Monday, August 27, 2007

A little bit of whimsy makes 'purrfect' scents to me

As one of the Bay area’s most sought-after wedding florists, Laurie Stern discovered the world of perfume. Fascinated by this secret and mysterious world, she spent the next several years immersed in it, teaching herself the alchemy of scent by studying books on perfume from antiquity to the present and experimenting endlessly with scents and materials from all over the world. Creating the perfumes, the spa products and the exquisite packaging of Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery feels like the inevitable culmination of all her past careers and passions. This is Laurie's dream come true.

Velvet and Sweet Pea perfumes bespeak Laurie's whimsical philosophy of creating quality products that are fun and made only with the finest natural ingredients. Velvet and Sweet Pea are the ever present 'kitty consultants' who purr and meander throughout the thousands of herbs and flowers growing in this perfumer's gardens overlooking the pristine Bay.

A passion for potions, a lover of luxury, an aromatic
alchemist describe an incurable romantic whose Victorian studio holds a vast collection of ornate and antique bottles Laurie has collected from her world travels. The are transported into cherished gifts holding rare and precious oils, perfumes and colognes.

Jasmine Dawn & Dusk is at once an arresting melody of notes as both night blooming and dawn blooming jasmine harmonize with the citrus sisters of blood orange, mandarin and grapefruit. Keeping reign on what could be an overpowering burst of jasmine I find the long lasting base notes of honey, saffron, vanilla and cinnamon just perfectly balanced. Far from being a gourmand, this is a sweet sent and plays well with my chemistry. True to form, everyone will find their own comfort level especially where jasmine is concerned.

At a full dry down I'm left with a slightly bitter saffron which is actually quite pleasant. This is a close to the skin scent with frequent applications required every 2-3 hours as Laurie finds animal fixatives unnatural and not in accord with her philosophy to source on the finest ingredients from all over the world as well as tincturing and distilling her own specialties.

I could see myself lost in a mesmerizing afternoon, sitting in the garden as the afternoon son warms the scent her secret gardens. Everywhere you look, there is beauty to behold. I'll take my tour with a tall glass of tea.

Plan on spending a quiet, gentle time exploring Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery or better yet visit her in person. Here is the perfect place to find a cherished gift for a sister, a bride to be, or just to spoil yourself!