Thus far, I’ve only posted about some of the big brands’ boxes, and I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about a small business doing an awesome subscription service: Sweet Anthem.
Sweet Anthem is my friend Meredith’s company, and I am probably not the best person to talk about her perfumes because 1. I am biased because I know her and she’s awesome, and 2. I know almost nothing about perfume.
Seriously, my only frame of reference is other products I’ve smelled, and the only way I can describe perfumes is “well, that one smells like one that my mom wore when I was a kid, and that other one smells like a lotion I liked when I was in junior high …”
But I felt better about it after hanging out at the Sweet Anthem shop last week, when I picked up The Little Black Book of Perfume, which described one particular fragrance as “watching Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep after sitting though twelve episodes of Cheers.” So it’s not just me – scents are just hard to put into words, and our preferences are so personal.
The reason that I was so excited when Meredith announced that she’d be offering a subscription service is that this gives me the opportunity to try lots of different perfumes and figure out what my preferences are, and hopefully, gain a little knowledge about perfume.
Here’s what came in the first box, the spring collected themed “Valentine for Vendetta:”
Lolita: Tonka bean, rosewood, black currant, cherry blossom, and sea salt. Lolita is very light and sweet and delicate – I really like the scent, but it’s so faint on my skin that I can’t decide if it’s something I want to wear regularly or not.
Poppy: Opium, Turkish musk, red flowers, cocoa, clove bud. This is rich and chocolatey, but not sweet, if that makes sense. I didn’t care for Poppy when I stuck the vial under my nose, but Meredith’s blog post about how to smell perfumes convinced me to try wearing it, and indeed, I like it better on my skin than in the bottle.
I also got Alice, which is a restock and is described as: Rabbit hole musk, white flowers, hazy woods, garden greenery, and wafts of smoke from the Caterpillar’s pipe.
These three were all eau de perfums, and I also got a solid perfume called Nell as a bonus, which looks to be from one of the older collections and isn’t currently available.
Alice is my very favorite – smoky and a little floral. Meredith calls her perfumes “bottled stories you wear on your skin,” and Alice is, of course, based on Alice in Wonderland. I don’t usually like floral perfumes because they’re too sweet and kind of overpowering, so I love that Alice has a mix of other notes – the tobacco in particular makes it so much more interesting to my nose.
While I was at the shop, I (of course) tested several other perfumes, and ended up taking Phoebe home with me, too. Phoebe has several of the same notes as Alice, but is sweet instead of floral. Similarly, I didn’t think I liked sweet perfumes (maybe it’s just me, but I don’t like to smell like cake) but the tobacco and dirt notes are interesting and different and really appeal to me.
I’m surprised that I like trying and wearing perfumes as much as I do, but my interest is piqued. I may go back for Lolita, and Owl, from the Familiars collection. And I’m especially excited to try Cooper from the upcoming summer collection, which is Cherry tobacco, Northwest woods, and a strong, black cup of coffee. (Meredith, like me, is a fan of Twin Peaks!)
So if I’ve convinced you that you should become an SA Lister, here’s where you’ll go to sign up. You can also read the answers to frequently asked questions about the program. It’s $6-7, depending on how many seasons you sign up for. (To be clear, those are not referral links, I’m just sharing to support my friend because she makes nice perfumes and I think the subscription box is a fun way to try them!)