Monday, June 1, 2015

French Box Review (Cannes Film Festival), May 2015

After what seemed like a LONG hiatus, French Box finally shipped a box in May.  As you may remember, there was quite a fiasco when their February box arrived on subscribers' doorsteps, full of outdated, improperly labeled, poorly packaged and questionably sourced products.  French Box responded by taking a giant step back and suspending their service for three months while they re-tooled.  The result (I think) is a new and improved French Box and one with an interesting twist!

French Box redux focuses on providing authentic French products, full transparency with regard to ingredients and expiration dates and a renewed commitment to customer service.  There are some major changes, the most notable of which are the new box price of $36 and the switch to a bi-monthly shipping schedule.

The Cannes Film Festival was a most appropriate theme for the newly debuted May box. The box itself is the same as before, sturdy and gift quality.  I use these to stash things that I think DESERVE beautiful storage! 

An over-sized postcard introduces the theme with a classic Harry Winston quote: "People will stare; Make it worth their while".  

This group photo really doesn't do justice to the caliber of the contents!  (I need to fire my photographer. Oh...never mind, it's me.)

I was thrilled to see a full size (7 oz.) triple milled soap in this box.  You can't tell in the photo but the top half is a light olive green and the bottom half is a pastel blue. Subscribers received different scents; mine is Sage on top (green) and Lemongrass (blue) on the bottom.  These soaps come from Fab & Co. and are hand made by soap makers in Provence.  (Retail $8)

This is a luxury sample size body scrub with pistachio and sweet almond extracts called Gommage Amande from Payot of Paris.  This has a lovely sweet aroma and is said to produce baby soft skin.  (Full size retail $33)

This edible-looking lip gloss is called French Delice and comes from Institut Karite in Paris.  This is shade 101 "Passion".  This shea butter gloss has a delicious fruity sweet scent and isn't the least bit sticky.  It makes a very shiny lip with just a hint of nudish pink.  (Retail $14)

There is a deluxe sample of Marilou Bio Night Cream, a natural and organic product to nurture the face overnight.  It contains aloe vera, jojoba, avocado oil, shea butter and Vitamin E, pretty much the ideal combination for serious facial nourishment.  I'm really glad to get this product because night creams are not common in beauty I do NOT have dozens of little tubes of them lying around.  (Sub box addicts know what I mean!) (Full size retail $8.95)

This delicate 18K gold plated bookmark is called Golden Palm Tree or "Palm D'or", which is the name of the most prestigious award (for Best Feature Film) at the Cannes Film Festival.  It is a symbol of happiness and riches; French Box suggests wearing it as a necklace as an alternative use. (Retail value $8.90)

Now for the "twist" I mentioned above.  French Box included two items that have historical and collectible significance, not to mention...they're just really interesting!  I think these two items were a bit of a risk since not everyone has the same appreciation for vintage items but personally, I love these! 

The first item is a keychain that contains a strip of vintage French 35mm film.  The film was actually shown in French classrooms between the 1940's and 1960's.  Along with the keychain is a little slip of paper with a number, referring us to the site to get the actual story depicted on our film.  In holding mine up to the light, I could see that the three frames each contained a big wading bird with "Le Heron" written at the top.  The number on mine was "10" which turned out to be the wrong number.  I scrolled through all the possible numbers on their site...none had anything to do with herons until I got to the very last one, number 73, which was about a film presenting two French fables, one of which was "Le Heron".  Some of the references on the site include links to an actual film clip.  It would have been fun to see these frames in their original context!  Pauvre moi though--there was no film clip available for the heron tale. (Value $8)

The second historical item, which absolutely fascinates me, is a vintage postcard from the French Riviera!  Every subscriber got a different postcard.  I really lucked out and got this gorgeous hand colored photo of a lady at a flower market with a hand written letter on the back.  The card is marked "La Cote d'Azur" and the writer has written "Nice" and "Avril 1932" at the top on the back. Despite my three years of high school French, I need help in translating this card so have asked a French friend for assistance.  Wonderful idea, French Box...I've never seen anything truly vintage in a sub box before! (Value $10)


With the May shipment, I think French Box is back on track.  These are all lovely items and with the extra vintage dimension, the box will be of even greater interest to those with an affinity for French culture and history.  

Although French Box subscriptions are currently closed, their site says they have a few of the May boxes remaining.  If you're interested, click here.  I would hurry as those will go fast. Otherwise, subscriptions should re-open around June 10th.  Click here to sign up for their mailing list so you'll be the first to know when it is again possible to subscribe.

I know this is said way too often in sub box reviews, but I REALLY can't wait to see what they send next month!


Disclosure:  Views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my own.  Product discussed in this post was purchased by Lone Star Shopper. Post does not contain referral or affiliate links. 

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