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.”

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!

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

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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.

Update

I am going to have to suspend the sale of remaining stock for now (I should not have tried to do this). I don’t have a lot left, and my wrists are too flared up to continue right now. I will resume when I can. I also can’t reply to the over one hundred fifty emails in my inbox — my wrists just can’t do it. I apologize. I will finish all orders currently in progress (anyone who sent payment) and will resume when I can. I appreciate your kind words of support and your enthusiasm, but I just can’t reply right now. Thanks so much for your understanding.

Out of Stock

Just posting an update here on 1/12/2018. I’m really overwhelmed with all the emails. I appreciate all your kind words of support. I so want to respond to everyone personally, but it will take some time (a few weeks). I will work through the list of requests and fill bottles to see how far it goes, but I can see I will not have enough stock for all the requests. Please know I’ll do all I can to help someone new take over and pick up where I am leaving off. Thanks so much!

A New Chapter

This is a hard post to write. I’m making some major changes in my life this year, and I wrote this post to explain my plans as well as a little about the reasons behind them. I apologize that this news will come as a surprise, but this seems like the only way to handle things. I think the changes can be a win/win for everyone over the long term, though I regret that this news will be disappointing to some in the short term.

I have decided that it is time for me to find someone to take over SSS from me. Given my physical limitations, I have had to restrict orders to what I can handle, and I would enjoy seeing SSS go to someone who could take it further and allow it to grow more. Someone new could keep the store open 365 days a year, could do more international shipping, and could say yes to some of the numerous boutiques that have wanted to carry SSS. I’m in conversation with people and am confident that I can place SSS in good hands.

I’ve had a good, long run since 2004, but I need to do some other things that I can’t do when I’m busy with SSS. I want to remain active in the fragrance community because I love the friends I have made here. This is an amazing group of bright, caring, creative, generous people.

I have been thinking about making this change for a while, and a number of things in addition to my own needs have factored into the current timing. My parents are amazing for their ages, but they are in their eighties and I want to have more time for them. My Dad is likely having some surgery soon, which is scary at his age even though he is in great shape. Also, my assistant of three years has taken another job and can’t do my part-time job anymore (I have been blessed with several wonderful assistants over the years). Everything is coming together now leading me to make this change.

I’m not going to put the cart back up, but I have juice left for some of the scents and will take some orders for bottles via email during the last week or two of January and all of February (UPDATE: Now Sold Out). I will take orders in the order of the emails I receive at info@sonomascentstudio.com. I will not be doing sample orders, and I am out of 17 ml sprayers. I can offer 34 ml plus 5 ml and 10 ml travel sprays. I will start a new post for info/questions about ordering the remaining stock.

I understand that someone new will likely want to make changes to the scent lineup over time (and add new things!), but it makes sense to keep the most popular SSS scents going. I will be sure to leave SSS with someone who will treat customers well because that is a core brand value that I want to see carried forward. I will be available to help with anything needed for a while during and after the transition.

Long term, I would love to do some freelance work supporting small artisan businesses by helping with projects in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I enjoy working on websites and auxiliary branding items like sample cards, business cards, labels, brochures, website images, signs, and flyers. Small artisans rarely have access to Adobe Illustrator and can’t always afford a graphic artist, so this might be a niche I could serve, especially given that I have direct experience with producing these items for fragrance products. This work would be low key compared to running a perfume business and would be much easier for me (the projects would be more limited in scope and would not require inventory, batching, pipette work, or shipping).

I plan to keep my blog, though I will eventually transition away from its focus on SSS. I’d like to cover topics that relate to artisan and indie businesses, with an emphasis on perfume but also branching out a bit to other areas. We have a thriving artisan community here in Sonoma County, and it would be fun to feature some of our local artisans too.

When I first started SSS, I was recovering from a painful divorce (is there any other kind?) and inventing ways to work around a difficult set of physical limitations. SSS helped me feel useful and gave me lots of new things to learn, both about perfumery and about small business. Growing SSS has brought me much satisfaction over the years. I’ve loved getting to know people in the fragrance community and hearing customers say that my scents have added pleasure to their lives. Even though I often regret my limitations (don’t we all!), I feel fortunate that SSS has done as well as it has.

This announcement will likely bring me quite a few email responses, more than I can answer in a timely fashion, but I will do my best to get back to people over the next few weeks. I thank you ahead for your patience and understanding.

I will enjoy having more time to spend with family, being able to take better care of my health, and being able to do some other activities in daily life. I would also be thrilled to see SSS grow and thrive with someone new. I can’t thank everyone enough for your support and encouragement over the years, and for so many of you touching my life and enriching it. I will still be here, just changing roles, and I hope to keep my fragrance friendships going beyond SSS. Much love to you all.

Sending Warm Holiday Wishes

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We’ve had a busy month here at SSS, but orders slowed today now that Christmas is almost here. I have just taken the shopping cart down tonight so that I can finish my own gifts, spend time with family for the holidays, and clean up the lab for some cabinet/shelving repair that is scheduled for January 8th-10th. My assistant is leaving town to spend time with her family too. I will be back with more posts, and I can take some orders via email after the holidays. I have more Forest Walk ready to go after Jan 1.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday, however you celebrate!

Update

We’ve had lots of holiday orders, and we are busy shipping packages. USPS and UPS can run a bit slow this time of year, so it’s a good idea to allow a little extra delivery time if you are ordering a gift. If time is tight, send me an email and we might choose a faster shipping method if possible.

I started writing a blog post ages ago about the fragrance creation process, and I finally just finished the article to post tonight. I thought this might be a topic of interest and would add to the library of perfumery posts here on the blog.

Hope you’re having a great holiday season! 🙂