Phlur of themselves: Heavenly scents

I’m something of a scentophile. Anytime I’m at an Ulta or a Sephora (generally because of my wife, but I have gone for myself a couple of times), I gravitate to the men’s colognes and start sniffing. I’ll smell everything, even stuff I’ve smelled before because, you know, my taste changes over time.

As an example of the increasingly Orwellian effectiveness and ubiquity of advertising, I was recently shown a Facebook promotion for something called Phlur.com. The company touts its high quality ingredients, its amazingly long-lasting scents, and its use of non-toxic, non-animal-tested, non-evil chemicals. So of course I’m going to click.

Here’s the deal: For $15, you can order a sample set of three fragrances of your choice. It seems several of the company’s six fragrances are unisex, but a couple of them (particularly Hepcat and Siano) seem very targeted to one of the original recipe genders or the other.

So I read the descriptions and chose three: Hepcat, Moab, and Olmsted & Vaux. Once my order was placed, I was informed that I would have $15 toward the purchase of a full-size bottle of the fragrance of my choice. So in a sense, these are free samples if you like one of them enough to buy it.

Indeed, most perfumers give away sample bottles in this size. But something else about Phlur caught my eye. These are all eau de parfum formulas. In the fragrance game, formulas are either eau de toilette or eau de parfum. EDP as they’re known are much more pure expressions of the scent. EDT are less scenty and tend to be cheaper, but also require more sprays to create a scent signature on a person (and thus don’t last as long as a comparably sized bottle of EDP).

EDP is fairly uncommon in the men’s fragrance realm. Why? I don’t know, but when I see manly scents in EDP formulation, I generally am excited to smell them, because they tend to come from higher quality fragrance houses.

I received my Phlur samples in the mail today and I have to show you how they were packed. This is some serious attention to personal detail.

Inside a cardboard sleeve is another cardboard sleeve holding my chosen scent samples, along with beautifully designed cards for each of my chosen scents describing what odors I can expect to experience at five minutes, an hour, and eight hours after application.

My first try: Hepcat. It’s described as “coarse and fearless meets smoky and raw” with notes of saffron, black vetiver, tobacco, and oud.

I haven’t even tried the others and I’m ready to buy Hepcat. It’s like Dior’s Fahrenheit but sweeter and softer; spicy like a hint of pepper, but that oud imparts a scent unlike anything I’m used to. It’s super sexy and weirdly comforting. And I’ve only had it on for about 20 minutes.

If the rest of these scents are 75 percent as good as this, I’m very excited about Phlur and any scents they formulate in the future. Hell, I’m excited anyway.

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