Spring Greetings from the Purrfumery!

Greetings, my dear Purrfumery friends!

Spring is here! I spend a little time each day in the Perfumer’s Garden savoring the gorgeousness of the air – the jasmine and rhododendrons are blooming and the irises are unfurling their glittering petals in the sun. The birds are singing and the kitties are napping. It’s a magical time, perfect for…

An Earth Day Visit to The Oakland Zoo!

The Oakland Zoo is my favorite zoo for conservation – they do amazing work to help endangered species. So of course I am thrilled to be a part of their Earth Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 16!

Stop by, say hello, and celebrate our beautiful world! I will have a table at the zoo and will be talking to guests about Luminous Lemurs and Pangolin Violette Rose – two very special scents that benefit conservation organizations. I will donate 25% of all orders made at the event to the Oakland Zoo. And I will donate 25% to the Pangolin Crisis Fund or Centre Val Bio when you order Pangolin Violette Rose or Luminous Lemurs during the event.

See you at the zoo!

Order Early & Get 15% off Kittylicious

I’ll be shipping in April, and will get back to shipping the first week of June.

May is my month to recharge! I will also be developing custom perfumes in May – I’m looking forward to deep, meditative concentration and being in the zone to get to that magical creative space. If you’d like to look at early gifts for Mother’s Day (May 8), let me know!

Are you looking for something special and fun for yourself or someone you love? My Kittylicious Eau de Parfum line is inspired by nature, beauty, love and of course, the fabulous kitties in my life! These are some of my most popular scents, and I’ll be offering 15% off the entire collection until April 16th, Earth Day! Just type Earth Day in the discount box. Order early!

Rose Jasmine, Mojito, Jasmine Orange Blossom, Black Cat, and Eze… I package each bottle by hand and tuck them into a gold foil box with a ribbon. Celebrate Spring and get Kittylicious!

Perfume on the Radio!

Are you fascinated by scent and how it’s part of our lives and dreams? Me too! Saskia Wilson-Brown’s podcast “Perfume on the Radio” explores scent connections and how powerful they are. She recently invited me to join the conversation about cultural connections between perfume and cats. Thank you, Saskia! Have a listen: “The Perfumer’s Cat”. 

Want to Improve Your Sense of Smell? Hug A Tree!

Our sense of smell is a direct path to our memories, sensations and emotions. Scent can be an incredible, sensual trigger. It can also protect us from harm. Some of us have a more developed sense of smell than others. And some people have suffered from a loss of taste and smell with COVID-19. Thankfully, there are some delightful ways to build your sense of smell and bring scent into your life.

  • Hug a tree! You think I’m joking, but I’m serious! Go out and hug a tree and sniff it. You’ll be experiencing the release of the tree’s essential oils. Now crush some juniper berries, or mint, or rosemary, or grass in your fingers. Inhale deeply! Try to describe what’s different and what’s similar between the different scents.
  • Spritz a little perfume in your hair. You’ll be training your nose to smell a wider range of scents. And it’s lovely to catch the scent of your perfume when you move – it gives you a quick pick-me-up! If you’re using solids, dot a little on a few strands around your face.
  • Layer your perfume. This tip is mainly for natural perfume wearers. Natural perfumes, like what you find at the Purrfumery, are worn close to the body – they’re for you and those who are close. Natural perfumes do not have as much of a “sillage” or "scent cloud" as synthetic perfumes. If you’d like to smell your natural perfume more intensely, try dabbing a little of the solid on, and follow with a touch of liquid. You will enhance the sillage and your experience of the scent.

Natural perfumer Doreen of Verdant Faerie recently posted this blog with many other tips and resources for scent recovery. She’s a wonderful perfumer and friend. Thank you, Doreen, for sharing this!

A Helping Hand From The Purrfumery

I’m overcome by all the need in the world – so many people and animals are without basic necessities for living. Many people and animals are living in fear. I’ve been giving a percentage of Purrfumery sales to these groups:

Thank you for being a part of the Purrfumery’s efforts to make the world a safer place for all living things!

I’ve also used this list by The Dodo to find organizations that help animals in Ukraine.

Herb Society Meeting

The Northern California Unit of the Herb Society of America presents “Living from the Garden,” June 10-11 in Pleasant Hill, CA, and I will be presenting! My talk will borrow from my Perfumery Adventure – I’ll share perfume lore from antiquity to present day and guests will sniff rare essences from around the world. Learn more about this conference here.

A Perfume Without A Name...

Thank you to everyone who has sent name ideas for my new perfume! I’m still looking for the perfect name, so email your ideas as they come, to laurie@purrfumery.com. The winner will receive a jewel box solid of my new perfume!

This new scent is available in a solid for now – it has top notes of blood orange, which make it very juicy and tart. I used a very rare and special Tasmanian boronia wax that I have had for 20 years, benzoin resins and fir absolute that are wonderfully jammy and rich. I also used juicy black current bud and lush, floral osmathus. It’s not on the site yet, and it is $65.00 for the 5ml Starlight box. Email me if you are interested.

I can’t wait to receive your ideas!

As always, if you have any questions, let me know! You can call me at 510-334-8824 or email laurie@purrfumery.com.

Peace, love, purrfume, social justice and kitty cats,

XOXO~ Laurie

Happy Valentine's Day Newsletter!

Greetings, my dear Purrfumery friends!

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and it’s my favorite holiday of the year, so let’s have some fun!

Name my New Perfume!

I’m kicking off the new year with a new perfume and I need YOUR help to give it a name. I will include a sample of this gorgeous new scent with all perfume orders until the end of February. Inhale deeply, think creative thoughts, and email me your name ideas at laurie@purrfumery.com. The winner will receive a jewel box solid of my new perfume!

I am loving this new scent! For now it is available in a solid, and the best word to describe it is YUM! It has top notes of blood orange, which make it very juicy and tart. I used a very rare and special Tasmanian boronia wax that my dear friend Lisa gave me, benzoin resins and fir absolute that are wonderfully jammy and rich. I also used juicy black current bud and lush, floral osmathus. 

I can’t wait to receive your ideas!

Valentines Day Special

I get lots of requests for my imported Verreries Brosse bottles with stopper tops – they are gorgeous, aren’t they? Fun facts: The Verreries Brosse factory is in Vieux-Rouen-sur-Bresle, Normandy. The company started in 1854 as glassmakers, but their destiny was in luxury and lead crystal flacon and toiletry containers. Manufacturing gorgeous perfume bottles for luxury brands is what they are known for to this day! 

From now until February 7th, if you order the 30 ml spray of Luminous Lemurs ($195), I will package your perfume in an opulent Verreries Brosse bottle with a stopper top, and tuck it into a velvet pouch. Normally these bottles of perfume would cost $265 – it’s my way of saying Happy Valentine’s Day to you! 

(If you prefer the spray and do not want the Verreries Brosse bottle, just let me know in the notes.)

I continue to donate a generous portion of the proceeds from Luminous Lemurs to Centre ValBio, in Madagascar. Yes, perfume can help make the world a better place for animals and people!

Love, Love, Love Pangolin Violette Rose!

Pangolin Violette Rose is such a special scent, created for a Chicago art exhibit that showcased and celebrated femininity. This scent combines gorgeous and rare essences – many that will never be available again. Pangolin Violette Rose is a wonderful Valentine’s Day indulgence for yourself or someone you love. 1/2 the cost of the perfume will go to the Pangolin Crisis Fund, helping this most trafficked endangered species and saving them from extinction.

And I’m excited to report that Pangolin Violette Rose was voted one of 2021’s 10 Best Perfumes by award winning writer Ida Meister of CaFleureBon! Thank you for this amazing honor!

Luxurious Moisture – Frostings are back!

Is your skin feeling dry from the winter air? My Face & Body Frostings drench your skin with organic oils that are rich in antioxidants and high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. I have Frostings in…

Kashmir Rose: A rich combination of Himalayan Rose otto and Moroccan Rose absolute.

Gardenia: A true labor of love! I use more than 150 hand-picked gardenias and draw out their scent using a process that takes two weeks. 

Black Cat: A bewitching blend of mouth-watering cocoa, sensuous ylang ylang, juicy blood orange, and a hint of sweet, surprising aniseed myrtle.  

Luminous Lemurs: A sensuous and transporting blend of ylang ylang, clove, nutmeg, and blood orange.

Orange Blossom: Gorgeous! I blend this Frosting with Italian Neroli flowers and organic tangerine and orange essence oils. These essence oils are made from the juice – not from the rind – so they are not phototoxic or skin damaging. Many people don’t realize that there is a big difference between citrus essential oils and essence oils.

New Earth-Friendly Packaging

I am making every effort to phase out plastic packaging, and that includes sprayer tops. I’m excited to announce the new bottle I found for my 4 ml eau de parfums – I will start using them this month. They’re beautiful and Earth friendly and have a screw top. No more hard-to-recycle sprayers on the 4 ml bottles! Some of you may have noticed that I am using eco-friendly silicone wax containers now for the solid perfume samples.

I’m happy to refill your bottles when they run low – just let me know what you need.

Shopping bliss

If you have questions or need gift ideas, let me know! You can call me at 510-334-8824 or email laurie@purrfumery.com

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

Peace, love, purrfume, social justice and kitty cats,


Copyright © 2022 Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery, All rights reserved.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season from the Purrfumery!

Greetings, my dear Purrfumery friends!

I hope you are all enjoying this season of celebration, love and giving.
I have a gift for you! And I also have a request.

Name my New Perfume!

All orders this month will receive a small sample of the new solid perfume the kitties and I have been working on. It’s a fruity bonbon of blood oranges, black current bud, Tasmanian Boronia, Osmanthus, and resins and fir balsam. My dear friend Lisa gifted me with some rare boronia wax and I was inpired to make something yummy with it. Now it just needs a name!

When you receive your order and the sample, inhale deeply and then email me the name you’d like to give the perfume. I will review all the names after the new year. The winner will receive the new perfume in one of our custom jewel boxes!

I’ve had a few ideas, but haven’t settled on anything. I was listening to “The Soul of an Octopus,” by Sy Montgomery when I was making it and learned how incredibly playful octopuses are. And I think this is a really fun, playful perfume! Octopuses are very playful, but they are not to be messed with. I think those are good traits in life! 

Anyway, I want to hear YOUR ideas, my dear Purrfumery friends! It’s been a while since we had a naming contest, so get those creative juices flowing! Thank you for your help.

Last Shipping Day is December 18

The kitties and I are working furiously to get all your orders packed and shipped, and our last shipping day will be December 18. We will resume shipping the second week of January. 

Thank you for sharing our natural, botanical perfumes with the world!

If you have questions or need gift ideas, let me know! You can call me at 510-334-8824 or laurie@purrfumery.com.

Enjoy the rest of the season!

Peace, love, purrfume, social justice and kitty cats,

XOXO~ Laurie

Shower the People you Love with Love...

Greetings, my dear Purrfumery friends!

The Purrfumery is open! I’m scheduling in-person appointments and would love to see you! When you visit, I will set up a table outside the Purrfumery and make it easy to social distance. You can sniff and sample to your heart’s content… again! Call me at 510-334-8824 or email me at laurie@purrfumery.com to plan your Purrfumery visit.

Also, as you’ve probably noticed, deliveries are taking a lot longer these days. My advice is to do your holiday ordering early so you receive your orders in time for gift-giving. 

Orders this month will include a new tiny treasure solid perfume and a sweetgrass hydrosol spray!

I have a new solid perfume in the works- it’s a fruity, berry, jammy, woodsy purrfect for the holidays bonbon delight, and I haven’t even named it yet!  I’ll include a cute little silicone (more sustainable than plastic) pot of it in all orders in November. 

Also, while reading a lovely book all about the sacred herb Sweetgrass, Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and I was lucky to find this rare hydrosol! She shares stories meant to heal our relationship with the world… stories that allow us to imagine a different relationship, in which people and land are good medicine for each other.” Her own family upbringing – reflecting the original richness of the traditions of her Potawatomi people – is based on a radically different assumption: that our species only exists through mutually enriching bonds with all other living creatures.

Sweetgrass is known as the hair of Mother Earth. It is one of the four sacred herbs of indigenous North American peoples and is represented in the East on the traditional medicine wheel. It was also strewn throughout churches in medieval Europe so that the sweet smell rose with each footstep. Sweetgrass hydrosol is distilled from fresh grass and has a pleasing scent with honey and vanilla notes. Use this powerful aromatic water to uplift your senses! This organic hydrosol is from the Pacific Northwest.

50% of proceeds for animals in need

My goal in life is to use my art to help animals in need. I’ve discovered that when I help one endangered animal, I help many others. I also help people.

My newest perfume, Pangolin Violette Rose – available in liquid and solid – benefits the Pangolin Crisis Fund. Pangolins are among the most trafficked mammals in the world, and the Pangolin Crisis Fund is working to reduce the demand. I’ve learned that the same people and groups that poach rhinos and elephants and sell their tusks also trap pangolins for their meat and scales. So, when the Pangolin Crisis Fund works with government officials and communities to end pangolin poaching and smuggling, the ripple effect helps rhinos and elephants too! 

My perfume Luminous Lemurs benefits Centre ValBio – they’re an incredible group that’s replanting the forests in Madagascar so lemurs will have a place to live. They’re also helping girls from remote villages attend high school. And they’re planting vanilla orchids that farmers grow and harvest – vanilla is a super-valuable crop! 

Yes, it’s true that a natural perfume can make the world a better place! Through December, I am donating 50% of the proceeds from Pangolin Violette Rose and Luminous Lemurs to the Pangolin Crisis Fund and Centre ValBio. Thank you for inhaling deeply and helping animals and people!

Pangolin Violette Rose in the news 

People are talking about Pangolin Violette Rose! 

Matt Morris at Fragrantica – Matt’s questions are so thoughtful and really gave me an opportunity to share my process and inspiration. We also talk about “Red Wedding,” his Chicago art exhibition that launched Pangolin Violette Rose.

Ida Meister at CaFleureBon – Many thanks to Ida for exploring the rose-violet connection! Beautiful!

Jen at My Beauty Bunny – This is a wonderful cruelty-free website, and I love that Jen says Pangolin Violette Rose has “a dark, sexy, vintage feel!” Ooh la la!

A song for you: Shower the People

I recently attended the Jackson Browne and James Taylor concert in San Francisco and the only words that come to mind are “life-transformational!” I’ve been a huge fan of James Taylor forever. He’s so generous with his fans – he did about four encores! He sang Shower the People and I thought… yes. This song captures exactly how I feel as we’re all finding our way out of such a difficult and stressful time. He also recently narrated a short documentary on his local animal shelter. Another passionate animal advocate! Share your love, my dear Purrfumery friends!

My 2021 artist statement

I hope that as people start to get out more and find their family and friends again, that they acknowledge the struggles we’ve all had, and also carry a sense of gratitude. We have much to be thankful for. I want to thank all of you for giving me the gift of your support and love all these years. Through the Purrfumery, I can help and support animals and people, expand my art, and be as creative as I want to be! Here’s a great example: I asked my friend Lisa Rappoport to letter-press a ribbon for my over-the-top packaging for Pangolin Violette Rose. She’s a wondrous letter-press artist, and poet. Her subscription is magical!

The ribbon reads:

Meow meow frills, furbelows, kitty tutus and tiaras, meow deep love for our planet meow its magical diversity of cultures, flowers, plants and animals (especially cats)!

Don’t you love it?

Ok, so I may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But if I am, let’s have tea! Call me at 510-334-8824 or laurie@purrfumery.com

Enjoy the gorgeous colors of Fall!

Peace, love, purrfume, social justice and kitty cats,

XOXO~ Laurie

Our gift card made by the lovely Lisa Rappoport
Copyright © 2015 Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery, All rights reserved.
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The Story behind Pangolin Violette Rose!

Greetings, my dear Purrfumery friends!

I’m celebrating my birthday this month! I gave myself the ultimate gift last year when I decided to embrace the change that my heart and soul had been calling for. Last year, I decided to focus on conservation and helping endangered animals through my art. It’s been an incredible and creative journey that started with Luminous Lemurs and continues with my latest perfume.

Drumroll, please!

I’m delighted to introduce you to Pangolin Violette Rose, my second limited edition perfume dedicated to helping endangered species come back and thrive in the world we all share. Pangolin Violette Rose is absolutely dreamy – it opens with jasmine auriculatum and jasmine sambac and has top notes of candied violet, with a little carnation absolute. The scent blooms into a complex bed of roses, with a jammy Indian Rose Edward and candy-like Persian Rose Otto. As the scent dries down, the roses turn sultry and rich with Bulgarian rose absolute and otto and Turkish rose absolute. Egyptian violet leaf absolute mingles with the roses, bringing them even deeper, and a touch of cocoa absolute adds a little bonbon. The perfume rests on a throne of aged Tamil Nadu and New Caledonia sandalwood. As time passes, the orris absolute and orris concrete linger with a dusting of powdery gorgeousness. I set all these magical, rare natural materials in a base of 20-year aged Tahitian vanilla-infused biodynamic grape alcohol.

Rare and Precious Naturals

I love Pangolin Violette Rose and for me, it's a testament to the magic of naturals. The solid is more violet leaf – more deep and green – and the liquid is more rose-powdery. This is the alchemy of working with oil and alcohol, and that's what the violets, irises and roses decided to do! You may decide you like both for different occasions, and indulge in the solid and the liquid.

Pangolin Violette Rose is a pinnacle of creativity for me – it is a collector’s item, a gift from the inside out, with packaging that includes my letter-pressed artist statement on the French ribbon, and bottles bedecked with vintage flowers. I hand-blended the liquid parfum in a small batch using the most exquisite and rare materials available, and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. The solid is a little more plentiful, but not by much… 

Here are the details! 

30 ml Collector’s Edition Verrieres Brosse flacon in a corsage hatbox: $750 each 

8 ml Collector’s Edition Verrieres Brosse flacon in corsage hatbox: $350 each

10 ml Collector’s Edition solid perfume in Violette sterling silver Jewel Box in a lavender silk and rhinestone pouch: $500 

10 ml Collector’s Edition solid perfume in Violette porcelain box in a lavender silk and rhinestone pouch: $350

5 ml Starlight solid perfume in velvet pouch with vintage flowers: $95

I donate a generous portion of the proceeds from Pangolin Violette Rose to The Pangolin Crisis Fund. This initiative, led by Paul Thomson, a conservation biologist, raises money and pays for projects that are working to stop the poaching of endangered pangolins, reduce demand for their meat and scales, and raise awareness. The fund is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Fund, a group that I’ve supported for years! 

The Pangolin Crisis Fund started with $100,000 in 2019 and has a goal to raise $1.5 million by the end of this year. The kitties and I are on board, and we want to help them make their goal! One thing I like is that they send 100% of all donations directly to the field, without taking any overhead.

I love that the Pangolin Crisis Fund supports The Tikki Hywood Foundation, a Zimbabwe-based conservation group with a wildlife rescue center that runs 24 hours a day! Tikki Hywood’s mission is to rescue pangolins from poachers and from illegal bushmeat markets. Once they’ve rescued the pangolins, they rehabilitate them and bring them back to the wild where they belong. 

I’m thrilled that the Purrfumery supports these conservation projects!

The Story Behind Pangolin Violette Rose

Pangolin Violette Rose bloomed from serendipity. After I created Luminous Lemurs, benefitting Centre ValBio’s work with Madagascar lemurs, I turned my attention to pangolins. Pangolins are native to Asia and Africa, and they are among the most illegally trafficked mammals in the world, poached for their scales and meat. Now, they are in danger of extinction, and they need our help. 

I was daydreaming about rose and violet leaf, mixing a perfume with pangolins in mind. Then I heard from artist, writer, curator, and educator Matt Morris and gallery owner Eric Ruschman about The Red Wedding, an art exhibition that opened at Ruschman Gallery in Chicago in May 2021. Matt designed and curated The Red Wedding as an experiential journey through the essence of femininity and he wanted a perfume to be one of the artworks in the show. He said he had been daydreaming about a scent of roses and violets… My heart jumped. This is the scent I was working on! I completed the scent and Emerald, Velvet & Sweet Pea’s amazing designer, created a fan that gallery guests received, each with a spritz of Pangolin Violette Rose.

Matt told me that many people visited The Red Wedding multiple times. Ruschman Gallery is not a very big space, but Eric noticed some visitors would stay for over an hour, just softly circling around the room, perfumed fans in hand. Visitors described the show as feminine, feminist, utopian, comforting, soft, dreamy, lovely, and lots of people would mention that it was like a satisfying dessert course. 

The show also sparked conversations around diversity. The Red Wedding included artists working across many different media, and from different age groups, races, genders, sexual orientations and nationalities. Yet despite these differences, the artists collaborated to create an exhibition that was cohesive in vision and touched people deeply.  

With this perfume, I am helping animals in need, and I am celebrating the essence of The Red Wedding and the unique expression that each and every one of us make in this world. I invite you to be part of this celebration, my dear Purrfumery friends!

A Gift For You

On this birthday occasion, I want to thank you all for being a part of my life, my dear Purrfumery friends! From today until August 29th I will offer 15% off anything in the Purrfumery. Be sure to type VIOLETTE in the discount box. All orders through the end of August will receive a sample of Pangolin Violette Rose too! Maybe it’s time to try something new?

If you have questions or need gift ideas, let me know! You can call me at 510-334-8824 or laurie@purrfumery.com

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Peace, love, purrfume, social justice and kitty cats,


Happy Spring - 20% Off Everything From the Purrfumery!

Greetings, my dear Purrfumery friends!

Spring feels very special this year – it’s incredible to see the beauty that’s all around after such a challenging era in our lives. The Perfumer’s Garden is more spectacular by the day. Every morning I see something new that’s ready to bloom and share its signature with the world. Nature reminds me that I will spend a lifetime exploring, changing and growing.

Flash Sale – 20% off everything until April 28
2021 has been an incredible year at the Purrfumery, and it’s only April! I looked around the other day and realized, wow! I need to inventory and restock the shelves and take the feather duster to the kitty tiaras! So, the Purrfumery will be closed for May. I’m offering 20% off everything – this is the perfect time to stock up on something you love, or try something new. Please type Pangolin in the discount box.

All orders must be in by April 28. I will resume shipping in early June.

Shop Early for Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9! Take advantage of the Flash Sale to shop early for Mom, or for the mothers in your life. All of our gifts are elaborately packaged, one-by-one. We can ship to you, or directly to your loved ones. 

Here are a few favorites to give you some ideas for Mom:

Luminous Lemurs: Quickly becoming a Purrfumery favorite! This is a beautiful, juicy, and complex scent I mixed using Madagascar ylang ylang and my 20-year-old Madagascar vanilla. A generous portion of the proceeds goes to Centre ValBio to help Dr. Patricia Wright continue her conservation work in Madagascar. Here’s a story by Eleanor Vincent for Local News Matters that shares the background of this incredible scent.

Kittylicious Eau de ParfumThis line of affordable luxuries has something for everyone. These are among the Purrfumery’s most popular scents: Rose Jasmine, Mojito, Jasmine Orange Blossom, Black Cat, Eze and Rose Jasmine. A Kittylicious Eau de Parfum makes a lovely gift, packaged in a cute roll-top bottle and tucked into a gold foil box with a ribbon. 

Introducing Pangolin Violette Rose, available at The Red Wedding

I’m thrilled to announce my newest perfume, Pangolin Violette Rose! I developed this dreamy, rich perfume for The Red Wedding, an art exhibition that opens in Chicago in May.

The scent
I hand-blended Pangolin Violette Rose with Egyptian violet leaf and Persian rose otto. It opens with candied violets and evolves into a luxurious bouquet of roses dusted with powdery Orris absolute. It’s available in solid and liquid – the solid is more violet than rose. And the liquid is more rose than violet. This is the magic of perfume alchemy and how different materials unfold in solid and liquid form – I love the differences!

This is a scent that stays close to you, inspired by a gentle animal that needs our help.

Pangolins are native to Asia and Africa, and they roll into a tight ball when they feel threatened. The threat is real. Pangolins are among the most illegally trafficked mammals in the world, poached for their scales and meat. Now, they are in danger of extinction. A portion of sales from this perfume will go to the Pangolin Crisis Fund, an organization fighting to reduce demand for pangolins around the world.  

The Red Wedding

Curator Matt Morris describes The Red Wedding as “a gathering of Lipstick Formalists, agony aunts, Aunt Flo, former lovers of mine, faggots, frippery, adolescence reminiscence, beauticians and the beasts that dwell herein, former students of mine, Instagram crushes, analysts, the artists at the center of my twin sibling’s dissertation, the artists who produce the podcasts I listen to, the artists who produce the perfumes I wear.” 

During the development of Pangolin Violette Rose, I found myself thinking of my sister Gail, a museum curator who more than 40 years ago created forums for the world to experience immigrant artists, women artists, and African American artists. Gail curated exhibitions that confronted racism and negative stereotypes over the past 100 years in advertising. She looked at how dangerous these messages were throughout history. 

At that time, shows like hers bucked museum conventions – I always admired her for starting those artistic conversations! And now here I am – a part of a show that celebrates and explores gender and shares the voices of underrepresented artists from around the world. It has been an incredible honor to be involved!

Emerald, Velvet & Sweet Pea’s graphic designer has designed a fabulous fan for the exhibit, which will be sprayed with Pangolin Violette Rose perfume for visitors to experience!

Where to buy Pangolin Violette Rose

I created Pangolin Violette Rose for The Red Wedding, and it will be on sale at the gallery for the run of the show, which ends in July. This is a limited-edition perfume, so if you’d like to experience it, don’t wait! I plan to sell Pangolin Violette Rose on Purrfumery.com after July… but I can’t guarantee availability. You can find more info here.

Or, contact Eric here

If you have questions or need gift ideas, let me know! You can call me at 510-334-8824 or laurie@purrfumery.com

Enjoy these beautiful spring days!

Peace, love, purrfume, social justice and kitty cats,


Valentine’s Day Sale – 15% off all Purrfumery products!

Greetingss, dear Purrfumery friends,

Happy New Year! The kitties and I ushered in the new year with a toast to hope, health, happiness, and service. With your help, we’ve been able to help our friends in Madagascar with my newest scent, Luminous Lemurs. The Purrfumery has donated more than $2,000 so far to help Centre ValBio, led by Dr. Patricia Wright, who is working to save Madagascar lemurs. Thank you all!

I heard from Dr. Wright recently and here are some of the things Centre ValBio is doing to help Madagascar communities and lemurs:

Vanilla! This precious orchid has been overharvested in Madagascar. Centre ValBio is replanting what has been overharvested and planting new vanilla orchids. Vanilla is a valuable crop in Madagascar that helps to sustain their local communities. 

More trees! Centre ValBio staff is planting trees that are indigenous to Madagascar! Lemurs need these trees if they are going to survive and thrive in their native land.

I want to share Dr. Wright’s book with you too! It’s called “For the Love of Lemurs: My Life in the Wilds of Madagascar,” and it’s excellent! Dr. Wright is not only helping to keep lemurs alive in their native habitat, she is also researching the lineage of lemur species and which species have been extinct. If you like conservation stories that read like adventure novels, you will love this book!

Valentine’s Day Sale – 15% off all Purrfumery products!

A luscious new scent is a Valentine to remember – and I will wrap it beautifully just for your beloved! Try something new! My Valentine to you is 15% off everything on the site until Febuary 1st. Type Emmylou in the discount box.

Need ideas? Call me! Here are a few off the top of my head:

TerrainI made this for a guy (my husband, Gary) who is not a “perfume guy.” Men and women will love this blend of Mexican lime with wild Bulgarian geranium, Japanese yuzu, frankincense and rare sandalwoods, including my 20 year old Tamil Nadu from India.

Luminous Lemurs Gift Set: This luxurious gift set combines Luminous Lemurs Perfume, Bath Salts, and Frosting. More help for Madagascar lemurs!

Bed of Roses: This is the ultimate rose perfume, blended from an accord of nine incredible roses. I cushioned Bed of Roses with aged Tamil Nadu sandalwood, dark chocolate and rich cognac, and you’ll also find accents of tuberose, Boronia, orange blossom and green mandarin here too. 

Kittylicious Eau de ParfumBlack Cat, Mojito, Jasmine Orange Blossom, Rose Jasmine, Eze and Rose Ensens! These are among my most popular scents for adults and teens too. Kittylicious scents arrive in a roll-on bottle, tucked into a luxurious gold box with their own scent card.

A Purrfumery Bon Bon for You

My Purrfumery friends inspire me every day. A few months ago, I started blending small batches of scented treats with you all in mind – I call them Purrfumery Bon Bons! Many of you have told me how much you love getting a free treat with your purchases, so I am going to make some more and tuck them in with your orders for as long as they are available. We all need an aromatherapeutic, Purrfumery bon bon now and again!

Give that Lemur a Medal!

My year ended with some wonderful news! Luminous Lemurs and the Purrfumery caught the attention by some of the top international blogs last year. I’m beyond thrilled! 

  1. Matt Morris from Fragrantica gave Luminous Lemurs the 2020 Best Perfume award!
  2. ÇaFleureBon named us the Best Natural Perfume House and Perfumer!
  3. Michelyn Camen and Ida Meister of CaFleureBon put Luminous Lemurs on their 10 Best lists! Check out Michelyn Camen's list here and Ida Meister's list here.

Thank you to everyone who has tried my perfumes and shared them with your readers, friends, and loved ones!

If you need something beautiful to lift your spirits, let me know – I’m here for phone calls or Facetime appointments. Call me at 510-334-8824 or laurie@purrfumery.com

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

Peace, love, purrfume, social justice, lemurs, and kitty cats,


Copyright © 2015 Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery, All rights reserved.
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Happy Holidays! 10 % off through December 7th! Free gift too!

A quick note to let you know about the holiday treats I am offering!

10% Discount + A Free Gift!

Great news! I am extending the 10 % off discount through December 7th! Type JOANBAEZ in the discount box.

And each order comes with a free gift! Your choice: I have beautiful, soothing Bulgarian Rose Hydrosol, or Breathe, a new, scented roll-on oil I blended this season. Breathe is a treat for your respiratory system – I blend it with natural materials from trees, like fir and juniper. Just let me know what you would prefer in the notes section with each order!

Need Gift Ideas?

Luminous Lemurs Perfume
NEW! If you are looking for a unique gift that will make a difference a world away, try my new perfume, Luminous Lemurs! This scent will transport you to the forests of Madagascar with notes of ylang ylang, 20-year-old Madagascar vanilla and sandalwood, antique clove and nutmeg. I am giving half the proceeds from Luminous Lemurs to Centre ValBio, led by Dr. Patricia Wright, who is working to save Madagascar lemurs by replenishing the forests with native trees.  

Read all about it! Thank you Jodi Battershell of Solidly Scented for the review!

Luminous Lemurs Bath Salts
NEW! Lavish your body and senses with a ylang ylang scented soak in the tub. Just like the perfume, a generous portion of the proceeds from the sale of these bath salts go directly to Centre ValBio to help our lemur friends.

Luminous Lemurs Whipped Frosting
NEW! A beautiful new addition to the Frosting family! I hand blend this ylang ylang and carnation frosting with organic oils that are rich in antioxidants and high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Great for a scented pick-me-up that will drench dry, wind-burned skin. A generous portion of the proceeds of this frosting go directly to Centre ValBio. 

Luminous Lemurs Gift Set
Together at last! This luxurious gift set combines Luminous Lemurs PerfumeBath Salts, and Frosting. More help for Madagascar lemurs!


Lilac Enfleurage Whipped Frostings 
To create natural lilac enfleurage, a perfumer must immerse bushels of lilac flowers in organic vegetable fat to draw the vapors out of tiny flower petals. They continue this process for 33 days, watching the flowers vigilantly, and quickly removing wilted flowers to replace them with new flowers. The result of their labor is exquisite enfleurage, a rare jewel that costs $1,000 an ounce. My Lilac Enfleurage Whipped Frosting is not a slather-it-on kind of moisturizer. It’s a glorious treat to savor for its temporary scented rush, and that moment of bliss and pleasure.

I hand-blend all of my Whipped Frostings with organic oils that are rich in antioxidants and high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids – they’re super-hydrating and ultra-nourishing. My other lovely Frostings include Black CatGardeniaKashmir RoseOrange Blossom, and Luminous Lemurs. I make the Gardenia enfleurage with 150 fresh gardenias! Try them all and find your favorite! But don’t wait – they sell out fast!

Mr. Whiskers Beard Balms
Beardsmen will love our line of Mr. Whisker’s Beard Balms in Juniper & Cypress, Piñon Desert, and Vetiver Breeze. These super-nourishing and ultra-soft balms soften the beard and the skin underneath. 

Kittylicious Eau de Parfum
Black Cat, Mojito, Jasmine Orange Blossom, Rose Jasmine, Eze and Rose Ensens! These are among my most popular scents for adults and teens too. Kittylicious scents arrive in a roll-on bottle, tucked into a luxurious gold box with their own scent card. These make gorgeous gifts and stocking stuffers!

Need Assistance?

If you have questions or want to brainstorm gift-giving ideas, let me know! You are also welcome to pick up your treats at the Purrfumery! I can set up a table outside with testers and we can socially distance for a short visit. Call me at 510-334-8824 or laurie@purrfumery.com 

Until then. . .

Peace, love, purrfume, social justice and kitty cats,


10% off and Gift with purchase until November 30th!

Greetings, dear Purrfumery friends!

In these moments of uncertainty about pretty much everything, I’m comforted by the seasons that never fail us. Like clockwork, fall followed summer and the plants and flowers in the Perfumer’s Garden tucked themselves in for a well-deserved rest before they emerge again in the spring. And the Purrfumery is always a source of delight for me. Truffle, Kitty Magic and Buttercup are so reliable – they show up for work every day to help me get your orders ready. Thank goodness for kitties!

10% off EVERYTHING + a Free Gift with Every Purchase

We’re extra busy right now with the holidays coming up. People are starting to place their orders, and I think that’s a good idea, given some of the shipping delays I’ve seen. With the shelter-in-place and social distancing, you may not be doing as many in-person gift exchanges with family and friends this year. To make things easy for you, I am offering 10% off EVERYTHING in the Purrfumery until November 30th. That means you can order individual gifts and have them shipped to each of your loved ones. You’ll save 10% on each order you place. Type JOANBAEZ in the discount box.

I am also including a free Breathe roll-on with every order. Breathe is a treat for your respiratory system – I blend it with natural materials from trees, like fir and juniper. Humans have been using these materials to relax and soothe their souls for thousands of years. Go ahead and take a deep breath to get you through!

Best of all, everything you order from the Purrfumery is custom-wrapped in beautiful packaging – everything we do is a gift from the inside out. I take special care with each and every one of your gifts!

A Gift that Helps Lemurs of Madagascar

Lemurs are native to Madagascar, and they have been threatened by deforestation. I don’t want to imagine a world where lemurs are extinct! I am doing something to help, and you can too!

My new perfume, Luminous Lemurs is a beautiful, juicy, and complex scent I mixed using ylang ylang that my friend Susan brought me from Madagascar and my 20-year-old Madagascar vanilla. I also used other spices that grow in Madagascar, like antique clove, nutmeg, and my rare and amazing 20-year-old sandalwood. I am giving half the proceeds from Luminous Lemurs to Centre ValBio, led by Dr. Patricia Wright, who is working to save Madagascar lemurs and help indigenous people through research and education. Centre ValBio has created jobs for the people of Madagascar that include planting vanilla orchids that farmers will eventually harvest and sell. Centre ValBio workers also plant native trees that will replace what has been overharvested so lemurs can have their home in the trees again. 

The center has been hit hard by COVID and travel cancellations, and the money that the Purrfumery and others are donating is helping them to continue their work to help lemurs thrive. 

Thank you for sharing Luminous Lemurs and helping the lemurs of Madagascar! I’d also like to give a shout out to award-winning writer Ida Meister for her review of Luminous Lemurs in CaFleureBon! Thank you, Ida! 

Gift Ideas to Warm the Heart

Everywhere I look, I see emotion. This is such an emotional time for so many of us. We may want to enhance some of our emotions, and quiet others. I create my perfumes with our emotional well-being in mind: 

Highway: This is a scent that speaks to the roaming heart and to new beginnings. I find this scent very indulgent with its winding road of citrus, berries, cedarwood, vanilla, and blue spruce.

Fir-ever Young: I find serenity in the forest, and this scent takes me to a wilderness of Douglas fir, silver fir, grand fir, blue spruce, juniper, and more. There, they entwine with green and fruity florals, juicy citruses and black currants, and with frankincense and agarwood for just a hint of smoke. This scent is a limited edition, and I don't have much of it left -- try it now before it's gone fir-ever!

Rose Jasmine: Rose soothes and comforts the soul and jasmine helps to calm stressful feelings. This is one of my most popular scents for a very good reason! 

Bed of Roses: This is the ultimate rose perfume. I find it both deeply restful and completely inspiring! I created an accord of nine incredible roses and cushioned it with aged Tamil Nadu sandalwood, dark chocolate and rich cognac. You’ll also find accents of tuberose, Boronia, orange blossom and green mandarin here too. 

Meet Monica Miller

I would like to introduce you to my friend Monica Miller, a poet and fellow natural perfumer. She wrote a poem about Luminous Lemurs, and I am so honored! She asks…

If you could save just one thing

To honor and to cherish

To gaze at and adore

What would it be?

You can read the rest of the poem here.

Monica makes beautiful botanical products, available on Etsy. I have her Healing Herbs Face Balm, Pink Pollen Lip Balm, Aromatic Healing Balm, and Kama Deva Love Potion. I adore them all! She sustainably grows her own herbs, makes her own tinctures, keeps bees, and puts so much care into her products. She's amazing and her products are fantastic! Be sure to check them out this holiday season! You can find her on Etsy here.


Here to Help

If you have questions or want to brainstorm gift-giving ideas, let me know! Call me at 510-334-8824 or laurie@purrfumery.com

Until then. . .

Peace, love, purrfume, social justice and kitty cats,


Help the Luminous lemurs of Madagascar!

Greetings, dear Purrfumery friends!

I hope this email finds you safe and well. This has been a scary and very challenging time here at my Purrfumery. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area and wildfires caused by recent lightning storms are not far away. The smoke is thick and the air quality has been hazardous to breathe. I know many folks who have been threatened by the fires, and I hope they stay safe. It's a weird time to be launching a new perfume, but I’ve created a scent that has a larger purpose: to help the lemurs of Madagascar. Here’s the latest on how I’m using my art to help wildlife. 

Did you know that male ring-tail lemurs attract their mates with a scent gland on their wrists that exudes a lovely, fruity floral smell? I love this! And, while we’re all getting ready for autumn here in the U.S., it’s spring in Madagascar and time for lemur babies to be born! These are some of the fun facts I’ve learned in my quest to help these incredible animals. I’m delighted to introduce you to my new perfume, Luminous Lemurs, a scent that was born from a gift, and will in turn become a gift.

Inhale Deeply to Save the Lemurs of Madagascar

Late last year, my friend Susan Wheeler brought me ylang ylang essential oil from a distillery that she visited in Madagascar. She told me about the lemurs she saw on her trip, and how the dense forests where they live and raise their families are being lost to deforestation. But there is hope! Centre ValBioled by Dr. Patricia Wright, is working to save Madagascar lemurs and help indigenous people through research and education. Before COVID-19, Centre ValBio was doing ok. Now, with tourism and study abroad programs put on hold, the center could lose decades of progress it has made in the community. Susan loves lemurs and is raising money for Centre ValBio – she asked me to help with her fundraiser, and I got to work on a new perfume to raise awareness! 

A generous portion of the proceeds from the sale of Luminous Lemurs will go to Centre ValBio to help Dr. Wright continue her work. Purrfumery funds will help build tree corridors for lemurs and other wildlife to roam, and help girls from remote villages attend high school. These funds will also help local villagers who work at the center so they can continue their efforts. 

Luminous Lemurs is a beautiful, juicy, and complex scent I mixed using the ylang ylang Susan brought me and my 20-year-old Madagascar vanilla. I also used other spices that are found in that part of the world, like antique clove, nutmeg, and my rare and amazing 20-year-old sandalwood.

A lemur poster that I have had for over 25 years, given to me by a lemur researcher! I have always loved lemurs!

Dosing and Packaging

Luminous Lemurs is available in eau de parfum and solid perfume strength. The solid is more highly dosed than the eau de parfum, but only by a little. I created the packaging with those fabulous lemurs in mind – I imagine them jumping and running through the forests of Madagascar, branches and leaves flying! 

Solid 3 ml and 5 ml Starlight boxes are packaged in purple velvet pouches with lush, luminous leaves.  The sterling, opal-esque jewel boxes are stunning and I’ve tucked them into petite Luminous Lemur boxes. Eau de parfum is available in 4 ml, 15 ml or 30 ml atomizer spray bottles. Eau de parfum bottles are packed in purple velvet pouches with lush, luminous leaves.  I am also offering a limited edition, 30 ml Brosse crystal flacon. The perfect gift for collectors, it arrives in a one-of-kind, handmade, large Luminous Lemurs box. 

I bought the little lemurs that adorn the collectors’ boxes in San Francisco’s Chinatown more than 25 years ago. I bought just a few – I knew I would find the perfect use for these magical whatnots one of these days. And here we are! My husband Gary just shook his head. This is a word to all the collectors out there: You will spend a lifetime collecting whimsical curios and magical delightful whatnots. They will be the perfect thing you need someday! Trust yourself! 

Thank you for indulging in my latest scent and making a difference for animals and people, my dear Purrfumery friends!

Special Purrfumery treat this month with all orders!

Until October 1st I will include special pampering treat in all orders to help calm, center and help give you sense of peace my dear Purrfumery friends. You’ll receive an organic jojoba oil based French lavender and Cape Chamomile relaxing roll-on for these challenging times. The Cape Chamomile is from a small artisan distiller in South Africa and it has the exquisite aroma of apples! Applied to your pulse points, I hope it will make you feel calm and relaxed.
I will also include a sample of Luminous Lemurs with all orders placed in September!

Making a New Perfume Is…

Someone asked me the other day what it’s like to make a new perfume. It’s a magical challenge! It’s a delicious disappearance into a world where time doesn’t matter anymore. The only thing that matters is my intuition, and listening to my inner voice when the perfume tells me it’s done.

I talk about this magical world in this video that my dear friend Ruby Solomita, a wonderful and creative artist who I have known since she was born, made during her recent visit. Thank you, Ruby! 

And, you can visit me on IGTV on Instagram – I’m doing some fun things over there and would love for my Purrfumery friends to follow me! My handle is @velvetandsweetpeaspurrfumery. See you there!

One Thing Leads to Another 

It’s funny how life works in a circle. I have always been in awe of the natural world, and my life-long mission has been to protect the Earth and animals from harm. When I researched how to respect the planet and help animals, I learned about sustainability. Almost 20 years ago, I heard about the overharvesting of sandalwood and chose not to buy any more. More recently, the perfume world is talking about the overharvesting of Frankincense and Madagascar vanilla. I stopped buying these materials many years ago too – instead, I am carefully using what I have. 

Sustainability and conservation go hand-in-hand. Today, so many animals are suffering from humanity’s push to have everything we want and everything we think we need. I want to be part of the solution. COVID-19 has made it even more clear to me that the purpose of my work is to help animals and indigenous communities. I have a few other ideas for scented treasures I am making in the name of conservation – more to come soon!

Until then. . .

Peace, purrfume, social justice, lemurs, and kitty cats,


Earth Day Thoughts and Wishes

Greetings, dear Purrfumery friends!

Happy Earth Day! It’s the 50th anniversary of this very special day when we stop and ask: What can each of us do to protect Mother Earth? While it’s usually a day for festivals and conferences, this year we will celebrate in our own quiet ways. I’ve been enjoying the plants in my garden, and have been harvesting lemon balm (Melissa officianalus) for tea—it helps reduce anxiety—and have been infusing violets in honey—a salve for the respiratory system. I’ll say more about lemon balm a little later.

This note is also my way of celebrating our beautiful world with you!

Winding Path To Awareness

My work in natural perfumery over the last 20 years has been an incredible teacher. Every day I experience how interconnected we are with the natural world. I have studied where and how plants grow, the terroir they draw from the land, and how plants can impact our lives, our moods, and our health. I’ve also learned how to collaborate with the ultimate perfumers: Bees! I use their beeswax to create several of my most beloved scents.

Sadly, there is a dark underbelly to natural perfumery. I have witnessed the promotion of animal musks and secretions that are derived from animals at the cost of horrible suffering. An animal’s suffering begins when they are trapped in the wild. It continues—in some cases for years, as with civet cats—as people harvest their bodies for their musk that will ultimately be sold to perfumers.    

It is this same logic—that wild animals possess something we must take for ourselves—that is at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic.

My Earth Day Message: Find a Solution

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of life that has resulted from this pandemic, and the loss of livelihoods from the shelter-in-place. And while I know researchers are still studying the source of the pandemic, I am saddened that there may be a link to animal cruelty and the exploitation of wild animals. Researchers have traced COVID-19 to wet markets, where wild and endangered animals are sold. In these environments, humans and wild animals are close—too close—and diseases can jump from one species to another. We are learning a painful lesson about Mother Earth, where we should tread and where we shouldn’t. 

Taking animals from the wild for our amusement puts us all at risk—can we all see that now? 

But once we acknowledge this, it is not as easy as simply stopping this practice. (Though China did recently ban the trade and consumption of wild animals for food.) There are ramifications to bans because in some countries, animal trafficking is how many people earn a living and feed their families. Finding solutions that sustain local communities and the environment is a much larger conversation that we need to be having. I have explored this in my advocacy of civet cats in the wild—I believe that if people work together, we can phase out these harmful practices. Jane Goodall has been an example to me—she inspires me with her work to help communities find solutions to animal trafficking. Jane Goodall is my hero! She is helping people explore more sustainable ways to earn their livelihoods. Learn more about her message and work!

I agree with Jane Goodall and other conservationists that we must find solutions to animal trafficking that benefit animals AND people. I think that is the only way they are going to work. 

How Can YOU Make A Difference?

I am always asking myself that question! Here in my Purrfumery, I create my scented artworks from natural treasures that are cruelty free. They do not contain even a speck of animal byproducts. I partner with groups that have a voice in the community and around the world, and I try to help them in any way I can. 

Here’s what I am working on now:

Deforestation around the world is another culprit that harms wildlife, the environment and people. I’ve been partnering with Centre ValBio, led by Dr. Patricia Wright, who is working hard to save Madagascar lemurs and help indigenous people through research and education. I created a perfume for their fundraiser—Luminous Lemurs! It is aging now and will be ready in a few months. The proceeds from this perfume will go to helping Centre ValBio build tree corridors for lemurs to live and roam. Purrfumery proceeds also support the exploration of the Lost Rainforest of Crystal Mountain, and help girls from remote villages attend high school, all through Centre ValBio.

And Masks, Lots of Masks!

I am sheltered in place like so many of you, and I have time to help! My dear friend Lisa has been helping me, buying fabrics and elastic, and I have been making masks for those in need, so I have gone back to my sewing roots, which I love. The mask pattern I made is based on this video: Watch the video after it too, for instructions on how to make the jig. Kitty Magic and Truffle love to help, as you can see!


I recommend making it 1’ wider and washing the fabric 3 times in the washer and then the dryer so they won’t shrink. Hope it’s helpful and useful to you and yours. I am also seeing folks selling them on Etsy and NextDoor.

Back to Lemon Balm...And Free Shipping!

I would like to offer free shipping for a month, because I am shipping very sporadically right now. So, free shipping until May 22nd! Type in Violet in the discount box. And I am including a special treat from my garden with each order while supplies last. I have been harvesting and drying lemon balm for tea and would like to share it with you. Enjoy this special gift from the Perfumer’s Garden!

The Constant- Earth Day is My Every Day

The solitude of the shelter in place has given me time to think, which can be a good thing, right? I’ve experienced bursts of creativity, but there have also been hours spent in deep concern for what the future holds. While so much is unclear right now, there is one thing that has never changed:

My respect and love for the natural world and animals, and my commitment to the wellbeing and safety of all living things. I am in awe every day!

Thank you for being part of this journey, my dear Purrfumery friends!

Until next time. . .

Peace, purrfume and kitty cats,


Creating The Breath of The Gods - A Kyphi Scent Event Workshop

Laurie@Purrfumery.com          www.Purrfumery.com                510-334-8824
Greetings, dear Purrfumery friends!

Spring is in the air and everywhere I look in the Perfumer’s Garden, I see hope and beauty in the new life that is sprouting from the earth and from the trees. It’s a perfect time to open your arms to change, growth and reverence of Mother Earth. With this in mind, I have invited Justine Crane from the Scented Djinn  to teach a workshop on Kyphi, a very special and ancient incense.

Creating the Breath of the Gods – a Kyphi Scent Event Workshop
Who: Hosted by The Scented Djinn and the Purrfumery 
When: April 18 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery, 727 Sea View Drive, El Cerrito
Food: Vegetarian lunch, tea and aromatic treats will be served in the Perfumer’s Garden, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge

About the class
On April 18, Justine Crane will be teaching a course on Kyphi, a compound incense that harkens back to ancient Egypt. We will have a full day learning the story that precipitated the creation of Kyphi, the materials and their purposes, hands-on creation of Kyphi, and an after Kyphi incense session free-style. In this later session, we will create loose powder, rolled cones, sticks or incense on splits -- it all depends on the vibe. There will be a discussion on rare and unusual incense raw materials and ethics in sourcing. Each participant will receive an equal share of the completed Kyphi incense, a vegetarian lunch, an equal share of the late session incense free-style results, and after the magic, tea and scones baked fresh at the Purrfumery. 

It will be a day of incense magic, art, resurrection, love, grief and joy.

Join us! Space is limited to 10 participants.

About Justine Crane

Justine is a developer and instructor at the Natural Perfume Academy, International Perfume Foundation Certified Natural Perfumer, and expert incenseur. 

I first met Justine more than 15 years ago through her natural perfumery website and blog – it was called “Le Parfumer Rebelle,” or The Rebel Perfumers. Justine created it when natural perfumery as we know it now was in its infancy. During this time in the perfume community, there were some very large personalities vying for power and trying to own natural perfumery. Justine was a quiet presence and a godsend in the chaos of that time. The Rebel Perfumers were a ragtag bunch of perfumers, soap makers and wild, creative perfuming individuals. We were doing our own thing and supporting each other in this amazing moment of aromatic discovery. It was a magical time for all of us, and we were linked by our art and our devotion to creating businesses that made natural aromatic products. 

Justine held our community together with grace and love, and she made a beautiful website that was a rich source of information to anyone working in natural perfumery. She championed all of us and was magnanimous in sharing information and promoting us all. During this time, she was also running The Scented Djinn, her natural perfume and soap company. Justine makes gorgeous perfumes, yummy soaps and exquisite incense. I am thrilled to have her teaching this course, and look forward to a lovely, magical, scent-filled day with you all! 

Click here to register for this class: You can purchase on Facebook  or email me- laurie@purrfumery.com or call me. 510-334-8824

Q&A with Justine Crane

I sat down with Justine recently and learned about her roots in incense-making. She’s also running a 25% off sale until February 29, 2020. An unofficial leap sale!

It all started with a camp fire… 

When did you become interested in incense?
When I was young, my family and I lived in a logging camp in the Sierra Nevada mountains where I learned some basic survival and homesteader skills, one of those being how to mix together tree resins with pine needles and crunchy leaves to toss into the fire to fuel a better burn that inadvertently provided a side benefit in that it also scented the air. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I was making a very crude incense. It would be years before I intentionally made incense, starting with a pine wood base and adding herbs and resins and essential oils to create ‘celestial’ incenses. I really wasn’t satisfied with these wood-based incenses and gave up incense for a few years until I discovered Kyphi sometime in late 2011, early 2012. Kyphi lit a fire of creativity, spiritual awareness, and a more refined understanding of the raw materials used in incense and perfumery that I had never experienced before. 

How does incense making relate to perfumery?
Incense is perfume. It isn’t a related art; it is the same. 

Can you tell me a bit about the history of incense?
Incense predates liquid perfumery, perhaps by millennia. It may have begun as simply as gathering resins to fuel a fire that slowly turned into burning botanicals for their smoke and aroma. Incense and self-awareness may have developed hand-in-hand. 

How are you bringing that ancient art into the modern world? Are you using any new resins or extractions, and what is the sustainability of these materials?
Mindfulness. When creating incense, an incenseur must be mindful of the source and energy of the plants being used, the proportions, the desired result. I’ve collected several types of resins that I use in incense making that perhaps were never historically used. It’s interesting and exciting to me to explore new raw materials, but I keep in mind that these things are limited and transient and shouldn’t be used for the sake of making a sale but should always be used to bring something to life that has never been before. One vitally important lesson that Kyphi has taught me is that every incense should be created in reverence, as an act of resurrection, of bringing something from the darkness into the light. If we revere these materials in the way they deserve, their sustainability is no longer a question. It does worry me that people are buying up vast quantities of frankincense resins for medicinal purposes, stressing the trees where the resins are collected. According to some sources, the finite commodity of frankincense trees could be extinct within the next century. I don’t have an answer for that except to say use less. Be mindful of the remaining resources. What we create with these beautiful raw materials isn’t disposable or without value, it is the most valuable, the most important, incense is the body of a god that demands respect.

What will you be teaching in this class?
How to evaluate the materials, a little about the history of the materials and the art of incense making, the materials’ sustainability and future, ways in which substitutions can work, and what Kyphi represents; its spiritual importance. I hope to offer an experience rather than a lesson.

Purrfumery Sale!

If you’ve been looking for a spring scent, now is the time! 

From now until Friday, February 28th, I’m offering free shipping all Purrfumery products. Just type SPRING in the discount box. It’s my way of saying thank you for your support all these years, my dear Purrfumery friends! If you would like to make an appointment for a cup of tea and a spree at the Purrfumery, call 510-334-8824 or email laurie@purrfumery.com.

Until next time,

Peace, love, purrfume and kitty cats