Sources For Decants and The Sample Spray Issue

Decants and samples of Sonoma Scent Studio fragrances are carried at The Posh Peasant¬†and at The Perfumed Court. The Posh Peasant just added four new SSS scents to their offerrings (Lieu de Reves, Wood Violet, Voile de Violette, and Velvet Rose). Both places have small spray samples in case you prefer sprays to the dab vial sample style that I offer on the Sonoma Scent Studio site. I’ve tried many small sprayer samplers and just haven’t found any smaller than 5 ml that I like well enough to stock. Someday I may add 5 ml, but for now the decant sites are the places to go if you want smaller sprays than my 15 ml bottles. I like the dab sample vials I offer because you can dose exactly how much you want without risk of being drenched, but it isn’t quite the same effect as spraying and I realize some people like the chance to test in spray form.

And PSA, The Posh Peasant is also currently having a sale on full bottles in stock. ūüôā

Sweet Pea Season

The sweet peas are at their peak now, producing armloads of flowers for bouquets. My Mom gets many more in her garden than I do because she has the perfect spot in full sun for them and they’ve naturalized there. We cut the flowers to keep them blooming as long as possible and then let them go to seed for next year. It’s fun to have these beautiful, strongly scented flowers that just return on their own each year. I’ve not found a true sweet pea perfume even though I’ve tried a few that people swear by, but the flowers are even more of a treat because there’s nothing manmade that is very similar to me.

I tried a few more options for the Ambre Noir reformulation, but so far I still like #14 the best, which is the same as the one I started with but just a bit less clove. I decided not to use that extra rose ingredient I tried.

I tried the beeswax absolute in Gardenia Musk and think it’ll be nice. I hope to have time to work on the gardenia today — I’m making progress. I have an interesting quote I’d like to post from a technical paper about gardenia in perfumery. I’ll try to post that soon.

So good to have internet back to speed!

Wed update

Internet connection just came back; hope it lasts! I need to get back to work and stop messing with the computer stuff.

I saw a new scent today, Fleurs de Bois,¬†by Miller Harris and thought it sounded really pretty (“captures the moist crispness of dewy grass and the gentle beauty of a traditional English garden”) but I don’t know anything about it other than the press info. Here’s an interview with her about it:

Now I should get back to work…

Internet Woes

I spent a frustrating afternoon working with tech support for my high speed internet connection because it went down and they can’t figure out the cause yet. Seems to be ok between my computer and the antenna on my roof but I can’t get out beyond there. This has happened before and they eventually fixed it each time, but it is very frustrating. We don’t have regular DSL or cable service out here in our rural area. Feels like such a waste to have gotten nothing done all afternoon. Maybe they’ll get it fixed tomorrow.

Meantime I’m on dial-up and can’t do as much as usual. Orders are still coming in fine via dial-up and I can print shipping labels but it just takes ten times as long. So, business as usual but more time-consuming. Updating my website is just about impossible on dial-up though.

Memorial Day Post

The Post Office and FedEx are closed today, so I’m packing orders to ship tomorrow. I’m making some testers too.

I’m trying Cameo again and really like it but worry whether this version will be too soft for some people; the previous version was stronger, so I’m thinking about a compromise between the two. Edited to add: I tried increasing the concentration and reducing one item that seemed to be damping the scent down a bit, and those two changes helped the oomph factor a lot. I’ll test it more, but the formula may be fine as is now.

I have a yummy new beeswax absolute to try in Gardenia Musk. It has a smooth, buttery quality that could be very nice in the gardenia if I make adjustments to reduce sweetness from other things. I may try it in Ambre Noir too, but doubt I can get away with it there.

Tried the musk-reduced tabac tweak again last night and have a version ready for testing; it should be an interesting option for those who are anosmic to the musk in the original, substituting hay absolute and oakmoss for the musk.

There was a nice review of Voile de Violette yesterday (link below)!

A Weekend Voyage Through Violets

Hope your holiday weekend has been a good one!


I took a break from Ambre Noir to work on Cameo and may be done with it; I tried a tweak I’ve had in mind for weeks and really like it. I changed the rose accord a bit and replaced one musk with another one, and together the changes make it feel more subtle and elegant to me. It has a soft woods/musk/rose/violet drydown that I like. I’ll try it a few more times, but it’s probably ready to send out a few testers.

Winter Woods

I put Winter Woods back on the website. I do have about an ounce left of the original formula and you can email me about that if you were disappointed not to get that before I ran so low. The new formula is quite similar, but I think it is a tad less sweet. The new oakmoss and labdanum work well in it.

I did a few quick trials on Cameo tonight and will get back to Ambre Noir tomorrow. I plan to start Fireside Intense soon too; that one won’t take long because I only need to sub the moss in the formula since it has no labdanum.

I’m also testing the latest tweak to Gardenia Musk. I put a pretty musk back in, but the time I spent working on it without musk benefitted the formula.

Chelsea Garden Show Perfume Related Winner

Some fun garden and perfume news: a garden display called The Perfume Garden won a gold¬†and most creative award at this year’s Chelsea Garden Show in London. The garden features flowers and herbs used in perfume and has at its center a perfumery demonstration showing the distillation process. The garden was inspired by the perfume of Queen Elizabeth I and offers people a chance to sample a modern interpretation of the scent.¬† You can read more at the following link

Chelsea Garden Show


I think Winter Woods #R5 may be the replacement; it has the new moss and labdanum and is my favorite. It’s getting great tester feedback so far and I hope it can go back on the site soon.

I had sent out Ambre Noir R2 but I am trying a tweak to it, so I’ll probably send out a few testers of this new version as well.¬† I’m trying slightly less clove¬†and a little bit of a dry and slightly spicy rosy ingredient at a low level. Not sure yet which one will be best, so I’ll keep testing.

I received a sample of Cosmone today, a biodegradable macrocyclic musk that Givaudan introduced in 2005 but is now promoting since it is no longer captive.¬† I’m just taking a sniff tonight and it seems quite nice; I like that it is less sweet than many musks, is strong and diffusive, and¬†has¬†a light ambergris nuance.¬†¬† I’ll¬†¬†have to try it in some formulas.¬† I already have quite a few macrocyclic musks in stock that I love, but there’s always room to lust after a new ingredient.

I’m getting some pretty ambrette seed CO2 extract later this week and look forward to that.¬† I’ve been trying some in Gardenia Musk and like it.¬† I’ve used the absolute before but I think I like the CO2 better.¬†

Much cooler here today — that short little heat wave is over.¬† I should get back to work, but I’ll leave off with a link to a fun (and beautifully written) blog post about Nathan’s amazing bottle photography:

Weekend update

Wow, it was in the upper 90s today!¬† I ran some errands and it was a hot one.¬† Last evening was warm but not quite as hot and we had¬†gorgeous light on the hills.¬† I took the quick snapshot above off the back deck; it’s hard to give the feeling but my cottage is on the side of a hill surrounded by oaks like a little treehouse and then beyond the oaks is the neighboring winery’s vineyard.¬† The oaks are always¬†special when backlit in the late afternoon.¬† The deck has a big planter box in the middle where ferns are happy, plus a few heuchera, a begonia, and some campanula and geranium.

I went back through my box of gardenia testers today and have a plan for the next step.  I still like the simple creamy jasmine/gardenia floral heart the best and had gone too far afield in the last few trials.  I want to backtrack a bit to simplify, but still keep some of these new elements so I can keep the musk lower than in those early trials.  I tried some ambrette seed CO2 in it that may help with that goal.

I’m happy with the Ambre and Winter Woods updates and am starting to get feedback from testers — so far so good!¬† I hope to get those back on the site soon and move on to working the new moss into Fireside Intense.