Ambre Noir update

When I ran out of Ambre Noir about a week ago, I took it down temporarily because I’d received a sample of a new cistus that I wanted to try in it. I’ve been working on that today and really like the combination of the labdanum absolute with the new cistus oil fraction. I made some changes to the rose and amber accords to make it work, and also increased the clove a little bit and added a soft saffron note. I’m just trying some adjustments now to see if it is better with or without myrrh and vetiver and some other options. I hope to have it ready to get some opinions next week, along with ET. This AN would be different, but it seems more special to me this way. I’ll need some feedback. I apologize for AN being unavailable while I do this, but it shouldn’t be long like it has been for ET, and I’d like to help people out who recently bought samples of AN if I do change it. The cistus is so nice this is worth doing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

There’s that turkey again, lol (if you’ve followed the blog over the last year or two you’ve seen him before). This wild turkey was walking along near my garden with a bunch of buddies when I snapped that photo several years ago. I’ll have to get a new picture for next year; maybe I can get a picture of the mother turkeys with their little stream of babies running behind (so funny), but they run a bit fast to catch on camera.

I’ll work through the holiday weekend to keep orders shipping out, but Thursday is a USPS mail holiday, of course, and UPS takes both Thursday and Friday off. Most US orders are shipping Priority Mail and will continue to go out Friday and Saturday. I think our PO is open Friday to send more international orders out, but if not those orders will keep shipping starting Monday.

The Posh Peasant is having a 15% off sale with code IHeartTPP until Nov 30; they carry samples and decants of Sonoma Scent Studio fragrances, so if you were thinking of placing an order with them this is a good time. They carry many other brands as well and you can easily get into mischief there. ūüôā

Wanted to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving holiday, hopefully spent with friends and family. My brother and his family will be coming later today and staying through the weekend. I’d like to spend a bit of time with them because it’s been quite a few months since they have been here and it’ll be nice to visit with them. Thanksgiving makes us pause to consider the good things in our lives, and I’m thankful for friends, family, my beautiful surroundings, and for being able to do something that brings me pleasure. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement; I sure appreciate it and know other indie perfumers appreciate the wonderful online fragrance community too! Sending best wishes for a great holiday weekend!

Need more skin testing space…

I’m testing trials of amber noir tonight and am out of skin space, lol. I know this is a common problem for lots of fragrance lovers and it is worse in winter with longer sleeves (we’re having another cold snap right now with frost expected tonight). I go around the house with my sleeves pushed up to my elbows to get more testing space even though I’m the sort who likes snuggly warm clothes this time of year, cold wimp that I am.

I need another day or two to consider ambre noir before adding it back to the list. I’ll probably leave it as is or just do a small tweak to add the cistus, and then I’ll add another amber-based scent later that would be quite different and would feature the cistus more. Before deciding on that I’ll take another day or two to sniff these trials.

I didn’t get time to test ET again but I think I may be about decided on the first tester to send for some opinions. It’s close enough to the original to be a reasonable reformulation, but I think it’s smoother and more complex. I need to sniff one more time, as soon as I have the skin space…

Agenda for the next few days

Turn-around time on orders is just a bit longer for a few days while I catch up after being out all yesterday afternoon. I tested several ET mods again today and may skip the floral notes after all, but I need to wear the mods again to be sure. It may be too far afield from the original ET to add the jasmine and OB components, but I’ll try cutting back on the OB even more to satisfy my curiosity (and that direction may lead me to an incensy floral in the future so I’ll keep my notes).

I ran out of Ambre Noir this morning and took it off the site for a few days because I want to try a little test with a new ingredient before I finish a new batch. The new ingredient is a very pretty cistus oil that might add beauty to the labdanum absolute already in Ambre Noir. I usually prefer labdanum absolute to cistus EO, but this is a special cistus fraction that I tried recently and love. It is rich, deep, long lasting, a bit smoky with hints of leather, and does not have the medicinal notes that have bothered me in other cistus EOs. It is powerful so I would only want to use a little touch of it. I’m just testing it tonight in a little trial of Ambre Noir and need to wear it tomorrow to decide.

I also received some yummy mate absolute and something new to me — oakwood absolute from wine barrels in France. The oakwood is a great woodsy note with earthy and mossy nuances. I thought it was especially appropriate to use in scents for Sonoma Scent Studio given the wine-making origin! ūüôā

Can’t wait to play with my new incoming ingredients, but I need to keep to the game plan. I’ll catch up with orders, get Ambre Noir back up, finish the ET tester (I’m feeling good about my favorite of the moment), and then back to Bouquet Blanche…

Quick update

I’ve been busy keeping up with orders and I have an appointment tomorrow that will slow me down a bit, but I worked on ET a little more yesterday and will continue tomorrow night. I added a subtle hint of jasmine and orange blossom that might be nice. It’s not enough to read as floral but just softens all the woods and incense. I tested it today and will test more tomorrow. As soon as I send out testers of ET I’ll get back to Bouquet Blanche.

We had a rainy day today, a bit gloomy out. We need the rain though so it’s good. Turn-around time for orders that came in tonight will be an extra day since I have to be out for a while tomorrow at my appointment, but they should ship out on Thursday.

Boxed gift set option added to the site…

I added the boxed gift set option to the Gifts page in case some people want to wrap gifts for the holidays. Optional cards are also available to send with the gift. It’ll be a couple more days before I receive the larger Priority Mail boxes to ship these, but most people won’t be in a rush yet to shop for holiday gifts so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Lots of packages are shipping out tomorrow, and then I’ll get back to ET! We’re having a cold snap with frost expected tonight.

New reviews and new Egyptian Musk lotion option

There’s a nice review of Opal and Femme Jolie today on I Smell Therefore I Am. Thanks Abby!

I just added Egyptian Musk as an option for the Body Silk lotion. The EM scent is a bit too light in the heavier shea cream, but it is strong, long lasting, and true in the lighter Body Silk lotion so that’s a nice new option.

Lots to do but I’ll update again this weekend…

Sample Sets

I added the boxed, carded sample set option¬†to the Gifts page of the website over the weekend, but I still need to add the gift box option for wrapping any sets you want of 2-3 items (perfume, body lotion, body cream). I’m in the midst of taking photos for the boxed gift set options and will try to finish that this week. If you need a gift box and/or card in the meantime just send me an email and we can work out what you’d like.

I apologize to those waiting for the Encens Tranquille reformulation; I’m very close and have been checking all my options before sending out any testers. It’s best if I try all my ideas first, and my list keeps growing as I work on it. As I sniff my latest favorite mod I always wonder if this or that might improve some aspect of it, so then I need to give it a quick try. I have a few more things to try today but need to finish the day’s orders first, which won’t happen before this evening.

I’m sniffing the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance Lumi√®re Noire pour Femme this morning as I pack orders, and I’m very much enjoying it. Rose lovers might want to check this out because the rose accord is beautiful, the patchouli is smooth, and the fragrance is done in a gorgeous classical style. It’s nothing like the raw patchouli and sweet plum with rose in L’Artisan’s Voleur de Roses, which can be fun to sniff sometimes but is extremely earthy and not for those timid about patchouli. Lumi√®re Noire is a much more elegant approach to the rose/patch genre. You can read an enthusiastic review of this scent on Octavian’s blog. I also admire Divine’s classical approach to rose with patchouli in their scent called L’Inspiratrice, but it looks like Lumi√®re Noire will easily take the number one spot on my list for rose/patch fragrances. (For a great dark rose with less prominent patchouli I love the sadly discontinued L’Arte di Gucci.)

And another interesting link this morning, this one to a post called Fragrance 101 The Relationship Between Perfume And Fashion that discusses perfume trends over the years and how fragrance taste changes with fashion.

End of week update

It’s been a busy week again, but I’ve managed to make a few new mods of Encens Tranquille each night and test them the following morning.¬† Last night I increased the leather a bit more (there has always been a soft leather note in it but it wasn’t very perceptible before), and I¬†altered the sandalwood accord a little bit to smooth it. ¬†I had already increased myrrh, decreased smokiness, changed the amber accord, and of course swapped to the new moss per IFRA.

Tonight I softened the frankincense a little to smooth the opening.¬† I may be ready to send out testers of this mod.¬† I will test it again in the morning.¬† It is smoother than the original, which I had wanted, but it¬†is still interesting to me (previous mods had been smoother but not zippy enough).¬† I’m not sure about the frankincense level yet; I like the drydown when I start it out higher, but then the opening becomes¬†harsher (that’s something¬†that I worried about with the original, though personally I love frankincense so¬†the potent incense¬†opening didn’t bother me to wear myself).¬† Maybe¬†I should send both versions out to some testers to see how others feel.

I’m keeping up with orders but turn-around has been¬†a day or two this week.¬† I should be caught up again over the weekend.¬† I have all the gift wrap supplies and just need to get a moment to photograph them.¬† As soon as I pick the best ET mod I’ll get back to Bouquet Blanche and also the new soft sandalwood scent (a skin scent¬†featuring soft sandalwood, amber, spices, and musk).

November Newsletter

I sent out a newsletter last night that looked fine when I sent a test message to myself, but this morning the final message that went out has smaller than normal images; I apologize if the photos of the shea cream and body lotion look small in your version too! They looked fine when I sent the test email, but now they look tiny.

The main information in the newsletter is that the 35% shea cream is back in stock but just for the holiday season, the new body sillk lotion is in stock and will be carried throughout the year, the new 5 ml purse sprays are available, and gift wrap options are coming as soon as I put up the photos. Also, new scents are coming (the reformulation of Encens Tranquille, Bouquet Blanche, a new sandalwood amber, and some new lotion scents).

I’ll send more newsletters as the new scents become available, and I’ll be alert to the photo scaling issue in the newsletter next time. I’m sorry if your newsletter had microscopic photos of the lotion and cream! ūüôā