Scentbox: worth it?

lair77

Super Member
Jun 7, 2022
I haven't tried this and I'm not affiliated with them. My first suspicion was that sites like this are made to be accessible to beginners, but fragrance enthusiast may have more efficient ways to get decants. But the more I look into it, this actually seems good.

Decant sizes are 8ml. Standard is $2 per ml. Premium is $2.6 per ml. Platinum is $3.75 per ml. A bit if you order a few per month. Some fragrances in each tier are better deals than others, but there are several niche fragrances in the premium tier.

These prices are expensive, as fragrances have gone up in price over the years in general. But these prices are competitive, and even slightly better in some cases, compared to swap groups on online communities. Some may find value in the convenience, consistency and reliability of ordering through 1 company as opposed to micromanaging with random sellers online.

The first month is discounted and you can cancel anytime. I assume you could just order 1 month of Premium and get a niche decant for $12, which is really low. So it doesn't hurt to try it out.
 

dougczar

Basenotes Institution
Mar 3, 2012
Sounds interesting. I suppose it would completely depend on the choices. If they have a vast selection to choose from, then I can see how it could be worth it.

I would like to see a Columbia House style fragrance clearing house - get 3 bottles for 1 cent, and then have to buy 3 bottles over the next 3 years, with a monthly catalog to select from.
 
Oct 8, 2003
fragrance enthusiast may have more efficient ways to get decants.
I think your first suspicion is accurate.

Their business model is trying to replace your collection, not just give you samples. It's perfume leasing to some degree and they have increasing tiers of price plans. They want you to subscribe to them and choose a different perfume each month rather than ever owning any bottles.
I quite like the idea and I'd be interested to know whether the gen-pop like this.
It's also well stocked and somehow all these companies are ok with what is basically a decant store. 🙃
 

lair77

Super Member
Jun 7, 2022
It's perfume leasing to some degree.
To a degree. But it's not like housing and auto where leasing is often worse value than buying.

A better comparison would be buying a DVD to own and watch many times. Or use Netflix to watch a variety of movies once or twice.


They want you to subscribe to them and choose a different perfume each month rather than ever owning any bottles.
For the casual person who wants to spend less disposible income, maybe it does preclude them from buying a bottle. And in this case it's purely a value judgment on whether you prefer having a main scent or trying out a variety. It's also well possible to buy decants for 1-2 years, but then stop once you find a fragrance you want to make your signature scent.

But for the hobbyist/enthusiast, I doubt it procludes them from buying a bottle. People into collecting fragrances have a decent amount of disposable income to where spending a few hundred on decants doesn't preclude them from buying any bottles.

For example, If someone buys 6 bottles a year, maybe they'll instead buy 4 bottles + 12 decants. So this way, they still get those 4 scents they can wear a lot, but also get a wider variety too.
 
Oct 8, 2003
I agree, your Netflix analogy is more accurate than leasing. It's part of a swathe of new subscription models that attempt to make a market of people who are interested in perfume and want regular variety with a "low" monthly cost whereas I prefer to get decants then just buy a bottle and get better value per ml, that's my financial mentality.

I imagine being a non-enthusiast and ordering 8ml of a fragrance for it to be a dud, I don't think I would wear it and then I've wasted one month's supply. I suppose you could test it in a shop before you get it, or smell it on a friend or something. It seems a fun idea.

Some of their prices do seem ok, coming in just above retail per ml from what I researched. I think they will make money from people who choose low value perfumes and trust the website's classification. For example Encre Noire is "premium" and £2.20 per ml whereas I can get a bottle that works out 25p per ml, ten times difference.
 

Ifti

Basenotes Dependent
Aug 5, 2016
Not sure about the company, or any other details. I was turned off by their ad!
Pressing the buttons of Lowest base denominators. Whack a "blond" up and watch them drool. "Meh".
 

lair77

Super Member
Jun 7, 2022
I imagine being a non-enthusiast and ordering 8ml of a fragrance for it to be a dud, I don't think I would wear it and then I've wasted one month's supply
Yes, people should test or sample fragrances first, regardless of what method they ultimately prefer to buy it. But we should compare apples to apples. Imagine blind-buying a bottle for it to be a dud. The cost of that waste would be several times higher than losing out on one month of subscription.
 

StylinLA

Basenotes Dependent
Aug 9, 2009
As much as I've frittered away on frags since I joined here, there is nonetheless something about this model that doesn't interest me at all.

This puts me a schedule with set time frames, certain choice options and a limited quantity of each frag. Crazy fraghead though I was (and still am), I enjoyed the spontaneous urge of running to Scent Bar or Nieman Marcus to smell or buy something. Maybe one month I bought four or five, then none for two months.

I can understand the concept and it may fit for some people, but easy pass for me.
 

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