February 28, 2012

Sonoma Scent Studio – A Violet Perfume Ombre - A Spring Day to Evening

The style and tone of all the perfumes I have ever tried from Sonoma Scent Studio share the same heart. What they all have in common, even as they range across and use the full olfactory materials spectrum from bright to dark is that they are the aromatic children born of a soft balmy Mediterranean atmosphere. They are gentle, genial, warming and easy to love. They all seem to create a halo around the wearer. Wearing them you may then exist in the golden light and atmosphere of an Italian Renaissance painting. Comparing the Italian landscapes with the California Sonoma countryside you can see how the climate has shaped both to have that similar look of wine country. This is an aesthetic shaped by the well-cultivated and pleasant friendly side of Nature, where the magic hour when the sun highlights and picks out all the beautiful details will happen every day about four in the afternoon.


I ordered a few samples from Laurie Erickson and was floored to find many more in the package than I ordered. Among the generous selection were a number that created what I think of as a shading or ombre along the different fragrance tones to accompany a full early Spring day from morning to evening. The perfume’s names are accurately descriptive and precisely meaningful (less the norm than I would wish!).

The early morning starts with Voile de Violette – notes: violet flower, tonka, violet leaf, cedar, vetiver and myrrh. This one has the fresh sweetness of violet hugged by the warmth of tonka and the other deeper base notes, which in turn come out to embrace the skin and wrap you in a veil of a fresh sweetness exhaled from the earth. This smooth violet sweetness is almost vanilla in quality, but still with that powdery character that violet often shows, even here where there is no chill. Violet is a note I find often centered within coolness, but this one generates a relaxed warmth that’s like the whisper of body heat, like a scented fabric scarf just removed from around the neck still retains. This has a good longevity and medium throw of sillage.

Jour Ensoleille – the full light of afternoon with bright orange blossom, jasmine and tuberose over a woodsy mossy base, with the tang of the chypre style behind the florals, emerging from behind the floral curtain as a lengthening shadow. I like this structure because it gets you started with energy and verve, and then calming down to a bit more elegant astringency. Dessert first, but then an atmosphere that draws a cloak of sophisticated mental refinement around you that is supportive of work or some other disciplined and necessary activity.


Lieu de Reves – The evening violet is a place of dreams with notes of violet, heliotrope tonka vanilla and soft woods. The very beginning is so balmy and soft, that delicate violet toned by the other notes is definitively there, working to relax and bring attention to a quiet beauty that could shift you away from worries and cares. This one is classically beautiful, the notes sing all together. You can pay close attention and find them as separate graceful entities or you can simply enjoy them as a symphonic chorus that works together as one. Their soft voices are all of equal strength, but the gentle soprano of the violet gives sets the tone and style. This one creates an aura in the best sense of the word and as fragrances do, the air around you is heightened with a subtle calming beauty.

These are artisan perfumes made completely by hand, start to finish.  These are mixed media scents, containing natural scent materials and a small percentage of man-made scent materials. It is obvious from the fragrance experience I have had that all ingredients are carefully selected by the perfumer Laurie Erickson, to be as high a quality as can be obtained.  The concentration is 20-24%, which is extrait strength.

There is a sample program available, from $3-$3.25 each, and also various increments in size of perfumes so you can try all three of these, as I would suggest you do, in ranges from $17 for a 5ml travel spray to $41-$42 for 17ml to $80 for 34ml.  Please check the site for exact pricing of each perfume, they are all different.  You can obtain them from the site and from select stockists.

Above images, Violet Bouquet by Edouard Manet;
Sonoma Russian River DeLoach Vineyards;
Detail of an Italian landscape, Giorgione

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