sample give-away

I put the new site format up yesterday afternoon; the website has a new header and a new color scheme, both of which coordinate with the boxes and labels that will come.  Let’s celebrate today with a sample give-away.  If you’d like to be entered into the draw, just post here or send me an email at

I’ll send samples of Sonoma’s Opal and Velvet Rose, and also L’Artisan’s La Chasse Aux Papillons Extreme (many people have tried the regular but not the extreme so I thought that might be fun to send), and Caron’s Parfum Sacre.

Still more to do on the Sonoma website but I’m taking a break from that to get back to scent blending.  I need to mix a new batch of labdanum so I can replenish the stock of Champagne de Bois.  I must switch to a new labdanum absolute for that scent (the prior one is no longer available) and it will take an adjustment to the formula.  I’ll get going on that today.

I’ll close the sample draw in a day or two, so get your name in if you’d like to be entered into the draw to receive those four samples.  🙂  And let me know if you have any comments on the new site format.  I tried to pick a good dark green background color but realize it’ll look different on different screens.

Odds and Ends

I just turned in the final art for the new edp boxes.  It’s quite a process since each printer will print the same PhotoShop or Illustrator file with slightly different interpretations of the CYMK color values you specify.  They send a proof so you can see if the colors turn out to be acceptable as they will print on their machine, but they print on a printer that is calibrated to be within 90-95% of the final color so even with the proof you don’t know the exact end result.

I’m happy with the proof, but their green is a little less blue/more yellow than how it printed on my printer and looked on my screen.  It’s still nice so I’m going with it, but I’ll be a bit nervous until it is done in 3 weeks. 

Working on the violet again today.  It is interesting how much variation there is between one methyl ionone gamma formulation and another.  So many exist, and each has slightly different percentages of each type of ionone in it, resulting in different amounts of woodsiness, floralcy, powderiness, and lasting power.  I have quite a few different ionones and am evaluating which are best for this scent.  Ionones are found naturally in violets and give floral violet notes along with woods and powdery notes; violet notes are built by combining ionones with other chems to flesh out the full violet accord (methyl ionone gamma is just one type, with beta and alpha being other commonly used ionones, plus the ionols, irones, and related chems).

I’m also working on a website update that I hope to have up by early this week.  When I do, we’ll celebrate on the blog with a sample give-away.  🙂  Hope your weekend is a super one!

pulled in many directions

Sometimes it is frustrating how much time I spend on things other than scent blending.  I have a couple new fragrances I’m working on and it goes much more slowly with so many other things that need doing.

On the bright side, I just finished the art file for the new edp boxes and should get a proof from the printer in a couple days.  I’m also working on some nice changes to the website that should be done soon.  Both projects have taken a lot of time but are turning out well.

I’m enjoying fresh cut jasmine, roses, and sweet peas from the garden. It’s rainy though and I want that summer weather back that teased us a couple weeks ago!

Off to do another quick trial on the new violet before the evening is over…

Amazing Nature Photography at Capture Gallery

Recently I was in town on an errand and went inside a photography gallery because one of the photos at the entry was so stunning that it pulled me in for a closer look.


The photographs that grabbed my attention were done by Christopher Foster, and they are gorgeous  images that range from rocky shorelines to snow covered mountains to amazing rock formations in Arizona.  He captures the light as it plays across the landscape at its most precious moments.  Some of the images are huge and the technology still renders them very crisp. 


Other photographers represented by the gallery are extremely talented too.  If you’re in Healdsburg it’s a fun place to stop by and if you want to shop online they will ship.  Here’s the Capture store:


And here’s Christopher’s website:




Some of My Favorite Scents

I’ve been meaning to do this since Jan 1st, lol, but better late than never.  Here are some of my favorite non Sonoma Scent Studio fragrances, in no particular order.  Sometimes knowing someone’s favorites can give you a better idea if you’ll like the scents they make or if you have any favorite notes or styles in common.  I like all kinds of scents, from very floral to very woodsy.  I do tend to avoid marine and ozone notes, but other than that most anything goes.

Guerlain Nahema

Rich rose with spices, amber, and peach.  Lovely, and one of my favorites.


Chanel No. 22

I discovered this scent in college, and it was the first fragrance I really loved so it’s special to me.  It’s floral, but doesn’t smell like a flower; it’s a little incensy without being smoky; it’s a little sophisticated without being too formal; it’s sweet but it doesn’t get cloying on me, and it’s feminine, but not girly.


MDCI Enlevement au Serail

Stunningly beautiful composition with jasmine, tuberose, rose, sandalwood, patch, mandarin, ylang, vanilla, and vetiver.  The heart notes of jasmine with peachy nuances are gorgeous, and the base is delicious too.  It’s classic in the best sense.


Chanel Coco

I love Coco even though it feels too formal and is a bit potent for me.  I wear just a drop and love the warmth and spiciness.  It has more sillage than I prefer, but if applied very lightly I really enjoy it.


Creed Fleur de the Rose Bulgare

I love roses, and this scent captures a fresh rose on a summer day.  I look forward to bringing this out each spring.


Serge Lutens La Myrrhe

I love the warmth, the resinous incense, and the spices.  This is a winter favorite for me.


Armani Bois d’Encens

This is my favorite incense so far.  It’s simple, but very nearly perfect, and the frankincense smells real instead of being a sweetened synthetic impression of incense.


Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

I can only wear a drop of this at a time because it is so potent, but it’s a beautiful interpretation of tuberose.


L’Artisan Drole de Rose

I love violet and rose combinations, and this one manages to stay just within my sweetness tolerance level.  Very feminine and floral with a honeyed note.


Rosine Poussiere de Rose

Another rich rose blend with fruits, spices, and cedar.  Yum.


L’Artisan La Chasse Aux Papillons

This is a cheerful scent for spring and summer that’s hard to wear without smiling.  I’m lucky that it lasts many hours on me even though some people complain it is short-lived.


Serge Lutens Bois de Violette

My favorite cedar scent!  Cedar and violet make a great combination and this one is lovely.


Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire

My favorite vetiver scent!  Rich and woodsy.  Very well done.  Second favorite vetiver scent is the newer Sel de Vetiver by The Different Company.


Chanel Sensual Elixir No. 5

I enjoy this less aldehydic Elixir version of No 5 very much, as well as the original No 5 in vintage edc and vintage parfum (I’ve saved a bit of an old original No 5 edc bottle from my college days and it’s nice stuff, still in surprisingly good shape).


Caron Parfum Sacre

A pretty, incensy, peppery rose.


Serge Lutens A La Nuit

Smells just like jasmine to me.  Lasting power is moderate, but it’s great for a jasmine craving.  Jasmine absolute works too though.  🙂


Del Rae Bois de Paradis

I love the woods with the berry in this.  It just borders on being too sweet, but the woods keep it in check for me.

No doubt I’m leaving out many….

Celebrating April

Now that April 15 is past us, many of us are celebrating the end of tax forms for another year.  We can also celebrate spring.  It was 85 last weekend here, so I felt like it was summer.  I’m cutting dozens of roses to bring in the house, and the pink jasmine is in bloom.  The clematis, heuchera, and geraniums are blooming too.  I love this time of year as the garden wakes up and gets into full swing.

I’ve been working on a design for boxes for the edp bottles and am nearly done.  It’ll be exciting to finish that project.  Once the design is done it’ll take a month or so to have them made.

I’ve also been working on a new woodsy violet fragrance and think it may be done.  I’ve sent a few testers out to see if others agree.  Am still working on the jasmine/tuberose floral.

I plan to post here more.  I’d like to host some sample give-away draws, and I’ve found some local artists I’d love to mention.  So here’s to getting by April 15 and to summer days ahead…