A Conversation with The Sum

From their studio in Portland, Oregon, the small team behind The Sum works from a simple point of view: The things we put on our bodies and allow to touch our skin affect us deeply. Anyone who has ever felt the way a certain perfume can provide an instant boost of confidence or a wash of tranquility understands what they mean.

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December 2016 Unisex: 'Tis the Season

First, cozy up! We start with a delectable gourmand that echoes the gatherings of the season. Food, family, and friends. Second, we feature a sparkling rose that’s perfect for holiday parties and a night out on New Year’s Eve, when we all resolve to make ourselves—and the world—better. Third, we have the scent of optimism in a perfume unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. It’s peaceful and harmonious—exactly how we want the new year to be.

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December 2016 for Men: December Around the World

This month, we’re headed to some magical places. Ready?

First, we head to a quiet, snow-covered, evergreen forest by Lake Tahoe, where smoke swirls upwind. Then we visit a tiny French atelier, where the old proprietor tans leather and smokes a pipe. Finally, we head to the sunny sands of Rio. (Because December might be cold for you, but remember that Brazilians spend it on the beach. Jealous much?)

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November 01, 2016

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November 2016: Master Class

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Tired of smelling the same cookie-cutter perfumes wherever you go? You’re in the right place. This month, we feature a master class in perfumery, and we’re calling it “How to Smell Amazing and Like Nobody Else.”


by Molinard is a perfect example of how niche perfumers are wizards with fig's beauty and versatility. Our new favorite also happens to be one of the most accessible fig perfumes we've found (just $47 for Olfactif subscribers!). Read more...


Mad Madame by Juliette Has A Gun revolves around a green blackcurrant bud, a cuddly ambroxan, an earthy patchouli, and a metallic rose. The effect is no dewy, innocent flower. Read more...

Tabac Tabou by Parfum d'Empire is constructed around the tobacco note, but the first time we smelled it, we were surprised to discover that Tabac Tabou isn't a smoky dark room -- it's the wide, open outdoors. Read more...


Ambre 114
by Histoires de Parfums is a glowing amber scent with resinous whispers of herbs and caramel. Read more...

Bracken Man by Amouage is easy to describe. First, imagine a perfect barbershop fragrance -- the clean, soapy lavender imbued with peppery geranium and warm coumarin. Then do it up Amouage style. Read more...

Incense Flash by Tauerville is a dry, woody scent centered around a rough, weathered leather that smoothes into supple newness, almost like a beloved pair of boots aging in reverse. Read more...

Have fun with this month's collections! We had fun putting them together.







October 2016: Come Back Inside

In autumn, two seasons sit in perfect equilibrium. On one side, warm, welcoming summer, when the weather practically begs you to stay outdoors. On the other side, winter, which is basically nature’s version of kicking us out so it can be left alone.

In between, we have October—that month of perfection.

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Falling in love at age six

When I was six years old, my mother gave me a little monster-shaped bar of soap. I can't picture its face, but I know exactly what the box named as its scent: lily of the valley.


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September 2016 Unisex: All the Flowers in the Garden

Floral lovers, rejoice! Floral skeptics, get ready to have your minds changed. “Soliflore” is perfume-speak for “the scent of a single flower,” and this month, we’re featuring soliflores that have captivated the American perfume world with their photorealism and beauty. They don’t smell like perfumes trying to smell like flowers; they smell so accurately of the real thing that they’ll transport you to the long-buried memory of running through a field, crawling among bushes, breathing deeply over a plucked petal.

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