A subscription box, if you’re new to the concept, is a box of niche products that are sent to your home every month for a usually fixed cost.
There are hundreds of subscription boxes available, and they cater to every kind of customer and every kind of niche. Shaving razors, dog treats, books, snacks, makeup, cooking utensils – there is no end to the variety.
Scentbird is a subscription box service that sends out sample sizes of brand name perfumes or colognes (about a 30-day supply or 140 sprays) for their customers to try out.
It has even been called “the Netflix of perfume,” and the website states that their service allows their customers to “date perfumes before marrying them.”
This system of trying out a small amount of scent helps to avoid the problem of consumers spending a lot of money on expensive perfumes that may not be what they want, leading to wasted money.
Having a small sample at a fixed price is a great way to try out a selection of fragrances without breaking the bank on full-size bottles.
With more than 450 different scents in their database, there is definitely a lot of variety and plenty of brands to choose from, both designer and niche.
Bulgari, Cartier, Dolce & Gabbana, Juicy Couture, Montale, Prada, and Tocca are just a few of the brands and designers that are available through Scentbird to try out.
And if you love a scent, you may even be able to purchase a full bottle through the site.
The Science Behind Scentbird
Fragrances in the Scentbird database are sorted into men’s and women’s fragrances, and then into six categories: scent type, personality, occasion, season, attributes, and complexity. (Note: this is not a complete list of the different options in each category.)
- Date Night
- Hanging Out
You can rate the scents you receive to personalize the kind of perfumes that will be recommended to you in the future.
All of the scents in the Scentbird database are classified into the above categories to make it easier for customers to search for perfumes in different ways.
Sign Up Process
First things first, you have to sign up to try Scentbird. In order to take an interactive quiz and start selecting perfumes and preferences, you have to sign up… and that includes your payment information.
They don’t allow you to take the quiz first, and it can be tricky navigating the site to even see their partial inventory and shop before you sign up.
To see the full inventory, you have to sign up and enter your payment information.
Since Scentbird is a subscription service, once you sign up they will continue to bill you and send a new fragrance every month unless you cancel. Canceling is harder than it should be.
What You Get
A 30-day supply cartridge of your selected perfume (you can build a queue to get what you want each month) will be shipped right to your door, and Scentbird is generous with the amount of perfume they send.
Each bottle contains 8 mL of perfume, about 140 sprays, which for some people will last a lot longer than 30 days.
You will be able to get about four sprays per day, and some perfumes with a heavier presence will only require one or two for a full day of scent.
These vials are the perfect size for keeping in your purse or gym bag, or for traveling.
The perfumes are brand name and not diluted in the bottling process. Scentbird partners directly with the perfume brands and distributors to get the real deal.
You also get a stylish, reusable perfume case with your first shipment to use with your different scents. The perfume cartridges can be used with or without the cases.
You can have a queue of perfumes ready to go for your next shipment, and you can reorder the queue to your liking.
The next perfume in the queue is locked in for delivery on the 5th of every month to prepare for shipping, so do be sure to make any desired changes before then.
If the next fragrance in your queue is out of stock, Scentbird will send you the fragrance of the month instead.
When You Get It
After you sign up, Scentbird encourages users to pick their first scent within twelve hours so they can get it shipped out promptly.
If for some reason you pick a fragrance after those twelve hours have passed, Scentbird will send you their fragrance of the month as your first perfume.
And, you can pick out scents for the coming months and put them in your queue.
Your first perfume will be shipped within a few days of signing up (you will receive a delivery date estimate), and orders after that will fall into the normal shipping cycle.
Packages are sent either with the first batch between the 15th and 18th of the month, or the second batch between the 25th and 28th.
The package will take 7-10 days to arrive after leaving the facility.
Though the packages are shipping later into the month, you will be billed on the 5th of each month.
Once the package leaves the Scentbird facility, you will receive a tracking number for it that you can track via email or on the Scentbird website, but sometimes the package won’t ship until the day after you receive your tracking number.
They do caution on the website that since the perfumes do technically count as hazardous materials when posting, delays can happen with ground delivery.
If receiving a new perfume every month is a bit too frequent for your liking, there is an option to be sent a perfume every other month, if that better fits your preferences.
Scentbird products are very well packaged, and if you choose to receive the fragrance of the month, you will also get an information card about the scent.
The perfume itself comes in a protective cardboard tube, with instructions on how to use it with the stylish Scentbird perfume cases.
Sometimes, instead of the cardboard tube, you get a colorful protective vial.
In addition to the subscriptions, Scentbird also offers full-size bottles of perfumes and extra cases for the sample sizes.
A range of Scentbird brand bath and body care products, makeup, and scented candles are also available and can be added to your queue.
Gift subscriptions are also offered in the same lengths as the standard subscriptions and allow the recipient to queue as many perfumes as months they have been gifted.
There is also a range of gift boxes which include three sample perfumes and a free month of a Scentbird subscription.
Sometimes your monthly subscription will also come with a free sample of another product, such as the Scentbird bath and body products.
There is an option to upgrade to a twice-monthly perfume once you join, and there is an easy link to it through your account on the website.
Availability And Shipping
For now, Scentbird is only available in the United States, although shipping is free for subscription customers.
Separately ordered perfumes or other products from the Scentbird Shop are subject to shipping fees. If you order one or more full-size bottles of perfume, there is a flat rate shipping charge, though this is removed if you order more than $50.
There is no phone number available to contact Scentbird, and no email either. You have to send any messages through their website, and they will reply via email.
The customer service is one of the biggest problems that consumers have had with Scentbird, often claiming that it takes them days to reply to messages, and sometimes they send no reply at all.
Many customers have even left Scentbird completely due to their problems with customer service and have left very poor reviews warning other subscribers away.
The website says that customers can cancel at any time, but they don’t actually have an option to cancel on the website, though they say there is a button on your account page to cancel.
You have to contact customer service through the messaging on their website in order to cancel your subscription.
And you have to do so before the 5th when they bill you and lock the next perfume in your queue to be sent out.
Some customers also reported issues with trying to cancel their subscription, being billed after they have already canceled and not receiving prompt replies to inquiries when they send messages through the site.
A few customers have left reviews even threatening a lawsuit, and having to go through PayPal to dispute the charges from Scentbird after canceling.
Damaged Or Missing Products And Returns
Scentbird is willing to send a replacement for damaged products, but you will probably have to send pictures as proof.
Store credit may also be offered, but they do not offer cash returns.
Reviews vary wildly from either end of the spectrum, most either offering a glowing 5-star review or emphatic “stay away” warnings.
Customer service, in particular, is said to be very difficult to work with, only using email to communicate and taking a very long time to reply to any inquiries.
The customers that have had a good experience have nothing but compliments for Scentbird, but those that have had problems seem to have nothing but problems.
Pros And Cons
It was difficult to come to a conclusion with Scentbird, especially when we took into consideration the many customer reviews we researched, which were so definitively split that it was baffling.
On the surface, Scentbird is a great idea, and we are very attracted to the idea. Being able to try out expensive brand name perfumes at a fixed monthly cost is very tempting, and the customers that love this service had nothing but praise.
However, despite having such a great idea and execution, there seems to be a very seedy underbelly to this subscription service.
Dozens of customer reviews warn others away from Scentbird with horror stories about customer service, billing that won’t stop despite the service having been canceled, and even fraudulent accusations.
A few bad reviews can be overlooked, but there were easily just as many bad reviews for Scentbird as good ones.
With that in mind, we say: proceed at your own risk. The idea behind Scentbird is fantastic, but the execution… that seems pretty touch and go.
Coupons And Deals
The website www.mysubscriptionaddiction.com has affiliate links that will grant you a second month free with the purchase of one month of a subscription (search for Scentbird in the search bar and select one of the review articles to get to the link).