Favorites:  Dr. Bronner’s Naked Lip Balm

I found this new favorite lip balm last fall while looking for a mint-free, unscented, unflavored, organic balm to keep my sensitive skin happy. The ingredients are organic avocado oil, organic beeswax, organic jojoba oil, organic hemp oil, and vitamin E. That’s it! The texture is soft, but it still lasts very well on my lips. I can apply the balm before going to bed and it’s still there in the morning, and it lasts well during the day too (I re-apply after eating, as needed). My lips stay moisturized and my skin has no irritation.

The formula would be simple enough to make yourself at home, if you have the time for a DIY project. I’ve made lip balm before, but the formula that I have used makes a stiffer balm; next time, I’ll cut back on the beeswax and shoot for something closer to this texture. I’ll write a DIY blog post if it turns out well.

Meantime, I’ve used this Dr. Bronner’s balm all winter and it has done a great job. It costs $2.99 per 0.15 oz tube on the Dr. Bronner site, which is a little pricier than a drugstore balm like Blistex but less than a high-end product. The tube lasts a long time, my lips are happy, and I like knowing that the product is organic. I love the unflavored Naked option, but it also comes in lemon lime, orange ginger, and peppermint. It has no sunscreen, so it’s not the best choice for a day in the sun, but it’s been perfect for days/nights around the house. I’m sure there are some similar artisan organic lip balms, which I’ll have to explore in the future (let me know if you have a favorite!).

Happy Easter!


We’ve had cold and rainy weather here for weeks, but the sunshine appeared on Wednesday and we’ve been enjoying a taste of spring for several days. It’s been beautiful with temps in the 80’s and the trees in their new spring green leaves.

I’ve been catching up on things — cleaning up and organizing the house (a massive   project after 14 years of SSS accumulation) as well as taking care of medical appointments. My wrists continue to improve, albeit slowly. I’ve let all the incoming emails with scent requests sit in my inbox for now. There are still too many for me to answer, but I hope to eventually have help with that. It does feel great to catch up with some non-SSS tasks that I’ve not had time to do the last few years. I also finished my taxes, and my Dad got through his surgery. Dad is not quite fully recovered, but we’re relieved that he is steadily improving and doing so well.

I still hope to find someone to take over my formulas, and I should have more wrist power for communicating with interested people in the coming weeks.

Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

2018 Perfumed Plume Awards Finalists

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I’m honored to be named a Finalist in the 2018 Perfumed Plume Awards for my post The Fragrance Creation Process: From Inspiration To Release. Sounds like last night was a fun evening at Perfumariē, where the Finalists were announced. The winners will be revealed on April 11 during an awards ceremony at the Society of Illustrators in New York City.

Many thanks to co-founders Mary Ellen Lapsansky and Lyn Leigh for all their work on the awards program. It’s great to see all the wonderful entries this year as well as the enthusiasm and camaraderie.

You can view the full list of the Finalists and categories here on the Perfumed Plume site. Congratulations to all the 2018 Finalists!


Update: Healing, Scent Requests, and SSS

spring flowers
I wanted to check in with an update. I’m feeling slow, steady healing of my wrists (yay!). It will be a while more before I’m out of the dangerous phase, but patience is producing results. I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to respond to your emails. I so appreciate all the good wishes, but I need to keep avoiding the keyboard (and pipettes) for now.

I still plan to finish working through the list of requests for the remaining scents in stock, but I am continuing my break for now to give my wrists time to heal. I haven’t forgotten about you though! Thank you for your patience. If I am able to fulfill your request, I will let you know as soon as I can.

I also wanted to let you know that I am still looking for the right person/team to take over Sonoma Scent Studio. I’ve had a number of people express interest, but I have not worked anything out yet. I’m taking time to find a good match. I will post more news as soon as I have something I can share.

Back in December I was working on a beautiful new format for the blog, with an eye toward its new expanded focus; I will get back to that, too, as soon as I can. Can’t wait to share it with you.

We had a month of really warm, beautiful weather, which brought out the daffodils, plum blossoms, rosemary, and snowdrops. Now it is cold and rainy, but we need the rain. I hope you’re seeing signs of spring where you are! Thinking of east coasters this weekend with the big storm and hoping all of you are ok.