Testing, testing, 1,2,3…

I have been testing small batches of Amber Incense as I scale up the formula, making twice as much each time. I think I will put samples on the site within a few days. I’ll post again here when I put them up. It’s always hard to let a new one go and call it done. :)

We’ve had some beautiful spring weather, so I thought I’d share a couple of recent photos. Here’s a perfect blossom of the rose called Memorial Day.


And here is a gorgeous anise swallowtail butterfly that my assistant hatched and brought over for me to see before she released it.


She’s an expert at feeding and caring for the caterpillars that then turn into these magnificent butterflies. We can help them out in our gardens by planting host plants (monarchs need milkweed; anise swallowtails like fennel, Queen Anne’s Lace, and parsley; pipevine swallowtails need Dutchman’s pipe vine), though do your research because some of the host plants can be invasive and may be best contained in pots or designated areas. If you’re interested in butterfly gardening, you can find a lot of info on the net.

I’ll be back soon with news about Amber Incense, and then I can get to work on the next new formula. It’s always fun to work on something new! :)

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Checking in…

I wanted to give a quick update. Today I’m expecting delivery of the kilo I need for Amber Incense. My assistant will be gone all next week for an Easter vacation with family, so I will plan to release Amber Incense the week of the 13th after she is back, if all goes well.

We’ve had summer-like weather here, and we’ve planted our tomatoes. The Sweet 100 is looking strong and actually formed its first two little blossoms today. The strawberries are forming lots of berries too. Looking forward to yummies. :) I’m also enjoying the scent of fresh cut sweet peas, pink jasmine, and roses in my room. Will have to get some pics.

My brother and his family will be coming up Friday for the holiday weekend. Happy Easter! :)

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Pre-release Amber Incense Drawing and Review on Cafleurebon

The formula for Amber Incense is done (yay!), and I am just waiting on delivery of a kilo of one ingredient to be able to make a large batch. I will be making some samples from a smaller batch in the meantime. Many thanks to Drew and Michelyn for a beautiful review on Cafleurebon today. Anyone who is interested can head over to enter a drawing for three pre-release samples (one sample to three winners). I will update here when I know the release date, but it is still several weeks away. Getting closer though! :)

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New Site is Up!

The new website is up! I hope you like it! I’m really happy with how it turned out. The format is prettier, we’ve added new content, and the site is now responsive to varying screen sizes and mobile devices.

The Home page has a new slide show full of photos that I have taken in the garden and in the lab. Other pages have new photos as well, and you’ll find lots of new content on the Ingredients page.

We’ve also linked the ingredients into all the scent description pages so you can read about ingredients with their pop-ups right from all the scent pages.

The old Fragrance Shop page has been split into three pages. Most of the scents are found on the Mixed Media page. The three 100% natural scents have moved to the Naturals page. And there’s a new page called Archive that holds the “by request scents” as well as anything that may be in short supply.

The Archive currently holds four scents. Two of these scents used to be the by request scents, Cameo and Lieu de Reves. I happen to have a little of both in stock so they are available in smaller sizes right now while stock lasts. Sienna Musk is in the archive because I can no longer get an ingredient for it, so it will be retired when I run out. I’m so sorry about that! Rose Volupte is in the archive because I may not always have it in stock, but I currently have no plans to discontinue it (I can still get all the ingredients).

On all three purchasing pages, you’ll find small pictures of the bottle sizes by the purchase buttons to help make it clear what the item looks like. There are multiple ways to get to the scent pages (from the navigation menu at the very top of the page, or from the navigation menus in the sidebars of the purchasing pages, or from the descriptive lists in the body of the purchasing pages).

I think the site is self-explanatory, but if you have any questions feel free to ask! :)

I should also say a huge thanks to Alexis and Eric at Bitclone in Portland, Oregon for their website wizardry. They are truly fabulous to work with!

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Update: Amber Incense and website

We’re almost done with the major website update and I hope it will debut next week. We’ve been working on it for a few months so I’m very excited to be nearing completion. It’s looking great! Maybe I’ll share a screenshot soon.

The formula for Amber Incense is done and I just need to make enough to get it on the site. I don’t even have sample sizes in stock yet, but I hope to have those in a week or two, with bottles shortly after.

Once the new site goes live and Amber Incense is released, we’ll have to have a little celebration. :)

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Checking In, and Tabac Aurea has another local press mention

NobHillGazette_articleWe’re off to a nice start on the website update and hope to be done in about a month. We have the new Home page finished and I love how it looks. It won’t go live until the whole site is done, but I’m looking forward to its debut in a month or so.

A San Francisco magazine, the Nob Hill Gazette, published an article this month about the rising popularity of indie fragrance in northern CA, and I was among several indies mentioned and quoted. They also featured a bottle shot of Tabac Aurea and included it in the What’s Hot sidebar for Valentine’s Day gift suggestions.

What'sHotI’m still working on Amber Incense. It’s interesting how people’s expectations vary when they see the word “amber.” For some, it means something quite sweet and vanillic with a brown sugar/carmel note, while for others it means a labdanum-rich base accord. The traditional starting point for an amber accord is labdanum, vanilla, and benzoin, so both views are accurate with quite a range of sweetness levels possible. Synthetic ambers are so ubiquitous these days that they are often what comes to mind for people when amber is mentioned. Since this is an all-natural scent, I’m building the amber accord from labdanum, vanilla, benzoin, coumarin (tonka), natural heliotropin, and spices, without synthetic amber ingredients. Other notes include incense, sandalwood, cedar, jasmine, rose, fruity notes, patchouli, beeswax, and oakmoss.

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Checking in, and Sonoma Magazine

SonomaMagCoverJan2015smMy Mom was leafing through the Jan/Feb issue of Sonoma Magazine that just came in the mail, and she spotted Tabac Aurea in their shopping guide called “The Mix,” which had a Valentine’s theme for this issue. It was a fun surprise to see it there. I had been contacted several months ago for a bottle photo, but I didn’t know if they were going to use it and had forgotten about the possibility. It’s fun to be in some local press.

I’ve been working on the end-of-year paperwork that small business owners tackle this time of year — sales taxes, 1099’s, inventory, etc. Also working on Amber Incense whenever I can, and keeping up with orders.


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