Celebrating Missed Opportunities

As I’ve mentioned more than once, I live in the area where we have two seasons: summer and the rest of the year. I do not complain: I love our weather (even when I wish we’d have more rain) and think that our climate is one of the best possible. But from time to time, especially around winter holidays, I get a pang of nostalgia for real winter with snow, icicles and colder weather. Then we go to nearby mountains – and it cures those feelings for the next couple of years.

Since neither my vSO no I are into the downhill skiing, on our winter trips we usually enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Because of the drought we had in 2012-16, for several years we didn’t go “into winter”: while skiing resorts were making artificial snow for quite expensive downhill rides, our preferred winter activities were out of question. And without snow there wasn’t much sense in going there.

So when after five years of snowless New Year celebrations I wanted my snow fix, we decided not to rely on unpredictable California weather and planned a trip to Utah. Nobody in our “party of six” had ever been to there, and it was promising to be a perfect New Year getaway.


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Panoramic views from the dining room of the cabin where we stayed were spectacular, including what felt like a private viewing of the supermoon… And that was almost the full extent of my winter experience this time since, following my vSO’s steps (which almost never happens in these matters), I got extremely sick soon after the arrival.


Utah 2018 Supermoon


It was perfect winter outside: not too cold, fresh snow, sun during the day and full moon at night. And all I could manage was to crawl downstairs to the living room to spend time with our friends (when they weren’t outside), watch TV (re-watching Monk TV show was surprisingly comforting), work on a mystery puzzle (2 x 1000 pieces without a hint – and we solved the murder!) and eat great meals that our friends cooked. And these simple things would take up all of my strength and resolve.



Not long before the trip I bought two travel sprays from Sonoma Scent StudioWinter Woods and Fireside Intense. I had an idea that where we were going would be just the right setting for wearing both of those perfumes. I planned to take some appropriate pictures and make a post out of it once I got back.

Despite being sick, I wore some perfumes during this trip but none of the two SSS’s perfumes felt right to wear while being stuck in the cabin: both seemed too strong and intense. But what was even worse, I felt too weak to even try to put on warm clothes and try to go for a photo shoot outside. So my friend agreed to help and in between producing all that food pictured above spent 15 minutes outside taking pictures according to the general directions I gave her from my sick sofa.


Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods and Fireside Intense


I was barely out of the woods (both literary and figuratively speaking), when I got the news that Laurie Erickson was retiring from the business. Combined with my failed vacation, it seemed strange to write about perfumes that nobody could either try or buy any longer. Then my blog’s anniversary, a Month of Irises and my birthday came, and I put all that out of my mind.

March is being great this year: we got a lot of rain that we needed. And with it cold weather came, which allowed me to wear many of my winter favorites that I didn’t get a chance to wear earlier in the year. Including Winter Woods and Fireside intense. And I enjoyed them both very much.

Many years ago I wrote about Winter Woods. It took me 6 years to go through my 2.5 ml sample. So, I think I’ll be fine for a while with these 5 ml travel sprays. So, as much as it makes me sad to see this brand go (or changing hands, which, in general, is the same thing), I’m glad that I got to know it, and there will be many more chances for me to wear these perfumes – with or without snow around me. It’s a pity that those of you who haven’t tried them (or my most recent favorite Bee’s Bliss), won’t get to. But there will be other winters, other perfumes and other opportunities. And I hope that Laurie Erickson who created perfumes that touched so many people will be successful in pursuing her new opportunities.


Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods and Fireside Intense


Are there any perfumes that you wish you had bought before they disappeared?


Images: my own


28 thoughts on “Celebrating Missed Opportunities

  1. Ok, my most important question is where did you get that puzzle?Love! Not surprising that it’s covered with cats! I like both of those perfumes you mentioned. It is very sad about SSS closing. I wonder if she will sell the formulas? I enjoyed seeing your photos and you have some very good friends, the food was beautiful and they did a good job with your photo shoot. The perfumes I wish I had bought a ton of were Ralph Lauren Tuxedo. Everything good in life happened to me when I was wearing that perfume. And also Catherine Deneuve. They both disappeared so quickly I didn’t get a chance to replenish before they were gone.


    • Type “murder mystery puzzle” in the Amazon search, and you’ll be amazed :) It takes about 3 evenings for the dedicated group of 3 plus occasional help from 1-2 more.

      Laurie is trying to find somebody to take over her business. We’ll see how it goes.

      I have a decant of Catherine Deneuve from a friend, and every time I wear it I feel sad it isn’t available any more: it is so beautiful!


  2. I am trying hard not to mourn the loss of missed opportunities. One thing I have discovered in my almost 47 years of perfume wearing is that there are always replacements of scents I once loved…maybe not identical, but close enough….and when one door closes another one opens….often we are “forced” to branch out and discover new fragrances/new houses …I recently did with St. Clair Scents which remind me very much of Sonoma Scent Studio in style and aesthetics (along with the fact that they are mixed media but 80-90 percent natural and develop on the skin the same way SSS scents do)


    • I’m still holding off but a months of reading your SOTD more, and I’ll give in and order samples :)

      There are just several perfumes not being able to wear which I’ll be extremely upset, and I do not have a good replacement for those. But with most others I’m rather sad that they are “no more” in general, not necessarily for me.


  3. I remember you telling me how you were poorly on your Utah trip but at least you had some lovely consolations with great friends, foods and puzzles. The pics you managed to take are gorgeous (the supermoon!) and your pal did a fine job with the SSS perfumes. I thought Fireside Intense was pretty spectacular.

    Reading the first two books of Katherine Arden’s “Winternight Trilogy” based on Russian folklore has left me with a kind of longing for a proper winter in the wilderness. I can well imagine you missing the snow after a prolonged period without it.


    • I want to stress out that I do not want any “wilderness” let alone Russian one for longer than a couple of hours at a time ;) But nice snowed grounds for cross-country skiing or forest for snow shoes walk, when you can come back to the warm cabin… Well, maybe next year :) But that moon was impressive even from the window (and I risked a couple of minutes outside on the balcony to take that moon shot).


  4. I lived in Florida for a year back in the 90s and I missed the seasons so much I took the first chance to move back north (to Omaha- everyone thought I was nuts to leave Miami for Nebraska!). I’m sorry you didn’t get to enjoy the snow. I managed to get a few travel sprays from SSS in the closing moments and will fully enjoy them while they last. I haven’t experienced any other major discontinuations in my short perfume life, as as marzipan says, there are always new discoveries to be made.


    • I’m fine on all other SSS’s perfumes but had I known that would happen, I would have bought at least the second travel spray of Bee’s Bliss (or maybe even a small bottle): ironically, it’s probably my most favorite of SSS’s perfumes.
      I’ll try to get some snow in the end of this year – maybe closer to home this time.


  5. I love the snow too and miss it now that we spend our winters in southern California. But I like shorter winters, and Canadian winters are looooong. So I just take a short trip to visit winter. I love those two scents and feel happy to have what I do from SSS. For once my lack of impulse control and hoarding tendencies paid off! I have full 34 ml bottles of everything I love.


    • Coming from the place where we had 3 months of nicer weather and 9 months of misery one way or the other (too cold or too hot), and comparing no winter at all to long winter, I’ll probably take no winter :) But I do hope to get at least a little bit of it within the next 12 months.

      I think I’m mostly fine with SSS’s perfumes but in general with how long it usually takes me to decide on purchases I wouldn’t be surprised if I miss some perfumes… I almost missed Eau de Tommy Sooni II – I would have been very sad if I hadn’t bought that bottle before the brand disappeared.


  6. Sorry you were ill on your holiday, but it sounds like you were in great, supportive company. I was also impressed at the photos your friend took. You weren’t near Park City, by any chance? I still have my sweater from there from a trip in 1999, though I managed to spill fountain pen ink on the sleeve.

    I did like the jigsaw too – very you! And what a turn up about Laurie’s business changing hands. That really is the end of an era. She was one of the brands I got really into in the beginning of perfume mania. As for perfumes I wish I had bought before they disappeared – you bet! The first one that springs to mind is Plus Que Jamais by Guerlain, but there are others, I know. ;)


    • I heard about Plus Que Jamais so many times that I feel almost lucky that I’ve never tried it. This is one of the reasons why I rarely try vintage perfumes.

      We were 20 miles away from Park City! And a day trip to there was in my plans… Oh, well… Maybe one day… :)

      My friend takes amazing photos, so my perfumes were in good hands.


  7. Funny story about Plus Que Jamais. The year they discontinued it, I happened to be in Paris visiting the main Guerlain boutique on the Champs-Élysées and asked for a sample of it with my purchase of SDV. I told the SA that I had been pondering it for a while and planned to buy it some day. She promptly informed me of its discontinuation, but she said she had some in stock. So I replied, « Well then today is the day! ». Bought two bottles on the spot. That was very lucky. Also got the last bottle of L’Instant Magic Elixir in a similar way. Sometimes you get luck. Then there are the ones that got away – bottles lost at auction on ebay, failing to stock up on a beloved scent. We have all been there. But as CM says, when one door closes another one opens.


    • I recently bought a back-up bottle of Yosh Ginger Ciao because it was on sale on Hautelook and I got scared that it was a sign of the discontinuation.
      I’m amazed at your shopping strategies: I can probably see myself buying a back-up bottle of something I wore and loved if I heard it was going away but going from 0 bottles to 2… Impressive :)


  8. Undina, I believe you have some pretty talented and terrific friends. I’m sorry to hear that you fell ill during your trip, but I’m glad you got to enjoy those fabulous looking meals and be a photo shoot director (from inside the cabin) for those photos of the SSS perfumes.

    I can’t really think of a perfume that I dreamed of buying and then missed out on. If I really searched my memory I’d probably think of a couple, but it seems that for every perfume I thought I once wanted, a new love would come along. I do often think of vintage Annick Goutal Heure Exquise: I’ve sometimes kept tabs of that one on Ebay, but have resisted so far, a little worried that it might not be the real deal.


    • My friends are amazing, and despite being absolutely miserable, I was glad we were there: had we stayed at home, with both of us being as sick as we were, we wouldn’t have probably any celebration – and that would have been devastating since I like New Years so much.
      Heure Exquise was one of the perfumes I was eyeing for a back-up bottle… I need to find a NIB bottle with the old packaging and take a risk. But I suspect I’ll keep thinking about it until my current bottle is empty.


  9. Beautiful pictures, despite your being ill… Sometimes I think back to my childhood (60’s and 70’s) and those old bottles of perfume sitting on my mom’s or grandma’s dresser. Thick vintage rich stuff. Where it all started. How I would like to go back in time…


    • I remember most of perfumes my mother and both of my grandmothers wore (and some of my grandfathers’ as well :) ) – which wasn’t hard since we didn’t have huge variety of perfumes back then. I own and wear those that I liked back then (Lancome Climat, Miss Dior and Diorella), I would be curious to try now those that I didn’t like as a child but I wouldn’t be surprised if I still thought that they weren’t for me. But if I could go back in time and buy several bottles of the three I mentioned, I wouldn’t mind having them today – if only to compare to my memory of them and versions that I have today.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes – to compare to the memory. also our smell receptors change. Those are three good ones for sure. I think there was a bottle of Lanvin… almost empty, it’s last remnants being treasured and thick dark…


  10. Oh ho! So sorry to hear that you were that sick during such amazing trip to the wintery Utah. At least you got to lay in bed having a perfect view from the window.

    It’s a shame that there won’t be SSS anymore in its current form. Whoever takes the ownership of the brand, it’ll never be the same way again. Laurie’s fragrances never became officially available where I live but I’m thankful for samples she kept sending me any time a new perfume would be released. I really liked Jour Ensoleille and Sienna Musk.

    Answering your final question… hmm… maybe Iris Ganache by Guerlain? I’m not sure but I’m hearing it’s been brough back in some limited way


    • I hope that Laurie will find somebody to take over the business. But for many reasons I do not think it’s possible to maintain it the way it was. We’ll see.

      Iris Ganache is one of those perfumes that I rather like than don’t but I don’t think I’ll miss it once I’m done with my small decant. Still, I’d rather have all of the perfumes available all the time :)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I can really appreciate your positive attitude which for most people would be hard to manage given the circumstances. Too bad you didn’t have Rusty there to help cuddle with you to make you feel better. Like you I was sorry to hear of Laurie’s news.


    • Ha! Upon return, it took me more than a week to recover, so I had enough “Rusty time” :) After our absence he was very happy that I was staying in bed (I – not so much but having him with me did make me feel better).

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Eeeek, being sick is no fun and being sick while on vacation is even worse! How I wish I was prescient and got all of Laurie’s range of perfumes. I hope the new owner does not keep the name because I will forever associate Sonoma Scent Studio with Laurie. As to regrets, I couldn’t think of any at the moment!


    • Being sick on vacation sucks (especially in mountains – all that dry air didn’t help at all). But our friends were wonderfully helpful, so we got from this trip and celebration the best what we could under the circumstances.
      It’s good that you have no regrets. Now I think: should I ask you about regretting the opposite – buying something? ;)


  13. Pingback: Change of Plans – Undina's Looking Glass

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