Abbott NYC is a relatively new fragrance house that you might have seen popping up around the internet via various subscription box offerings, Instagram posts, or even in news articles. The house, launched in 2016 by Michael Pass and Joe Alvarez, centers on making fresh scents that reflect various national parks and places near nature that city dwellers come to appreciate as an outlet from the fragrant ~aromas that accompany any bustling urban center.
They set out to make fragrances that were eco-conscious: no parabens, no phthalates, no sulfates. Furthermore, they are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. Every full-bottle fragrance purchase will see a portion of the proceeds donated to a locally-affiliated environmental group or campaign. They also use recyclable glass and boxes, hunt out sustainable sourcing, and do not use single-use plastics.
Yeah, okay. This is all nice and good (truly, I do admire their commitment) but how does this stuff smell? Well, I picked up an Abbott NYC Exploration Set for $28 and set about to sniffing. Here’s a brief overview of each of the fragrances included below, and at the end I’ll list which scents I think might be worth a full bottle.
- Top: Spicy/marine
- Heart: Cypress
- Base: Vetiver
Verdict: Don’t let the notes fool you, there’s a borderline minty sweetness to this fragrance. The marine note here is subtle, and not at all salty. The cypress and vetiver are not nearly as dominant in this fragrance as they have been in other scents from this house, so you end up with a very soft, but highly enjoyable skin scent experience. Think a lakehouse dock at dawn.
- Top: Bergamot
- Heart: Black pepper
- Base: Tobacco leaf
Verdict: I was really expecting to enjoy this one, and was sad that it didn’t really work for me on-skin. On paper, this still smells fantastic and crisp. But it still goes to show that sampling first is key, because once this hit my skin the dry down just turned into a bit of a muddly/tacky mess.
- Top: Grapefruit
- Heart: Jasmine
- Base: Vetiver
Verdict: This is surprisingly enjoyable to me, especially as I don’t typically enjoy a jasmine note. The vetiver really grounds this fragrance, and the grapefruit adds just a hint of zest. The dry down is quite nice as well.
- Top: Incense
- Heart: Cedarwood
- Base: Sandalwood
Verdict: This is a very safe, but very elegant woody scent. If you’re trying to get a wary significant other to branch out from their lighter fresh scents, this is a good first step.
- Top: Peony
- Heart: Lily
- Base: Amber musk
Verdict: This is really just too floral for my liking, but I do think it’s the most “feminine” leaning friendly scent of the bunch. It would still be appealing to most people, but those who tend to steer clear of florals should keep driving by this beach.
- Top: Suede
- Heart: Sandalwood
- Base: Tonka bean
Verdict: I love this one. Effortlessly clean and woody, with a hint of sweetness. You definitely won’t be smelling like a pine-scent car air freshener here. The suede is blended in very well here, as sometimes I can find that note overwhelming. It’s just a very mature, lovely, solid scent.
- Top: Mint
- Heart: Ginger
- Base: Moss
Verdict: I really enjoy this one. It smells very clean, but not completely like a mass designer “fresh” scent. The ginger gives it a welcome dose of spice and the moss adds a lovely, grounded earthiness to the mix. Don’t come into this one expecting a marine scent!
- Top: Ozone
- Heart: Violet
- Base: Amber musk
Verdict: So I’ve read some reviews that like to say this house smells exactly like mass-produced freshies and are imminently forgettable. I would disagree with those reviewers, except for this fragrance. Voyaguers, compared to all the other fragrances, feels rather pedestrian in comparison, and I had to loop back around to spray this 4-5 times to try and remember what impression I was getting. It’s still pleasant, but there are other, cheaper options you could go with first.
Abbott NYC Favorites
So are any of these full bottle worthy? Surprisingly, yes.
I would absolutely pick up a 50 mL of Telluride. While Abbott’s 50 mL bottles do run a bit on the pricier side at $75, I still feel it’s within the realm of affordability, and if you’re conscious about where your fragrances come from and how they’re made, it’s worth paying a little more for the peace of mind, plus the added donation to a local environmental group. It’s about on par with Scent of Finland’s offerings. Not revolutionary, per se, but what you’re getting is very well done.
While maybe not entirely full bottle worthy for me, I would still be interested in getting an 8 mL travel size of The Cape, Montecito, and Big Sky. Travel size options are $25, and while I think the 50 mL bottle is a better value, I’m also trying to be mindful about how often I’d reach for them. So, worth having in a smaller capacity for me, just maybe not something I’d wear regularly enough to justify a full bottle. Also, a quick note, any of these scents would be very easy to layer/mix and match.
That said, some of these might work better as diffuser/candle room scents, and Abbott NYC does have options for those, so it’s worth considering. Either way, I do think you’d be justified in picking up an Exploration Set, and they currently have a special offer with each set purchase. With their 30% OFF Code, an Exploration purchase will get you a discount code for $22.50 via email (valid for 30 days) toward a full-size bottle.
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The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.