A Message of Love and Free Shipping!

Greetings, dear Purrfumery friends!

There’s a chill in the air, rain in the sky and love in my heart as we get closer to Valentine’s Day! February 14 has always been my favorite day of the year. It’s a day when we open our hearts to love – and not just romantic love, but the fondness and care we feel for everyone in our lives. It’s a perfect day for a paper Valentine, a bouquet, a sweet treat, or a scented treasure from Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery!

Free shipping on your early Valentines!

Celebrate someone you love this year with my hand-crafted scented delights – maybe it’s just a little something, like a hydrosolbeard balm, or something Kittylicious. Or maybe it’s a luxurious anddecadent bottle of Honey parfum or a gift certificate. I will wrap whatever you choose in gorgeous, elaborate packaging… and ship it free until January 31. Just type CORSAGE in the discount box.

Let’s all toast to love! I love you my dear Purrfumery friends!

New solid wins praise with Cafleurebon 

Late last year, I unveiled three new solid perfumes – Moonlight, Mystère Dévoilé and Flame Brocade – at Perfumariē in Soho, New York. Moonlight is intensely floral with Indian jasmine, Madagascar ylang ylang and Egyptian carnation and inspired by the magical, luminous Orientals of the 1920s. Mystère Dévoilé – or “a mystery unveiled” – is also lush and floral, with notes of Indian jasmine, Italian blood orange, Lisbon lemon and a heart full of Chinese osmanthus and orris butter. And Flame Brocade… it opens with the spicy warmth of antique cinnamon and black pepper and evolves into a narcotic blend of sultry frangipani and tuberose. What a thrill it was to read the review of Flame Brocade by Ida Meister, Senior Editor and Natural Perfumery Editor at Cafleurebon. Thank you, Ida for your beautiful writing! 

I have all three of my new solids available as samples for you to try. Already know which one you love? Well I have news for you! Keep reading…

A bouquet just for you!

For years I have been collecting rhinestones, baubles and all kinds of ornaments for my fancy-work projects. The other day I was packaging one of my new solids, and I pulled out my fancy-work boxes and started daydreaming about all the corsages I made when I had my flower business. Before I knew it, I had a sweet little corsage in my hand, and I decided to make more! 

It’s a little gift just for you, my dear Purrfumery friends… Each order of Moonlight, Mystère Dévoilé and Flame Brocade arrives with a lovely unique little corsage you can wear, made from antique ribbons, flowers, and magical whatnots! Enjoy!

Sniff and sample to your heart’s delight

Let me know if you’d like to come over for a cup of tea and a shopping spree. I’m around and would love to see you. Call me at 510-334-8824 or email laurie@purrfumery.com.

Thank you all, my dear Purrfumery friends!

Until next time,

Peace, love, purrfume and kitty cats


Happy Holidays & Thank You From The Purrfumery!

Dearest Purrfumery friends,

Thank you so much for your love and support of Velvet & Sweet Pea’s this year. It’s been a turbulent year for me and for many others, and it heals me to create and share my work. I hope that my perfumery treats have brought you peace, relaxation and pleasure – that is my greatest desire! I am deeply grateful to you for being a part of the Purrfumery.

Hugs and best wishes for a lovely holiday and a fabulous New Year!

 XOXO ~ Laurie, Buttercup, Truffle, and Kitty Magic

Happy December From The Purrfumery! Take 15% Off All Products!

Greetings, dear Purrfumery friends!

I’ve returned from my trip to New York City and whew! It was an excellent trip and I want to give a big shout out to all my New York Purrfumery friends who visited me at Perfumariē in Soho! It was wonderful to meet some of you for the first time. Thank you for coming to see me!

Before the trip, the kitties and I enjoyed a creative breakthrough. We launched three new perfumes, and we made a new version of Fir-ever Young – a solid that’s just divine. And, with the help of our wonderful graphic designer Emerald, we created Grateful Dead-style Purrfumery posters that I took with me to New York. It was a blast! I will tell you more in a minute, but first…

We’re having a SALE! 

From now until December 12th, I am offering 15% off on all Purrfumery products in honor of the holiday season. Just type SPRUCE in the discount box. This is an excellent opportunity to share the Purrfumery with friends and family… and don’t forget about yourself! You like holiday gifts too, don’t you? All purchases over $100 will receive a Purrfumery poster too!

Our glorious new Limited Edition solid perfumes

So much to explore! Let me know if you’d like to come over for a cup of tea to sniff and sample these or other Purrfumery treats! Call me at 510-334-8824 or email laurie@purrfumery.com.

I use my beautiful antique millinery collection to package my new Limited Edition perfumes – delicate violets and leaves adorn all the pouches. And all of these perfumes are available in my new Starlight box, as well as the sterling silver jewel box. Here we go!

Flame Brocade : I worked on this for years! It is a true labor of love…and a truly limited edition – very small batch. Flame Brocade opens with the spicy warmth of antique cinnamon and black pepper and evolves into a narcotic blend of sultry frangipani and tuberose. A vanilla sandalwood base mingles with heady floral and spice notes and completes this luscious and unforgettable scent. I am offering Flame Brocade in liquid and solid – all are parfum strength.    

Mystère Dévoilé : This perfume honors Gary, my landscape architect husband. Years ago he planted a 40-foot wall of jasmine along our driveway. In the spring and summer, our driveway is an incredible place to be – the scent from our lemon tree mingles with the gorgeous aura of jasmine. My cousins told me I should make a perfume that captures the magical, completely over-the-top scent of my driveway when everything is in bloom. Mystère Dévoilé is that perfume. “A mystery unveiled.” This perfume was my coming home after a difficult period. It’s lush and floral, and unfurls generous notes of Indian jasmine, Italian blood orange and Lisbon lemon before finding its heart in hints of fruity Chinese osmanthus and orris butter. I love this perfume and I hope you will too!

Moonlight : This scent was inspired by the Orientals of the 1920s. It is rich, magical and luminous, and reminds me of that incredible era of artistry and luxury. Moonlight is intensely floral, with a citrus opening and a heart set in an accord of Indian jasmine, Madagascar ylang ylang and Egyptian carnation. A base of aged patchouli and deep, gorgeous sandalwood mingles with spicy carnation notes to carry this perfume to its lavish finish. It’s warm and rich and very beautiful!

Fir-ever Young solid perfume, first ever!

I have made a Limited Edition of Fir-ever Young in a solid perfume for the first time ever! This is one of my best sellers and gorgeous for this season. It’s based on fir balsam, black currant buds, and jasmine. Divine. It was in Oprah Magazine a few years ago!

New batch of Jewelry of Heaven solid perfume!

There is also a new batch of Jewelry of Heaven solid perfume, and this one is an even richer version than the original!

All of these new solid perfumes are about 25% less expensive than the other solid perfumes on my website because they are not on the collectors website yet. They will be available at this price only for a limited time.

Whipped Frostings back in stock, get them while they last!

I just hand-blended a new batch of Whipped Frostings to help you banish dry skin this season. These luxuriously scented Whipped Frostings moisturize your skin with a combination of organic oils that are rich in antioxidants and high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for regenerative, anti-aging power. I love to spritz on a hydrosol first and then lock in the moisture with a frosting. We have Black Cat, Gardenia, Orange Blossom and Kashmir Rose Whipped Frostings—try them all!

My life today and tomorrow

Life changes mean we must ebb and flow. Over the last few years, I discovered my true passion – to develop limited edition perfumes andcustom, signature scents for my Purrfumery friends. These are incredible opportunities for me – they are luscious creative journeys. And when I start these journeys, whether it’s mixing a limited edition or creating a custom scent, I need to step away for a few days, sometimes longer. That means some of my other Purrfumery tasks, like packaging and shipping, move a few days down the line. It’s all me, my dear Purrfumery friends! My staff consists of the kitties (they’re the muse, but not great at tying ribbons, only running off with them!) and Emerald my graphic designer. In 2019 there may be some weeks where I am not shipping because I am on a brief creative journey. I will always let you know on my website if there is going to be a delay. And if you have a perfume emergency (these happen – I have clients who can’t be without their Jasmine Tuberose solid, or their Rose hydrosol!) you know you can always email me and I will help you!

Helping the Camp Fire victims

I left for the East Coast while the fires were still burning. I was horrified to see the smoke in the air – we were scrambling to see if there was some way to protect our birds in our outdoor aviary. And I was overwhelmed by the casualties I heard about. I’m so sorry this happened, and I want to help. For the month of December, I am donating a portion of all Purrfumery purchases to help the animal victims of the Camp Fire. Hundreds of animals were injured and need homes, and shelters are working hard to help them. This relief effort will be going on for some time – I’m sure this will be the first of many donations from the Purrfumery.

Thank you all, my dear Purrfumery friends!

Happy Holidays! Wishing you great love and joy!

Until next time,

Peace, love, purrfume and kitty cats

Copyright © 2015 Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery, All rights reserved.
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Blooming New Projects At The Purrfumery!

Blooming New Projects At The Purrfumery!

Greetings, dear Purrfumery friends!

It’s been an amazing few months and I have so much news to share! 

Signature Scent and Limited Edition price changes coming soon

My newsletter subscribers are the first to know! I will be raising the prices of my Signature Scent and Limited Edition liquid and crème perfumes. It’s the first price change in 10 years, and I need to do it to meet the cost of my materials, which have gone up. Imagine that it takes 60 roses to make 1 drop of rose oil! The cost of labor has gone up, too, and many of the materials I use are processed by hand around the world. 

Also, I am running very low on jewel boxes, and may not have these again, as the cost of silver has gone through the roof. So, if you have been eyeing a crème perfume, now is the time, my dear Purrfumery friends! 

The price change will not affect Kittylicious or eau de parfums.

Introducing The Velvet Collection at Avé Parfum

I’m delighted to introduce you to Avé Parfum, a beautiful new web-based perfume boutique that carries fragrances from perfumers who promise never to use cruel animal musks in their products. I met the proprietress, Elizabeth Rose, when she took my Spirit Perfumery class at Homestead Apothecary in Oakland. Elizabeth and I had a meeting of the minds—we are both dedicated to animal protection and had a dream of bringing niche and artisan perfumes from around the world to perfume lovers who wear only cruelty-free and animal musk-free scents. She asked me to create new dilutions of her favorite Purrfumery scents. I’m thrilled to support Avé Parfum’s mission of education, awareness, charity and compassion for animals. 

Visit Avé Parfum and find these sumptuous Purrfumery favorites:

The Velvet Collection: Highway, Honey and Black Cat
Labeled and wrapped in luxurious new designs, these luscious Purrfumery favorites are all in eau de parfum and are available in two new sizes – 15 and 30 ml. This is the debut of Black Cat in a base of organic, vanilla-infused alcohol! Previously, Black Cat was only available in a jojoba oil dilution. Experience them in their new packaging for yourself, or share with someone you love.

The Velvet Collection will launch on Black Friday! I suggest visiting Avé Parfum’s website and subscribing to their newsletter (make sure it doesn’t go to spam), as they will announce a special offer for the launch. Samples will be available for purchase as well as full bottles of both sizes.

Honey Harvest is complete

Gary and I, along with my cousins, just finished the honey harvest. I was dragging my feet a bit because it was so hot and smoky out, but the honey can’t wait! Now it’s done, and I have plenty of honey, beeswax and propolis for my perfumes (not to mention sweet goodness for our tea when you visit me)!

Lending a hand in tough times

The day of the honey harvest was one of the worst fire days. We could see and smell the smoke from the tragic fires burning just north of our home. So many people and animals were displaced, and we continue to look for ways to help. We heard that the Milo Foundation, which is based in Point Richmond, had to evacuate their sanctuary in Willits. They were seeking people in safe locations to take in dogs and cats. For the month of November, the Purrfumery will donate a portion of all sales to support the Milo Foundation’s Fire Evacuation Fund. We’re pitching in to help wherever we can!

New role with International Perfume Foundation

I am thrilled to announce that I have been named the new Director of Animal Conservation for the International Perfume Foundation (IPF), a non-profit organization based in Brussels. The IPF’s Mission is Education, Protection and Revitalisation of Culture and Perfume Heritage to Reconnect Human Society with the Beauty of Natural Fragrances and the Healing Power of Nature.

As IPF Director of Animal Conservation, my role is to ensure the development of animal cruelty-free and animal testing-free natural perfumes, provide guidance for IPF gorilla and bee research projects, and participate in IPF events. 

The civet cat, musk deer and beaver suffer when musks are harvested for use in perfume. This has to stop. We have botanical replacements for musk, and cruelty to animals is unnecessary. My role with IPF is to educate perfumers about how they can use plants, seeds and other botanicals to create musk scents, and spare animals their current anguish. I believe that education is the best way to raise perfumer and consumer awareness.

Three IPF projects I will be involved in are the World Heritage Program, the replanting of flower fields for the bees, and gorilla olfactory research. Bees are disappearing in part because farmers are growing genetically modified flowers for market. These flowers are visually flawless, but they lack scent. This has become a huge problem for bees, an insect with an olfactory system that depends on scent. It has also become a problem for natural perfumers. Gorillas, other primates, and humans share similar olfactory senses. The difference is gorillas use their sense of smell to cure themselves instinctively with plants and flowers. I’m excited about the possibility that IPF research could lead to a better understanding of how plants and flowers could be used in cures for cancer and genetic diseases in humans.

When you’re looking for ways to implement change a world away, you need all the inspiration you can find! In October, I attended the World Conservation Expo and listened to the heroic stories of people who work with governments and communities to keep animals like lions, giraffes, cheetahs and elephants safe from harm. I met my hero, Jane Goodall, who has opened the world’s eyes to conservation and protecting chimpanzees. 

In the few moments I had with Jane, I shared my own message of conservation and my new role with the IPF. It was an incredible experience to meet her – I have listened to her and learned from her for as long as I can remember! Her vision and drive give me hope.

Pictured above: Meeting my hero Jane Goodall, IPF Director Creezy Courtoy studying gorillas in the field

Visit me at the Purrfumery!

I look forward to carrying on the tradition of conservationists in my work with the IPF… and of course, with the kitties in the Purrfumery! My kitties and pigeons also encourage and inspire me! I attended and helped at the Pigeon Palomacy and Dove Adoption Fundraiser a few weeks ago and had a wonderful time! And, I am also thrilled to say that when I met Jane Goodall, I gave her a Pigeon Palomacy locket as a gift. 

Please let me know if you would like to hear more about the work I’m doing with the IPF. Or, if you’d like to stop by the Purrfumery for a cup of tea and chat! The holidays are coming up, and I’m happy to meet with you and help you find something beautiful for your friends, loved ones, and for yourself. 

Until next time!

Peace, love, purrfume and kitty cats…

XOXO~ Laurie

Fall Purrfumery Classes!

Greetings, dear Purrfumery friends!

Fall is around the corner! Soon, the flowers and plants in the Perfumer’s Garden will turn inward and begin to slowly rebuild for the next season. It’s a marvelous creative process and one that we mimic as humans, whether we realize it or not. We are constantly growing, changing and tapping into newfound creativity. This fall, I am teaching two classes that are stepping stones on the path to Natural Perfumery, a very unique and personal pastime that engages our intuition and sense of delight. I invite you to join me and indulge in the exquisite experience of turning inward.

Here are the classes I will be teaching:


Spirit Perfumery Series at Homestead Apothecary, Oakland

Three classes –10/15/17; 10/22/17; 10/29/17 – Enroll in the series, or take just the class you need

In this series, you will experience a palette of natural materials, and learn the basics of making three kinds of perfumes: solid, liquid oil-based, and alcohol-based. Enroll in the series and get an overview of a range of perfume carriers; or take just the class you need. No experience is necessary, though the alcohol-based perfume class is more advanced. Curricula include lessons about top, middle and base notes; how accords (a series of notes that make a new scent) are made; how a natural perfume without isolates or petrochemicals is constructed; and how a botanical perfume evolves over time. You’ll also learn about some safety issues to consider when working with essential oils for perfumery. And, I will cover the ethics of animal testing and methods for avoiding materials that harm animals. 

Small classes ensure plenty of personal attention.

Register for the class here: 


Fall & Winter Floral Scents and Arrangement Classes at Filoli

This fall and winter, master floral designer Pat Gibbons and I will be teaching dual classes that start with creating seasonal, decorative floral arrangements. During my part of the classes, you will have the opportunity to relax and inhale rare natural perfume essences and then blend your own room spray using natural wood and spice essences. Learn more and purchase your tickets at 

A tip: These classes give you a unique and relaxing way to spend time with family and friends! Classes fill up fast, so book early. 


I look forward to seeing you in class, my dear Purrfumery friends!

If you’d like to make an appointment to visit the Purrfumery, contact me at 510-528-8040 or laurie@purrfumery.com

Until then,

Peace, love, purrfume and kitty cats…


Happy Holidays & A Gift From The Purrfumery!

Greetings, dear Purrfumery friends!

The last few months have been so chaotic, haven’t they? Between the election and the dialog that’s followed, I’m channeling my sister more all the time. Gail was an art historian and curator at the Balch Institute for Ethnics Studies in Philadelphia and spent her career educating people through art. She used to say she didn’t like the word “tolerance” because it wasn’t strong enough. It didn’t go far enough. In Gail’s memory, I encourage you to embrace every culture and learn all you can about people who appear to be different than you. I believe you’ll find that we are all the same beneath the surface. Peace on Earth, my dear Purrfumery friends!

The kitties have been busy…

Thank goodness for my top-notch staff! While I was wringing my hands over the news, the kitties were hard at work getting ready for the holiday season. We have some beautiful gifts for you and yours…  

New scents!

Evoke new beginnings with Highway, a warm and winding road of citrus, berries, cedarwood, vanilla, and blue spruce. Get romantic with Rose Encens, a deep, rich scent of rose that mingles with tart Italian blood orange and sacred Frankincense. Or, take a little trip to a faraway place with Eze, the scent of the Mediterranean… it beckons with lavender, rose geranium, myrtle and jasmine.

Scent lockets – so many choices!

Purrfumery scent lockets make beautiful stocking stuffers and gifts, and they come in a range of styles and scents. We have ornate, vintage style lockets, Honey Cat and Pigeon lockets and gorgeous floral lockets. Take a look!

For the man who has everything… and a beard

Don’t forget the beardsmen! Mr. Whisker’s Beard Balms help guys keep their beards neat and smooth and their skin soft. Available in organic Juniper & Cypress Forest, Pinon Desert, and Vetiver Breeze. Banish the bristle and get cozy!

Kittylicious line gets even cuter!

Whew! I told you we’ve been busy! We’ve created a whole new look for our super popular Kittylicious line—check out the darling gold book boxes that shimmer in the light. Perfect size for stocking stuffers, or as a gorgeous gift on its own!

Free Organic Bulgarian Rose hydrosols with your purchase over $50

Who doesn’t love a pick-me-up spritz? Hydrosols are light and lovely and add just a hint of scent. I’ll be including a free  2 ounce rose hydrosol ($25.00 value!) with every purchase of $50 through December 18th. Beautiful, romantic smelling rose-water is traditionally used to ease stress and tension, encourage sensuality and openness, and as a toner for mature skin. It’s my way of saying Happy Holidays, my dear Purrfumery friends!

I’m available for private appointments, so give me a call at 510-528-8040 or drop me an email at laurie@purrfumery.com and let’s get together at the Purrfumery! You can sniff and sample to your heart’s content and find something to soothe your soul… or awaken it. Your choice!

Honoring our precious Luma

On a very sad note… We lost our beloved kitty, Luma this week. She was a really quirky girl and has lived on our kitchen counter for the last year. That’s what she wanted and we respected that. Her adorable face is on our crest and all of our perfume labels. I called her the Velvet & Sweet Pea’s spokesmodel. Here’s a picture of her a few months ago at a lunch I had for some friends. Lisa—Luma’s kitty fairy godmother—folded her napkin on her plate and Luma crawled up and fell asleep. Lisa just ate her Cheese Board pizza on the side and Luma was luminescent and the centerpiece of the soiree. We will deeply miss her.

Until next time…

Peace, love purrfume and kitty cats,

Xoxo, Laurie

Major Summer Sale at The Purrfumery!

Greetings, my dear Purrfumery friends!

I have returned from a glorious retreat in France that was a feast for the senses in every way. Gary and I traveled through picturesque hamlets and villages where we would wake in the morning to find fresh baguettes and croissants in the mailbox. And jam! The French are serious about their fruit jams. The highlight of the trip was our trip to the Osmotheque in Versailles, a perfume archive and museum, where I was lucky enough to get a 30-minute reservation. My heart was pounding in my chest on the cab ride through town… I had no idea what to expect of this legendary library that preserves hundreds of scents dating back to Pliny the Elder (Roman, A.D. 23–79). More on the Osmotheque later!

Summer Fun! 50% off all Signature, Limited Edition, and Créme perfumes!  

Treat yourself or someone you love to a sumptuous summer dream! From June 6th to June 13th I am offering 50% off all Signature,  Limited Edition and Crème Perfumes. This is a rare opportunity to own the richest, most lavish natural scents the Purrfumery has to offer, while they last. Type in SummerSale in the discount box. I recommend our award-winning Fleur de Caramel, a sensual bath of warm caramel infused with rich cognac and sultry night-blooming frangipani. I shared Fleur de Caramel with the perfumers at the Osmotheque in Versailles and watched with delight as they inhaled deeply! It has always been my dream to have one of my scents in their archive, and I am thrilled to say that Fleur de Caramel is there among some of the most exquisite scents ever mixed! 

 Also popular are my Honey, Jewelry of Heaven and Songbirdformulations – each distinct and beautiful in their own way. Velvet & Sweet Pea’s luscious perfumes are yours to enjoy while they last!

New scents transport you to the Mediterranean...

The Purrfumery made a splashy debut at the Filoli Flower Show in May, and I unveiled two new scents there. Rose Encens and Eze are the newest additions to the eau de parfum line! 

Rose Encens: Rose, citrus and resin essences dance in perfect harmony. Sensuous and warm, Rose Ensens opens with a deep, rich scent of rose that mingles with sweet, tart Italian blood orange and Mexican lime top notes. The mystery of sacred Frankincense resin emerges as time passes. 

Eze: I created Eze to be the quintessential scent of the Mediterranean, as soft and relaxing as a summer breeze. Named after a magical perfume village perched along the French Riviera, Eze opens with a refreshing pop of lemon and unveils a gentle bouquet of lavender, rose geranium, myrtle and jasmine. This perfume finishes in the amber, healing warmth of Labdanum rock rose. 

Packaged in elegant gold book boxes with a decorative label and bow, Rose Encens and Eze make beautiful gifts for all occasions: birthdays, graduations, or as a special thank you… just because.  

Signature Perfume Series 

Create your own custom perfume at the bench with me, and discover how scent can unlock the mysteries of your heart and soul. This is a rare and special offering that consists of three sessions. 

We start with a
Perfumery Adventure where you smell aromatic materials from around the world. During your 1.5 hour visit, we will draw out the essences that surprise and delight you. I guarantee you will experience scents from the natural world that are new to your nose. 

During the second session we will gather several of your favorite scents and you will decide if you want to make a solid or liquid perfume. We work together at the
Purrfumery bench, immersing ourselves in the alchemy of scent as we blend. Witnessing the way natural materials mingle and complement each other has captivated perfumers since ancient times! Set aside 2.5 hours for this visit. 

On your third and final visit, we make final adjustments to your custom perfume. This is a 1.5 hour visit. When we finish, you will have your choice of one of these beautiful options:

8 ml perfume strength crystal flacon

15 ml eau de parfum spray

solid perfume 

If you have trouble deciding which option to choose, I can help based on how you like to enjoy your perfumes.

If you’re visiting from out of town, or have limited time in the Bay Area, we can lengthen your first appointment and make adjustments via mail. 

Awaken your senses and step into a completely different world!

Questions? Appointments?

Do you want to know more about my new Signature Perfume Series, or any of our products? Or would you like to make an appointment to sip a cup of tea in the Purrfumery and sniff and sample to your heart’s content? Call me at 510-528-8040, or email me at laurie@purrfumery.com

Hope to see you at the Purrfumery sometime soon!

Until next time…

Peace, love, purrfume and kitty cats,

XOXO~ Laurie

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One Week Free Shipping In Honor of Spring

Greetings, my dear Purrfumery friends!

I hope you are enjoying these first days of spring. It’s such a lovely and joyous time of year at the Purrfumery! Watching the change that happens each season has inspired me to take some time to look inward and consider the art and craft of perfumery in new ways. More about that in a moment. But first…

Free Shipping, March 24 - April 1

From March 24 to April 1, I will be offering free shipping on all my products! This is a wonderful opportunity to try a new scent to celebrate the season, or stock up on old favorites. 
Just type
 artistkitty in discount box when checking out.

Free shipping also makes it easier to send a gift to someone you love!

Why not treat a beardsman friend to a jar of Mr. Whisker’s Beard Balm in
Juniper & Cypress Forest, Piñon Desert or Vetiver Breeze? Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery is taming beards across the land! 

Or, build a grab-bag with a whimsical Scent Locket and eau de parfum sample set for a friend in need of a pick-me-up!

There is truly something for everyone at the Purrfumery, and if you would like suggestions, just let me know. Spread the love this spring! 

Artist Retreat – Last Day of Shipping April 8  (shipping resumes May 2)

Ok, back to looking inward. I have planned an artist sabbatical this spring and that will mean taking a break from shipping for a few weeks. The last day of shipping will be April 8. I will resume shipping on May 2. Type in artistkitty in discount box. Place your orders early, my dear Purrfumery friends! 

Mother’s Day is May 8 

Mother’s Day is almost here and I am looking forward to helping you celebrate the moms in your life! Plan early and take advantage of free shipping March 24 – April 1. Or, consider scheduling a Custom Perfume Adventure  so Mom can design her very own signature scent. My calendar is open after May 2

I’d love to see you here at the Purrfumery for a cup of tea and scent-sniffing session! Call me at 510-528-8040 or email laurie@purrfumery.com.

Or, plan a visit to the Flower Show at Filoli, an incredible historic estate in Woodside. Held May 6, 7 and 8, this show features innovative floral designs that are guaranteed to inspire! Designers, nurseries and horticulturalists come from across California to show their best work. The Purrfumery will have a booth at the show, so save the date and come see me!

Until then,

Peace, love, purrfume and kitty cats…

XOXO Laurie

Celebrate Mother's Day With A Free Hydrosol From The Purrfumery!

Greetings, dear Purrfumery friends,

I hope you’re enjoying spring as much as I am! The kitties love the season, too—they spend the day lounging in the Perfumer’s Garden when it’s in full bloom. Come see it for yourself! Call or email me to make an appointment and try out something new for your heart, soul and spirit this spring.

Mother’s Day is May 10

Where would we be without our mothers? I love to celebrate my mom, and all the women who are like a mom to me, with a little gift of thanks. Our moms are there for us and we love them for it! From May 1 to May 6, I will include a free rose or lavender hydrosol with any perfume or eau de parfum order. It’s my way of sending my love to moms everywhere! Make sure to indicate which hydrosol you’d like when you place your order.

Taming beards across the land

The kitties and I have been so pleased with the response to our new Mr. Whisker’s Beard Balm. Beardsmen friends everywhere say they love the earthy, forest scent and the way it softens their beard and puts it in order. If you know a beardsman who needs some help with his beard, send some Mr. Whiskers his way! A soft, smooth, orderly beard can help make the world a more snuggly place.

Enjoy the Purrfumery in Spring!

If you’re looking for a new scent to celebrate the season, or if you just want to stock up on old favorites, give me a call or send me an email and schedule an appointment. I’d love to see you here at the Purrfumery for a cup of tea and scent-sniffing session! Call me at 510-528-8040 or email laurie@purrfumery.com.

Until then,

Peace, love, purrfume and kitty cats…

Xoxo, Laurie



Purrfumery holidays are here! 15% off orders and help animals, too.

Greetings, dear Purrfumery friends!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The kitties and I had a Thanksgiving feast with family and then another magnificent dinner a few days later with friends—we are so grateful for the generosity and love that is all around us! It got me thinking about giving back and how we can all make a difference to the people and charitable organizations in our lives. This is the season for giving and sharing, and I don’t want to get so caught up in the holiday rush that I forget to lend a hand. Here’s what the Purrfumery is doing this season:

Type LEAPINGBUNNY at checkout and receive 15% off your order

You all know that the Purrfumery is certified by Leaping Bunny, right? Leaping Bunny is the organization that ensures none of my ingredients or my suppliers ingredients are tested on animals. When you type LEAPINGBUNNY in the code box at checkout, you will receive 15% off your order through December 15th. And, I’ll be contributing a portion of December sales to two very important organizations: the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS), which seeks humane alternatives to animal testing; and to Kindness Ranch, a Wyoming sanctuary and rehabilitation place for animals who have been used in laboratory research.

I support these organizations in honor of Velvet and Sweet Pea, my two precious cats who I rescued from a life of lab testing. They changed my life forever and paved the way to a new consciousness about the horrors of animal testing and the use of animal musks in perfumes. Ultimately, the lessons Velvet and Sweet Pea taught me became the principles of the Purrfumery. . . and my life! Thank you for being a part of this mission, my dear Purrfumery friends!

Free shipping until Dec. 2

I am offering free shipping for just another 2 days, so save a little extra on your holiday shopping when you place your order by Dec. 2 at midnight.

Free Daphne Face & Body Frosting while supplies last

I made a batch of daphne enfleurage that is just gorgeous! I was enjoying the lovely scent of the daphne when I suddenly caught a whiff of the Chinese osmanthus bush that’s blooming outside the Purrfumery. The scent from its tiny blossoms is glorious this time of year. I blended the daphne enfleurage into a frosting and added osmanthus absolute and aged sandalwood. The result is an incredible Daphne Face & Body Frosting! It’s super moisturizing for winter-chapped skin—I will add a .25 ounce container to orders while supplies last. It’s wonderful for your hands, too.

Shop local—visit the Purrfumery!

Where else can you sink into a plush sofa, sip tea with sweet Purrfumery honey, and nibble neroli blood orange truffles while you shop? I look forward to seeing you—give me a call or send me an email and let’s make an appointment! Come sniff and sample the magic of our natural world! Purrfumery products are $10 and up, and I’m happy to help you find the perfect gift.

Thank you for your love and support!

Until next time. . .

Peace, love, purrfume and kitty cats,


The Art of Composing Fragrance, Naturally

A studio in the El Cerrito hills beckons those with a nose for custom-made perfumes derived from natural ingredients. By Yuko Fukami | November 7, 2010 [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="272"]art-of-composing-frangrances Perfume artist Laurie Stern at her Velvet | Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery Credit Yuko Fukami[/caption] Back in the days of Marie Antoinette, perfumes were made with essential oils and other plant and animal fragrance materials, but since Coco unveiled Chanel No. 5 featuring a novel synthetic fragrance material called aldehyde, commercial perfumes have been made mostly with synthetic fragrance chemicals untested for health effects. However, a small and emerging group of perfumers make perfumes the old-fashioned way, using only natural and plant-based fragrance materials such as tinctures, essential oils, and absolutes. One of its members is Laurie Stern of El Cerrito, whose products carry the Leaping Bunny certification, which assures that they are free of animal testing. When I contacted Stern in September to request an interview, she was in the midst of creating a perfume for a New York City event organized by Sniffapalooza, a community for perfume enthusiasts. Stern was to speak at the event and also debut a new perfume. I  had to wait. I finally got an appointment,. While driving along a winding street in the El Cerrito hills, I wondered what to expect at her studio, also known as the Purrfumery. I'd read that she makes her own tinctures from flowers in her fragrant and beautiful garden and that she also keeps bees. The moment I walked onto the front patio, my time-space continuum seemed to shift a little. I knocked at a door beneath a Velvet and Sweet Peas sign. Vivacious and warm, Stern greeted me with smiles. The Purrfumery is a wonderland out of Jane Austen novels, a room full of crystals and flowers, lace, ribbons, jewels, and fabulous smells, everything a girl could want. Her world is lusciously sensual and totally Laurie Stern. Velvet and Sweet Pea are the names of her cats that were rescued by Stern some years ago. The two cats adorn the gold-embossed labels of her products wearing tiaras that Stern made for them. Now she has six rescued cats and works to rescue animals in her spare time. I spotted a large antique secretary whose shelves are filled with baskets upon baskets of essential oils and concentrated fragrant liquids extracted from plants called absolutes, all categorized by types of scent. This is where Stern sits and composes. The desktop is cluttered with bottles of oils old and new. In another corner of the room is a table dedicated to antique oil bottles. I could hardly contain my excitement. For a novice natural perfumer like me, her studio is a dream come true. Each of Velvet and Sweet Pea's perfumes comes in Stern's delicately decorated handmade pouches with a scented Victorian card that Stern designed. Using crystal bottles made by Brosse, a French company that makes perfume bottles for big perfume houses, Stern makes each of her oeuvre into a beautiful collector's object. Stern pointed to pouches decorated with velvet pansies hanging on an armoire, saying, "I made all of those." A nature girl from a young age, Stern has sewn all of her life. After graduating from CCA, she made one-of-a-kind handmade lingerie for stores like Bendel's and I. Magnin using antique lace from Europe. After that, she had a successful wedding flower business. Her perfume business brings her past work and passions together. I asked her about the perfume she worked on for ten years. "It was one of those things," Stern said, "where you keep adding things to the blend, and it never seems right until one day, ten years later." A woman in Berkeley came up with the name for the perfume, Fir~ever Young in a contest created by Stern to name the perfume. I tried a dab of the green juice on my arm. The first thing I smelled was conifers, then I noticed the jammy sweetness of fir absolute among some fresh floral scents and black currant. Next, I asked about Song Bird, Stern's favorite perfume. Combining orange flower, boronia, nutmeg, the perfume gives her confidence and makes her feel she can take on any challenge, Stern said. She got the idea for the perfume from scent strips that were rejected by a custom perfume client. As I dabbed Song Bird on my wrist, the scent of muted orange flowers rose from my skin, then later came fruity boronia. Boronia absolute made from a type of Tasmanian heather is very, very rare and costly. Then she opened a bottle of her newest perfume, Bed of Roses. "You're the first one to try it," she said. My heart skipped. A light rose scent with a vanilla-like sweetness opened the perfume. Then it progressed to a greener, sharper rose, more layered and complicated than smelling a single rose. I later also noticed the fruitiness of boronia. The perfume contains nine rose oils from around the world, plus tobacco, cognac, orange flower, boronia, and carnation. Commercial perfumes are made of synthetic chemicals for several reasons. Quality of natural oils can vary from producer to producer, from harvest to harvest, and their supply can also vary from year to year. Synthetics don't. They're uniform and much easier to work with. The supply is predictable, too. Natural oils also cost a lot more than synthetics. One-and-a-half milliliters (there's five milliliters in a teaspoon) of jasmine absolute can cost $50. Rose otto costs at least twice as much. A teaspoonful of boronia absolute will set you back about $300, if you can find it at all. Naturally, perfumes made exclusively of essential oils and absolutes end up being, well, not cheap. The Kittylicious Eau de Parfum line is a more affordable line of Stern's creations. They are light and delicious. Black Cat reminded me of Halloween candy — sweet, chocolaty, with a hint of licorice-like anise. Mojito smelled just like mojitos! It smells of fresh limes and mint, and infinitely wearable. The line also includes classic floral scents, too. Terrain was made for her husband who is a landscape designer. It is a fresh scent that a woman could easily wear. Geranium gives the blend a nice herbal rosiness; frankincense gives it depth. Velvet and Sweet Peas perfumes are sold online at http://www.purrfumery.com and by appointment at her Purrfumery. Stern welcomes all customers, even the ones that come by to make one small purchase. You can also buy sample sets online, but if you're interested, I recommend a visit to get the full Purrfumery experience. Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery, 727 Sea View Drive, El Cerrito; Mon-Fri, noon-5pm. Phone 510-528-8040; fax 510-526-6829; email: laurie@purrfumery.com

Scents & Sensibility

By Michelle Dissel (Reprinted from the 20th Annual Secret Gardens of the East Bay Garden Tour Presented by Park Day School) In a garden that blends one's love of life with what one loves to do in life, landscape designer Gary Lazar and perfumer, Laurie Stern have come close to creating perfection. Their garden is a luscious, sensual botanical experience brimming with nature's most fragrant fruits, flowers, seeds, leaves and woods. Soon to be plucked and distilled for tinctures, they are now blended in beds of equal alchemy and imagination, surrounded by masterfully crafted outdoor living spaces. Lemon, lime, blood orange and mandarin trees line the driveway providing the citrus bliss to formulas lovingly transcribed in Laurie's alchemy book. The north-side pathway, laid with red brick salvaged from the home's original fireplace and lined with shade-loving hydrangeas, rhododendrons, magnolia, azalea and dahlia, simmers with the scents of honeysuckle, hardenbergia, Douglas Iris, wisteria, sweetpea, and viburnum. The flowery notes will eventually linger in Laura's elixirs, but for now they perfume the glorious view. This is a garden of top notes, heart notes and soul notes. Known for his award-winning masonry work, Gary's built-in BBQ area with its purple-flecked flagstone and periwinkle tile countertop, its built-in stone bench seating and dramatic sheet fountain, is he heart note of the property. This congenial area connects the main house, guest cottage, sauna and garden in a mingling of open areas and private coves. While a Himalayan birch casts dappled shade over the area, the morning glory, Madagascar jasmine, and Lady Banks' roses permeate with pungent spells. Since fragrance and aroma were the main essence of the planting list, the garden is awash with opulently scented plants. Antique roses, lavenders, Dutch iris, gardenia, lilacs, geraniums, violets, clematis, daphne, and digitalis bloom resplendent with a myriad of floral personalities. Fruit notes abound from the pineapple guava, giant Lisbon lemon, kiwi, apricot, and wild plum. And to create earthy fougeres and chypre 'parfums' you'll find a stock of mosses, sages, herbs, wild gingers and ferns. Anchoring these aromatic notes, Gary has laid magical areas of rest and repose: a eucalyptus-scented sauna secreted away on the central patio, a wintergreen-infused breakfast terrace under the birch. The lilac-laced Mexican stone fountain provides the musical water notes to the most luxurious refuge of all: Laurie's open-air outdoor bath. Curtained with 'Cecile Brunner' roses and furnished with a divan and a dangling chandelier, one is perfectly submerged to watch the clouds of butterflies flutter by the buddleia. Indeed the soul note of the garden. For more information of the Secret Gardens of the East Bay www.secretgardentour.org For more information on Lazar Landscape Design and Construction, Inc. www.lazarlandscape.com