When I started my Second Sunday Samples series, I thought of referring to it as SSS Series but since in Perfumeland that abbreviation is usually used for Sonoma Scent Studio, I dropped the idea.
While writing about Sonoma Scent Studio’s samples for this month’s episode, I thought those abbreviations would look fabulous together – hence the title.
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I grew up in a large city. Horses were either an attribute of a rural life, about which most of us, city kids, had little knowledge, or something from “other times,” about which we read books or watched films. So horses were almost mythical creatures, if you think about it.
The closest I’ve ever got to a horse riding was, probably, favoring Tal-y-Tara Tea & Polo Shoppe in San Francisco. While drinking tea with cute sandwiches and scones, we would look around trying to figure out the use for different unusual things on the shelves around us.
Probably because of all that Sonoma Scent Studio’s Equestrian did not attract my attention when it was launched last year, despite several very favorable reviews and year-end lists. But recently when I was placing an order for a couple of perfumes that I wanted to replenish, I decided to catch up on the newest Sonoma Scent Studio’s releases and bought samples.
If it weren’t for the name and Laurie Erikson’s Comments, I would have never guessed that this scent has anything to do with horses. The list of notes wouldn’t give it away either (at least to me): apple accord, grassy notes, hay absolute, leather accord, jasmine sambac absolute, violet, labdanum absolute, Virginia cedar, natural oakmoss absolute, patchouli, New Caledonia sandalwood and benzoin.
The first time I tried Equestrian, it reminded me Serge Lutens’ Jeux de Peau. I know that these two have almost no notes in common, and since then I’ve done them in parallel and proved to myself that they are very different. And still, every time I put on just Equestrian, I immediately think: Jeux de Peau. I wonder if I make some subconscious connection Equestrian –> Tal-y-Tara Tea & Polo Shoppe –> scones –> palmiers (which were my association for the SL’s perfume)?
But back to Equestrian. My nose didn’t identify “apple” initially but once I read it in the notes, I agreed that whatever I smelled might be interpreted as such. That accord and benzoin give perfume just enough sweetness to put Equestrian on the border of gourmand territory (another nod to JdP) or maybe even slightly into it but not overwhelmingly so. The leather is smooth and subtle. And the rest of ingredients together paint a harmonious picture.
The more I test Equestrian, the more I like it. I’m not sure yet If it gets to four sea stars but it is close to that, so I’ll be spending more time with the sample.
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My impressions from the second sample from that recent order, Bee’s Bliss, were completely congruous with both the name and perfumer’s comments. You do not even need to read the notes list to conjure the late spring – early summer day with all the blossoms that would be considered a paradise by any self-respecting bee. But just in case you haven’t seen the list yet, here it is: bergamot, apricot and peach, orange blossom, jasmine, mimosa, lilac, heliotrope, beeswax, honey, iris, vetiver, green leaves, benzoin, amber, oakmoss, patchouli and musk.
Bee’s Bliss is a beautiful and joyful floral perfume. What is interesting about it: if you’re familiar with other Sonoma Scent Studio’s floral compositions, you’ll be surprised how light and airy this perfume is. Bee’s Bliss doesn’t have the darker woodsy and resinous base that one has come to expect from Ms. Erikson’s creations. At the same time, it has enough substance to feel like a traditional perfume rather than summery cologne.
I liked Bee’s Bliss from the first application so I decided not to wait and ordered a purse spray.
SSS’s shopping cart will be up until December 19th, so those of my U.S. readers who were thinking about trying this perfume or ordering something else from the brand still have time to do that.
I realize that it is harder for readers from other parts of the World to obtain samples from SSS, so I want to offer my sample in a draw for those who are NOT in the U.S. To be entered, you do not need to do anything other than say in what country you live. The draw is open until 23:59 PST on December 17th. The winner will be selected randomly.
SSS does ship to at least some countries but the official shipping is prohibitively expensive. So if the winner of the sample, after trying it, decides to buy a travel spray or a bottle (you can do it over e-mail even after the cart is taken down), I can offer to receive the package and send it your way through the regular mail, which should be cheaper than to do it through the international UPS.
A reminder: hajusuuri’s guessing game and giveaway is still open.
Images: my own
I love the symmetry of SSS and SSS – as a lover of alliteration, also in acronym form, I found it profoundly satisfying. ;) I am a bit scared of horses though, following a rather unfortunate (first) experience of pony trekking in Wales at the age of 15, when the pony decided to canter downhill, and threw me off along the way. And given that I am not a fan of Jeux de Peau, Equestrian probably wouldn’t be the one for me, while Bee’s Bliss really does sound blissful. I also enjoyed the reference to the weather and ‘self-respecting bees’. Brilliant. It seems to be the perfect blend of light and heavier!
Thank you, Vanessa :) I was thinking of you when I played with those letters. I think Bee’s Bliss might be “your thing.”
I also had a bad experience with a pony (not as physically traumatic as yours but maybe equally so mentally ;) ): I was four of five, my mother and I were riding on a horse carriage in the local zoo. The small pony was tied to the carriage behind us, and my mom couldn’t think of anything better but to joke that once she catches up with the carriage she might bight me (yeah, she was young and not the most thinking parent). Both circles of the ride all I could think was that pony behind us. I don’t think I ever asked to go on that ride again (but maybe that was a purpose? :) ).
I have small bottles of both Equestrian and Bee’s Bliss (among others of Laurie’s creations- I’m a fan girl!). I think the Bees Bliss will be amazing in the spring and summer but I’m wearing it in the winter anyway, to remind me of sunny days. And Equestrian is a year round perfume for me – easy to wear for work. I really like the hay accord in it, and the Apple isn’t too sweet. I encourage all readers outside the US to comment for the draw- totally worthwhile sniffs!!
I agree about the spring, but I’m even more curious to try how it is in summer because other than Fig Tree, all other SSS’s perfumes I can wear only in colder months.
Lovely to see your thoughts on Sonoma Scent Studio latest releases.
I liked Equestrian moderately as there was too much hay going on when I applied it on skin.
Despite winter being so close I’m looking forward to try Bee’s Bliss. Laurie promised to send it to me but I don’t know if the had a chance to do so by now.
Have a good week!
Hi, Lucas! I sent a sample to you several weeks ago. I hope it gets there. Should have been there by now. :(
I’ll enter you into the draw, and we’ll see what happens :)
Okay, but if my sample arrives & if by chance I win, I’d like to pass it to someone else from your draw
I would love to sniff anything from SSS, but especially Bee’s Bliss. It sounds like something I would love, and like nothing I have in my collection. Haven’t been able to get them here in Canada.
I can ship to Canada, but UPS charges $25 for shipping and Canada charges import duties.
I’m entering you into the draw, Luanne. Hopefully, one way or the other you’ll get to try SSS’s creations and find something that fits your tastes.
Yes! That extra $25 US plus customs duties makes it pretty expensive. Thank you.
I ordered a purse spray of Bee’s Bliss and immediately had to order a full bottle. It is so wonderful! I also ordered Fireside Intense and Yin & Ylang.
Fireside Intense was one of the perfumes, thanks to ordering which I decided to try these two.
Thanks so much, Undina! Glad you liked those two!! :)
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Laurie, thank you for making those. I look forward to wearing Bee’s Bliss once my travel sprays arrives.
I guess, I shouldn’t be entering you into the draw… ;)
Thanks so much for helping our international friends with the draw!
I was reading along, thinking as I always do with US perfumes; ‘ah well, I can’t get my nose on it anyway’, and then the ever foresighted Undina offers up an international draw, yiha! (I think that’s the proper equestrian phrase ;-) ) I’m from the the dark and cold country of Hans Christian Andersen.
Your mentioning of H.C.Andersen made me smile: in my childhood he was probably THE most known and popular writer for children. Ok, maybe second to Pushkin but other than that, I can’t think of anybody else.
Ps where are the Rusty pics?
As to pictures of Rusty, the explanation is simple… Well, it is somewhat complex but hopefully logical: I ordered samples as soon as Bee’s Bliss became available. Then I tested them for a while deciding if I want to write about them. Once I knew that I liked B’sB, I decided to write about it for the SSS post. I wanted to do it this month in case some US readers would want to order samples before the cart goes down. But I needed pictures. The samples that I have are tiny vials in plastic bags – not suitable for Rusty to play with (he eats plastic :( ), and the travel bottle I’d ordered hadn’t arrived yet. So I had to improvise.
How was that for a “simple” explanation? ;)
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I love good and creative use of abbreviations and acronyms, Undina. Bee’s Bliss – what a great name for a fragrance! And your pics and description of it make it sound so appealing. The giveaway is most generous of you. I am all the way here in South Africa. R
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I agree: that’s a good name; and especially nice that it fits perfume.
I love Sonoma Scent Studio. Because the purse sprays are so reasonable, I consider them sample size. Bees Bliss is nice and light and not overwhelmingly floral (I know I keep saying I don’t like florals but my collection is well represented by florals). Anyway, thanks for the reminder about the cart…I am muling to a Barcelona-based NSTer and will get her some “samples”.
Horses – I’ve been on them and have had my share of galloping ones but thank goodness no mishaps!
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I always thought you were a city gal! I’m impressed with your “galloping” past ;)
Those sizes are great! I can get all my favorites without feeling guilty. I plan to take a couple of them to my winter trip – but I’ll probably have a story about it for the blog later.
As I am watching The Great British Bake Show and drooling over your scrummy scones, it is quite hard to think about perfume but I shall persevere! I did quite enjoy SSS Equestrian and purchased a full bottle straight away after sampling. I have Bee’s Bliss waiting on me to wear and write about but have been putting it off since a stuffy nose has been my plight as of late. I am happy to read that you enjoyed yours though. Sounds like it will be a welcome experience.
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I really hope you’ll like it: it’s such a sunny perfume!
Every time I look at those scones, I get hungry :) That shop is being renovated now but I hope they’ll re-open in Spring.
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