Sonoma Scent Studio’s Complex Fragrances

Ann sent me a link to the SFGate article about the indie perfume line Sonoma Scent Studio and its creator Laurie Erickson. The article, Sonoma Scent Studio’s Complex Fragrances, was published in October 2012, but Ann and I thought that it would be interesting to share. Erickson’s story is quite amazing and inspiring.

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“Injured in a horseback riding accident when she was 20 years old, Erickson has spent the past 30 years adjusting to new normals…. She discovered a new career in perfumery that appealed to her creative side and also accommodated her physical constraints, allowing her to work from home. ‘Technical writing is similar to perfumery in that you have to use both sides of the brain: the scientific, detail-oriented side and the creative side.’ ” Please click here to read the rest.

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50 Comments

  • Anne: Thank you, Victoria and Ann. Her story is incredible. January 7, 2014 at 10:56am Reply

    • Victoria: Glad to share! I also thought that it was a great, moving story. January 7, 2014 at 11:32am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: Yes, great and moving indeed! What a couragious, passionate and talented woman. I never saw Sonoma Scents here in Amsterdam, will try to find them. I like the idea that they use synthetic animal stuff. And I hope they have a perfume with my favourite sweet peas (lathyrus, i suppose). January 7, 2014 at 12:39pm Reply

    • Victoria: Most perfume lines use synthetic animal materials, but I like that SSS is very transparent on the choices the brand makes. January 7, 2014 at 2:37pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Yes, that’s what you told me about the big houses. But if I understood you well, niche houses use sometimes the natural civet or castoreum. January 7, 2014 at 3:08pm Reply

        • Victoria: You’re right, that’s an important distinction. Most niche lines don’t use natural animalic ingredients either, but one can never be sure about the lines billing themselves as “all-natural.” January 7, 2014 at 3:18pm Reply

          • Merlin: Yeah, ironic, given that most people who would like the ‘natural’ label might well be put off by the idea that that might also mean the use of real animal ingredients. January 7, 2014 at 4:53pm Reply

            • Hannah: And also botanic materials that have been overharvested, which isn’t good for the environment. January 7, 2014 at 6:33pm Reply

              • Victoria: In some cases like oud, sandalwood, rosewood, this is definitely true. But in many cases, botanicals are either wild-harvested or farmed in a sustainable way, and they provide the essential income to many rural communities. January 8, 2014 at 6:09am Reply

            • Victoria: Yes, especially when we think that all-natural is better for our health and the environment, which is not necessarily the case. January 8, 2014 at 6:05am Reply

  • Aisha: She seems so down-to-earth. If I lived near her studio, I wouldn’t feel intimidated at all and likely attend one of her planned workshops. By the way, Fireside Intense sounds like a wonderful fragrance, so does Cocoa Sandalwood. January 7, 2014 at 12:39pm Reply

    • Ann: Hi Aisha,

      I have just started sampling SSS fragrances, but Fireside Intense is among my samples. It is a warm, tree sap crackling fire scent that I suspect would be as wonderful in the summer as it is on this chilly, grey morning! January 7, 2014 at 12:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: I was thinking the same thing. :) Doesn’t the idea of chocolate and sandalwood sound wonderful? January 7, 2014 at 2:38pm Reply

  • Tora: I admire Laurie so very much. she is one of the kindest, sweetest women I have had the pleasure of dealing with in the perfume world. Her perfumes are unique, very complex, and they seem to have a distinctive ‘Laurie’ style that I really like.

    In my small way, I spread the word to my friends and other perfume lovers about her beautiful work. At every perfume party I have hosted, her fragrances always are selected as the most loved of the evening!!

    Thank you for sharing this!!! January 7, 2014 at 12:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: What a lovely note! I haven’t had a pleasure of meeting Laurie Erickson in person, but I hope that I will one day. She sounds like such an amazing person. Her perfumes are beautiful, and Fireside and Incense are my favorites. January 7, 2014 at 2:55pm Reply

  • Suzanne M.: I remember when this article ran (I live in the SF bay area) and was amazed to learn about Laurie’s story. She is a delightful and talented person; her fragrances are of very high quality. I would be hard pressed to pick any one as a favorite. Thank you for sharing this article and spreading the word about this very special perfumer. January 7, 2014 at 1:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s very inspiring to learn all of the details. What an incredible story! January 7, 2014 at 2:57pm Reply

  • lari: Victoria, thanks so much for posting this. I am slowly working my way through sampling all her scents- wore Nostalgie just yesterday. I find them lovely, complex and just plain different. Some definitely an acquired taste. I love being in the woods in any season and she has that covered but the others are wonderful too. Everytime I wear one, someone stops to ask me what I’m wearing and how unusual it is. Thanks again and Thank you Laurie for you inspiring story and wonderful fragrances. January 7, 2014 at 1:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s interesting how many of her perfumes have this outdoorsy feel. Her Incense smells not just like frankincense pellets, but also like twigs, cool autumnal air and fallen leaves. Such an evocative scent. January 7, 2014 at 3:14pm Reply

      • Suzanne M.: I think the “outdoorsy” nature of her scents is probably connected to living in northern California, a place where it’s easy and delightful to be outdoors all four seasons. January 7, 2014 at 4:25pm Reply

        • Victoria: It makes a lot of sense to me. I know northern California a little bit, and I can imagine that the very scents in the air are inspiring. January 8, 2014 at 5:57am Reply

  • Merlin: I have a small but splendid bottle of Lieu de Reves, and would love one of both Champagne de Bois and Winter Woods, but unfortunately with all the postal regulations it seems she can no longer ship internationally:(

    Those are my three absolute favorites! Perhaps I need to check whether there has been any changes in the postal situation… January 7, 2014 at 2:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s too bad. I haven’t ordered from SSS since I’ve left the US. Since the Belgian customs take a heft fee, I don’t risk doing so anymore. January 7, 2014 at 3:06pm Reply

      • Merlin: That happens here too, thats why I got the smallest sized bottle. It was a small enough bottle to get through as cosmetic samples – and such a rich formula it will still last a long time! January 7, 2014 at 4:59pm Reply

        • Victoria: If I order from any country outside of Europe, I try to make sure that the value doesn’t exceed 20-30 euros. I once had to pay around 25-30 euros on a 60 euro worth of cosmetics. Ouch! January 8, 2014 at 6:07am Reply

          • Merlin: Yeah, its that unknown factor… I haven’t ordered anything from an overseas company for a long time. I’m afraid I just won’t be able to afford the customs that get slapped on! January 8, 2014 at 7:10am Reply

  • nozknoz: Thanks for posting this, Victoria! Her Tabac Aurea is one of my all-time favs. January 7, 2014 at 4:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: I might have learned about Tabac Aurea from one of your comments a while back. It’s so beautiful and I love its retro aura. January 8, 2014 at 5:56am Reply

  • Nemo: Thank you for sharing the link! SSS perfumes were the first fragrances I ever tried that I really fell in love with, particularly Winter Woods. As you said, I think the most special part of many of her scents is the outdoorsy-ness that makes them feel like they become part of you when you wear them. January 7, 2014 at 9:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also feel this way too. There is something of a personal fingerprint on her perfumes, which is very special. January 8, 2014 at 6:11am Reply

  • Laurie Erickson: Thanks so much, Victoria and Ann! And thank you too to the commenters for their sweet words. It’s funny how life sometimes heads in unexpected directions, but I’m very glad my path led me to the online fragrance community. It’s been a true blessing to get to know so many special people, and I’m very grateful. January 7, 2014 at 9:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for your perfumes, Laurie! I admire you for not only overcoming challenges but also managing to channel their energy into creating something beautiful. January 8, 2014 at 6:13am Reply

    • Ann: Hi Laurie,

      Your fragrances speak to so many people and provide so much pleasure! January 8, 2014 at 12:03pm Reply

  • Maren: How inspiring to learn more about her background. Several of her fragrances have been on my “to try” list for awhile, so I think they just moved up to the top now!. Seeing the photos of her setting where she creates her fragrances makes so much sense in the aesthetic of her line. January 7, 2014 at 10:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: I loved the photos that accompanied the article. What a beautiful place it seems! January 8, 2014 at 6:14am Reply

  • Liz K: Thank you for posting this. I love Laurie’s scents and enjoy reading her blog as well. January 8, 2014 at 3:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, thank you for reminding us about the blog. It’s such a nice resource too. January 9, 2014 at 12:11pm Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: What an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing, Ann and Victoria. I still haven’t had the pleasure of trying SSS perfumes due to shipping restrictions but I’ve been keeping my eyes on them because I really love outdoory scents. I have a business trip planned this year to the U.S. and I’m really looking forward to ordering some samples. January 8, 2014 at 4:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: I especially recommend her Incense Pure, which is such a relaxing, calming blend. January 9, 2014 at 12:12pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thanks for the recommendation, V. I noted it down. I’m also interested in trying Winter Woods and Forest Walk. January 10, 2014 at 8:00am Reply

  • HN: SSS frags are wonderful. indiescents.com carries a selection of SSS fragrances and they have established a Canadian website where you can order without worrying about customs fees, etc. January 9, 2014 at 6:46pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for a tip! January 10, 2014 at 7:57am Reply

  • Buka: Victoria, thank you for sharing the article!
    Laurie seems to have such a warm and pleasant personality and her vision about nature is very appealing to me. The pictures are beautiful, and I can envision one creating wonders in such surroundings.
    Can’t wait to try a boxed set of samples from SSS!… January 10, 2014 at 5:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: We need to thank Ann too for sending the link. I don’t read as much of the SFGate, so I missed this article the first time around. So glad that you and others liked it as much as I did. January 12, 2014 at 4:48am Reply

  • Lizzy: A beautiful article and fitting description of a wonderful perfumer! I fell in love with several of Laurie’s creations a few years ago–Jour Ensoleille is my “happy place,” Fig Tree is the LBD of my fragrance wardrobe, and Vintage Rose/Rose Volupte is what I wear when I want to feel “drop dead gorgeous.” I also enjoy the cozy snuggliness of Cocoa Sandalwood–it’s a great scent to fall asleep to. January 10, 2014 at 11:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: Lizzy, oh, yes, Fig Tree! Thank you for reminding me about it. It’s a simple but such an evocative fig perfume. January 12, 2014 at 4:50am Reply

  • Tara C: Laurie is so lovely to deal with, always friendly and generous. I have 5 of her scents and look forward to her new scents coming out this year! January 11, 2014 at 4:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried anything from last year, but now I will be paying more attention to her collection. January 12, 2014 at 5:05am Reply

  • Gentiana: Impressive this ladies life.
    Good example of power of will and passion and optimism.

    I had a great curiosity in the last year for the SSS line (born by the bloggers’ enthusiastic reviews) and wanted to order some samples, but this didn’t fit in the budget till now.

    I read the article with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing this wonderful life story. February 17, 2014 at 10:23am Reply

    • Victoria: The story is indeed very moving! February 17, 2014 at 11:16am Reply

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