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Top 7 Perfume Discovery Sets – Holiday Gift Ideas 2018

I absolutely love perfume discovery sets and selected 7 fabulous sets from independent perfume houses for you. These sampler sets are great to try new fragrances and make excellent gifts as well. Here we go, the sets I selected are from Gallivant, Baruti, Tauer Perfumes, Sylvaine Delacourte, Etat Libre d’Orange, NOT Perfumes and Pierre Guillaume Paris. They are all available online.

1. Gallivant Nomad Discovery Sampler Set: Gallivant was founded by former L’Artisan Parfumeur creative director Nick Steward. Gallivant has 6 fragrances at the moment all based on different cities around the world, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brooklyn, Istanbul and Telviv. The 6 sample set is sold out at the moment but there is still a smaller one available with 4 samples for 18 pounds. Postage is free in December 2018. All sprays are 2 mls.

2. Baruti Baruti was created by Amsterdam based Greek perfumer Spyros Drosopoulos. You will not find these fragrances easily anywhere else. They make an excellent gift for those who want to try something different perfume wise. I sampled his fragrances many years ago when Spyros just started and tried his newest creations at The Perfume Lounge in Amsterdam. This discovery set is only available online with 8 samples of the whole Baruti collection. All spray samples are 1 ml. Price: 30 euro

3. Tauer Perfumes Tauer Perfumes was created by Zurich based Andy Tauer. His samples are stored in small beautiful metal boxes like the box on the photograph. These boxes are still one of my favorites to store samples. You are free to choose from his whole collection and create your own Discovery Set. Andy Tauer has some recommendations on his website which is fabulous if you are new to his fragrances and do not know which one to choose. All spray samples are 1,5 mls. Price: 27,50 euro including shipping.

4.  Sylvaine Delacourte, Sylvaine Delacourte worked for Guerlain 15 years and started her own perfume house several years ago. At this moment she has 2 collections based on perfume notes, Vanilla and Musc. She just introduced some wonderful scented candles inspired by the different seasons of the year. Both the Vanilla and Musc set are lovely and affordable sets with 5 samples each for 4 euro including postage. I tried the Musc sampler set and just received the Vanilla box. This is an excellent deal. All sprays are 1,5  ml. Price: 4 euro per set including shipping

5. Etat Libre d’Orange (ELDO) This French niche brand has several sampler sets in its collection. One set for its whole collection and 2 different sets stored in fabulous metal boxes with their 7 classics or modern classics. All are available through their website. The metal boxes are 20 euro for 7 samples with 2 mls. The complete collection set has 22 samples with 1,5 to 2 mls and its price is 39 euro. Isn’t this metal box beautiful?

6. NOT Perfumes. This brand new Swedish brand recently launched with 5 creations. It’s creator and perfumer Johanna Venables made original fragrances with very outspoken Nordic visuals. The complete sampler set is 25 euro excluding postage. The samples are 0,5 ml extraits and the sampler set is only available online. I haven’t tried them yet but very much look forward to experience her poetic fragrances as they look and sound very unique.

7. Pierre Guillaume Paris  If you are not on a budget, French perfumer Pierre Guillaume just launched his whole perfume collection as a sampler set called Integral Box 64. All 64 creations are stored together in a beautiful black box for 146 euro excluding shipping. It’s available online but check your local perfume store as well if you live close to a perfume shop which sells his creations.

Concluding: The perfume sampler sets I selected this year are from the following perfume houses: Gallivant, Baruti, Tauer Perfumes, Sylvaine Delacourte, Etat Libre d’Orange, NOT Perfumes and Pierre Guillaume Paris. Did you like one? Are you interested in one of these as gifts?

If you want some more inspiration for sampler sets, please visit my previous Discovery Sets posts here: Discovery sets 2017, Holiday sets 2016 and Fragrant Holiday Gifts 2014.

You can find the direct links to the sampler sets in this article by clicking on their names:

Gallivant, Baruti, Tauer Perfumes, Sylvaine Delacourte, Etat Libre d’Orange (ELDO), NOT Perfumes and Pierre Guillaume Paris.

Disclosure: Except for the photographs of the Sylvaine Delacourte and Tauer sets all photographs were taken from the official websites. The photograph for the NOT perfumes sampler set was made by Joaquim Suñe from Lost Branch Leather and kindly provided for this post. This article was not sponsored and does not include affiliated links.

(Side note: please check before ordering if postage is included to your own country, I live in The Netherlands)

DIY Perfume Advent Calendar 2018

I love advent calendars especially if they are filled with perfume. This year I decided to make my own advent calendar inspired by Sam’s wonderful post on her I Scent You A Day website  (see the link at the end of this article). One advantage is that I can use perfume samples I have laying around for testing and it is cheaper than buying a perfume advent calendar online. Although it was quite tempting not to buy a prefab calendar as some were absolutely stunning (like the Carthusia calendar!).

The Power Of Surprise

One of the great things of a ready made advent calendar is not knowing which scent you will get.  I bought the Micallef and 4160 Tuesdays Calendar before and this was what I liked most. A little and lovely scented surprise everyday. You could ask someone else to pick the samples for you, help you to wrap them and put them in the calendar. I can imagine children like to help with this as well. This was my original plan but due to circumstances my little nephew was not able to help me.

Choosing An DIY Advent Calendar

I started looking for a fill able advent calendar online on sites like Wish, Amazon and EBay. In the end I found one from textile on Wish in China. I saw several wooden calendars on the Dutch Marktplaats and Bol websites as well but it wasn’t clear if samples would fit into the boxes.

Filling The DIY Perfume Calendar With Samples

The next step was to collect the samples. This was a bit more work but it was quite nice to go through them and select the ones I wanted to try. If you don’t have samples you can order them via internet, look for them on EBay or (the Dutch Ebay) Marktplaats. Atelier Cologne has a great deal of 16 samples for 30 euro too for example. Many samples I have used for my Calendar were gifted by (with or without purchases) The Perfume Lounge, Skins or fellow perfume lovers.

The Filled DIY Perfume Calendar

I wrapped all samples in white and green thin tissue paper matching the advent tree and voila! A beautiful custom made scented advent calendar. It might be short notice now to order some things so I do hope you find these things before December 1 or you could step in some days later if you plan on making one.

Extra filling ideas! You can use little soaps or travel sizes of shower gels instead of perfume samples if you don’t have enough. Or you could use mini perfume bottles as well if they fit into the calendar days. You can find travel sizes of affordable body products at your local drugstore like Boots, Etos or Kruidvat. Small scented candles can be great as well for this purpose.

Two years ago 4160 Tuesdays used a cardboard box with small colored numbered envelopes for the days as an Advent Calendar which was a very nice idea. This should not be to difficult to find for next week. You can see this box in my previous article in the link underneath.

This is the end result! A wonderful advent perfume calendar for December 2018. It can be filled next year with other samples too!

Do you like Advent Calendars? Would you make one or did you buy one already made?

Read more about making your own Advent Calendar on Sam’s website I Scent You A Day here and thanks to Ned for this brilliant idea!

Read my previous review on the 4160 Tuesdays Advent Calendar here .

My Top 5 Favorite Autumn Fragrances

As leaves are turning into beautiful orange, brown, red and yellow colors, we are slowly moving into autumn in Amsterdam. I have started wearing wool sweaters, thin shawls and warmer autumn fragrances although the weather we are having is exceptionally warm and sunny. But nature is showing us the season is really changing and we are getting ready for winter which is hard to imagine when feeling the actual temperature. I have been reaching for Mitsouko, PHI Une Rose De Kandahar, Slowdive, Flowerhead and burning Nordic Leather lately and will review them in a few  words to give you an impression.

1.Guerlain Mitsouko edt (bottle from 2017) is  a lighter, younger and more sparkling version of this classic perfume from 1919. Although I miss the warm peach and soft suede from the bottle I just finished (the one on the photograph) I love the brightness, citrus and powdery softness of this new Eau de Toilette for colder evenings and at night. It’s a very soothing and relaxing fragrance. I recently bought* a refill bottle at a very reasonable price online as these refill sprays will be discontinued. Worth a (re) try if you don’t like the edp, extrait or didn’t like it before. 

2. Tauer Perfumes PHI un rose de Kandahar, is a beautiful warm woody spicy rose, very much loved among perfume lovers. Due to the rare rose oil from Afghanistan it’s not always available. According to the official website it can be bought at the moment. Andy Tauer offers samples on his site as well so you can try them easily.

Notes: Apricot, cinnamon, almond, bergamot, Bulgarian rose absolute, rose from Kandahar, bourbon geranium, tobacco leaf, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, tonka bean, musk and ambergris. Perfumer: Andy Tauer Year: 2013

3. Byredo Flowerhead Eau de Parfum, this young and uplifting modern floral is not a warming autumn fragrance more a reminder of long sunny summer days and excellent for the warm sunny golden days we are having. A must try for tuberose lovers. It has quickly become ome of my favorite florale as it is such a happy fragrance. 

Notes: Angelica seeds, cranberries, sicilian lemon, sambac jasmine, rose petals, tuberose, suede and ambergris. Perfumer: Jerome Epinette Year: 2014

4. Hiram Green Slowdive. Slowdive is a honeyed golden warming and soothing fragrance. Although officially it is a tobacco centered fragrance on my skin it becomes much more honey centered. Slowdive is very suited for these warm autumn days inviting us to relax outside for a drink, cycle or lay in the grass in a park.

Notes: Neroli, orange flower, tobacco blossom, tuberose, honey, dried fruit, resin Perfumer: Hiram Green  Year: 2017

5. Scented Candle and Fragrance Cards Zara Home Nordic Leather. 
This scented candle is my favourite at the moment and excellent value for money. I wouldn’t have called the candle Nordic Leather as I don’t smell any leather. Nordic Oud or Wood would have been a more suited name as it is a very warming woody fragrance with sandalwood, incense and spices. Nordic Leather has incredible throw off and could be overwhelming if you are sensitive to fragrance. The candle is not very suited either if you don’t like fragrance leaning towards masculine.

The Nordic Leather fragrance cards are fabulous to scent clothes. But they could be overwhelming as well like the scented candle. Both are available online and at times on sale.

Concluding: Mitsouko, PHI Une Rose De Kandahar, Slowdive, Flowerhead and scented candle Zara Home Nordic Leather are my favorite Autumn fragrances at the moment.

*Read this excellent article of Persolaise on what to be aware of before buying and testing Mitsouko. Don’t let it scare you though!

All notes of the fragrances were taken from the Luckyscent website, except for the Zara Home Candle. Photographs made by Esperessence.