For perfumistas, reading about fragrances is fun but smelling what you’ve read about is even better. As most of you probably know, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez just published their Perfumes The Guide 2018, the first new version of the book in ten years. The authors sought to examine the changed perfume landscape since the original Guide was released and, consequently, there is a heightened focus on both niche and indie/artisan houses.
I haven’t done a giveaway in years and years, but this seemed like a good occasion to make an exception. One of the criticisms of the book, in some quarters at least, is that too many of the houses are small and unknown. That won’t be the case if you’ve been a regular reader of this blog because I’ve long emphasized niche and indie/artisanal houses over big designer ones. In fact, a good number of the brands that I’ve covered are reviewed in the book.
I extended an invitation to six of them to join together for a sample giveaway, and they kindly, generously accepted. They are: Bogue, Papillon, Ensar Oud, Neela Vermeire, St. Clair Scents, and Sammarco. Every brand got 3 Star reviews, if not higher. None got below 3 Stars. If you’ve read the book and seen the preponderance of Ones and Twos, typically accompanied by withering, wince-inducing commentary, then you’ll understand that a Three (“Good”) is actually pretty darn good in the larger context. A number of the fragrances offered here, however, got Fours and there is also one Five. Relative to the deluge of frequently brutal One and Two Star reviews for both niche and mainstream houses, that’s excellent. My congratulations to them all. [UPDATE 7/22: my review of The Guide 2018 is now up.]
Most of the fragrances offered today in this giveaway were reviewed in the book, but not all. Neela Vermeire and Sammarco are each including one additional release which was not covered because the scent was too new. In the case of Ensar Oud, his two attars sold out before the book’s release, so he’s compensated by offering a set of sandalwood oils — real sandalwood, including a vintage Mysore one — with a few oud oils as well.
TERMS & CONDITIONS:
Please read the following details and terms of the giveaway carefully.
First, the giveaway is open to all readers regardless of location. In other words, it is an international one.
Second, to be crystal clear, what’s being offered are samples, not full bottles.
Third, and most importantly, I’ve divided the sample sets into two separate packages: Package A and Package B. Each package will have fragrances from three brands and each of those brands is offering three sample sets, so there will be three winners for each package. My thinking behind this structuring was to increase the number of winners so that there would be six instead of just three. It seemed like a more equitable way to spread the fun.
Package A has the following brands and fragrances (and the incorporated links take you to my reviews of the individual fragrances):
- Bogue (MAAI, O/E, and MEM, which got Five Stars from Luca Turin);
- Papillon (Tobacco Rose, Angelique, Anubis, Salome, and Dryad);
- Sammarco (Ariel, Bond-T, Naias, his most recent one, Yael, Alter and Vitrum.)
Package B has the following brands and fragrances:
Neela Vermeire Creations (Ashoka, Pichola, Trayee, Bombay Bling, Rahele, and Niral. There will also be a Limoges NVC logo pendant which you can use as a fragrance blotter to carry on you or to place in a drawer in order to diffuse the NVC fragrance, which is sprayed on the white surface on the back);
- St. Clair Scents (Gardener’s Glove, Frost, and First Cut); and
- Ensar Oud (a set of genuine sandalwood oils and Ensar’s choice of a few oud oils as well. The oils will be: the three sandalwoods I’ve already reviewed, like my Holy Grail, Santal Sultan, along with Mysore 1984 and Santal Royale; and two or three ouds which will possibly include one of the ones I’ve already reviewed or possibly something else or new.)
Fourth, to enter, you must post a comment here, not on any of the blog’s social media sites. It’s easier for me to compile all the names together that way. Also, you can only enter once.
Fifth, when you comment, your name will be put on the list for both Package A and Package B, so that you have the chance to win either one. However, you can only win ONE package, not both. I will be using Random.org to select the winners, so if your name comes up for Package A, then it will be removed from consideration for Package B or vice-versa. If there is one package that you wish to win above all else, then, if you want, you can specify which one in your comment and I will make a note of it but there are no guarantees.
Sixth, the giveaway starts tonight, Friday July 20th, and is open until 11:59 p.m. CST on Friday July 27th in the U.S. If you’re overseas, CST is -6:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
Seventh, as mentioned up above, I will use Random.org to choose the six winners and I will announce the names in a separate post sometime on or around Sunday, July 29th.
After that, the winners have until Wednesday, August 1st to email me with their real names and addresses, which I will subsequently pass on to the brands associated with their particular winning package. Please send an email to: Akafkaesquelife @ gmail . com (all scrunched up into one address. I’ve separated it out here to foil spam-bots). If you don’t contact me or if I fail to hear from you within the designated time, then I will give your prize to the next person on the list.
Eighth, the companies will send the prizes directly to the winners and as soon as they can. Please understand that it may take some time for you to receive your gift, up to 2 weeks depending on your location and customs processing, or possibly even longer if your country has really nightmarish customs issues or if your geographic location is on the opposite side of the world from the perfumers.
Ninth, and finally, please be aware that neither the companies nor I am responsible if items are destroyed by customs or are lost in transit for some reason.
* * * * * *
I would like to thank Antonio Gardoni, Liz Moores, Diane St. Clair, Giovanni Sammarco, Neela Vermeire, and Ensar Oud for their kindness and generosity in participating in this giveaway and for offering samples of their lovely creations without, as is sometimes the case in giveaways, any geographic restrictions. My hope is that six of you will discover something new that you end up falling in love with and that the rest of you might be tempted to give these great houses a look if you’re unfamiliar with them.
Good luck to you all.