception – I find I can still smell it pretty easily after 12 hours of wear. This one is a serious contender for my next fragrance addition.
Roberto Cavalli Nero Assoluto
Woody Floral | 75ml Full RRP Price £67
The notes in this fragrance are far simpler with an Orchid top note, black vanilla heart note and ebony wood base note. Initially the top and heart notes are what jumps out on the skin with the vanilla and orchid being very warm floral. The woody base note reveals itself more as the fragrance wears on the skin and develops and changes the tone with age. It reminds me a little of my favourite fragrance of all time, Tom Ford Black Orchid, with that deep smokey floral. It doesn’t have the same intensity of that with the vanilla note mellowing out the intensity that orchid does – but I’d recommend this if you find the Tom Ford one too overpowering (it lingers for days on fabric).
The wear time on this is good but I notice it becomes very subtle around the 8 hour mark. When this arrived my sister was here and she promptly decided to spray herself with this one – later on in the day she said I really like that fragrance can you send me what it was called, so it was a winner for her. It doesn’t pip the Michael Kors to the top spot for me but I am going to enjoy using it.
I will say this is pretty widely available in the 75ml size for £24.95, it seems to have been discontinued from most high-street retailers (Debenhams, John Lewis etc), so I wonder whether it’s a fragrance that’s on it’s way out, or maybe isn’t that popular.
Comparison against Secret Scent Box
I wanted to compare against Secret Scent Box, the obvious difference is that there’s two 5ml.vials in this box instead of three 3ml – meaning you get 1ml more per month with Scentful, but less variety to try. I guess this will depend on personal preference as to whether you like to try more or if you fall in love with a fragrance you get more choice. The vials are glass instead of plastic, the packaging is a bit more simplistic but the card featuring the info on the perfumes is better designed. Overall I prefer the branding on Scentful description. Scentful’s price tag (comparing if you do month to month pricing) comes in at £13 per month where as Secret Scent Box is £15 per month.
Working that out annually you would pay:
Scentful : 120ml per year | £156 per year (month to month price) | Sample 24 new fragrances | Cost per ml is £1.30
Secret Scent Box : 108ml per year | £180 per year (month to month price) | Sample 36 new fragrances | Cost per ml is £1.66
There are pros to both subscriptions and I think the main difference for me is to whether you want to try two or three different fragrances a month. I’ve found the value some on Secret Scent Box a little “off” when the perfumes have all been fairly cheap brands under £25 per bottle for 100ml, Scentful is a new subscription and I guess time will tell as to what brands they are able to attract to feature. So far, and this may be due to the fact the box is new and still building connections with brands – but the fragrances that have been in the boxes seem to be fragrances that have been out for a while. Personally for me this isn’t a massive issue, there’s lots of classic fragrances I’ve never tried (they had Emporio Armani Diamonds in one box – and I’ve never tried that!) but if you’re looking for the latest perfumes, Secret Scent Box usually has one fragrance per month which is new to market.
You can sign up to the subscription at Scentful.co.uk. I am excited to see where Scentful goes and wish them lots of success with their launch of their subscription.
Box was gifted in exchange for review, thoughts are honest and based on my experience with the product and brand.