Happy New Year!

Happy new year and very best wishes for 2010! Many thanks for your friendship and support this year!

Looking Forward: The year 2009 at SSS brought the introduction of Tabac Aurea and Lieu de Reves, as well as the reformulation of many of the older scents to incorporate the new low-atranol oakmoss and the new labdanum. Next up for the coming year is to finish the Encens Tranquille reformulation and get Ambre Noir back on the list, and then my goal is to introduce Bouquet Blanche before spring. In 2010 I’d also like to add more lotion scent options (each scent needs adjustments to be done in an oil format rather than alcohol, so that is why not all scents are currently offered in lotion). I have some wonderful new naturals that I’m anxious to work with, and I plan to do a couple special scents this year with those.

Encens Tranquille: I have a basic formula for the new Encens Tranquille that I like, with just a couple of slight variations on it (with and without elemi, and with zero vanilla versus a tiny touch of vanilla). I’m sending out testers today of three versions just to a couple people to help me narrow the choices down to one or two samples, and then I’ll send samples to the other testers I have promised. Notes are frankincense CO2 (lots!), sandalwood, myrrh, cedar, ambergris, patchouli, oakmoss, cistus, labdanum, orris, guaiacwood, angelica root, musk, vanilla.

The Next Week: Unfortunately, I have a sore throat today and seem to be coming down with a cold. I’ve not had a cold or flu bug in over 7 years, so this may hit me a bit hard. (I don’t have kids or a regular office job, so I don’t tend to be exposed to many bugs.) I can’t complain since I rarely get sick. My brother and family are coming today to stay at my Mom’s through the weekend and I hope to still enjoy a nice visit with them since I didn’t see them at Christmas. I suspect by tomorrow my nose won’t be able to sniff well enough to blend for a week, and that will slow me down on Ambre Noir. I do need time to do the end-of-year inventory and paperwork though, so I’ll focus on that for now instead. I started taking astragalus root extract yesterday to help boost my immune system and will see if I can recover quickly.

New Year’s Thoughts: In honor of the change from 2009 to 2010, here’s a link to an article in today’s online Examiner.com by the talented natural perfumer Ayala Sender with a nice summary of major trends in fragrance over the last decade. She discusses things you’ve probably noticed too, like market oversaturation, the growth of niche brands, and trends in scent types such as sweet gourmands, fruity florals, and the “new” chypre. She also mentions the growth of the natural perfumery sector, and I heartily agree that is a wonderful trend. I remain committed to using both naturals and synthetics to try to achieve the best of both worlds. I enjoy using many naturals in my formulas and specifically avoid some synthetics that just don’t appeal to me, such as the ozonic Calone and Helional, though in the best hands even these can be used to advantage (for example, Vetiver Extraordinaire has an ozone note that works thanks to the expertise of Dominique Ropion, and Un Matin d’Orage by Isabelle Doyen is a fascinating dewy white floral that makes good use of ozonic notes).

If I read Ayala correctly, she’s anticipating the divide between natural perfumes and synthetic perfumes to grow, and she’s right that the divide has already magnified in the mainstream market with few naturals left in many of those formulas. I’m still optimistic, however, that the indie and niche perfume sectors will keep alive the tradition of mixing naturals and synthetics to strive for the best combinations, and maybe with continued market pressure from the fragrance community the IFRA situation will improve. Time will tell. It seems ideal to have both options for people: all-naturals made by talented perfumers who are committed to the art, and blends by perfumers who choose to combine generous amounts of high-quality naturals with some equally carefully chosen synthetics.

Hope you have a fun New Year’s Eve, and again I send my thanks and very best wishes for 2010!

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  1. Happy New Year, Laurie! One thing I am very grateful for this year is having found out about your wonderful perfumes through various perfume blogs. I am also looking forward to two things—seeing Ambre Noir back in the cart and the introduction of Bouquet Blanche.

    When I was sampling a few months ago, I had a very hard time deciding between Tabac and Ambre and decided to purchase the former first. Hopefully, Ambre will be back before Spring arrives here in southern Utah.

    Also, I have a hard time finding florals, especially for summer, that are just right—Lieu de Reves is stunning, but a little too powdery for me, although I will give my sample another shot in the spring. Fortunately, Wood Violet and Viole de Violette are simply perfect, and I plan to order a bottle of the latter as soon as I get my tax refund! I am very curious to smell Blanche, though, so I will be looking out for that one as well.

    At any rate, here’s wishing you a wonderful 2010—and thanks again for sharing your talent and passion for perfume composition!

  2. Hi Jess,

    Glad you’re enjoying the fragrances! Voile de Violette is my favorite of the violets too. When I got the new cistus oil a month or so ago I just had to try it in Ambre Noir, but after working on it a while I think it may be best to just keep Ambre Noir as is and do another amber that highlights the cistus. I had hoped to do a few more trials this week but may not be able to do that since I’m coming down with a cold — will see. It might be best just to make a batch of the regular formula, at least for now. I’m excited about Encens Tranquille! It will be good to get ET and AN back on the list. AN can remain the same since I had already worked the new oakmoss into it, but ET will be updated with the new moss and a new formula.

    Ysterday I tried the new oil in Bouquet Blanche that I thought would finish it, and it really is great in the formula. It’s a special natural fraction of a ylang oil that concentrates some of its best attributes while removing the harshness ylang sometimes has. It has floral, balsamic, and spicy aspects and is very long-lasting. I don’t have my kilo yet from France but expect it in January (I’m just working from a sample of it for now).

    Thanks so much for the good wishes, and best wishes to you too for a wonderful 2010!

  3. Addidng my wishes for a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to you! I love your picture. Did you take it? Perfect for the day and the site. I just read the following article on my favorite medical site (mercola.com) so I thought I’d share it. Selfishly, I have to get my favorite new perfumer back up to speed! LOL!


    Enjoy your time with your family, and hope you feel better soon. BTW, viruses clear toxins from our system, so they’re not really a bad thing.

  4. Hi Donna,

    I snapped that photo last summer, glad you like it, thanks!

    It’s probably not a bad idea to give my immune system some exercise; it has been so many years since I’ve been sick that I was afraid this might flatten me, but so far it is just a light cold. I think the astragalus may be helping (I used it years ago and it seemed helpful so I thought I’d try it again). I was actually able to sniff normally through yesterday so I was able to do more testing on Ambre Noir and decided to leave the formula as is. I’ll work on a new batch and get it back on the site. My nose is out of commission as of today, but I’m hoping to kick this bug quickly.

    I did get to visit with family on new year’s eve and that was great. They gave me some really cute photos of the kids. 🙂 Will see them more this weekend. Yesterday was rainy so I stayed inside and worked since I had one more day with clear sniffin.

    Thanks for good wishes and for the link (will go check that out), and best wishes to you too for the new year!

  5. Hope you’re feeling much, much better soon!

    I am really excited about Bouquet Blanche and will be rushing to sample it whenever it’s available. Oooooh, white flowers – my toes are curling.

  6. Hi mals,

    Thanks, yes, I’m just turning the corner on this cold. It hasn’t been too bad but just enough to prevent me from blending or sniffing right for nearly a week now. Should just be a few more days to get back to normal.

    Can’t wait to get back to Bouquet Blanche myself! I love white florals in winter. Gives me a hint of spring. 🙂

  7. Laurie,
    Thanks for the link to Ayala’s article. I finally got to read it yesterday and found it fascinating and enlightening.
    I really appreciate when you provide link to articles that provide useful information for our education and enlightenment.

    1. Hi Ann! Glad you liked Ayala’s article. I thought it was a nice summary of what’s been happening in the fragrance world. Never enough time to read all the good stuff out there!

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