Subscription boxes are booming: here’s why (and how to get your scent samples sent to your home!)

Subscription boxes are so popular right now, and a recent consumer survey has discovered why. Quite apart from their findings, which we’ll report on below; we know this true as we’ve seen a HUGE rise in our own Perfume Society Discovery Boxes in the last year. Even more excitingly, we have launched our very own Seasonal Scent Subscription Box, for the many (many, MANY!) of you who’ve begged us to bring this out for years…

We all know the joy of getting a parcel in the post – mosty especially during various stages of #lockdown dreariness during the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant many of us relying on shopping online for our scent thrills. Even now, with stores having re-opened across the U.K. – purchasing a new perfume presents a particular set of problems:

– There are rarely any testers on display anymore, thanks to possible cross-contamination safety measures

– Even if you can get to an assistant to spray a scent on you, it’s not always great to make an instant decision in-store

– Although we think fragrance IS essential (obvs), if you’re worried about ‘non essential’ socialising, it can be intimidating to be shopping in crowded spaces again

– Where do you even begin if you’re not exactly sure which perfume to try next?Subscription box

With all these worries in mind, we launched our own Seasonal Scent Subscription Box. The perfect way to try a selection of scents appropriate for each season! There’s two options available – a flexible Quarterly Subcription: £18 a box, sent every three months, the ability to cancel at anytime; or an Annual Subscription: £68 a year with FREE postage and the ability to spread the cost. So now, what did the consumer survey find…?

‘According to a survey by Cosmetics Business, in partnership with Your Beauty Club, since the pandemic hit, 31.7% of customers who had previously bought a subscription service signed up to one during the pandemic; while 70% of those who said they had not bought a subscription beauty box before said they would now consider buying one.

Some 69% of shoppers agreed the culture towards subscription boxes has shifted since the Covid-19 pandemic began, which consequently shut most beauty retailers for many months, making it harder for customers to shop for their beauty staples.

The findings also uncovered that more than 74.2% of respondents believe buying a subscription box makes it easier to consume beauty products and 42.4% want a subscription box that offers a selection of products from different categories.

The main driver for signing up to a subscription service among consumers was for the thrill of receiving new products (55%), while 33.8% said they wanted to discover new beauty items.

 

Subscription boxes are booming (image via Canva.com)

Following that, 8% said they found a subscription service to be cheaper than buying beauty products individually, and the findings showed consumers were not willing to part with much cash for a subscription box.

Almost half of respondents said they would be willing to spend between £10 and £25 on a subscription box, with 37.6% only likely to pay up to £10.

Some shoppers, however, (12.6%) were prepared to pay between £25 and £50, and just 1.6% and 1.4% would spend between £50 and £75, and £75 to £100, respectively.’

We’re not at all surprised at these findings – even before the pandemic, we wanted to make it easier to get your hands (and noses!) on fragrances to try at home. It takes the pressure off, and more than that: actually living with a scent on your skin for several hours is the ONLY way to truly tell if if it suits you. Also, not everyone happens to live near an independent perfumery or a store that has a great selection of fragrance house.

So we say: why not sit back and let the perfume magic get posted to you at the click of a Scent Subscription Box button…?

By Suzy Nightingale

Fragrant gift ideas – Six sets to send someone you miss…

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be walking you through some of the many fabulous fragrant gift ideas we’ve got to take the stress out of shopping for scent online. So will it be a well-deserved little treat for yourself, or something to send those friends and loved ones you miss most…?

During this strangest of years, we’ve been reaching for fragrance as a way to soothe troubled nerves, remind ourselves of places and people we love. While reseraching an article for The Scented Letter magazine, on how the pandemic has changed the way we use perfume, I was contacted by many fragrance lovers who told me moving stories of why they’d been switching up their scents.

‘I changed fragrances every day so that there wouldn’t be a single “Lockdown” perfume in my memory,’ one woman related, while another agreed that ‘I’ve been forcing myself to wear something different everyday’, going so far as to put away the recent purchase of a new favourite, ‘Because I don’t want to associate this year with one particular juice…. I’d never wear it again!’

While not everyone has taken it to quite these extremes, many of you, it seems, have been adding more fragrances into your wardrobe, simply for the pleasure of experiencing new things – newness and diversity being something the majority of us have been sorely missing for so long! Because people are desperately missing getting to try new perfumes on their skin.

A busy nurse told me ‘I SO miss going to sniff new things and try them on,’ while others chimed in, expressing frustration, ‘The virus has affected my ability to travel and to ‘go sniffing’ – I think that’s where I’ve felt the biggest impact.’

But we know it can be confusing to work out where to start when searching for a new scent. That’s where samples can be so useful – a unique way to try fragrances at home, and perhaps discover houses you’ve never heard of and perfumes you’d never normally get to try (or even overlook, because you didn’t think they were ‘you’!)

Why not treat a loved one (and yourself) to one of these brilliant Brand Sets – some of the most exciting niche luxury scent houses in the world – all without having to leave your sofa…?

Escentric Molecules Discovery Set £25

Perfumer Geza Schoen revolutionised the fragrance world by showcasing fragrance molecules – both in isolation, and mixed with harmonious notes to echo and bolster the sometimes subtle complexities of the molecules alone. These molecules were the secrets of the scent world for many years – many perfume houses wouldn’t mention them, but Geza wanted to shout about how incredible they are.TEN fragrances in all – the entire range – which suits any gender or age, but will particularly appeal to those fascinated by science, ultra cool brands and wanting to smell unique.

Anima Vinci Discovery Set £20

With a background at the very first ‘niche’ perfumery house – and years at the creative helm of one of the UK’s most historic fragrance names – Nathalie Vinciguerra brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. But it’s her passion for authenticity and sustainability within the world of fragrance that finally drove her to create Anima Vinci. Nathalie genuinely believes in perfume’s power to uplift our senses, and to enhance our own ability to emotionally connect to our surroundings. Building their scents around a central ethos of literally allowing yourself time to stop and smell the roses (and jasmine, Palo Santo, citrus, sesame seeds…) these are fragrances to gift someone who’d appreciate a beautiful moment of calmness – a fragrance focus for each day.

 

Floral Street Discovery Set £14

Florals, but absolutely not as you know them, were the driving passion for founder Michelle Feeney launching British niche house of Floral Street, and they’ve since had roaring success with their so-modern fragrances that look as beautiful as they smell – and with sustainability very much in mind. Each scent is created by star perfumer Jérôme Épinette, known for his mastery of natural ingredients. As Floral Street put it: ‘These are bunches – not bouquets. Ingredients, not notes. And it’s about ease, modernity and joy.’ Michelle adds: ‘My mission is to bring fine fragrance to the modern female – so that she might build an entire fragrance wardrobe, which can express the many facets of who she is.’ Perfect, too, for younger family members or best friends who’d love to explore more…

Map of the Heart Discovery Set £35

Co-founders Sarah Blair and Jeffrey Darling created Map of the Heart – award-winning fragrances that come from a passion for telling stories and their understanding that scent can transport the wearer in a split second. Proudly Australian, each fragrance by perfumer Jaques Huclier has a seam of sandalwood at its core, and it throbs life through the perfumed pulse of this niche house’s scents, using indigenously and sustainably sourced Santalum spicatum. Encompassing a passion for telling stories and understanding that scent can transport the wearer just as words, images and films can whisk us to another world – this set showcases their entire range, and is a wonderful gift for the artistic traveller in your life.

 

Partere Discovery Set £20

Over a dozen of Parterre’s perfume ingredients are uniquely grown and extracted in a state-of-the-art still at their botanic estate at Keyneston Mill, in Dorset. But the exquisite compositions themselves are the masterful work of Jacques Chabert – one of the world’s leading perfumers, who has worked with such esteemed houses as Chanel and Guerlain. This British house are completely groundbreaking in the way they work, and we fell in love with everything they do. Showcasing ferns, lavender and mosses, roses, jasmine and geranium – and did we mention the British-grown Vetiver…? The Parterre perfumes make the journey ‘from botany to bottle’ in the most exquisite way, so perhaps one to gift a gardening-obsessed loved one – they’ll find this set nothing short of magical.

Kierin NYC Discovery Set £15

Inclusive of all genders, races and life experiences, these fragrances are aimed particularly at a younger market who are searching for something extra, other than just a nice smell in a bottle that means nothing about who they are. For founder Mona Maine de Biran this means inviting people ‘…to be inspired, not defined or confined, by fragrance.’ Mona’s philosophy is that ‘wearing the right fragrance for you can be like putting on battle dress or going to peace-out in a park. I’m trying to use fragrance not only to recall memories but to help me be in the moment, to live in the present.’ One of the most talked-about perfume houses to emerge from that metropolis in years, these are scents that particularly appeal to individualists, younger loved ones who want a fragrance to express themselves, tell their own stories in scent.

 

Whichever of these six scent sets you choose – be assured that the recipient will love the opportunity to try something new, perhaps even find their next fragrant love, all thanks to you. And really, who wouldn’t love to receive a fabulous box of fragrant wonders through the post at any time – but most especially when we can’t be together in person…

By Suzy Nightingale

Last safe posting dates for Christmas? PLUS gift-guide round up

We know you’re likely caught up in a flurry of fairy lights and mild festive panic, but this is a gentle reminder that The Royal Mail have suggested the latest recommended posting dates before Christmas this year – something to keep in mind if you’re ordering online and want to wrap and post the presents to loved ones…

Tuesday 18 December – 2nd Class / Royal Mail Signed For 2nd Class

Thursday 20 December – 1st Class / Royal Mail Signed For 1st Class / Royal Mail Tracked 48hr

Friday 21 December – Royal Mail Tracked 24hr

Saturday 22 December – Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed

Do check with other postal service providers for their last-posting dates, and consider ordering and sending your gifts well before the final deadlines, as there’s always a last-minute rush, and nobody wants to be disappointed at Christmas!

We’ve made ordering online a complete breeze, with a number of handy gift guides suitable for every age, fragrant taste and budget. Have a browse through some of them now, and get your gift list checked off at the click of a button…

How to buy fragrance at Christmas
Let’s start at the very beginning (as the song goes) – because trying to work out exactly what will suit whom best can be a bit of a headache, we know. That’s why we’ve done all the leg-work for you and curated selections of scents with particular types of people in mind, and perhaps with a little something to tempt you, too. One to point bewildered relatives at when they demand to know what you want!

For perfume-lovers who have everything
We’re SO delighted to have got the Master Parfums Pocket Quiz £11 in stock in time for Christmas – it’s a brilliantly addictive card game developed by a former professional fragrance trainer, with questions on each card in differing categories and ideal for any level of knowledge, from complete beginner to absolute addict. This will definitely liven up the dinner table!

Luxury Gift Boxes
If you know your loved one adores fine fragrances, and always likes trying something new, have a look at this list of ultra-luxe boxes you can buy at surprisingly affordable prices. There’s genuinely something to suit everyone here – masculine, feminine and gender-neutra – the ideal way to discover a new house, with lavish perfume gift sets from only £14!

Stocking-fillers
Pocket-friendly options for smaller gifts to stuff the stockings of lucky people – from perfume-related jewellery to mini-sizes of scents they love or would like to try. There’s even suggestions of must-have gifts that no self-respecting perfumista could do without (and which everyone would thank you for being thoughtful enough to buy), with prices starting from just £5

Overseas
Sadly, due to postal restrictions on fragrance, we can currently only ship products within the United Kingdom (we do not ship to The Channel Islands), BUT do not despair – scent lovers living abroad can be gifted a full year of award-winning fragrant reading for only £20, with an International Subscription to The Scented Letter Magazine.

Let them choose
A fuss-free solution for those uncertain about what to buy that perfume-loving someone, The Perfume Society Gift Card is available in denominations of £15, £25 and £50 and can be redeemed across any item in our SHOP section of our website: our magazine or copies of The Perfume Bible, VIP Subscription, Discovery Boxes and more. Includes FREE UK DELIVERY!

Still confused?
If you just can’t decide, or have just left it a bit long to send them something yourself – buy them a VIP Club Membership, a £25 gift that last all year! You get unrivalled access to exclusive perfume events, a year’s free electronic editions of The Scented Letter magazine, a fabulous Discovery Box to choose from, monthly VIP offers from top fragrance houses and incredible prize draws only Club Members may enter..

Whatever you send loved ones – or treat yourself to for a change – we hope you’ll agree we’ve managed to put together a great selection of gifts with everyone in mind. It really is our pleasure to seek out and gather together hard-to-find, unusual and brand new scented offerings each year. Fragrance is a joyful, mood-lifting and constantly thrilling thing, so no wonder it makes a perfect (and so thoughtful) gift to show you care.

Happy scent-sharing season, everybody!

Written by Suzy Nightingale