Natural Perfumery and Animal Cruelty in the Perfume Industry With Laurie Stern of Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery
Here is my life story in a nutshell. I have always loved nature. I got my bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on Conservation Biology. I am a certified Western Clinical Herbalist, and I have a private practice called Starseed Gate. With my love of perfumery, it only seemed fitting that I would want to explore the world of natural perfumes. I am becoming increasingly concerned about animal cruelty, and lately I have been daydreaming about making my own cruelty-free perfumes.
When the opportunity arose to take a class with natural botanical perfumer (and fellow cat-lover) Laurie Stern of Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery, I jumped at the chance. The class was held at Homestead Apothecary in Oakland, CA, a clever shop that carries all sorts of medicinal herbs and related preparations.
Photos ©2016, Elizabeth Ready, All Rights Reserved
I had so much fun learning about Laurie's personal style of creating perfume. Every one of her perfumes comes from the heart and represents something she is working on within herself on a deep, spiritual level. I also enjoyed having Laurie's guidance on creating my own blend. These days I go pretty crazy for woods, so I sought to make myself a lovely woody fragrance. I would say that for my first real attempt, I was very pleased with what I came up with. Here is my formula (***It should noted that essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil, such as jojoba. Essential oils are potent. Many of them may burn the skin or cause photo-sensitivity. NEVER apply essential oils to babies, children or animals):
My creation, in equal parts, in jojoba oil:
Top: Rosewood (Bois de Rose)
Heart: Atlas Cedar
Honestly, I must say that my little blend smelled like the creamy, nutty scent of 100% natural sandalwood that I so desperately love. I need to play with this combo more!
We also made an alchol-based atomizer spray. I played with my formula a little bit and added a touch of neroli. To be honest, I like my blend best without the neroli, despite the fact that orange blossoms are one of my favorite scents on earth.
I just want to take a moment to say that Laurie's creations not only smell amazing, but the packaging is so gorgeous. Kind of "shabby chic" meets romantic vintage. I love finding fun gifts for special occasions or for a sweet surprise for someone special (daughter, friend, etc.). The Purrfumery produces some absolutely adorable scented lockets, for fragrance on the go, and I have a feeling I will need to get my "paws" on one soon, LOL. Check 'em out, in addition to her wonderful line of perfumes at Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery!
If you are reading this, Laurie, it was delightful to meet you and be around your beautiful and inspired energy. I look forward to our next meeting. Oh--and you rock purple hair like nobody else ;)