In the House is a feature on EauMG. I’m collecting my experiences from years of perfume sampling and putting together a quick brand overview. There are so many perfume lines out there that it can be overwhelming. My goal with this is to quickly introduce people to niche and indie lines that may be of interest to them.
Who’s in the house? Sonoma Scent Studio
The perfumer: Laurie Erickson. You can read her bio here.
The History: The brand was founded in 2004 in the rolling hills of California’s wine country. The brand offers both natural and mixed-media compositions. Many of the perfumes are inspired by the stunning natural environments of the West Coast.
My impressions of the brand: My introduction to the brand was in 2011. I believe Laurie personally reached out to me and sent a few samples. Prior to that, I had read reviews from all the bloggers that I admire. I remember, I was about to make an order and it was like cosmic or something because that week she emailed me. When I opened that little envelope and unwrapped that bubble wrap, that was it. Sonoma Scent Studio became one of my favorite indie brands (as well as many others). The perfumes are versatile and timeless. You know all those style guides that are like “The 5 Clothing Items Every Woman Should Have in Her Closet”? That’s how I think of Laurie’s perfumes. They’re like the black slacks, white button up or leather jacket of perfumes. After all these years, they still work for me and I’ve never gotten tired of them. No matter my mood, the season or where I’m living, they all feel “right”. The perfect white button up is both comfortable but also polished and that’s how I perceive the Sonoma Scent line.
Brand’s strengths: If I had to narrow it down for this brand (which is difficult), it’s going to be three notes – rose, orris and sandalwood. These three core “ingredients” are found throughout the brand and really give it its cohesive feel despite having diverse fragrances. My personal favorites include the brands roses and violets. However, many people are drawn to the line’s “forest” and woods fragrances.
The brand is very environmental meaning that many of the scents will remind you of a place such as a cabin in the woods, an old growth forest or your grandmother’s floral garden. This is how this small, artisan brand differs from many larger, designer fragrances.
Another thing that I love is that they offer smaller sizes of their fragrances such as travel sprays. Most of us that really like perfume would rather have more perfumes of different sizes than fewer perfumes of larger sizes. The packaging may be simple, but at least they offer a variety of smaller sizes for people like me that can’t commit!
Brand’s weaknesses: For the most part, it’s distribution. In the US, the brand is only available online from the brand’s site. This makes it more difficult to try the brand (for free) before buying. However, Sonoma Scent has done their best to accommodate by offering reasonably priced samples for purchase and a discovery set (which is available by request).
I’ve also heard some perfume lovers say that there is something in the base of many of the compositions that doesn’t agree with them. When a brand is cohesive in style, this could be a common weakness (meaning that what one person loves in all of your perfumes is going to be something that another person despises in all of your perfumes). After talking to them, it seems that they are perfumistas that don’t do well with notes like dry woods, orris and rose. These are what I love but at the end of the day, it’s all about our chemistry! So, if you’ve sampled 2-4 of the brand’s perfumes and didn’t like them, you probably won’t like the rest even though they could be in a different fragrance family.
I have tried: All of them EXCEPT for Jour Ensoleillé.
My favorite/s from the line that I’ve tried: I seriously love all of the ones that I tried. It’s actually really hard for me to narrow them down. I love what she does with roses. And I think she does great things with violets. Champagne de Bois is my favorite champagne fragrance. For me, I prefer the brand’s florals but I even like the ones without florals.
My least favorite from the line: Incense Pure. And it’s excellent, just not one that I’d buy for myself. It only made “least favorite” as in “I liked, not loved”. However, via blogs, social media, etc. I hear that it is many people’s favorite incense perfume.
You may like some of the perfumes in this brand if you like perfumes like: rose soliflores, incense/woodsy fragrances, scents that will remind you of walks through the forest or countryside and perfumes that are versatile enough for any climate or season.
Does the brand offer samples or a discovery set? Yes. The brand offers samples and a discovery set.
Available products by this brand: Mixed media EDPs and a collection of natural EDPs. The line also carries perfumes in smaller “travel” size bottles.
Price Range: For large bottles range from $75 – $125. The price of individual perfumes vary from their composition. The Naturals, due to their ingredients, cost more.
Where to buy: online at Sonoma Scent Studio.
My 5 Must-Try Picks
Champagne de Bois – It’s champagne and sandalwood.
Velvet Rose – Huge, gorgeous velvety rose soliflore.
Incense Pure – Pure incense resins.
Tabac Aurea – Warm tobacco.
Fig Tree – A woodsy fig that even people that usually don’t like figs end up liking
Seriously, it was difficult to narrow it down to five but I think these accurately show the brand’s range. I wanted to recommend ten but my entire goal with the “In the House” feature is not to overwhelm!
To keep up with news and even reviews, you can find Sonoma Scent Studio on Facebook and Twitter. If you want an escape from your daily life, I highly recommend the brand’s Instagram which is filled with serene images of the Northern California countryside.
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*All images from the brand.