Scent Trunk Review

Scent Trunk is a customized, monthly fragrance subscription service.  I’m not talking “customized” in that they send you some samples you may like based on your preferences. With Scent Trunk, you receive a perfume tailored to your preferences. This is the New Scent Trunk model – bespoke perfume. Or at least, bespoke-ish. I think you preferences are paired with a pre-existing Scent Trunk composition (they have dozens). So, it’s possible that you and I could end up with the same custom/”bespoke” perfume¹.

Here’s how it works:

Scent Trunk Scent Test

You’re sent a cute little kit with 6 alcohol-based accords in cute little rollerballs. This is the “at home scent test”.  You apply them, allow time for the alcohol to evaporate and then rate them on a scale of Dislike to Love:

1 Citrus – Modern citrus accord, lots of grapefruit. It’s tart and “bright”.

2 Woods – Modern dry woods accord, dry cedar.

3 Aromatic – Balsamic moss, fresh and green evergreens

4 Floral – Ylang-ylang, heady and spicy like a mix of carnation and lilies. I love florals but wasn’t feeling this accord so much by itself. But, then I kept sniffing it and I was like, I do really like this.

5 Amber – A sweet, tonka-heavy amber.

6 Chypre – This is a fruity, plum-hued moss accord. It’s more of a “modern chypre”.

Is it a problem that I liked everything? I imagine that this would be easier if you’re the type of person that has strong preferences/dislikes. I couldn’t help but to see potential in each accord. I think I ended up with this:

Scent Trunk


In a short amount of time, you’re sent your custom scent. This is a month’s supply (also the perfect size for travel). Here’s mine:

Scent Trunk perfume

I received Citrus Chypre 1 by Sarah McCartney (of 4160 Tuesdays). Sarah is the perfumer behind all of the current Scent Trunk fragrances.

Here’s its note list: yuzu, orange, honeysuckle, sandalwood, guaiacwood, moss, patchouli and musk.

Considering my preferences, I thought this was a rather accurate note list of everything I’m craving this spring/summer. The scent itself is exactly the sort of perfume that I’ve been wanting for summer. It opens with a tangy yuzu and a “green citrus”. It’s heavy on the moss, bitter woods and patchouli. It’s like an elevated, complex “eau de cologne” or maybe it’s more of an “energetic chypre”. Projection and longevity were average, as stated by Scent Trunk.

If I were to do the monthly service, I’d keep receiving Citrus Chypre 1 as my “signature”. But, you know that someone like me can’t handle that. If you request, you can get a new perfume created (i.e. for a different season) based on your preferences. Let’s say you don’t like the perfume you were sent, Scent Trunk will send another at no extra charge.

Scent Trunk was a fun experience. I’ve never used a service like this before. As a fragrance lover, I liked the interactive process. I was also pleased with my final product. Is it something I’d do monthly? Probably not. I’m too much of a fragrance flirt. With my habits, I actually don’t see myself emptying a bottle each month! However, this could be a nice service for minimalists. Or it could be good for people wanting exposure to niche, artisan perfumes without spending a lot of money.

Scent Trunk is $11.99 a month. This includes shipping. So, it’d be about $144 a year.

Other stuff – 1.5% of sales are donated to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding cures for mental illness and autism.

¹UPDATE – I want to clarify. This isn’t bespoke in the sense that whatever perfume you get is exclusive to you. Your preferences are being matched with a perfume from the new Scent Trunk collection. This is a collection of perfumes created by Sarah McCartney that aren’t sold anywhere else. These perfumes are created by her and are exclusive to Scent Trunk. You are basically being matched based on an algorithm that compiled the results of a focus group/customer’s data and compares their Scent Test results to yours. So, it’s like your being “matched” to one of the many fragrances in the new Scent Trunk collection.

*Disclaimer – Product provided by the brand. I am not financially compensate for my reviews. My opinions are my own. Pics are mine.

12 thoughts on “Scent Trunk Review

  1. Thanks for this review. I had actually completely misinterpreted the new Scent Trunk service and thought that they actually formulated a perfume based on your preferences, not matched you with an existing perfume. I actually like this model better, because I would rather have a chance to be matched with a brand I recognize than get what I thought would be some random composition they came up with (sorry Scent Trunk folks).

    However, I admit I’m totally grumpy about the new Scent Trunk. It used to be a service where you entered your note preferences into your account page, and they sent you three samples that they thought you’d like based on what you entered, then you could rate the samples you got and they’d recalculate based on your ratings. Oh, and you got points for leaving reviews of the samples you got and those points could be put toward the purchase of a full bottle from one of the brands they stocked. As someone who likes to try and wear a lot of different perfumes and has no interest in a signature scent, I really preferred their old way of doing things. Oh well, just call me the grinch I guess.

    1. Oh, let me update this. I think I made it confusing.

      They have custom fragrances made by Sarah McCartney just for the Scent Trunk service (they aren’t resold anywhere else). When you fill out the form associated with the Scent Test, they send you a perfume from their collection that based on user data is most likely to be something that would match your preferences. So, in a way, they are sending you some random composition by Scent Trunk. But, it’s not really random because it did go through focus groups. It’s really an algorithm choosing you a perfume from Scent Trunk’s line-up.

      So, it’s not like you are getting a truly bespoke perfume…meaning that there is a chance that other people will be sent it too. But, it’s also not like they are matching you niche/indie perfumes that are sold elsewhere. Like this isn’t a decanting service.

      I actually never sampled the Old Scent Trunk. I know very little about it. I knew they sent samples of perfumes from different brands. I can see how that is preferred. The points system sounded great. Who’s even mailing samples out like that anymore? I need to do some research.

      1. Oh, okay! Thank you for clarifying, I totally misunderstood. Actually, that service sounds way more interesting than I gave it credit for. I have the kit I was sent, I just haven’t reviewed anything yet because I wasn’t excited for the service, but I’ll have to give it a go now. Thank you for your review!

        1. Tbh, it’s sort of confusing. Because “bespoke” suggests you are the only person that’ll ever get that fragrance. And that’s not the case because there’s a possibility others will have the same thing. But, they also don’t pull from an archive (like matching you to a perfume you may like that is already in production by another brand).

          It’s worth trying and then you can cancel if you don’t like it. I feel like for $11.99 it was worth it for the novelty. I don’t know if it is something I’d need in my life monthly, but it’s interesting.

  2. Hm, I don’t think I’d ever sign up for this because the preference tests always seem so basic. I’d rather just go to stores and try all the things, even things with notes I technically “don’t like”… just in case there’s an exception to the rule 🙂
    But actually, it’s not too different from Scent Bird, which I do subscribe to. Given my proclivity for mainstream scents, Scent Bird is perfect. I can get a rollerball sized amount for less than what I’d pay at Sephora/Ulta, and I get to smell it in advance (usually), so I already know I’ll like it. But it’s essentially the same thing: a way to experience a lot of different perfumes and continue to live the fragrance flirt life! 😀

    1. That’s my issue. I like lots of things. I don’t like saying stuff like “Oh, I don’t wear x,y,z” because there is ALWAYS an exception. This is why I love perfume! This is why I keep trying new things! I want to be surprised.

      I haven’t tried Scentbird. I’ve looked into it before. It’s a good idea. When I looked at it years ago, you get to choose what you want. I just looked them up. They now carry a lot more brands. A LOT MORE.

Comments are closed.