Perfume, beauty products and chocolate in the same box? Is it my birthday already? In the words of Maria von Trapp, these are a few of my favourite things.
The Perfume Society Velvet Discovery Box contains the following items, although I must apologise for the speed at which I went through the Green & Blacks. I don’t even have the wrapper any more. A mouse in a cattery stood a better chance of survival.
Here’s a list of what’s in it, and my verdict on each item.
Atkinsons Pirates Grand Reserve 1.2ml eau de parfum (full size £120 for 100ml)
First impressions: sticky wooden aromatic barrels. This is an interesting take on the gourmand woody genre. The wood smells like it once had brandy in it, or maybe the Pirate in the title is making me think of that? In any case, this has hints of exotic spices, chocolate, rich dark vanilla and patchouli. It has a wonderfully cosy wintery vibe going on, and those woods are addictive! Bravo.
Floral Street Chypre Sublime 1.5ml eau de parfum (full size £55 for 50ml)
This stunning chypre is my cup of tea. It opens as a spring floral with notes of violet and rose, before succumbing to the peppery charms of big geranium blooms. It has that earthy, green accord I always seek from my chypres, whilst some big bold floral notes. This is a new perfume house that has just opened a boutique in Covent Garden (Guess what street it’s on?). If they keep this up, they’re going to be a roaring success.
Connock Andiroba Eau de Parfum 1.5ml eau de parfum (full size £75 for 100ml)
This beauty from young fragrance house Connock, opens with green tea like notes, but is actually bergamot and lemon. It’s a very clean scent and smells almost therapeutic. After a few minutes, there are faint hints of my favourite flower- violet. I’d like them to have been a bit stronger if I’m honest, but that’s just me. Andiroba actually stays fairly linear. The opening notes don’t really leave, they just invite more people to the party. The lasting base note is pretty much the same as the opening note, but it’s so invigoratingly good that I don’t call that a criticism.
Avery ‘E’ 4ml pure perfume (full size £90 for 30ml)
My absolute favourite. It took me a long time to appreciate iris, and now I see it as a dove grey suede background. The iris in Avery “E” exudes class and this stunning fragrance reminded me of the glorious Annick Goutal Tenue de Soiree. It also kind of smells like a brand-new car interior, but don’t ask me why. This is full bottle territory.
Lalique Rêve d’Infini 1.8ml eau de parfum (full size £72 for 100ml)
Trusty Lalique has yet to make a fragrance that I dislike, and this is no exception. I can’t put my finger on why I love this brand so much, but maybe it’s because every fragrance makes an impact but is never heavy. Reve D’infini has this beautiful, almost ethereal lightness. Opening with two of my favourites, bergamot and freesia, this is light as chiffon. A touch of lychee seems to go perfectly with the freesia. The base is vanilla, musk and sandalwood, but to my nose, this never got rich, just a slightly warmer, more huggable version of the opening. The word I’m looking for is diaphanous!
Map of the Heart Gold Heart v.4 1ml eau de parfum (full size £150 for 90ml)
Map of the heart is an Australian fragrance house whose trademark is putting sandalwood notes in every single perfume it produces. This is no bad thins at all in my book, as I’m a huge sandalwood fan. I find it very clever how Map of the Heart fragrances are easily identifiable, yet so different from each other. Gold Heart v4. is all about warm gourmand spices such as cardamom and saffron. It never quite goes into spicy food territory, more like aromatic woods. It’s a wonderful fragrance from a new house that is continually impressing me. Lasting power is excellent, and it will smell great on men or women.
Ruth Mastenbroek Firedance 2ml eau de parfum (full size £90 for 50ml)
Ruth Mastenbroek only produces one new scent every few years, but they are worth waiting for. Firedance is a celebratory perfume, heady with smoky roses, oud and leather. You can read my review here. What can I say? I’m a fan. Also, I’ve met Ruth a few times now and she is gracious, warm and very elegant.
Vince Camuto Amore 7.5ml MINIATURE eau de parfum (full size £60 for 100ml)
The cutest mini bottle ever containing a light anf fruity fragrance that’s impossibly feminine. It opens with blackcurrants, lime and passion fruit, and takes those light as air notes and blends them with lily of the valley, freesia and lotus flower. If you like slightly aquatic hesperide florals, this is right up your street. Such a pretty fragrance.
Valeur Absolue Rouge Passion 1.5ml eau de parfum (full size £59 for 45ml)
The full bottle claims to have real garnets in it, which I will remain open minded about. The sample I have here is a beautiful soapy floral. It opens with bergamot and white flowers, has touches of my favourite Lily of the Valley, and beds down into a warm vanilla patchouli base with a dominant white musk finish. The vanilla patchouli base is being done a lot lately, but this one is different. It radiates from my skin with the white flowers still present, making this a very ladylike fragrance that makes an ideal evening scent. I love the soapy nuances and the white flowers, so this is a winner for me.
philosophy purity made simple 3-in-1 cleanser for face and eyes 30ml lotion (full size £19 for 240ml)
Takes your make up off and leaves skin smooth and doesn’t make your eyes water like other cleansers I’ve used. This is a cute little bottle that would be ideal for a weekend away or a holiday. It’s a great way of seeing if you want to buy a big gone.
Cochine White Jasmine & Gardenia Hand Cream 5ml (full size £24 for 100ml)
A stunning white floral fragrance that lingers for along time after you’ve finished applying. This really is a tiny little tube- you might get three or four applications from it if you’re not over generous. However, the stunning scent filled the room and made me want more. Cochine is a luxury Vietnamese fragrance house, by the way, and you don’t get many of those to the kilo!
Green and Black’s Velvet Edition Orange and Almond Dark.
There’s a way of eating this that helps you understand your sense of smell and taste more. It blew my mind when I tried it at The Perfume Society Improve Your sense of Smell Workshop. You hold your nose, eat the chocolate until it’s mushy, then release your nose. The impact of the flavour is like a punch (but doesn’t hurt). It makes you realise how closely taste and smell are interlinked. It also works with Green and Black’s Mint chocolate. And in fact, the Green and Black’s selection box I had for Christmas was of course, purely for experimental research and that is why it was gone so quickly.
Over to You
Have you tried this Discovery Box? Have you ever tried a random fragrance from a Discovery Box that has ended up being your favourite?
You can buy the Velvet Discovery Box from the Perfume Society website. Subscribers get big discounts too. Warm thanks to The Perfume Society for supplying my box with no conditions attached. This is not a sponsored post and opinions are my own/