Weekend update

I’m working on Bouquet Blanc and am really excited by the added lactonic/milky notes and two other tweaks I made the last few days. It has more of the creamy floral nature I had in mind. Glad I had a gardenia bloom to sniff this week! 🙂

I just heard about a blog called Il Mondo di Odore that has recently reviewed many of the scents in the Sonoma line. It’s written by some basenotes members and may be especially helpful to men, though their reviews of many different brands should be helpful to women as well. The reviews get right to the main points and make an interesting read.

I received the first test run of labels from the printer yesterday evening, and it brings part good news and part bad. The printing on the gold foil looks great, with very crisp text. On the other hand, the machine cutting is not accurate enough for me, so if I want to use the foil I’ll have to hand cut. The alternative is to do a plain black label with gold text but no gold border (I can do that on my label printer with no special cutting). I can post a picture of that style if I think I might choose it, but I’m still considering the options.

It has finally warmed up here and has been unusually muggy. I actually don’t mind the strange tropical humidity after so much cool and rainy weather. It’s nice to be in short sleeves finally — lots more skin space for testing scents!

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  1. Wonderful reviews, and again I’m gobsmacked by his use of the word “dry” for much of the line. I really think that it is a gender thing. Very interesting.

    And if you haven’t already seen it, check out the Haiku thread on Now Smell This this weekend. Lots of good ones dedicated to SSS scents!

    I hope you’re having a great weekend.Cheers, Donna

    1. Hi Donna,

      I think scents do sometimes go more dry on men’s skin. Also sweetness depends on which notes are strongest to people. We both smell sweet musks more strongly than average, and I tend to be more sensitive to vanilla than average too. It’s interesting how much the perception varies though!

      I saw a beautiful poem about Incense Pure on that NST thread! And one about Velvet Rose that said it was satisfying to have rose scents like that to wear when your garden is too small to grow all the things you want, like roses. That was cute, and true, lol. Many of the poems were really creative and beautiful.

      Hope you’re having a good weekend too! I’m enjoying the warmth here. 🙂

  2. Thank you for the mention! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog a great deal, too, and have been reading regularly it in these past few months since I’ve discovered your line. It’s always great reading about perfumery from the creative angle. You have lots of fans over on Basenotes, to be sure, including me and Aromi from the blog.

    The dryness experience does seem to vary fragrance to fragrance. The biggest difference I’ve noticed is among the people who’ve sampled Jour Ensoleille – a number find it a dry, woody fragrance, a number of find it in the luscious floral category, and some smell something in between. I myself am in the “luscious floral” category when it comes to Jour Ensoleille, and I love it for that! Buttered summer sunshine in a bottle…

    I can’t wait to smell your gardenia. If you ever need some people test it, myself and a few gardenia-maniacs like me from Basenotes would be happy to help in any way, I’m sure! 🙂

    Best of luck in everything, and thanks for producing a great line of fragrances.

    1. Hi Galamb! Jour Ensoleille is quite floral to me too, but I know scents can vary quite a bit from one person to the next. I would love to have some of you test a couple scents for me when they are ready! I do need more men testers. I was trying a new green note in BB today to offset sweetness. Every time I increase the florals and/or creaminess I get the urge to cut sweetness too, and it could use a touch more green. I don’t like ozonic greens and would rather not make this scent mossy, so that limits my options. I think I found something today that might work though (will sniff the mod again tomorrow). When I have a tester let’s get in touch. Thanks!

      1. Fascinating to watch this fragrance develop!

        From a purely “consumer” point of view, the place my favorite gardenia fragrances are weakest is in the top. Whatever accord makes gardenia gardenia seems to emerge around twenty minutes in on my skin, and before that some of my favorites ( Yves Rocher Gardenia and Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia come to mind ) smell a little “flat” in a white-floral way that isn’t quite gardenia, as though the fragrance is missing top-notes, or at least, something lively and natural-smelling in the top notes. Some form of top note “entertainment” before the gardenia accord starts would be great in a gardenia fragrance. 🙂

      2. I’ve not tried the YR (I really should), but I love the EL. For me, it’s a mix of mostly gardenia and tuberose but the gardenia gradually fades and the tuberose lives on (with jasmine and other floral components). I’m always amazed by the energizer bunny staying power of the floral notes in the EL. It’s so potent that one small squirt is more than enough for me, and I prefer the sillage to the up-close smell on skin. I’m not trying to make BB strictly a gardenia, but I’d like those creamy lactonic gardenia notes to be prominent. Another gardenia I like is VC&A Gardenia Petale; it’s much softer in nature than the EL and the musks in the base work well for me.

  3. Hurray!!! (Claps wildly as she jumps up and down… – about the progress w/BB) Although I’m sorry to hear about the label issues.
    Can you get gold surface labels that you can print black letters over? although I’m sure you’ve already explored that option or you wouldn’t be looking to outsource the work.
    Anyway – I wanted to comment also about JE – I think of it as a “gentle chypre” because the dryness is more an accent/hint in the background of the drydown rather than the overall impression like the big chypre fragrances. That’s why I love it so – it doesn’t get in the way of the beautiful florals that makes this fragrance sing for me. You know it’s among my favorites of your creations, yes?

  4. Hi Ann!

    Just testing BB again this morning. I like the new light green note and could probably make it stronger. I like the drydown. Not happy with the earlier phases yet. For some reason certain combinations of OB, sandalwood, aldehyde, hedione, and ylang seem to cause to a slight hint of a sour note. It’s subtle but I need to track it down. It’s not quite what I’d call sour but sort of that direction and is bothering me. I wonder if it’s just me, but I’ll see if I can figure it out. When I reduce the sandal to just a whisper and use cedar instead, it goes away. But I’d prefer a sandal drydown if possible. If I take out the aldehyde it may go away, but that little touch of aldehyde was adding lift and juiciness. I’ll play with it later today. It’s so close, darn it! I’m obsessed with it at the moment.

    Glad you’re enjoying the JE! Thanks! 🙂 I think of JE as gently chypre too. The base is softly woodsy and green but not a heavy moss/patch/animalic type of base that a more classic chypre would have. On the other hand, it uses real moss and doesn’t amp up patchouli in its place like some more modern chypres.

    The gold foil sheets I can buy can only be printed with a laser printer and I have inkjet and thermal printers but not laser. I could buy a laser if that’d solve the problem, but the hard part is the cutting, not the printing. You either print first and then cut, trying to exactly hit the boundaries of the label around your ink, or you die-cut them first and then print, trying to get a printer that feeds them perfectly through each time to line them up with your die cuts. It must be possible for large runs because the tiny Serge Lutens mini bottles and tiny Chanel mini bottles have nicely aligned labels, but when I show those to my printers they say it can’t be done for smaller runs with less specialized equipment. I’d love to know what kind of equipment does those tiny labels for the big companies, but I suspect it is only available to print millions of labels. I have another idea to try though…

    PS If anyone reading this has label experience with tiny labels and knows how to get them cut to be lined up perfectly (no unequal borders on the edges), I’d love hints.

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