Update, and Yin & Ylang Review on Now Smell This

Yin & Ylang is reviewed today on Now Smell This. Thanks so much, Jessica!

Also, Tabac Aurea was enthusiastically reviewed by robes08 on Youtube. The Tabac Aurea part comes in at 23:09 but the video has a lot of fun reviews in it. Thank you, Marc-André!

Samples and 5 ml of Yin & Ylang have been on the site this week, and I’ll be adding bottles any day now.

I loved the line in this article about Frédéric Malle (Editions de Parfums) that says 350 is the number of iterations (mods) they typically go through for a scent. Makes me feel better about my norm of around 75-100. The final Yin and Ylang was mod 72B. I also appreciate that his advertising budget is zero and the money goes into the scents instead.

We have rain, which is a good start on helping the drought, but it will warm up again by Sunday. The roses are already starting to bloom. Spring seems early here this year; I hope it arrives soon to those of you who have been hit by a hard winter.

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New Scent: Yin & Ylang

yinylangIn collaboration with Cafleurebon blog I am announcing a new scent today, a floral called Yin & Ylang. Michelyn Camen, Editor In Chief of Cafleurebon, had contacted me with the idea for this scent about a year ago, and I’m happy that it is now done! The notes are bergamot, blood orange, soft aldehydes, beeswax absolute, ylang complete oil, jasmine sambac absolute, tuberose absolute, rose damascones, ginger CO2, Mysore sandalwood oil, oakmoss absolute, amber, patchouli, vanilla, and musk.

Cananga_odorata_03editedsmToday, Cafleurebon has the full backstory plus a drawing for samples and one 5 ml travel spray (note the drawing ends March 26). They are celebrating their 4th blog birthday and I am honored to be a part of the celebration. They focus on niche fragrance and support indie fragrance artists, and it is very nice to see their blog flourish. I wish them a happy birthday and many more!

The complete scent description page for Yin & Ylang is now up on my website. I will be adding samples to my site in a few days, and bottles should follow shortly thereafter. You can head over to Cafleurebon to enter the drawing before March 26 and help them celebrate.

Posted in Sonoma Scent Studio Updates | 4 Comments

The IAO Awards Finalists

The top ten finalists were announced today for the artisan and indie categories of the 2013 Institute For Art And Olfaction Awards. This is the first year for the award program and they did an outstanding job of putting together a distinguished group of judges for the blind judging. I did not enter this year because the entries had to be scents created in 2013 and I didn’t want to enter my 2013 natural creations, but I feel very supportive of their program. They made a separate category for artisan perfumers, which is a first for an award program like this.

I’m happy to see Lisa Fong (of Artemesia Perfumes), Ellen Covey (of Olympic Orchids), Meredith Smith (of Sweet Anthem Perfumes), and Josh Meyer (of Imaginary Authors) in the top ten artisan group. All are very nice people and are fellow west coast indie perfumers.

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Some News

daffodil1smNew Scent: The new floral scent is done and I am scaling up, making larger batches. I’ll put the webpage for the new scent online in one week. Samples will be available then, and bottles will be available shortly thereafter. This is the floral scent that I have mentioned a few times here, though I’ve not said a lot about it yet. The rest of the details will be revealed in a week, but the notes list is as follows: bergamot, blood orange, soft aldehydes, beeswax absolute, ylang complete oil, jasmine sambac absolute, tuberose absolute, rose damascones, ginger CO2, Mysore sandalwood absolute, oakmoss absolute, amber, patchouli, vanilla, musk. It is mixed media in a base of organic grain alcohol.

Retailer change: I also wanted to explain that going forward I will not be wholesaling to other online shops, so I will be phasing out at Indie Scents and Sweet Anthem. It is not possible to come out ahead at current wholesale prices, and it doesn’t make sense to have my products on other websites when they sell well on my own site. By selling only directly to customers, I can keep my prices where they are instead of having to increase them. If you are planning to buy from either of these sites, now is the time because stock will be running out there. Although it has been a pleasure to work with these retailers, this is the right direction to take with my small indie artisan brand. To reflect this change, I will be changing the names of the collections on the Fragrance page to organize them into three groups: mixed media, naturals, and by request (rather than Boutique, Exclusive, Naturals, and By Request).

I have had numerous offers to be carried in boutiques both here and in Europe, but I believe this path is best for me. The EU would involve many other complications as well since it would be expensive to become EU compliant in terms of packaging and paperwork, and my formulas may soon be non-compliant there if more restrictions are imposed. My formulas are complicated and take hours to batch, so it makes sense to have a business model that sells less volume at retail price rather than more volume at wholesale price. I simply can’t produce high volume when making this type of handmade product. I actually prefer staying small and keeping control over the presentation and sale of my brand, so I’m happy with this business model. I’m thankful for the internet, which makes this type of business possible.

Edited to add: I just received an email from someone asking if I would be reformulating anything in the near future, and I wanted to give some reassurance here that I have no plans to reformulate anything right now. I do not plan to remove the oakmoss from scents like Incense Pure and Winter Woods or the rose and jasmine from scents like Nostalgie. Most of my scents would not be worthwhile to me without naturals, so they will remain as is until they are retired. I could see having to make minor ingredient changes due to supplier issues, but I don’t want to gut the formulas. That is one of the reasons I don’t think it is wise for me to enter the EU market. To sell in stores in the EU, you must be EU complaint. Customers from the EU can still buy from my online site even if I am not compliant, but to do so requires an answer to the shipping issues (I would love to have a way to do it that would be affordable for customers).

In the garden: The daffodils have finished blooming (picture above) and the roses are just getting their first buds. We are having 80 degree weather this weekend! I planted in the pot garden new lettuce, strawberries, and the first cherry tomato seedling of the season. Yay! :)

Posted in Sonoma Scent Studio Updates | 29 Comments

10th Anniversary Blog Drawing Winners!

We drew the winners for the drawing today the old fashioned way instead of using random.org. My assistant, Krista, videotaped the draw on her iPhone and I will try to post it on my Laurie Erickson Facebook wall for those who want an instant replay. (My blog won’t allow me to upload a video, and so far FB isn’t working but I will keep trying.)

The first place winner is Lizzy! You can pick a 17 ml bottle of your choice. The second place winner is Fifi! You can pick two of the 5 ml pocket sprays. And the third place winner is Ron! You can pick 4 samples. I didn’t announce the 3rd place on the video, but I noticed in playing it back that Ron’s name was almost pulled along with Fifi’s name; although Fifi’s was the one I came up with, Ron’s was so close that he should get something too. :)

Thank you very much for all the wonderful comments and for helping me celebrate my 10th! Congrats to the winners! If you email me your addresses and scent choices I will get your prizes out.

Posted in Sonoma Scent Studio Updates | 8 Comments

European Commission Accepting Comments

The European Commission is accepting comments about restrictions and labeling of allergens in perfume. The following link takes you to a post that provides more information and gives the email and snail mail addresses for public comment. This is your chance to make your voice heard.

Mark Behnke wrote a very interesting blog post on his new blog the Colognoisseur about the inadequacy of the allergy testing used to make the EU rulings, and he explains why we need better allergy trials. He is a chemist with the background to speak knowledgeably on this topic. He writes, “The studies these bans and restrictions have been based on were performed one time at one concentration on 25 patients with no controls, positive or negative!” He suggests that proper studies be done with controls, multiple concentrations, more people, and multiple ethnicities to see if the 23 identified allergens are really a problem.

A post on Grain de Musc gives the timeline for what will happen and encourages people to contribute their opinions via the contact addresses given.

Posted in Perfume General, Perfume Making & Ingredients | 1 Comment

Happy 10th SSS Anniversary! Blog Drawing!

balloonsFebruary is my anniversary month, and it has now been 10 years! It is hard to believe, but I first put the SSS website up in February 2004. When I started, I thought I’d see where the business went and had no expectations about how long it would last. It has been very rewarding to belong to the online fragrance community, to learn about growing an indie business, and to expand my perfumery experience. I have been blessed with the world’s best customers and have made some treasured friendships.

Given the current direction of perfumery regulations, I am extra grateful that I’ve had the last 10 years. For today, rather than looking forward, I want to look back and celebrate.

Let’s have a drawing for a 17 ml bottle of your choice. You can leave a comment to let me know you’re in, and you might tell us how many years you have been a fragophile. :) I’ll leave the drawing open through the weekend. (Unfortunately, I’ll have to limit this to USA shipping addresses.)

Updated: Thank you so much for all your wonderful messages and kind words! It means so much to me! I’ll draw the winners on Monday — I think I’ll draw two because it is so hard to just draw one. :)

Posted in Sonoma Scent Studio Updates | 137 Comments