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! 🙂

About Laurie E

artisan perfumer and owner of Sonoma Scent Studio
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29 Responses to Some News

  1. Undina says:

    New scent is a good news! It’s just in time for Spring (though in our area if feels more like Summer now).

    I understand your reasons behind not going into EU market or withdrawing from other online locations. I still think that if any local boutique (not specializing in perfumes) wants to carry some of your scents they probably could do it at a higher price point than you have on your website: many people still buy things/perfumes/etc. without looking for them online – just while being on a vacation or a trip so B&M stores that carry rare things still might be able to sell them more expensive than online. But it’s just a thought, you’ll figure it out if the opportunity arises.

    • Laurie E says:

      Yes, the scent is just in time for spring! For once I’m on target with the season! 🙂 And it sure does feel like summer — gorgeous.

      I agree that brick and mortar stores are in a different category than online stores in that they can reach an audience that could be different than what I can reach, so I’ll stay open to the thought if pricing allows it in the future.

  2. Suzanne M says:

    Congrats on the new scent. I always purchase direct, so for me, all that matters is that the system work for you. All the best….

  3. lucasai says:

    Looking forward to trying your new creation Laurie!
    I really like the sound of the notes!
    I hope I’m lucky to sample it

  4. mals86 says:

    Oh, good news! I’ll be grabbing a sample as soon as they’re available. I love florals so much.

  5. poodle says:

    I look forward to sniffing the new scent. Your business plan makes sense to me. I do like Undina’s idea about perhaps having some stuff in a few b&m stores. Those little gift shops that vacationers love to spend money in seem like a good idea. Maybe if you found one or two in your area that would be good. People love to buy souvenirs that are local to their vacation spot. I know I do. Just a thought.

  6. james1051 says:

    Can’t wait to try your new scent! That daffodil reminds me that daffodils carry one of my favorite early spring scents. Do any of your fragrances feature daffodil prominently?

    • Laurie E says:

      I love the fresh spring scent that daffodils have! Usually the note used in perfume is narcissus rather than daffodil, and it is very different. Narcissus has prominent para cresyls, which have a dirty barnyard kind of smell. Daffodils are fresh. I should look up their headspace composition and see what it is. I don’t have any scents with a daffodil note. I can’t think of any on the market, but maybe there is one?

      • james1051 says:

        To me, Iris ukiyoe has a prominent daffodil note. And you are correct that what we commonly refer to as narcissus (all daf.s are genus narcissus) has a very different fragrance than woodland daffodils and their many hybrids.

        • Laurie E says:

          I’ll try to sniff a sample of that one, thanks! Yes, I should have clarified that from a plant standpoint daffodils are narcissus but from a perfumery standpoint traditional narcissus notes usually correspond to more earthy/animalic narcissus like paperwhites rather than fresher narcissus like the common bright yellow daffodils most of us grow. (Not sure why!)

  7. missyl says:

    Your business move sounds wise.And I really really appreciate your commitment to high quality and reasonable prices!
    Your new scent sounds lovely. 🙂 Enjoy your beautiful weekend.

    • Laurie E says:

      Thanks, missyl! Hope you have a great weekend too! I must spend some time doing taxes but will spend some time outside too to balance it out. Too beautiful not to get out!

  8. AnnYM says:

    Congratulations on the completion of the new floral scent, Laurie! I wish you great success such as I believe you will have.
    I’m glad to see you are able to sustain a viable business model as an independent retailer. It’s too bad that rules and regulations make it harder for those outside the US to obtain your fragrances though. I know there are similar frustrations on our side of the pond in regards to European houses who do not have US distribution.
    My daffies have been tentatively peeping out due to some recent warming trends, but then the cold weather sets in again and stymies their growth progress. *Sigh*

  9. CathyB says:

    I can’t wait to try your new fragrance. The notes sound wonderful!! I also respect your business decision. I have always made my many purchases directly from you and always appreciated the little notes you added to my invoice. It really shows how much you love what you do.

    We were doing yard work today, and it was a beautiful, windy, March day. Our flowers are popping up, but snow is forecasted for Monday. Yes, it was a very snowy, cold winter in our area but it was so beautiful. I love the changing seasons and the beauty that comes with each one. I’m looking forward to playing in the dirt!!

    • Laurie E says:

      Thanks, Cathy! That’s another reason direct sales suit me better; I really enjoy and prefer the direct contact with customers. It’s one of the best parts of the job!

      Glad you’ve been able to enjoy the beauty of the season! It is fun though when the garden wakes up in spring. Happy gardening! 🙂

  10. Sam says:

    Oh, your floral scent sounds heavenly. Can’t wait till samples are up on your site.

    Your business approach makes so much sense. My family runs an extremely small winery in which everything is done by hand (making high volume impossible) and they’ve come to a similar conclusion: selling the wine themselves at various venues (they have several tasting rooms), rather than wholesaling to other shops, bars, or restaurants, makes the most financial sense. I hope this model works well for you.

    • Laurie E says:

      Hi Sam! Thanks for sharing your story; that’s interesting! I think this approach makes sense for many kinds of artisan businesses. I’d love to learn more about your wines! 🙂 You should email me your website if you have one, or post a link.

      I’ve been doing over 90% of my sales on my own website already, so this isn’t a big change. It had become too painful to fill any wholesale orders at those prices though, so this will eliminate the pain and fortify my plan going forward.

  11. Elisa says:

    So excited about the new floral! Ginger?! I’m intrigued.

  12. Lisa Fong says:

    Hi Laurie, I agree with you 100%. Artisan perfume works best when sold directly from the perfumer.

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