Reviewing Bella Rosa by Oscar de la Renta

This fragrance was one of my Scentbox subscriptions. For those who don’t know, Scentbox is a monthly perfume subscription service that sends a 0.27 ounce spray bottle full of scent to subscribers each month for $14.95.  Each month they give you a metal traveling case with the spray vial of perfume. These tubes are reusable and I often re use them with Scentbird perfumes as those are the same size but do not come with a travel case each month (you can order them separately, but I have extra so I don’t bother.)

In addition each perfume earns you a Scentbucks credit which you can save to use in the purchase of a full bottle of perfume which they do sell on their site as well. Each monthly sample ends up with about $2.24 in scentbucks earned, which can over time lower the cost of a perfume.  In the meantime I am trying all different scents to see what perfume it is I want to order. 

Take 35% Off Your First Month with code SCENT35 at ScentBox.com!

The perfume I tried this month was Bella Rosa by Oscar de la Renta. On the site its description reads…

Bella Rosa by Oscar de la Renta is a Chypre Floral fragrance for women. Bella Rosa was launched in 2019. The nose behind this fragrance is Harry Fremont. Top notes are pink pepper, freesia and mandarin orange. Middle notes are pink rose, jasmine and orris. Base notes are patchouli, sandalwood and amber.

As far as perfume descriptions go, this one was not as intriguing as they usually are.  Typically perfume descriptions try to whisk you off onto an exotic holiday or a more fanciful life then you’ve ever dreamed of having. This one saw no reason to do so.  It was in my recommendations though so I added it to my queue and this month it’s turn came about.

I will say the scent is perfect for this time of year.  It is lightly floral but not cloyingly sweet. It is delicate and feminine and reminds me that all these rains we’ve been having lately are leading into growth and life. It is an excellent pick me up for a dreary day.

It does however not last long.  On skin the scent lasts maybe an hour or two before fading to nothingness.  It lasts much longer on cloth though so if you spray your shirt instead of your skin you can still get teasers of the scent throughout the day.  While I wasn’t happy with the length of time it lasted, I did enjoy the scent, especially now.  It has a calming sort of effect on me. When I inhale and close my eyes I can picture people in ball gowns and jewels in an old black and white movie where nothing truly bad ever happens.  It’s one of the funny movies rather than the more angst filled ones.  This is the scent you can almost see the dancing ladies wearing as their silks whisper across the dance floor.  It is that kind of scent.

See this is what happens when the perfume company doesn’t provide me with a fanciful description. I make one up myself.  Still I think that describes what the scent of the perfume sort of embodies.

I don’t know if I would buy this again.  Currently I am enjoying using it.  I find it soothing and pretty, but I am not happy with its duration.  It’s not a definite no though either.  Usually with perfumes I am very much a yes or no sort of person.  This one may actually be my first maybe. I have to say the bottle is absolutely beautiful and definitely something I could see on my perfume shelf. And as vain and shallow of me as that sounds, I like pretty bottles. I won’t buy it just for the bottle, but as I am already on the fence it may sway me towards a future purchase. For now, I like the Oscar de la Renta Bella Rosa. Whether or not a bottle ends up in my collection is to be determined later.


A few of my favorite things in 2019

A few of my favorite things from 2019

The end of the year approaches and thoughts naturally turn towards review.  In my mind I find events and decisions, both good and bad, thrown into sharp focus as I evaluate what I learned and what I want to revise about my life as I move into the new year. Should I try out more new walking trails in the area, should I attempt that weird machine in the gym that no one ever seems to use, should I try and make blancmange from scratch?

As is also natural, I also find myself thinking over not only the various products I’ve tried out, but the subscription services I’ve tried as well.  Some I will continue to use, others, I might allow to lapse.

The one subscription service that has never let me down deserves mention in this list of a few favorite things.  And that is Scentbox.

During this year I have had a subscription for a single monthly supply of perfume and I have increased it to two perfumes to try per month.  I have liked some and disliked others. There was one perfume sent to me where an allergic reaction caused me to test the return and exchange policy for the company. I put the subscription on hold for a month and then resumed. I have sent them questions and received prompt and complete answers. At every turn they either met or exceeded all of my expectations and so that is why, despite having several subscriptions that I really enjoy, Scentbox gets the list as one of my favorites for 2019.

My favorite perfume this year, found via scentbox

One of my favorite perfumes also came to me from ScentBox so I will move on to that as my next favorite. That perfume is Eau de Cartier by Cartier. It is soft, subtly and sophisticated.  The scent has become my current favorite for a night out.  I have yet to find a day scent I am willing to stick with as consistently, but perhaps that will come in 2020. I will certainly continue trying out new scents. Perhaps I will find a day time fragrance and perhaps I will find a night time one I like just a much if not more than Eau de Cartier, but at the moment, it is the unrivaled champion of the year.

For facial exfoliators, I have to give this year to Skin and Co’s Face Gommage. This was a surprise to me as I tried out quite a few this year and each time the new product was beaten by last year’s favorite Scrubatomic by Soap and Glory. I was certain nothing would come close to beating it, but in my December IPSY, this product arrived and I have to say it beat out Scrubatomic to take the 2019 exfoliator crown.

(Here she is its Miss Exfoliator – insert cheesy crooning lounge singer voice here please, thank you)

current favorite mask and primer

Balancing between exfoliator and mask, is the Pomegranate Resurfacing Mask from Korres.  While it is somewhat exfoliating, I’m putting it in the mask category of favorites.  It is a quick five minute mask that not only leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth but fresh feeling and looking.  Also from this pomegranate line by Korres comes my favorite moisturizer of the year.  The Pomegranate balancing moisturizer is one of the better moisturizers I tried this year.

The only time I had issues with it were in the transition weeks when the weather was switching.  Then I was torn between whether or not I was applying too much or too little.  For the transition times for moisturizer, I have to hand it to Purlisse Blue Lotus Moisturizer. This product rode those weather changes well and is one I will try again when winter begins to fade.

Before I completely leave exfoliators behind, I want to say one of the lip exfoliators I really enjoyed using this year was the ELF Sweet Cherry lip scrub.  It comes in a tube that looks like lipstick and is super easy to apply.  It is less messy than many other lip scrubs and works really well on dry winter lips.

ELF lip exfoliator in sweet cherry

As far as toners go, Thayers Facial Toner in Rose Petal is my current favorite. It feels nice on the skin, doesn’t smell like witch hazel and helps the pores on my nose look smaller.  It also got me an ‘I told you witch hazel was fabulous’ from some of my older family members when I went home over the holidays, but I won’t hold against the Thayers. I do still want to know who stole my bottle while I was home this year though. I took a bottle home with me at thanksgiving and it was mysteriously gone when I repacked to leave.

Clearly, it wasn’t just my favorite.

One final skin care item I have to mention is the Kypris Antioxidant dew serum. I love everything about this serum.  I love the scent, I love the way it absorbs into my skin and I love the way it makes my skin feel.  I will not only be using this product going into 2020, but I will be looking at others they produce to try out.  Hopefully other items work just as well. I can’t wait to find out.

To be honest, despite trying out numerous makeup products this year, as I review the year only three really stand out to me.  The first is the Yensa Essential Glow primer.  Not only is it a great primer under makeup but this summer when it was so hot that foundation was a laughable concept as it would either sweat right off or stay in place and cause massive breakouts from clogged pores, this was my favorite daily option. It has a slight tint to it and helps even up skin tone, but is light enough not to cause break outs.  As such there were many days where I wore it with no foundation at all.  As soon as it ran out, I immediately repurchased it and will be keeping it around.

The second item that stands out is the Trestique color+contour stick.  It is a cream bronzer, which I never thought I would like, but it blends out beautifully and stays put all day.  It is handy for travel as it is in a rather small container, and it comes with its own brush so a separate one doesn’t need to be packed. It is a great formula, just be advised that the magnet in the magnetic cap is pretty strong and will cause it to link up with any other metal object in the makeup bag.  It is a great help in retrieving earrings from the bottom of the bag, so there is that.

The third makeup item that I felt worth mentioning in my favorites of 2019 is the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara. I like the wand, I like the formula and of the multitude of mascaras that have come my way this year, it stands atop the pile as my favorite.

In the category of hair care, I have several leave in conditioner that I like and many different shampoos.  The product that stands out the most to me is the Beauty Protector protect and oil.  It is an Argan oil hair product that smells absolutely divine both in the bottle and in the hair. I think it stands out to me as I never thought I’d actually like a hair oil.  Surprisingly, this is very light weight and not at all greasy. I have long and somewhat thick hair and need only a tiny dab for my whole head.  It is great for taming flyaways, but I have found that if I rub a little on my hands and then rub it into the ends of my hair, I tend to get fewer split ends. Maybe it is just providing the ends with a little extra protection, but I really like it and plan to keep using it and to possibly give other hair oils more of a try in the future.

Finally, we come to https://www.amazon.com/Smith-Cult-Nail-Lacquer-Dear/dp/B00YSGSZ3GSmith and Cult Nail Lacquer. Not only is it a great nail polish that lasts quite a while without chipping, but I want to specifically mention the Doe My Dear shade.  It is a nice cool toned shade that is neutral without being beige.  It has almost a blueish cast to it and is great for daily wear.  It is also useful as a base for more jazzy gem stones or glitter polish as it serves as a nice backdrop to the shine.

I know there isn’t an item for every category of face, hair and body care, nor is there a favorite for every type of makeup product, but to be honest, not every category had a favorite this year. I tried many products in many categories and these are the things that stand out to me as I look back over the year. Perhaps 2020 will be the year of the eyeshadow or the face powder or even the foundation. 

Actually, as my favorite foundation was discontinued, 2020 may end up being the year of the great foundation quest. (begin the heroic dragon slaying music! I’ll go find my noble steed and makeup wipes.)

I’m not entirely certain what next year will hold, what trends will take hold or pass me by completely. Finding out is half the fun anyway.  I can tell you though, if glitter encrusted lips make a return, I will be passing this time.  I don’t mind flecks of glitter in my lipstick or gloss, but that fully packed on glitter lip from a few years ago, never again. My last attempt at trying it ended with glitter in my teeth that took two days, a tube of toothpaste and most of a bottle of mouthwash to finally remove. And it never looked quite right so I don’t even have one awesome picture from the ordeal. I had to replace my tooth brush, but on certain nights, I still think one of my back molars gleams. Beyond that, I look forward to trying all the new things this year brings to me.


Affiliate Codes: I may receive some compensation for the use of the below codes towards a purchase. (note: the above links are just general links from the product sites and I don’t receive anything from them should you wish to click on those instead.)

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October Scentbox#2: Aqua Allegoria Nerolia Bianca

The October subscription as it came to me.

I know that my original plan was to wear my second perfume for a week and then report back in as I like to spend some time with perfumes before I make an actual decision on them. It is one of the reasons I really like this Scentbox subscription.  With the size of the sample, not only are you not fumbling with a tiny tube of scent, but you have enough product to actually make a determination. There have been so many perfumes I’ve gotten in tiny samples that I liked when trying them, but did not care for once I’d gotten a bottle.  I have also spilled many a sample as it came with only a stopper not a spray bottle. For me I like to try things out for a while before deciding if I can live with it. I also dislike coating myself with perfume when i am trying for a simple sniff, but that is mostly due to my own clumsiness.

I know, you are thinking, that’s fine, but why are you not waiting until the end of the week to review this Mimsy, hmmm?

Good question and I will answer that, but first, the perfume.

I like the sleek black with the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon and the Scentbox logo, but this perfume sample is pretty but deadly. or at least not to my taste.

The second perfume in my October Scentbox subscription was the Aqua Allegoria Nerolia Bianca by Guerlain.The description on the website reads:

The new fragrance from the Guerlain Aqua Allegoria collection is named Nerolia Bianca. The fragrance launched in late March 2013.With this creation Thierry Wasser tried to reconstruct every fraction of a bitter orange tree; from its flowers, fruits and twigs to leaves. The scent is very fresh and citrusy. It contains accords of orange, bitter orange, orange blossom, neroli, twigs and leaves of orange and petit grain.

The beautiful, full sized product in it’s original packaging.

I have to admit, I have a weakness for orange blossom. One of the first perfumes I ever adored featured orange blossom.  It was a gift so I didn’t pick it out myself, which is partially why I cannot remember the name of the perfume.  It also came in a somewhat generic looking bottle making it hard to look up. So alas, that perfume has been lost to the sands of time. I’m sure it wasn’t a terribly expensive perfume and I doubt very much it is made any more.  I also think sentiment and memory adjust my remembrance of the fragrance, but it still means that I see orange blossom in the mix and smile.

However this fragrance may have cured me of that. 

At least for a little while.

Yup, that’s the reason I am not waiting to review this after wearing it a week.  I can’t wear it a week. 

While there is a scent that might be called orange blossom mixed into the perfume, the scent is both strong and cloying. It also reminds me of a nursing home where I used to volunteer.  One of the older ladies put on perfume every morning (which I admit, I will be one of those ladies as well when the time comes so no shade there), but it was applied strong to counteract the smell of required topical ointments and other sick room smells (something to remember when my turn comes round).

Not exactly the fragrance I was going for.

I put it on while standing in my small bathroom and had to immediately open the door so I wouldn’t be over powered.  It is strong and has the staying power of a leech. If you want something that will stick around, this is your perfume. Once on, it isn’t going anywhere. 

After applying it and thinking, maybe it will mellow, I left the bathroom and started my day.  Twenty minutes later and not only had the scent not mellowed any, my eyes were watering. I don’t know if it was the scent or if I am somehow allergic to one of the components, but I could not wear this scent any longer. Rinsing it off with water didn’t help. Washing with soap and water knocked it back a little bit.  Finally, I broke down and just took a full shower and changed clothes in case the material soaked any scent up.  It did and to keep my closet from being saturated with the fragrance like some sort of demented air freshener, I had to do a load of laundry.

This was Friday.  This morning (monday) when opening my closet door, I still get a ghost of a scent from my laundry hamper (I may have to take out the lining and wash it). This is one of those scents that seems to almost be alive. It has the force of a personality behind it.  I can respect that, but it is not a personality I want to be friends with.  I have a box of beauty products to donate and I think this will be added to the lot.  I’m sure with its nice packaging and pretty pink ribbon, someone will snap it up. As it takes all kinds to make this world we live in, they may even like the scent more than I do.

As much as I like the larger perfume samples, with this one, one spritz was enough to let me know that this scent is not for me. Oddly enough, I expanded my perfume selection to two samples per month so that I can try one safe perfume and one sort of experimental scent.  That way I felt certain I would have one scent per month I would definitely like enough to use up. This was my safe scent and the first scent of the month (Eau De Cartier) was my out on a limb try it perfume.  That one I liked and will probably end up purchasing.  My safe one, I want as far from me as possible as quickly as possible. 

Go figure huh?

October Scentbox #1: Eau De Cartier

October 2019 Scentbox

Morning everyone it is time for one of my favorite subscriptions. For those who don’t know Scentbox is a monthly perfume subscription. For $14.95 a month you can get a 0.27 ounce sample of a perfume of your choice sent to you to try out. They have a great selection and if the perfume you chose is really horrible, you can return it and as long as it still has most of the sample inside, they will send you a new selection no questions asked.

I actually had to exchange one and their customer service was fantastic. I had zero problems and it made me like the company even more. If you are interested in more information you can click HERE to get to something more official. As a disclaimer it is my referral code and if you use it I think each of us gets one free perfume sample as a result. If that bothers you just go to scentbox.com instead.

I really like that this month they sent a breast cancer awareness pamphlet with some rather sobering statistics on it. I really liked receiving it as well as the information it contained. As you can see one of the scents also has the pink ribbon on the travel case that each scent comes in automatically. I also like the cases. They keep things from breaking in transit and don’t create extra packaging to dispose of as the product comes in.

Now I’m sure most of you noticed the #1 in the title. and the two perfume samples in the above photo.

I knew you were smart.

That’s why we’re friends.

This month I increased my subscription to two samples. It is an additional $10 per month so I now pay $24.95 for two samples. which means each sample is now about $12.47 in cost. I chose to get two samples because that way I can choose one that looks relatively safe and one that might be a little bit out there without feeling like I’ve wasted a month’s selection. As you probably remember from reading my perfume reviews, my curiosity does not always net me the best fragrences.

So, while both samples came at the same time. My nose can’t evaluate them both at the same time. I spent this week wearing the first sample and tomorrow I will break out the next sample and report back on it next week. I don’t want to confuse my poor nose. After surviving ragweed season, I feel it deserves some kind of consideration.

So Eau De Cartier. The description on the Scentbox site is:

Eau De Cartier as it is sold in the bottle.

This creation by Cartier, with the crisp transparency of spring water, is a new turning point for the brand. The prestigious french jeweler has never before presented a unisex fragrance. Embodying generosity and the brand’s values of quality and tradition.

I’ll admit, it isn’t all that descriptive, scentwise. Usually the marketing people have me drooling over a scent based on its description. I kinda have to say, I like that they didn’t bother. It intrigued me a bit. I like a bit of mystery now and again. Which I suppose means that where perfume is concerned I am damned no matter if the description is evocative or not. In the smaller box to the side the scent notes are listed and they are bergamot, cedarwood, lavender, violet and yuzu. While the simple description drew me in, it was the scent notes that had me adding it to my list.

Scentbox Monthly subscription sample

I have to say, I am finding it a very intriguing perfume. The first spritz comes on a little astringent. That scent made me think, oh no. But it fades almost immediately. Then you are left with a light clean smelling scent that is lightly floral and utterly feminine without tipping over into the ‘sweet little girl’ realm. This is a floral scent meant for an adult.I know that sounds strange to say, but I have found many floral perfumes smell to me like something I would have liked wearing in middle school or early highschool when I first started learning about perfume rather than something I would wear now. This is something I would wear now.

I really like this scent, but it is not something I think I would wear every day. It is the sort of perfume that makes me think I am going out to a candle lit restaurant. It makes me think of getting dressed up in my finest for a night of elegance and romance. It smells special and makes me feel special to wear it. And how a scent makes you feel is really the whole point of the fragrance. While I don’t think that I would wear it on the daily, I think I will be adding a bottle of this to my list to purchase.

Even if I don’t frequent Michelin Star restaurants or gala premiers, I like the thought of wearing something that makes me feel like I am about to do so. I will be wearing this when I go out to dinner with my baby doll, or even on those days when I am having a bad day and just need a little something to make me feel special. Over all, I have to say I am pleased I took a chance on this perfume and added the sample to my list. I can’t wait to see how the next perfume stacks up.

Scentbox: Jimmy Choo’s Illicit

I love that each month’s scent comes with a travel case so I don’t ever worry about it getting broken in the mail by my less than gentle postman.

I think this month, I found a winner. For the past few months I have gotten scents that were nice, and I was willing to use until the supply ran out. This is the first time in a while I have found a scent I would be willing to purchase. The fault is entirely my own of course. While Scentbox offers suggestions, I tend to go off on my own, reading descriptions and getting excited about fragrances that don’t work for me.

It means that the monthly scent I receive, while always good quality, is a bit of a gamble. Some scents I pass along to others who appreciate them more and others I wear until the supply is gone. Then of course I am off to find a new scent.

Personally, I kind of like the scented surprise. I have found combinations that I would never have thought to put together (some with better results than others). I have also found out things about myself and my preferences. For example I have learned that if patchuli is in the fragrance mix, regardless of what other elements are contained in the scent, I will more than likely not like the resulting perfume. While I’m sure that is not always the case, my love of the scent of warming spices has frequently led me to patchouli and disappointment often enough for me to be wary.

This month I took a blind gamble and it paid off. I read over the description, thought ‘Well, I like the shoes’ and added it to my line up. I know. Sadly that was my entire thought process. (And yet I wonder why I so often get duds? Sigh.)

When first spritzed, the scent comes on strong. While it dies back to a more acceptable scent level after a moment, the scent does not fade away and does last throughout the day. I still had little teasers of scent when I went to take my pre bed time shower and I applied it in the morning.

While I am not as given to fanciful hyperbole as the folks who write up perfume descriptions I would have to say that it is a floral scent, with warm spicy notes that keep it from becoming cloying and sweet. For some reason I think it has a slightly powdery scent to it, like scented baby powder.

The folks at Jimmy Choo give its description as:

… a modern floral, created by the perfumer Anne Flipo. It starts with frizzy notes leading to the floral heart and the warm, honey amber base. Ginger and bitter orange open the composition. The heart consists of rose and jasmine sambac, laid on the base of honey amber accord and sandalwood.

Kind of beats my description hollow I suppose. But I do stand by the powdery note. Personally I like it. At the moment it is early in the month and I will wear the scent to determine if I still like it at the end of the month. If I do, I will be purchasing a bottle. It has been several months since I have been willing to add a scent to my purchase list, but I really think this one is going to make it. Let’s hear it for Jimmy Choo. My mind will no longer categorize the brand as just ‘nice shoes’ anymore.

Scentbox August 2019 Review: Burberry Brit Sheer

August 2019 Scentbox

While this is one of my favorite subscriptions, I have to admit, it isn’t always my most successful one. For those who don’t know (or have forgotten) Scentbox is a monthly perfume subscription. For $14.95 (their basic subscription involving one scent, they also have a box with two or three scents a month as an option and you can also upgrade to premium) you get one 0.27 oz vial of scent in a spray bottle (enough to last a month) and each month’s scent comes with its own metal traveling case.

Personally I like perfumes. I am picky about which ones I like, but at the same time on almost all of the bottles I see when I read the description, they sound interesting. I know, someone in product marketing is now congratulating themselves on a job well done. And it is well deserved. I love perfume descriptions. They are a marketing triumph. A verbal seduction of scents.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes they go overboard and sound like the back of a trashy romance novel.

Usually though, they are right on track with mouthwatering descriptions that make you hungry, sometimes for a life more glamorous than your every day one, sometimes just hungry for food. There is one perfume whose name escapes me at the moment but the description includes ‘crisp apple, sweet, luscious honey and spicy ginger’. Everytime I read it I think,. ‘man it’s been a while since I made apple crisp’.

I know, not what they were going for, but still, that’s the effect.

But it is big bucks for perfume companies to get their copy reading just right. As all of my scent aficionados out there can probably testify, perfume is expensive. Which is why even when I don’t like the scent in my subscription, it still isn’t that big a loss. A month will let me know if I can live with a scent. It will also let me know if those around me can live with a scent. So I get to try lots of perfumes out, then if I like it enough, make a purchase. And with Scentbox you get to save up scent bucks. Each month you are a member you get $2.24 (for the regular one scent box, the scent bucks you earn are based on what you purchase from them). I’m currently letting mine add up so that when I find a perfume I want, I can lower the price and buy a bottle from them.

Admittedly, those scentbucks will be waiting at least another month. I had high hopes for this month’s selection which was Burberry Brit Sheer. It’s description:

Burberry Brit Sheer, a delicate, joyful and fresh floral fruity fragrance. Top notes are yuzu, pineapple leaves, litchi, mandarin, grapes. Middle notes include pink peony, peach blossom, and nashi. Base notes are white musk, and blond woods.

Burberry Brit Sheer, full bottle

It sounded delightful and summery. And it is a pleasant scent. It comes on a bit strong in the first spray but if you give it a minute, the scent fades back to something rather nice. Sweet without being overpowering. One of the problems is that an hour or two later, the scent is gone. The need to refresh the scent later in the day is not a deal breaker, so I tried to decide if ‘nice’ was enough of an endorsement. For me it wasn’t.

But like I said I don’t live alone so I am not the only one who has to live with my perfume choices. So I gave myself another spritz and let my darling dearest take a whiff.

His reaction:

“It smells like you stole the soap from a fancy hotel.”

Poetic, no?

And I have to admit, he is right. The scent is not unlike the soap offered in high end hotels.However ‘soap thief’ is not really what I want my scent to say about me. So I will use this scent up but not be purchasing a full bottle. As the full bottle is $92 and my sample was $14.95, I still feel I got a good deal out of the box, even if I did not find a new go to scent. Admittedly, I now want to write a short story about a soap thief, but that is an all together different issue.

Oh well, next month, there will be a new scent to try. Maybe something spicy next time that makes me think of the cooler weather to come. Or possibly citrus scented making me feel crisp and clean. I’ll have to think about it and possibly rearrange my roster of scents. Possibly read a few more descriptions. Sometimes, I think the anticipation is almost better than the actual scent. I have a hard time thinking of that as a completely bad thing.

If you are interested, I’ve pasted my referral link HERE. If you use it, I think we both get a free scent and you get your first box at a discount. If that bothers you, no problems, just go to scentbox.com and check it out for yourself.

Scent Box July 2019 Review

July 2019

This is one of my favorite subscriptions.  First of all it is $14.95/ month for one month long sample of perfume (0.27 oz) and each comes in a travel case. My sample usually lasts a bit longer than a month. The subscription bills on the 30th and is shipped by the 7th of the month.  This month it shipped early and I received my subscription on the 6th.  While they do have a recommended scent of the month, you can also chose the scent you want based on your preferences.

I’d like to say I have a system, but to be honest, I tend to load my queue with things I might have smelled once in a magazine or sound interesting from the description. Some months my randomness pays off and I get a good sample I really like other months I end up with a complete dud.

While this is sort of a hit or miss process, it has saved me a boatload of money. Having a month’s supply of a scent really lets me know if I am going to like it for more than a few days or if it was just nice for the moment and not worth investing in the purchase of a bottle. As we all know, perfume isn’t cheap.

In addition, if there is something really wrong with the scent you can return it if there as long as you haven’t used a lot of the sample. Last month I had to do this and the return was easy peasy with no hiccups, earning Scent Box bonus points in my book. (If you want details of the exchange I walked through it in my June 2019 ScentBox review).

One more nice detail. Each month your subscription earns you scent bucks which you can put towards the purchase of an actual bottle of perfume on the site. So even if you don’t like the current month’s selection enough to purchase it, you have accrued points and can save them up, making a bottle you really like, a little less expensive in the future.

This month my selection was Armani Code Pour Femme. The description on the site it as follows:

Armani Code Pour Femme perfume by Giorgio Armani is a seductive new fragrance for women, Armani Code Pour Femme is a fresh, sexy, feminine blend of zesty blood orange, ginger, and pear sorbet softened with hints of sambac jasmine, orange blossom, and lavender honey, warmed with precious woods and vanilla. A woman’s mysterious code of seduction revealed.

Categories: Gourmand, sexy, winter, evening

Characteristics: Honey, Jasmine, Orange, orange blossom and Vanilla

For purchase a one time buy of 0.27 oz (the same size as the subscription box): $16.95, for a 1.7 oz bottle t: $70 and for a full 2.3 oz bottle:$85.

While the scent is nice, I alas will not be purchasing it. I might wear it for the month, but a bottle will not be earning space on my dressing table. In fact, I might pass it on to my mother. I think she might appreciate it more.

The scent is a little on the strong side, with the jasmine a little over powering. It pretty much obliterates the ginger and orange I was hoping for.  I’m guessing the sweetness is down to the honey, but it really just smells like flowers in the hot sun. It also smells more mature than sexy.  And to be honest it reminds me of an older woman who used to sit near us in church when I was a kid. She used to glare at me when I fidgeted. I know that’s really not the perfume’s fault, but still.

Not really an association I want in my perfume. 

So my points will accrue, saved for the purchase of a bottle of something else down the line.  And one more of my might be nice samples is checked off the list.

If you are interested in this subscription box, I’ve pasted my referral code down below.  Using it gets both you and me a free scent sample. If you don’t want to use it, no problems just go to the regular ScentBox site.

Referral Code: http://www.scentbox.com/ref/90433/a

Scent Box June 2019

Mad Madame by Juliette has a Gun as it arrived from Scent Box

I am a very scent oriented person. I sniff lip balm before I put it on (even if I’ve had the tube for a while and know exactly what it smells like) and I sniff the milk carton every time I open it before I pour it into anything even If it is a brand new bottle. I even sniff things I know are going to stink, like the fermented bean curd I picked up to try in a recipe. I’m sure there is a medical term for it.

This personal predilection has led me to a lifelong affair with perfume. Sometimes it is a wonderful love affair where I bask in the glory of heady, delicious and sultry captured scents.  Other times it is abusive relationship where I am left with a headache, watery eyes and a significantly lower bank account than I prefer. A perfume addiction is not a cheap habit to support. And the tiny samples that get chucked into Sephora orders or given out at makeup counters are not always the best gauge of how a perfume is going to wear on you day in and day out.

In addition, I am fickle.  I admit it. Today’s favorite can easily be pushed aside for something new.  Admittedly sometimes older favorites come out of the drawer because they suit the day perfectly and I fall in love all over again.

So when I came across this monthly subscription box I was thrilled.  It is $14.95 a month and while they offer a scent of the month you can choose a different scent you might want to try from their large selection. Each little vial of scent lasts about a month if used every day, so you can get an accurate take on how well the scent works for you and if you are likely to tire of it quickly, making a full bottle purchase a waste of your money.  They do sell full bottles as well if you find something you like.

replacement DKNY showing vial and case

I actually got this subscription for myself as a reward for my first ten lbs lost and have not regretted it.  Although I have to say after this month I am even more in love with this subscription. And here’s why.

Now we all know a new perfume is a gamble. It could be love at first sniff or instant regret. It could also be anything in between. When I opened this June’s scent, it was sadly the latter. My choice was Mad Madame by Juliet Has a Gun. It was not a recommended scent, so I have only myself to blame.  I spritzed once on the wrist and once on the neck and very shortly realized that the Madame and I did not get on. I very much regretted the neck as my eyes soon began to water.

Luckily Scent Box now has an exchange policy. According to their site and various informative e-mails, as long as there isn’t too much scent missing from the bottle, you can send it back and exchange it for something else.  They even have a postal slip you can print out so you don’t have to pay postage. I was skeptical but figured why not give it a shot. So I printed out the label, taped the package up, sent it back and hoped for the best.

I have to say, this was by far the best exchange experience I have ever had in my life.

First, there is the time line. All monthly subscriptions are mailed out on the seventh of the month.  Mine was no exception.  On June 7th I received an e-mail that Mad Madame was on her way.  June 8th the package arrived and I wasted no time in opening, trying on and ultimately hating the scent. Monday morning I decided to try out their returns policy (6/10).  I went to the site and followed the exchanges directions. I worried I would have to explain that I made a bad choice and that my exchange would be rejected because I chose it and didn’t go with their recommendation for the month. To my delight, no explanation was needed.  I just had to tell them what scent I wanted sent in exchange and send Mad Madame back to them.  As long as it was a mostly full bottle they were fine.

I still had my suspicions, but I followed the instructions.

That afternoon, the scent was making the return trip back to their mail room.  According to the tracking number, it reached them late in the day on June 12th. The morning of June 13th I got an e-mail from Scent Box letting me know my return was received and that it would be processed within 1-3 days and my exchange sent out.  Later that afternoon I received an e-mail notifying me that the package holding my chosen replacement had shipped. It arrived in my mailbox Saturday June 15th.

No drama.  No explanations or justifications.  Just an easy and efficient exchange.

Scent Box, you won my heart.

Sadly, the same cannot be said about the replacement perfume I chose. The selection I chose was Donna Karan’s Be Delicious Fresh Blossom. Its description is as follows:

‘ A blend of sparkling grapefruit, cassis, and sunkissed apricot meets a blooming floral heart of sheer muguet and petally rose wrapped in luminous jasmine. A base of juicy apple, mingled with lingering blond woods and smooth skin accord, completes the irresistibly sensual experience of the essence.’

Lovely, no?

I’ll admit, I had to look up muguet. It’s another term for lily of the valley in case you are wondering.

It is not a bad scent and I will be wearing it all month, but I will not be buying a bottle.  This is a shame as they are adorably packaged and I was really hoping I liked it enough to justify a purchase.  They have other scents in this line though and even though this one is too sweet, I am hopeful one of the other blends will strike my fancy and earn a place on my dressing table.  While I smelled the apple, the overall scent was slightly floral and a little too sweet for me.  It reminds me of the perfumes I would wear in middle school. It is something I might pick up for my twelve year old niece, but not something I would choose for a daily scent.  I have to say though, I am enjoying the slight nostalgia it evokes and don’t mind wearing it for the month.

So I learned that, while generally pleasant, this does not make my ‘to buy’ list, which is a valuable thing to know.

I am also more comfortable making bolder experimentations now that I know that if my eyes water and the sneezing starts, I have an option other than chucking the scent in the bin, which incidentally makes me more likely to try the other blends in this line then I normally would be.

More importantly, my trust and respect for Scent Box grew.

If you are interested in a monthly perfume subscription, I highly recommend checking them out at Scentbox.com.