About Laurie E

artisan perfumer and owner of Sonoma Scent Studio

Fixed email subscriptions, and new post in honor of spring!

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I wanted to let you know that I just added a new sign-up box on The Artisan Insider blog for email subscriptions because I realized that the original sign-up only worked for RSS feeds and not for email subscriptions. I am so sorry that the glitch frustrated some people who tried to sign up! It is fixed now so you can get an email subscription to new blog posts; just look for the email sign-up box in the upper right of the sidebar on any page, where it says, “SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE NEW POSTS VIA EMAIL.” You can unsubscribe at any time.

I have a new post in honor of spring today on The Artisan Insider blog: a pictorial visit to the beautiful gardens at Ferrari-Carano Estate Winery in Dry Creek Valley, which we visited last Friday, March 15. We saw tulips (pictured above), daffodils, camellias, star magnolia, Bradford Pear trees, Pieris japonica, azalea, and hellebore in bloom. The gardens cover five acres. Hope you’ll enjoy a peek.

Last week I posted a spring update from my garden, and the previous week I posted pics of the Sonoma mustard  bloom. Next up, a post on trademarks, and more artist stories coming in the future.

New Blog: The Artisan Insider

I wanted to post an update and announce the transition of this blog, Perfume in Progress, to a new blog called The Artisan Insider. I have transferred all of the old posts from Perfume in Progress over to the new blog and will continue my blogging there. This older blog will remain here for a while, but I will eventually remove it since everything has been moved to the new blog. I tried to better organize all the posts and categories to make information easier to locate for readers with differing interests.

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The new blog has a fresh new format and will take on a broader purpose now that I have closed Sonoma Scent Studio. The Artisan Insider will feature artisan and indie businesses of all kinds (local here in Sonoma County and non-local) and will also explore topics of interest to small business owners such as hiring employees and finding product liability insurance.

Today I have posted a new entry on The Artisan Insider, an interview with jewelry artist Natalie Gentilo (you might know her from our perfume community). I hope you’ll enjoy reading her story and viewing photos of her gorgeous work! Below is a photo of Natalie with some intricate hand-painted floral earrings that she created. She hand paints beautiful designs, many nature-inspired, at very small scale.

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Quick update on SSS: I continue to receive emails every week from people who hope to buy more bottles of SSS scents. When I first closed, I was talking with several parties and really thought that I would have a solution for SSS to carry on. The scents always sold very well from my own website and someone could step in to get things going again. Although a number of people have expressed interest in acquiring SSS, I have not had a workable offer yet. There are still people who are interested, but I am not sure whether a successor will take over and apologize for the uncertainty. I will continue to update about SSS on The Artisan Insider whenever I have news on that topic.

Meantime, I’m getting the new blog underway (more posts coming), and I would also enjoy doing some freelance work for artisans who need help creating images and copy for websites and packaging. When I first started SSS, I would have loved to have found a lower-priced alternative to expensive graphic artists for small design projects, and I hope I can help fill that need. For example, I love creating website slideshows, product hang cards, business cards, brochures, flyers, and box designs. I’m almost ready to start taking on a few projects if there is interest.

For those who are subscribed to Perfume In Progress, I hope you’ll subscribe to The Artisan Insider; you can find a FeedBurner link here. Many thanks!

Sending Wishes For Joyous Holidays!

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I wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday season and send out best wishes for 2019! As usual, I’ll spend Christmas Eve with my parents here, and then they will drive to my brother’s place on Christmas Day. My brother and his family usually come up to spend New Year’s Eve here with us.

My Dad’s arm is still healing, and he does not need to wear his sling and bulky brace anymore. He still can’t use the arm for much, but he’s working in PT to regain strength and flexibility.

I’m enjoying my first holiday season without orders in many years. I helped decorate gingerbread cookies during one of Mom’s cookie baking sessions, and I went out to do a little shopping (usually I only buy online). Looking back on the year, I didn’t accomplish as much as I had hoped, but I’m slowly catching up on my To Do List of things that didn’t get done while running SSS. It’s really nice to have my lab room turned back into an all-purpose work room. I want to switch my blog over to the new theme and format early next year (it has been 80% ready for months and I need to finish).

I’m continuing to talk with people about buying SSS. It takes a special person to jump in and run an artisan perfume brand, and I’m still hoping to make the right match.

I appreciate still feeling like part of the fragrance community after my run with SSS; it’s wonderful to have an online group with so many shared interests. I hope you all have lovely holiday celebrations with friends and family!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Wanted to give a little update and wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving! The photo above, taken a few weeks ago, shows the beautiful autumn yellow colors in the vineyard next door to us.

Dad continues to heal and is doing physical therapy. He sees the surgeon again next week to see whether things are healing well enough without surgery. He is having trouble moving the arm in some directions in PT, and we don’t know yet if that issue will work itself out or if his arm will require repair. He’s still wearing a brace and sling.

My fears about fire season unfortunately were not unfounded. The Butte County fire to the north of us is the most destructive fire we’ve ever had in CA, even worse than last year’s fires here in Sonoma and Napa. Our hearts go out to the people who have lost homes and loved ones. We finally have rain here and that should help put an end to this year’s fire season as well as clear out the horrible smoke that had engulfed our area.

We’re having a nice family Thanksgiving today with my brother and his family. I’ve not seen my nieces in almost a year, so this is a treat. One is a sophomore at UC Berkeley and the other is a sophomore in high school.

We continue to see the deer families regularly. Yesterday, six deer visited to graze and I got a video of several of them popping over our fence (they are amazing jumpers!).

Hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Autumn Begins — Checking in

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Happy Fall! The photo above is a red abutilon flower on my porch backlit by the afternoon sun. I love the light this time of year.

I wanted to give a little update about SSS and what’s been going on in my life.

SSS Site: If anyone noticed that the SSS site was down for a few days (Sept 21-24), the reason was a web host transfer that took a little longer than planned. If you emailed info@sonomascentstudio.com during that time and did not hear back, you might want to re-send your email.

I will probably replace the SSS home page soon with a notice about closing and I will restrict access to the rest of the site. I’ve left the site up while deciding what do with SSS, but some people miss the messages on the site about the closure so I will restrict the site to the home page and put a message there.

SSS Company Sale: I was communicating with someone who wanted to purchase SSS. In the process of working on the sales contract, I learned about some changes to tax laws that mean I need to sell SSS over time instead of an all-cash, all-in-one-year deal. I was not able to work out that sort of plan with the people who had made the offer, so I’m not sure what I will do now. I am in no hurry because I’ve been working on my health (my wrists are improving all the time!) and working on cleaning up. I’m still interested in finding the right person to carry on with SSS or to take over some of the top-selling scents, but I’m working on other things in the meantime.

SSS Remaining Bottle Sale: All the bottles I had offered in previous blog posts are in the hands of people who requested them. I don’t have anything else for sale at this time, but if that changes I will post again.

Family: Four weeks ago my sweet Dad fell and broke his right upper arm (humerus) clear through. He has weekly doctor appointments for x-rays and adjustment of the brace, and we’re hoping he can heal and avoid surgery.  Today the doctor referred him to a specialist for another opinion because the injury is borderline for whether surgery needs to be done. We’re keeping our fingers crossed. He is right-handed, so this has been very challenging for him, and he is not the sort of person who likes a lot of down time.

Photos: I’ll finish this post by sharing a few pictures I’ve taken this summer. First up is a picture of a monarch butterfly in the garden, taken yesterday. The monarchs will be migrating south (Pacific Grove in CA is one spot in which they gather).

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Here is my new garden gate. We replaced the old wooden gate this summer because it had deteriorated too much to be latched and couldn’t be repaired anymore. This iron gate won’t shrink/swell in the summer/winter so it should last much longer. So easy for me to use too!

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Here are a couple photos of one of the fawns that has been living here this summer. We’ve had one doe with two fawns and one doe with one fawn. They love to eat acorns this time of year (the acorns drop to the ground in fall). Low res pics because I was too far away, but still cute.

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I had a great crop of tomatoes in June/July (Sweet 100 and Early Girl) and now I’m getting another crop of the cherry tomatoes this fall. I’ve already frozen lots of tomatoes to use later, so I’m juicing some of this crop. They make amazing, thick, tomato juice. Yum.

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The juice collects in one bowl and the seeds/skins collect in the other bowl. I’ve set up a juicing/food prep station in what used to be my lab. Unlike the kitchen sink, the sink in the old lab room allows my chair to roll under, so it is easy to use.

I love this time of year, as long as fires don’t strike. Fall is fire season in CA, and we’ve already had serious fires in 2018 even before heading into fall. Hoping we do not have a repeat of last year.

I will post more when I can!

Some Final Bottles Available

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The last several months I have contacted many people who had written to me in Jan/Feb to request bottles. I’ve filled about as many of those requests as I can with what I had in stock (minus a few people that I couldn’t reach via email).  I’m now listing the few remaining bottles here. These bottles have been stored in my lab refrigerator. I have some 34 ml bottles of Incense Pure ready to go and enough juice left to make another couple Incense Pure bottles beyond that, plus just a few bottles of a few other scents (full list given below).

If you see something you’d like to purchase and you have a USA shipping address, please send me an email at info@sonomascentstudio.com. I’ll take requests in the order that I receive them. My wrists are improved but still can’t type very much, so I’ll be copying/pasting some standard messages to set things up and my replies might not be lightening fast. This final round will go much faster than the first round though, especially since all the bottles are made and ready to ship. Personal checks and US Postal money orders are preferred to PayPal, when possible.

Bottles In Stock & Available:
all out right now, assuming all orders in progress follow through

sold out:
0 x 34 ml Winter Woods ($80 each)
0 x 34 ml Velvet Rose  ($75 each)
0 x 10 ml  Pacific Forest ($40)
0 x 5 ml Pacific Forest ($25)
0 x 34 ml Forest Walk  ($100 each)
0 x 5 ml Fireside Intense ($18)
0 x 5 ml Nostalgie ($20)
0 x 34 ml Incense Pure ($80 each)
0 x 34 ml Fireside Intense ($80)
0 x 5 ml Incense Pure ($17)
0 x 34 ml Amber Incense ($125)
0 x 17 ml Incense Pure ($45)
0 x 5ml Amber Incense ($25 each or $40 for two)

I think I have found someone excellent to carry on with SSS, but it is still too early to say more here on the blog. Meantime, I’ve been converting my lab room back to personal use, which is a big project but is gaining me some very helpful extra storage space and work space (every bit counts in a small cottage!).

Thanks again so very much for your good wishes, and let’s find homes for these last remaining bottles! I will have more updates coming.

Bee’s Bliss is Finalist in 2018 Art and Olfaction Awards

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I’m very happy to announce that Sonoma Scent Studio Bee’s Bliss is a Finalist in this year’s Artisan Category of the Art and Olfaction Awards! I’m so pleased and excited — this recognition really means a lot to me. The 2018 Finalists were announced in a special press event at Esxence in Milan today.

The Fifth Annual Art and Olfaction Awards event will take place in a public ceremony at the historic Tabernacle in London on April 21, 2018. This year’s entries included hundreds of perfumes from artisan and indie perfumers in countries around the world; I’m very honored to have Bee’s Bliss included in the top ten Finalists of the Artisan category. Congrats to all the Finalists!

Now I need to find the right person to take over this formula from me! I’m still looking for the right person/team to continue production of the SSS scents. It’s been hard to do much on that front since early January because my wrists have been out of commission, but I’m healing and can start working on that again.

More info about the awards from the IAO Press Release:

“The Art and Olfaction Awards are designed to raise public interest and awareness around new developments in independent perfumery. The Awards, established in 2014 by The Institute for Art and Olfaction, are given to outstanding creators in the categories of independent, artisan, and experimental perfume from across the globe, chosen for perfumes released in 2017.”

Favorites:  Dr. Bronner’s Naked Lip Balm

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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!

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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!