Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Olfactif Artisan Perfume Subscription: December

As you well know by now, I have been a paid member of Olfactif since May of this year. Half a year of happily fragrant mail later, I still remain a satisfied customer. This is my first gratis box however, but not because I am encouraged to review it. It was free as part of a freelance writing deal I have with Olfactif for their How To Smell series. This has been an extremely exciting opportunity for me this past month and I have enjoyed pushing my writing into nooks and crannies not previously explored. If any of the articles publish I will link to them in case you are curious about the finished product. In the meantime, let me showcase this snugglesome box of fragrance. The theme was "Smoldering."

Scent Intense by Costume National- Notes include: Amber, woods, jasmine tea, mother of pearl hibiscus.
Of the three scents this one was the most smoldering to me. A gorgeous crisp green opening from hot jasmine tea almost immediately segues into a softly smoking wooden ember. This is not the acrid smoke of an artificial fire, but the realistic smooth burnings of a piece of tinder. After the ephemeral flame dies out, a lovely amber ensues for the duration of the scent. A full 50mL bottle of EDP costs $94.

Otis & Me by Jazmin Sarai- Notes include: Black pepper, bergamot, cardamom absolute, Turkish rose absolute, incense, coffee grains.
The fire in this fragrance comes from black pepper. As a fragrant ode to Otis Redding's "Cigarettes and Coffee," it illustrates a soulful R&B 60's vibe. Dark, spiced and gritty it paints an abstract work of coffee without ever really being photo-realistic. A full 50mL EDP concentration is $90.

Laudano Nero by Tiziana Terenzi- Notes include: Wormwood, cognac, rosemary, tobacco, myrtle, amber, red rose, black locust honey, cedar, iris, sandalwood, ash, slate, cashmere, laurel, incense, camphor, oud, vertiver, musk, oak, vanilla, labdanum. 
This one smolders as a dark look across a smokey room. The cognac, absinthe and tobacco swirl around the opening like a long night of debauchery. I absolutely adore the opening. The almost overwhelming opulence fades and becomes ashy and colder, the camphor and myrtle working their eucalyptus effect. Images of walking on a cold rainy night down a New York street flicker in my mind. The asphalt is soothing, but then the labdanum and vanilla and oak wood start warming the scent up again and stay on the skin as the finale. A full 100mL bottle is $145. 

All three offer different smoldering experiences, but Laudano Nero would be my first pick for a full bottle. Scent Intense is wonderful, but for a realistic fire and amber I always choose Sonoma Scent Studio Fireside Intense. Otis & Me is lovely and retro but the deep luxury of Laudano Nero cannot be denied. 

Do you wear smokey, fiery scents? Which of these would you gravitate towards? I wanted to note that the levels in the vials are post-testing, they were much fuller but I dove right in as you can tell.

I find myself wearing Serge Lutens Chergui, Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods and Fireside Intense the most this winter. What winter fragrances have you been spraying on?


  1. Congratulations Julie! I have no doubt that some of your articles will publish. You have a way with words, especially when it comes to fragrance. Can't wait to read some of them!!

    1. Ughhhh the rest of my comment was eaten, apparently. This winter, I've been wearing Dior Addict, SL Un Bois Vanille, and Bond No. 9 Chinatown the most. They all have a touch of 'smolder' in their own way. AND my latest obsession, Ari by Ariana Grande. First celeb fragrance I've bought in forever. It's a dupe for my beloved BCBGirls Metro that I wore in high school. Definitely not smoldering lol.

    2. Thank you Jacqui <3 I was just tickled to be contacted that way.

      Sorry about Blogger. I seriously have a love/hate relationship with the platform.

      Great picks! I love the first two but have never tried a Bond No. 9 fragrance. Hey, you'll get no celebrity scent judgement from me. Sounds like one I need to sample :-) A few guilty pleasure scents are always fun to have! And just because it is high end/niche doesn't make it any better either. I remember excitingly getting my first Amouage sample and spraying it on... Only to have Scarlette come in the room and say "what smells like a monkey?!" I died.

    3. Lol! Eau de monkey is never a good thing. Bond No 9's are mostly hit and miss for me, but Chinatown is a masterpiece. It smells like the incense they use in this Buddhist temple in Hawaii (the one where Sun and Jin got married actually, if you were a Lost fan).

      Been meaning to ask you, have you ever tried Scent Trunk? It's a monthly subscription of niche fragrances like Olfactif, but they customize the scents you get based on your scent preferences. I've been mulling back and forth on Olfactif for awhile but ultimately passed because I'm so picky with my scent tastes.

    4. Sounds like a beautiful scent! I love incense.

      Yes I have tried Scent Trunk! Here is a link to the post, it does have a referral link. They are having $7 off your first month soon. Which is a great deal. http://www.theredolentmermaid.com/search/label/scent%20trunk?m=0

  2. what a fantastic opportunity!! I have no doubts they'll publish you!
    your box sounds lovely! such gorgeous picks.. I can almost smell them with you descriptions. :)

    1. Thank you <3 I have enjoyed writing about the fragrances in a slightly different perspective. I think you would totally love this box! They are Ashley scents for sure! Thinking of you as we get so close to Christmas! Hope you have a fabulous holiday! Merry Christmas Eve Eve!