Human memory is dominated by the senses. The feeling of raindrops trickling down your bare arm can take you back to youthful days during summer. Or maybe the distant jingle of an ice cream truck evokes long-buried memories of chasing one down on a bike with your friends? Smell is no exception. All it takes is a whiff of freshly baked bread or the crisp cologne your future partner wore on your third date to take you back to memories long forgotten. The power of smell makes choosing the right perfume for a special occasion crucial, but with so many brands and bottles to choose from, how do you find the right scent? Perfume brands have made your decision easier with discovery sets. These collections provide samples of multiple perfumes to help you find your match. Read more in Endless Discoveries to find out how.
Main image by Harry Stonhill and Hajar Djouahra
While discovery sets have existed for a while, they gained prominence during the lockdown of 2020 when buying perfume was ever so complicated. How could we find the perfect perfume while at home unable to smell it for ourselves? Brands fixed this by creating sets of miniature perfume samples that offered a range of scents to experience and mill over within the comfort of your home. The little vials of aroma in each set not only allowed people to travel to other worlds but also comforted them amid the pandemic.
In the present day, discovery sets are more popular than ever. Perfume lovers can now own a personal library of fragrances, fit for every mood. Don’t know a brand so well? Or not sure if your favourite brand’s new fragrance collection is right for you? Simply check if they sell a discovery set.
Image from Medeau
Medeau is one such brand that offers discovery sets. Born from the founder’s incessant search for a non-toxic luxury scent, the brand is inspired by the French luxury world combined with the bloom of English flowers. Medeau’s perfumes are PETA-certified, which means that they are cruelty-free. Additionally, they are formulated and produced in the UK, which helps sustain British businesses and reduces their carbon footprint.
Medeau’s discovery set contains four perfumes: Safara, Cedar Noir, Origin and Evening Blush. It also includes a free £20 voucher for any 50ml fragrance with every purchase, so there’s really no reason to not give the discovery set a try!
Safara is a refreshing perfume with a splice of grapefruit to give a dash of exoticism without fruitiness.
Cedar Noir boasts unisex pheromone-reactive elements that present differently depending on the wearer. It is edgy, cool, and opens with black pepper, bergamot, and geranium that pulls you into the deeper layers of its hot heart of vetiver and cedarwood.
Origin is a springtime floral at its heart with a cashmere-soft dry down.
Evening Blush contains a healthy dose of amber and an aroma of unusual florals to radiate confidence and flair.
The set allows you to venture into three new fragrances where intelligent scientific methods meet conscious composition.
Image from Ostens
Ostens is a brand that strives to create beautiful fragrances using the finest ingredients in their purest forms. Their discovery collection offers 6 x 2ml Eau de Parfums: Jasmine Absolute, Cashmeran Velvet, Cedarwood Heart, Patchouli Heart No. I, Patchouli Heart No. II and Rose Oil Isparta.
Jasmine Absolute reimagines jasmine for a surprisingly light and fresh simpleness with a combination of violet leaves, Ylang-Ylang and Egyptian jasmine.
Cashmeran Velvet is reassuringly comforting and familiar with its warm and enveloping essence of cashmeran velvet, sandalwood, and cedarwood shavings.
Cedarwood Heart evokes feelings of nostalgia and grown-up glamour with its comforting aroma of orris, cedarwood and galbanum.
Patchouli Heart No. I consists of molasses-like labdanum that works alongside aromatic incense, patchouli and the Immortelle flower to give a warm, slightly smoky and earthy feeling.
Patchouli Heart No. II is aromatic and fresh with delicate hints of Iris resin and Violet leaf to give a soft, powdery and vintage quality that can be described best as Patchouli made modern.
Finally, Rose Oil Isparta is genderless and bold with its addictive floral radiating ripe, jammy blackcurrant and Turkish rose petals and pink peppercorn.
In addition, the discovery set includes a £30 code towards a full-size bottle of your favourite fragrance when you inevitably run out.
Image from Atelier Materi
Another great brand that offers discovery sets is Atelier Materi. Their inspiration comes from the raw beauty of natural materials and the processes that transform them into intentional scents. Each fragrance is rooted in a single natural material chosen with the utmost care with respect for fair trade. Whether traditional or unexpected, the material is meticulously crafted to reveal itself in nuances that unveil its innermost elements.
The inspiration for Atelier Materi’s contemporary and minimal aesthetics are rooted in architecture and modernist design where raw materials reign supreme. Creator Véronique Le Bihan created this pristine brand of subtle luxury with the ethical, social and environmental values she holds dear. Every creation is developed with respect for time and the finest materials. The discovery set isn’t just perfume, it is a minimalist and contemporary statement.
The set allows you to choose six samples out of the seven Atelier Materi perfumes available: Rose Ardoise, Narciss Taiji, Poivre Pomelo, Bois d’Ambrette, Santal Blond, Iris Ebène and Cacao Porcelana.
Rose Ardoise is a daring interpretation of rose in perfume that is urban and mineral in approach.
Narciss Taiji captures the perfect strength and fragility of the narcissus flower enhanced by hints of patchouli and leather.
Poivre Pomelo sports an unusual freshness with Timut pepper that carries grapefruit accents and a spicy and sparkling side.
Bois d’Ambrette has a musky, wooden air from multifaceted ambrette seeds and hints of musk and amber notes.
Santal Blond is derived from the exotic sandalwood that offers powerful velvety and creamy hints with smoky undertones.
Iris Ebène carries a floral, leathery scent that brings to life the sensual and comfortable qualities of the iris.
Cacao Porcelana carries a sweet and woody scent derived from cocoa.
With so much variety, you’re bound to discover the perfect scent for your next special occasion.
Discovery sets offer small sensual selections to give your nose a sniff of what a brand has to offer from the comfort of your home. These slight glimpses into perfume can help you choose the ideal aroma for the next event you will be talking about for decades to come.
You can find out more about Medeau on their website here
Discover Ostens catalogue on their website here
Learn more about Atelier Materi’s perfume on their website here
If you love perfume, be sure to check out some luxurious French perfumes here.
.Cent Magazine, London. Be Inspired; Get Involved.