The Perfume Society Sharing Collection Discovery Box | Gifted AD

20 January 2017

The Perfume Society Sharing Collection Discovery Box Review

I love receiving the Perfume Society Discovery Boxes, a little white parcel packed full of indulgence. This time around, it's the turn of their Sharing Collection* (£19/£15 subscribers), a specially curated box of 18 male and female fragrances, designed to be shared with a friend or partner (perfect for Valentine's Day too!). There isn't really anyone I can share this with, and I'm the first to throw my hands up and admit I know nothing about masculine fragrances, but I've given it a go this time. I've tried all the scents via blotters (recycled from a previous Perfume Society box) and then I'll be picking out my favourites to go into my regular rotation.

Shanghai Tang
First up is Hong Kong fashion house, Shanghai Tang. The Perfume Society have generously included samples of their entire Silk Road fragrance collection, presented in the most lovely packaging. The Silk Road collection which includes 5 female and 3 male fragrances was created by master perfumer Carolos Benaim. It is inspired by his travels through China, and the grandeur of its culture. I started with Orchid Bloom from the Shanghai Tang White sample set, a sweet and fruity scent with orchid, rose, berries, musk and patchouli. This is rather unpretentious and is a complete 180 from many other orchid-based fragrances on the market. It is girlie and youthful, with luscious florals and almost a hint of watermelon: it'd make a lovely summer scent. It gets a thumbs up from me, so we're off to a brilliant start! 

Next we have Gold Lily, which has notes of ginger lily, orange flower, jasmine, patchouli and musk. This comes across as a floral scent, with a hint of spice. It is reminiscent of Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely, so I'll stick to that one. Oriental Pearl was another that didn't sit well with me. It has notes of amber, rose absolute, patchouli, benzion and vanilla, making it quite a dry, spicy scent, dominated by patchouli. Something in there also reminded me of licorice. Rose Silk is a floral which I was rather excited about from the description; rose, narcissus absolute, cassis, cardamom, vetiver and musk. This was heavier on the white florals than the rose, and there was something that I couldn't put my finger on in the opening; something aquatic or green perhaps. It's a nice floral, but nothing special. Lastly there is Spring Jasmine, a beautiful, luscious floral, with a hint of green bamboo and a creamy sandalwood base. I wasn't quite as impressed with the rest of these as I was with Orchid Bloom, but Rose Silk and Spring Jasmine are still pretty scents. 

Moving on to the men's Black Sample Set, the first one I tried was Jade Dragon. This is an energising, fresh green tea scent that is uncomplicated and (surprisingly) genderless. It has notes of bergamot, tea leaves, jasmine and vetiver and it would make a lovely summer scent for both men and women. Mandarin Tea follows a similar theme with mate leaves, mandarin and tea leaves, and the addition of neroli. It is very fresh, and again not overly masculine, but I prefer Jade Dragon out of the two. Lastly, there is L'Orient, something completely different from the other two. It opens with pink pepper, which takes on a really fruity role in the scent. Leatherwood petals give a floral touch, which adds vibrancy to the dryness of the vetiver and elemi in the base. L'Orient is a really interesting take on a male fragrance, and none of them are traditional in that sense. I only wish there was a bit more variation within the three.

The Perfume Society Sharing Collection Discovery Box Review


Creed is a brand that I have long wanted to try, so I was glad to finally get the chance. Love in White is inspired by five continents of the world, with Spanish Orange, Italian Jasmine, Narcissus from the French Riviera, Tonkin Rice, Egyptian Iris, Guatemalan Mountain Magnolia, Java Vanilla, Calabrian Ambergis and Indian Sandalwood. The orange peel opening is intense and brings a green accord to the scent, before moving into the floral heart, which is fresh and luscious, rather than being heady and synthetic. True to its name, the scent does smell very white, and has a cold feel from the ambergris, as well as a creamy note from the rice. It is a pleasant floral that I could imagine wearing with a pretty white summer dress.

For men there's Aventus, which is inspired by the dramatic life of Napoleon. As soon as I smelt this, I got an overwhelming hit of pineapple, specifically pineapple jelly. I hadn't looked at the notes, and honestly thought it was a bit of a bonkers thought. I was surprised to see that pineapple was actually listed, among other top notes such as bergamot, blackcurrant and apple. After a quick google search, I noticed a lot of people saying that there is so much variation between batches of this scent, and mine just so happened to be very heavy on the pineapple. There is a heart of rose, dry birch, jasmine and patchouli, which moves into a base of oakmoss, musk, ambergris and vanilla. It's slightly more bearable when the oakmoss and patchouli set in to give it some depth, but I'm just not a fan of the pineapple and wouldn't be overly pleased to smell this on a man!

Issey Miyake 

Issey Miyake is a brand I've heard A LOT about, as the scents were very popular in the 90's. Issey Miyake L'eau d'Issey is a clean, fresh, ozonic floral, with heavy melon nuances, inspired by the clarity of spring water. It smells sophisticated without being too mature, and would make a nice, inoffensive office scent. It has top notes of lotus, freesia and rose, a heart of peony, lily and carnation and a base of woods and musk, all very unpretentious. It reminds me of a beautiful woman (probably never going to be me) fresh out of the shower putting on her boyfriend's crisp white shirt. I like it!

Moving onto Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme, on first impressions this reminds me of a gin and tonic, with something herbaceous creeping in, alongside spicy woods. The top notes, giving a heavy citrus feel to the scent, contain yuzu, bergamot and lemon, as well as tarragon, sage, verbena and cypress. The heart is spicy and woody, with nutmeg, cinnamon and coriander, as well as water lily and lotus, giving an aquatic feel. The scent is grounded by a base of tobacco, sandalwood, cedar, vetiver and musk, all very woodsy, however that doesn't seem to come through on a blotter. It's an interesting scent, with lots of different layers. It's definitely very citrussy; fresh and cologne like, and great for the summer. I wouldn't be against trying this myself.

The Perfume Society Sharing Collection Discovery Box Review


Living Lalique is the female offering, which opens with a little sweetness, citrus, mint and lavender, and soon spicy nutmeg and black pepper emerge, joining a heart of iris and rose. The base is overwhelmingly woody, with cedar, labdanum, orris, vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla and cashmeran. I enjoyed the opening, but it leans a bit too on the furniture polish side with the base notes. If you can get past this, it is a sophisticated woody floral that offers something a little different.

Lalique L'Insoumis on the other hand, was quite the little treat. The opening really surprised me, with its nuances of chocolate and praline (it's actually meant to be rum), as well as bergamot and basil, moving into a heart of lavender, clary sage and black pepper, offering an edge of spiciness. The base is very woody, containing Haitian vetiver, moss, patchouli and the Clearwood molecule (a synthetic, clean version of patchouli). It's the only male scent in the Sharing Collection that genuinely smells sexy. It's too masculine to wear myself, but I'd very much enjoy it on a man, it's such an addictive scent!
Zadig & Voltaire 

Launched as a pair, This is Her! and This is Him! are designed to complement each other, and they're the perfect scents for the achingly cool couple. This is Her! is a gourmand fragrance, with a floral opening of Jasmine Sambac, pink pepper and silkwood blossom, this is soon pushed aside for the delicate kiss of vanilla, whipped cream and chestnut, reminiscent of Thierry Mugler's Angel Muse. The base is luxurious and maintains that creamy feel, with cashmere wood and sandalwood. I absolutely loved this scent, it's so addictive and unique. It's very foodie, so I'm really intrigued to see what it smells like on the skin. It's not what I expected from the slick packaging - I thought it would be more cool, like Molecule 01.

Lastly, I come to Zadig & Voltaire This is Him! which opens with citrussy grapefruit, and a little sweetness to echo that of This is Her!, and moves into a woody, incense heavy base of milky sandalwood and vanilla. The idea behind This is Him! was to break away from what already existed on the market and to find a balance between clean and mysterious. The result is something that smells niche, without the price tag. It is quite unisex and I'd happily try this, either alone or to deepen up other scents. I can't wait to try it with This is Her!

The Perfume Society Sharing Collection Discovery Box Review

I really enjoyed trying all the scents in the Perfume Society Sharing Collection, but it wouldn't be a discovery box without making a few discoveries! I loved Lalique L'Insoumis - I'll need to find me a man pronto so I can smell this on him because it is damn amazing! I also really loved Zadig & Voltaire This Is Her! as it's so addictive and sweet. I'll be adding Shanghai Tang Orchid Bloom and Jade Dragon into my rotation of scents, as well as trying Zadig & Voltaire This is Him! I always thought I was genuinely a bit clueless when it comes to male fragrances, but I decided to challenge myself and properly try these. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it and found that I could actually identify some of the notes. I'm planning a whole post on trying male scents, so watch this space...
- Post contains PR samples kindly sent on behalf of The Perfume Society-
- This does not affect my views and I will always give my honest opinion of a product -

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