Subscription Box Insanity: French Box (Oct. ’14)

French Box: First Box!

French Box: First Box!

Today’s review is for a subscription service from French Box . France was my first European adventure, way back when I was a wee teen facing down my first international flight.

When I first read about it, I was so excited to try this box out because it promised to include some very well-known French fashion and make-up brands. Being a tad bit obsessed with all things fashion- and particularly open to that of an international flavor- this seemed like it could be a great subscription. So far I loved the first box I received and am looking forward to seeing what this follow-up box will deliver!

THE DETAILS: This box retails for $24 a month, including shipping, and ships only to the U.S. This box is non-refundable.

A pretty box within a box.

A pretty box within a box.

This is the first look, upon opening the box. French Box has some of the prettiest packaging in the industry, alongside Glossybox and Birchbox.

The lid is off!

The lid is off!

This shot shows the inner box with the lid off. As with the last box, there is a signature art card with a saying on it. Already I can smell heavenly scents wafting from this box!

Printed materials

Printed materials

Here’s another shot of all the printed materials in the box. The cute art card, the box’s “inventory slip” with detailed notes on each item, and a great recipe for “Provencal Dips”. I still haven’t attempted the pears recipe from the last box but I hope to soon. I’m not a fan of olives and eggplant, which these recipes call for, so I’m not sure I will be trying them but it’s a really nice touch that adds to the French Box experience.

First look

First look

Here’s the first look. Wow, this box is chock full of items! To be honest, I’ve gotten used to a fair amount of filler paper/wrappings to dig through because boxes aren’t overflowing. But this one sure seems to be!

Christian Lacroix notebook

Christian Lacroix notebook

The first item I pull out turns out to be a bonus item. It is a drawing ascribed to French designer Christian Lacroix and has a handful of unlined pages inside. I am always using up notepads for keeping track of to-dos so this will probably get put to use. Retail value is perhaps $1.

Sothys Mascara

Sothys Mascara

No French-themed box would be complete without a bit of make-up, mais non? The September box included a make-up item from Sothys, and this one does as well. This time I got a mascara, something I’m torn about. I would love to try out this one but I literally just bought a new mascara from Bobbie Brown and I have probably 2 other full-size mascaras and a handful of samples rattling around in my make-up bin. Still, it’s a great item and retails for $21.

Provencal candies!

Provencal candies!

Yay, candy! I took a look at the ingredients in these and it looks like they are a Provencal form of marzipan. O.M.G!!! I adore marzipan…no really! I tried the purple one and it has the slight almond flavor with an additional fruity essence that I am guessing is prune. Looking at the back of the package, I’d guess yellow is lemon, brown is chestnut, and pink is raspberry jam. Either way, yum! Made by Couleur Calisson, this four pack would retail for approximately $5.52.

Travel kabuki brush

Travel kabuki brush

I am up to my ears in brushes of all sizes, including travel kabuki versions. This Matis Paris one is nicely made with soft goat hair; it will make a nice swap or gift! Retail value is $15.50.

Olive oil soap

Olive oil soap

The next item is a triple-milled, Marseille style soap in Olive Oil by Durance. I definitely also have way too many soaps but this one smells divine. Again, even if I don’t use it myself, I think it may make a great stocking-stuffer or gift. It retails for $7.90.

Atelier cologne sample

Atelier cologne sample

Well I didn’t expect to go too many boxes without a perfume sample. This one is by high-end Atelier Cologne in the scent of Santal Carmin (sandalwood) and comes with a branded postcard. Pretty fancy; I just wish I was a bigger fan of sandalwood. The retail price for this is around $3.

Provence herbs

Provence herbs

Ah! We arrive at the second item that was lilting it’s fragrance upon me when I first opened the box. It is a pre-packaged, Provencal herb mix by Le Panier Francais. I found it online for $5.49.

Oshibori cotton towelette set

Oshibori cotton towelette set

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This little package intrigued me to the extreme when I pulled it out. Turns out it includes three, self-contained cotton luxury towelettes that are scented with white and green tea. They give these Oshibori versions out in first class flights and spas, I gather. Kind of neat…I think? These retail for a total of approximately $4.78.

Bonus coupon: Durance

Bonus coupon: Durance

Last but not least I found this 15% off coupon for the soap company Durance. It won’t be counted towards the total value but it requires no minimum purchase, and has an unlimited use…wow!

All said and done, the value of this box was about $64.19! This was about $20 less than the first box but still a pretty good value compared to the original price of purchase. It was all very well-curated and of good quality, so while I won’t use everything, I’m really looking forward to next month’s box!

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