In the House – Brand Spotlight on Sonoma Scent Studio


Sonoma Scent Studio

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

Laurie Erikson

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.


Sonoma Scent Studio Perfume


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.

Sonoma Scent Studio

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.

Comparable brands in style: Monsillage, Ramón Béjar, Miller Harris and Ramon Monegal. 

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.

Sonoma Scent Studio

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.

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.

Want more In the House? 


Juliette Has a Gun

Neela Vermeire Creations

Ramon Monegal

aroma M


Providence Perfume Co. 



*All images from the brand.

22 thoughts on “In the House – Brand Spotlight on Sonoma Scent Studio

  1. Just placed an order for the travel size of Velvet Rose. And got the dauber sizes of two of the violet perfumes. So excited to try these!!

    1. Hope you like them! Her violets are what got me into the brand. I was going through a violet stage and found all the ones I was sampling to be too “weak” or light, but SSS smelled like violets but didn’t disappear on my skin after 10 minutes.

  2. SSS is fabulous. Winter Woods is one of my favorites (in the world), and I adore Rose Musc, as well, though I honestly need to try more of them since I’ve had such good luck with the ones I’ve tested so far. Unfortunately, my fiance despises Winter Woods as much as I love it, and common courtesy has repeatedly guilted me out of buying a bottle.

    1. I can see how someone may not like Winter Woods because it’s so dry, some smoke. But, that’s also why people love it. You’re nicer than me 😉

      Love Rose Musc, it’s so good. You should try some more because they are really good. The ones I “dislike” aren’t even dislike, it’s more like “don’t love” or like better on other people.

      Luckily there are smaller sizes so I can buy the ones I like and not break the bank!

  3. I’m a big SSS fan. And Laurie is just lovely.

    Tabac Aurea is my favorite. Can’t get through chilly weather without it. Nostalgie, Velvet Rose, Champagne de Bois, all terrific, and there are several others I like as well.

    (I might be the only exception to the “people who don’t like figs like this one” with Fig Tree. I suppose I could say I hated it LESS than I usually hate fig perfumes… but it’s not SSS, it’s me and fig leaf. Just No.)

    1. It’s really, really hard to narrow it down because I like them all. I like some of them more than others, but really I can see them being a favorite of someone else.

      I love fig fragrances, the greener and leafier, the better. I expected to love Fig Tree, and it was merely like. It was all woods on me, which isn’t bad. I just had to shift my expectations.

      I need to pull out Champagne de Bois again. I used to wear that a lot and haven’t touched it since moving.

  4. I sampled some SSS back when Indiescents carried more of the brand. Really fell in love with Tabac Aurea! <3 Haven't been able to sample anything lately though since they don't ship internationally. I hate when small brands won't make their stuff available to the customers overseas. Takes them to the top of my shitlist. 🙁 I mean, if they don't want the hassle of shipping abroad themselves, can't they at least have their stuff be available in some online store that does? Is that too much to ask?

    *goes to sulk in a corner*

    1. Without responding with a boring reply, I’ll say it’s complicated. It’s really difficult for a small brand to have the resources to ship internationally or find distributors (for a variety of reasons). It really just comes down to overhead and the lack of resources that have a small operation has available to them. Also, so many small brands care about quality and really, they’re trying their best to build up their brand. There are hassles with international shipping that may reflect poorly on the brand even though it may not be their fault (like damaged items, customs, etc.). The same with distributors who may improperly store delicate items (like natural perfume) or overcharge customers. And to find a good online store or boutique, it may take having an agent which is an extra expense that some small businesses may not be ready for. But, I agree that if you want to build your business, you need to ship internationally or have someone selling it for you internationally.

      I totally get your frustration, there’s a shoe brand based in Germany that won’t ship abroad. It breaks my heart because I’m totally willing to “overpay” just to have them, but yeah, they won’t. And I should probably update this post to add “doesn’t ship internationally” in the weakness section.

      Do the decant sites like Surrender to Chance ship internationally? I think they have SSS (sure shipping would cost more than the actual samples though…)

      1. Most small brands manage international availability admirably well! All the tiny indie oil brands are amazing at it and most small niche too. Which just makes me more put out with the ones that just won’t…

        Surrender to Chance always seems to overcharge on both product and shipping so I don’t use them much even though they do ship internationally. I love Indiescents though, great spray samples, reliable shipping and awesome customer service! I wonder why SSS stopped selling there? Seemed like a good setup from a customer point of view…

        1. They really do. As someone that dabbles in importing, I’m actually amazed at how well most of these 1-3 people operations manage their international business.

          I don’t buy decants for a few reasons. I’m not anti-decant because I’ll gladly accept one (or even buy one) from a friend. I just do not like paying a lot for them. Like my friends, are my friends, they aren’t running a business so I feel they charge me reasonably 😉

          I was surprised to see they weren’t on IndieScents anymore. I actually love IndieScents and have ordered from them in the past. No hassles, great products, lots of samples. I highly recommend them. But, you already know how great they are 🙂

        2. I know this doesn’t help LaDomna, but it easy to ship an oil. It is not considered hazardous like perfume is and therefore not subject to the same shipping restrictions. If you want a sense of the issues read Andy Tauer’s blog about what kinds of forms he has to fill out in order to ship “hazardous materials.”
          As for not being carried by indiescents, it may be that the extra margin cost SSS too much for its level of production.

          In a GOOD NEWS post on Laurie’s blog on February 17th, she announced that she will be able to start shipping internationally via UPS, but warns that it will be expensive.

          1. Thank you for commenting! I remember Andy’s post and it was really helpful for me to understand just how difficult it could be to ship “hazardous materials”. A lot of this has even gotten more difficult. I remember when I started EauMG, there was little problems. Starting a few years ago, I have received many of my packages opened and some have even been confiscated (samples sent from UK!!!)

            Didn’t know that! That’s good to know 🙂

  5. I love SSS fragrances and have many. My favorite is actually Jour Ensoleillé. Laurie’s fragrances work really well
    with my body chemistry (I’m so lucky)!

    1. We’re the lucky ones! They work well for me too.

      Watch the one that I haven’t tried end up being my absolute favorite when I eventually try it. (>_<)

  6. In February I set up a shopping list for March and Sonoma Scents was actually on it! Having heard such great things about this brand its a wonder what took me so long. I just placed my order and cannot wait to try them out, particularly champagne de bois and winter woods. I think even if winter woods doesn’t work for me it sounds like one my boyfriend would like very much. He tried MMM’s By The Fireplace and liked the burnt wood, smokiness aspect of it but not so much the opening.

    Also, I always notice your sidebar items. Do you have a link to your shop?

    1. SSS really is a brand worth sampling. I’m thinking that Winter Woods sample will go to good use – either you or him. If he likes that MMM one, he’ll probably like the SSS one. It’s smoky and really like what you’d expect with a name like that.

      I co-own a little online boutique for sad girls – Hoping to add more bath/body stuff soon.

Comments are closed.