Scented Snippets Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery: Laurie Stern's Summer Synaesthesia

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery: Laurie Stern's Summer Synaesthesia

09/11/16 08:45:14 (7 comments)

by: Ida Meister

Both Jodi Battershell [NebraskaLovesScents] and I love Laurie Stern's body of work for Velvet and Sweet Pea's Purrfumery. It's easy to see why: her perfumes, bath salts and exquisite 'whipped frostings'* ring true every time, brim-filled with botanical loveliness that makes you ache. Not to neglect the fact that – beyond her creative abilities – she is such a delightful, sincere woman in person.

Laurie Stern and Mikmoi at TigerlilyLaurie Stern and Mikmoi at Tigerlily

Laurie has recently created three new perfumes: Èze, Rose Encens, and Highway. Jodi and I rather 'tossed the coin' on who would review these ;-) Each one is splendid and wearable, boasting a host of precious essences.

Let's get busy, shall we?

*[Laurie doesn't ship these in the heat – they'd simply dissolve, being the frothy sumptuous creatures they are. But you must sample them.]

Eze perfume

Èze

Notes: lemon, lavender, rose geranium, myrtle, jasmine, labdanum

Gentle and easygoing, Èze is 'the other perfume village' along the Mediterranean in the Alpes- Maritimes, not far from Nice.

Fragonard and Gallimard have footholds there, and it's a joy to tour the usines. Èze has less bustle about it than Grasse [I love them each], which is precisely the quality the perfumer wished to conjure. The tonicity of lemon, myrtle and lavender are in the foreground of this fragrance, which feels just right, especially in summer's heat.

Eze village

It makes me want to sit under an old fig tree and drink pastis with not a care in the world – watching the passersby with a cup of good strong coffee on the side, taking my own sweet leisure. If someone would offer me a hammock slung between two olive trees, that would be the ticket.

Rose Encens

Rose Encens

Notes: rose, Italian blood orange, Mexican lime, frankincense

I love a good rose perfume, and this is one. It's far more tender and balanced than many sharing a similar theme.

All the sweetness comes from Laurie's roses – not vanilla. You don't need to add spice; it exists in the complexity of such a jammy rose, which is wed to zesty lime and blood orange, juicy and palpable.

Frankincense is judiciously applied, not in overdose, as it's often found [although I enjoy that as well]. I think it's more unusual in that regard. Rather than create a rose with sharp margins, Laurie gives us a rounder rose, well-equilibrated and ever-so-soft in the drydown, a poised juggling of the citrus/rose/incense triad.

Highway

Highway

Notes: “A winding road of citrus, berries, cedarwood, vanilla, and blue spruce.”~ Laurie Stern

Laurie told me that she'd recently seen the recent documentary about The Highwaymen on public broadcasting, and that it fueled her desire to ponder the song “The Highwayman” in earnest.

I feel her. I share her longing for the open road as well, and the identification with Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings [I can never decide whether I'm Waylon or Johnny].

Their collective depth of experience and loss, combined with its allusion to incarnation and the concept of the fluidity of time – furnishes fertile ground for creativity.

Laurie's vision may differ from yours or mine, but it is no less beautiful for that.                             

Laurie's gardenLaurie's garden and cats

Laurie is, first and foremost – a lifelong gardener, floral arranger, floral artiste. Her orientation, her very being is guided by the botanical world, and Highway sings to the natural beauty of those fruit/floral essences with very tender underpinnings of cedar and spruce and excellent vanilla. It is a seamless web of wistful longing cloaked in mystery.

Highway is a warm, generous perfume; I've actually never smelt a cold one from Laurie's coffers. I can't imagine anything of The Snow Queen in her repertoire, likely because the perfumer herself radiates a genuine expansiveness which spills over into the body of her work: voluptuous, joyous, luminous.

Laurie's Essences

I offer my apologies, dear friends. I began this when it was still summer; alas, it is only now that my thoughts are complete. One can wear these in any season; they just happened to arrive on the scene during the summer months...

And they ARE a lovely thing to behold!

 

Ida Meister 

Writer

Ida (chayaruchama) has been an avid collector and sniffeuse for over 40 years. She adores consulting and collaborating with niche, budding and independent perfumers. Her hypervigilant nose has been of great help in her profession as a neuroscience/ oncology nurse, where she often smells fear, suffering, stress, and can identify most micro-organisms, medications, stages of disease, and has written about the amygdala. As a Senior and Natural Perfumery Editor, Ida has participated in many blog events with natural and mixed media perfumers and other writers. She has also been a teacher, translator, opera singer, dancer and caterer.

MEH



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sistermoon
sistermoon

I remember emailing Laurie once and I got such a NICE, genuine reply, she seems very kind, passionate and knowledgeable. Many times when writing to companies either there is no reply or there is a generic one. That's why this nice encounter stayed with me. Thank you!

Sep
12
2016
AveParfum
AveParfum

Completely by coincidence I had the pleasure of meeting Laurie and taking a perfumery class with her last night. My nose was so overloaded that I did not get to enjoy sampling her new creations, LOL, but I will certainly do so soon. I agree--she is a delightful and inspired person, a true champion for animals, and a great nose at that!

Sep
12
2016
johngreenink
johngreenink

The rose Encense is gorgeous, I was so happy to have that sample to dab and luxuriate in. She has a delicate but deliberate hand, I really like her work a great deal. Excellent article, thank you!

Sep
12
2016
smellagent
smellagent

Lovely article Ida! My favorite are Fir ever young and Jewelry from Heaven. I wish I owned FB of these. I will want to try the new ones at some point. I guess I will have to wait if she does not send out in the heat.

Sep
11
2016
VelvetKitty
VelvetKitty

Oh, Ida!

Thank you so much for your kind and moving thoughts on my new perfumes! They were all about what I was needing this year, turning 60. Deep rest (Eze), a million roses (Rose Encens) and (Highway) serious wanderlust! Again, thank you for enjoying all of them, your words about me, and your rich, evocative, and delicious writing. Love the images too! What fun to see Mik and I at Tigerlily to Eze and my garden of kitties! You are the best!

XOXO~Laurie

Sep
11
2016
bibibling
bibibling

OMG I WANT THEM ALL!!!

(I actually just kind of want to move in with Laurie and her cats and just smell everything she makes)

Sep
11
2016
NebraskaLovesScent
NebraskaLovesScent

Beautifully done, Ida!

I enjoy all three but Eze resonated with me the most. Laurie just has such a way with jasmine! This fragrance gives me a serious travel bug...

Sep
11
2016

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