Niche perfumes often come with a hefty price tag, and are so niche that it can be tricky to find that one special scent. It is hard to fall in love with a fragrance in store (it does happen, but is very rare), not to mention the fact that niche perfumes are harder to come by. A perfume needs to be experienced in the wearer's native environment, and a box like this allows you to test out several scents to your heart's desire, without pouring away your pennies on something you may grow to hate.
The Made In London Gift Box* is a limited edition boxe from perfume subscription brand, The Fragrance Box. The Fragrance Box aims to bring a unique selection of niche perfumes each month from an affordable price of £8 per month. The Made in London box contains four perfume samples, as well as a matching body lotion for one of the scents. This is a lovely touch, as perfumed body lotions are so luxurious. The box features two niche British perfume brands, Mitchell and Peach and Signature Fragrances, neither of which I have tried before.
Mitchell and Peach is a lovely brand who produce fragrance and luxury bath and body products from their family farm in Kent. Mitchell and Peach hand blend their scents using essential oils and honey from their own estate. The first scent in the box is English Leaf, of which there is a perfume sample (£55 for 50ml) and travel size Body Cream (£38 for 180ml). English Leaf is described as a green floral, inspired by the Foxbury Farm countryside where Mitchell and Peach originated. The scent combines citrus notes, with the herbaceous notes of coriander, basil and mint leaves, adding florals and cedar wood to round off the scent. This creates an uplifting elixir that is reminiscent of lush freshly cut grass in the early summertime. This is a well-crafted floral that strays from the norm. The body lotion really packs a punch, and definitely acts to intensify the scent to last all day. Scent-wise, if you're a fan of the green notes in Diptyque Philosykos, or the Jo Malone Wild Tomato Leaf candle, you'll enjoy this take as the leafy notes really do take centre stage.
The second scent from Mitchell and Peach is Flora No.1 (£75 for 100ml), and my favourite out of the two on first impressions as it is more mellow. Flora No.1 is described as being a sophisticated floral with notes of rose, ylang-ylang, peony and lavender, blended with larkspur and sweet fennel. This is the more traditional of the two florals here, and goes back to basics in comparison to the fruit-heavy florals that are so popular in this day and age. The lavender and rose are the most predominant notes, which are given a certain freshness thanks to the sweet fennel. I do think this would appeal to a more mature nose due to the dominance of lavender, I know my Mum would love this scent as she loves Lavender, as do I. Although I like the scent, it probably wouldn't be my first choice to wear as a perfume, and I'd be more likely to choose this in a bath or body product due to its botanical spa-like feel.
The other brand featured in the Made in London box is Signature Fragrances London. Signature Fragrances is an ethical brand who seeks to bring the true essence of perfumery back to the 21st century. They have created a selection of unique blends, sourced from around the world. These are definitely the traditional kinds of scents that come to mind when someone says niche. They are a lot stronger than the Mitchell and Peach offerings, and scents in which my untrained nose struggles to detect individual notes. Signature Fragrances are pure parfums, which is the highest strength of perfume, meaning you only need the tiniest dab.
The name Odd Rush (£73.30) captures British eccentricity perfectly, although it is a slightly strange name for a scent. Odd Rush is described as an aromatic fruity fragrance, but personally it leans more towards the oriental end of the spectrum despite its top notes of peach, apricot, blackcurrant, raspberry, mango, coconut and bergamot. The heart comes from a fruity floral blend of mandarin orange, carnation, cinnamon, jasmine, geranium and lily of the valley. These notes are then given a rich, seductive base of vanilla, benzoin, tonka bean, amber, musk, patchouli and sandalwood, which is long-lasting and dominates on my skin.
The final scent in the box is British Musk (£73.30). This is an oriental woody scent, with a much more simple scent pyramid than Odd Rush. It has sweet floral top notes of bergamot, rose, geranium, a heart of black oud and cedar and a base of amber and musk. This is a classic London-inspired rose scent, yet the depth of the heart notes give the fragrance a warm and sensual edge.
The high concentration of these pure perfumes paired with the size of the vials mean that the Made In London box proves to be incredible value for money, even just for the Signature Fragrances perfumes. I'm so glad I've managed to discover these two amazing brands, and am intrigued about their other scents, particularly the sweeter scents from Signature Fragrances.
The Made In London box was a limited edition launch for November, but you can subscribe to The Fragrance Box's monthly drop. Each box contains 4-6 different niche perfumes, which is perfect if you want to try out a variety of different scents each month. Sign up for either the womens or mens box here for £10 a month, and don't forget to use my exclusive code KIMBEAUTY to get an incredible 50% off your first box.