When Black Friday rolled around I laughed and thought I was immune, especially after placing a mega haul order at Cult Beauty a few days before. And then I received Luckyscent’s Black Friday email that included a gift with purchase offer I couldn’t pass up and…this happened. That’s actually two hauls, both with the most tenuous of justifications.
Luckyscent is a niche fragrance online shopping site that’s really well designed and also a personal favorite black hole. As in I like to stop by regularly and feed money into the void in exchange for things that smell good.
How I got into fragrance
I’ve always been interested in perfume, but I was too broke to really explore it. When I was a student in France over ten years ago I set aside an afternoon and visited a perfume shop to find my signature scent. I walked away with Chanel Chance, a scent I still have on my shelf. But eventually I was curious about what else might be out there and decided to explore.
I tried perfume sampling subscriptions Scentbird and Olfactif, but what really got me excited was the Luckyscent Fragrance Fitting. It’s $35 + shipping for 5 0.7ml samples and what’s really cool is that an actual person takes your self-description and matches it with possible perfect fragrances for you. You can tell them about the perfumes you like now, which scent notes you like and don’t, about your age and personality, on and on. My samples came with a detailed description of what my scent consultant picked and why. It was amazing — I was guided to things that I’d otherwise never think to try, but that smelled absolutely amazing.
In order to hit the minimum for free shipping, I threw in some samples of perfumes that I thought might work for me based on their descriptions. One of those was the perfume I ended up buying in this haul, Farmacia SS. Annunziata’s Vaniglia del Madagascar. I made another sample haul to test it again and grab some new releases and “feminine favorites” (including Tihota’s famous vanilla fragrance that’s similar to Vaniglia del Madagascar) and ultimately decided that I want to be semi-monogamous with Vaniglia del Madagascar. I thought I’d hand the purchase off to my husband as an easy Christmas present, but marketing intervened and I decided to take the matter into my own hands.
Luckyscent Niche Fragrance Haul 1: Enabled by Black Friday
I love vanilla scents, but lots of them make me smell like I spend my free time baking sweets. That was cute in high school, but as a grownass woman, I want something a little more sophisticated.
Farmacia SS. Annunziata Vaniglia del Madagascar is certainly a vanilla, but it starts kind of medicinal and then gets creamy on me. Other people feel like it has amber notes overpowering the vanilla, but it smells really harmonious to me. And I like a little amber (but not too much, as I found out when sampling the top-rated amber fragrances at Luckyscent).
I love the fact that the brand claims to have been in business since 1561 — when Cosimo I de’ Medici was still just Duke of Florence (he was later elevated to Grand Duke of Tuscany). Duke Cosimo I ascended to the dukedom after the assassination Alessandro de’ Medici, the duke I study (who is the namesake for Alessandro, my youngest cat).
100ml makes for a hugeass bottle. I wasn’t thinking about value when buying this, but it’s about the same price as a lot of niche perfumes and double the size (of course things vary).
The bottle, box, and bag are very Florentine — practical and not showy. This is about as perfect as it gets for a historian of Renaissance Florence who loves vanilla, I gifted myself well. ahahah
Luckyscent Gifts with Purchase for Haul 1
I realized something important the other day: if I feel like a product is worth the list retail price (and that’s rare), I have no problem paying that, and discounts aren’t a huge factor in my purchase. BUT gifts with purchase will enable the fuck out of me no matter what. For further examples see the Cult Beauty haul that happened when they offered a crazy goody bag with purchase.
Luckyscent announced a one-day Black Friday gift with purchase that got my attention. Off I went when I saw the samples on offer.
One important thing to note! If you use a gift with purchase discount code, you can’t also use the free shipping promo code — it’s either/or. Shipping is $8.95, so I had to think carefully about whether the GWP was worth paying $8.95 for shipping or if I should skip it and pay less. I grumbled a bit (I’m truly someone who bails on orders if shipping is charged, I know I know), but ultimately decided to go with the GWP.
Byredo Accord Oud, Oliver Peoples, Seven Veils 2ml samples
Byredo is a super popular brand with cool girl types. I’ve winced at the name of one scent and loved the smell of another. For me, the jury is out on Byredo, and the only way to form an opinion is to try more. The sample packaging is fantastic, right?
Serge Lutens Fleurs d’oranger, L’orpheline, Datura noir 1ml samples
I’ve seen mixed reviews of Serge Lutens fragrances, so I’m excited to try these and form my own opinion.
Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, Santal Blush, Vert d’Encens, Tobacco Vanille 4ml samples
I was a fashion student in high school back when Tom Ford was at Gucci and he was my GOD. Also, he’s the sexiest white dude on the planet to me, not even kidding. I’ve heard a lot of positive reviews of Tom Ford fragrances, and on first sniff, these are as smoking as Tom himself.
Luckyscent free samples for Haul 1
- Byredo Blanche (my pick)
- Sospiro Accento (their pick)
- Thameen Green Pearl (their pick)
- and The Beautiful Mind Series – vol. 1 Intelligence & Fantasy (their pick) 0.7ml samples
- Amouage Interlude 2ml-ish sample (completely random and unexpected)
I had no idea if Luckyscent even offers free samples on top of gift with purchase samples, but I was told I’d receive four at checkout (the number varies based on the size of the purchase — for this $150 haul I received 4, for the $100 haul I received 3). I hopefully asked for Byredo’s Blanche in the notes right before checkout and received these four samples plus the bonus Amouage sample. Ding freaking dong.
A fangirl interlude
OK — hold up, I need to explain why I wanted Blanche by Byredo as a sample after ordering a huge bottle of something I love and receiving a ton of deluxe samples already. I am a kpop fangirl. A fan of EXO more specifically. Recently, EXO member Park Chanyeol had a birthday and he gave five attendees bottles of Byredo’s Blanche perfume as gifts. As an obsessive fangirl, I needed to know what this smells like. Apparently other fans in Korea felt the same way. lol
The BYREDO BLANCHE perfume(Chanyeol fav)that was given as a gift to lucky fan by Chanyeol
is already SOLD OUT
So Daebak ?????
(Via 灿宝美颜盛世) pic.twitter.com/mwVMOzuKyO
— ㅎㅅㅎ ✨ ? ? 세훈 ? (@mydeeryo) November 24, 2016
Who is Chanyeol? What is this EXO?
He’s the tall, deep-voiced one with red hair at 2:35. He’s not my bias (favorite member), but STILL. I NEED TO KNOW.
Having tried it, it smells soapy, fresh, and floral on me. Not my favorite, but I’m glad I got to try it.
Almost as soon as I placed my order I remembered that Do Kyungsoo, the member of EXO that is my favorite, mentioned that Diptyque’s Tam Dao is his favorite scent. So…I decided to make another haul to grab it. bahhhhhh
Seriously, if you want to be happy and sane, don’t be a fangirl.
Luckyscent Niche Fragrance and Skincare Haul 2: Enabled by Do Kyungsoo
I grabbed one for me and one for fellow EXO-obsessed fangirl Chel from Holy Snails. Seriously, we’re 30-something teenagers.
Farmacia SS. Annunziata dal 1561 – Vaniglia del Madagascar Shower Gel Hair & Body Shower Gel – 500ml
Yes, I now have the perfume, but why not smell like Vaniglia del Madagascar allll the time?
I see Diptyque candles on Instagram and get all grabby because they’re pretty and designy, so I bought a small one to see what they’re like. This is an incense-scented candle, so maybe it will help me get into the holiday spirit (I’m never in the holiday spirit, ever).
Grown Alchemist looks like an interesting Australian brand, and the sample sets were sold out on Cult Beauty when I shopped there. This set was comparatively cheap and on backorder, so I took a chance — and it ended up shipping almost immediately anyway, woot!
Luckyscent Gifts with Purchase for Haul 2
Teachable moment: this image contains a term, Gypsy, that I’d rather brands not use due to it being considered a slur. My feeling is that if people say “hey, that’s not how you should call me because it’s offensive” we should listen to them. Full stop. Like, it’s real basic human respect shit. You can read more about this on Wikipedia and branch out from there, if you’d like to explore the issue. Byredo is often held up as a cool brand, but…that’s not cool, bruh, and I’m surprised this is somehow sailing by without notice.
Again, I gave up free shipping to snag these samples, which was fine with me due to my unending NEED TO KNOW what things are like.
Luckyscent free samples for Haul 2
My $100 purchase came with three free samples, so I picked:
- Byredo Blanche (a sample for fellow fangirl Chel)
- Farmacia SS. Annunziata dal 1561 – Vaniglia del Madagascar (also for Chel, easier than decanting from my bottle)
- Byredo Unnamed (a sample for me because I liked it a lot when I tried it before)
Phew! So, yeah, I like fragrances! Anyone else into them? Enable me! What’s amazing?