9 niche perfume samples from Luckyscent

September 13, 2017
Luckyscent perfume samples: Ex Nihilo, Juliette Has a Gun, Keiko Mecheri, Phaedon, Serge Lutens, Zoologist

I don’t quite remember where I first heard of Luckyscent, but I recently started exploring their huge collection of fragrances and went down a rabbit hole of sorts. Luckyscent exclusively focuses on niche fragrances, and offer a lot more of these brands than I realized were out there in the world. I’m really picky with fragrances and have been trying to learn more about how to understand and talk about them and figure out what I like, and something that’s really helpful about Luckyscent is that they offer samples of just about every perfume that they sell, which is really conducive to exploration.

While I don’t know everything I like in fragrances yet, I do know some things that I like, and so picking samples using notes and descriptions listed on a website led me to choose some fragrances that fit a common theme. I like woods, oud, labdanum, and green notes softened with a bit of flowers or gentle fruits, but don’t go for fruit-heavy, gourmand, or ultra-powdery scents. I’m naturally drawn to stuff that’s a little bit weird but for this round of samples generally tried to stick with fragrances that seemed plausibly appropriate for normal daytime and office activities.

I didn’t have a special process for exploring the site beyond just scrolling through their feminine and unisex fragrances and clicking on a bunch of them. For a long time. I initially ended up with around $100 worth of samples in my cart and then went through more methodically and pared down to a place that seemed more reasonable to me. Here are the samples I chose, based on the Luckyscent descriptions and notes that led me to choose them, and some of my quick thoughts.

Bois D’Hiver Eau de Parfum by Ex Nihilo ($5 sample, $225 for 50ml/$325 for 100ml) – “Bois d’Hiver is a seductive ode to contrast, where spicy, powerful woods and powdery musks intertwine with astounding fluency to create a scent that can only be described as equal parts striking and smooth.” Notes: Pink pepper, cardamom, heliotrope, cyclamen, white cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, cypriol, musk.

Bois D’Hiver, French for “winter wood,” is a very smooth, woodsy unisex scent that would totally work for everyday purposes through much of the year (with the exception of perhaps the warmest summer months). The pepper sits right on top for me when applied to the skin, but as it progresses and for most of the wear time I mostly get cool, gentle wood with some patchouli and musk. It’s really lovely, if a bit stoic, and the bottle looks really beautiful, too.

Into The Void Eau de Parfum by Juliette Has a Gun ($6 sample, $285 for 75ml) – “In Romano Ricci’s take on the infinite unknowable of space, dark and light intertwine, delivering a warm yet lightweight combination of dry woodsiness and curious intensity.” Notes: Licorice, orchid, tonka, papyrus, cedar, patchouli, gaiac, ambroxan, norlimbanol.

Into the Void is so interesting, and to me is very textural. It’s full and a little boozy-sweet right off the bat but dries to a rougher, almost scratchy cedar-based scent. I think they’ve successfully conjured the idea of a void, as the dry down does have a spare, empty quality to it, but it still manages to have a personality. This is one of my favorites that I ordered and I would wear this day to day despite it being on the weird side.

Lady Pointe Eau de Parfum by Keiko Mecheri ($4 sample, $140 for 75ml) – “A compelling juxtaposition of elegant florals set against dark leathers and woods, creating a dynamic chiaroscuro of masculine and feminine that perfectly represents the fullness and majesty of dance.” Notes: Citrus, blackcurrant, orchid, suede, rose, white musk, tonka, patchouli, moss, incense, sandalwood.

This is a floral scent with some woods and suede and leans more feminine than the description above suggests. This is really beautifully balanced and has an elegance to it that makes me want to stand up a little straighter. I’d be on board with buying it in a heartbeat if it were a little lighter, as the only catch for me is that it’s a bit more dressed up than I am on most days.

Precious Forest Eau de Parfum by Keiko Mecheri ($5 sample, $220 for 50ml) – “Spices, wildflowers and sweet plums dance alongside elements more mysterious, oudh, incense and ambery balms, begging the question of whether our feet still touch the soil- or something altogether different.” Notes: Citrus notes, galbanum, spice, rose, violet, plum, patchouli, teak wood, sandalwood, incense, ambery notes.

Precious Forest starts out with some fresh lemon and fir trees, and quickly moves to a warmer galbanum and amber-filled place, which is where it remains for the vast majority of my time with the it. Having a wear time dominated by the resinous notes may be unique to how it works on my skin because I don’t see a lot of other people describe it that way, but it’s certainly a lovely experience. This is a really nice daytime fragrance that, with Lady Pointe, definitely solidifies my interest in Keiko Mecheri as a brand.

Gothic II Eau de Parfum by Loree Rodkin ($4 sample, $140 for 50ml) – A dark and brooding blend of rare woods and patchouli laced with hypnotic incense and ravishing vanilla … While some incense-based fragrances are rather austere, this one is lush and dangerously seductive.” Notes: Madagascar vanilla, nag champa, clove, incense, Tunisian patchouli, Indian patchouli.

I’m not typically drawn to sweet fragrances but I had just wanted to give this one a try based on the description. I thought the description suggested something with a smoky, spicy depth, and I do really enjoy the smell of incense, but honestly to me this is just super sweet with some patchouli. It could be that my skin amplifies the sweetness and drowns out other notes.

Lentisque Eau de Toilette by Phaedon ($4 sample, $125 for 100ml) – “The green, resinous, woody scent of the Pistacia lentiscus, a tree that grows all around the Mediterranean, immediately conjures the Spanish or Corsican maquis.” Notes: lentisque, galbanum, labdanum, woody notes, vetiver and cedar.

Folks on the internet say that lentisque resin has a very specific scent, but I wasn’t familiar. If I had been, I probably wouldn’t have purchased this sample, to be honest, because it’s really very different from other wood and resin scents I’ve come to enjoy. Lentisque is incredibly dry, with not one speck of sweetness or warmth, and has a distinct herbaceous green quality. It’s interesting, and I feel like I could recognize the note in the future, but don’t want to wear it.

Gris Clair Eau de Parfum by Serge Lutens ($5 sample, $150 for 50ml) – “The wonderfully refined, complex and beautifully ethereal creation beings with a chilly, shimmery, definitely ‘gray’ lavender note. The contrast of the cold lavender and the sweeter, warmer blend of amber and tonka bean in the middle stage is incredibly appealing.” Notes: lavender, amber, tonka bean, iris, dry wood, incense.

On my skin, Gris Clair starts off quite strong with lavender and iris, leaning more masculine than I’d prefer and resembling a clean aftershave scent. It mellows and warms after a little time, though, and is really pleasant and truly unisex. I wanted to try this just because it sounded interesting and while I don’t expect to purchase it myself I’d recommend checking it out if you’re into clean laundry vibes. I’m enjoying it.

Bat Eau de Parfum by Zoologist ($4 sample, $135 for $60ml) – “How many perfumes could take the ripe smells of bananas and soft fruit, combine them with damp earth and musks, and transform them into something stunningly memorable?” Notes: Banana, soft fruits, earth, fig, tropical fruits, mineral notes, myrrh, resin, vegetal roots, furry musk, leather, vetiver, sandalwood, tonka.

Ok, so these Zoologist perfumes appealed to me because of their weirdness, and because I like animals. Bat delivers on the weirdness, as it’s designed to smell like dirt and bananas. In my head I’d imagined a theoretical dirt-banana scent that smells good, and then I got my hands on this and the appeal just wasn’t there. It smells like moist soil in a very literal sense, and the banana note is strong and very sweet with some green bite to it. Beyond that, I have trouble detecting any of the other notes.

Beaver Eau de Parfum by Zoologist ($4 sample, $135 for $60ml) – “Verdant, refined and just this side of lusty, Beaver turns out to be the naughtiest green floral we’ve encountered for some time.” Notes: Linden blossom, fresh outdoor air, wood shavings, wild vegetation, damp air, dry wood, water, musk, dark woods, vanilla, amber, castoreum, leather.

Beaver definitely smells better to me than Bat does, and I get warmth, fuzzy texture, and gentle woods. I’d say this is a true unisex scent. It’s nice, and doesn’t walk any sort of offensive line the way that Bat does. For me, it still seems like you’re paying for the weird factor rather than a special fragrance that offers a sophisticated experience. I’m afraid my interest in Zoologist ends here.


I’d be really curious if you’ve tried any of these, or other fragrances that sound comparable. I have to admit that within 2 weeks of having these samples, I went ahead and purchased another round of samples from Luckyscent (which I haven’t received yet). So, the journey continues.


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