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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lieu de Reves by Sonoma Scent Studio: fragrance review

Some pieces of music are inherently inducive to daydreaming, relying on this art form's absence of visual stimulus to ignite introspection, and Debussy's Rêverie is especially so. Perfume can also be said to act comparatively, as small nuances prompt reminiscences or reinforce our mood, when we reach for a bottle that has the seemingly mystic power to accomplish just that. Violet scents are often tender, understated beauties which lend themselves to feelings of reverie and sotto voce intimations.
In Lieu de Rêves (Place of Dreams) by Sonoma Scent Studio the composition seems to kickstart such a daydreaming mood, blending the scents of violet petals and fallen leaves, alterating cool roots and warm tonalities, thus evoking a spring-like silvery olfactory veil raised ~the full spectrum of aroma derived from violet, rose and heliotrope, elegantly melding into the anticipation of warmer days of spring.

Laurie Erickson, the independent perfumer behind the Sonoma Scent Studio company, created Lieu de Rêves as a continuation on her study of violets, progressing from Voile de Violette , Wood Violet and the now defunct Violette Encens. The comparison between these four fragrances suggests that Lieu de Rêves is closer to Voile de Violette (Violet Veil), minus the myrrh, rather than her other two scents, which present woodier and more resinous facets. Wood Violet in particular also has a pronounced spicy (a bit like fenugreek)-plummy-cedary character which really veers it off the troden path of standard violet fragrances into Lutensian territory.
In creating Lieu de Rêves Laurie intimates:

"I've had this blend in mind for a long time, wanting to use violet, rose, and heliotrope in a powdery scent with a gourmand touch but with some soft woodsy notes and less vanilla than most scents of this genre. The heliotrope, rose, violet, and cedar make nice companions. Like most rose and violet combinations, this scent feels a bit romantic to me, but the drydown is on the quiet and reflective side rather than being a full-blown floral".

There is some kinship with other violet powdery combinations like the underappreciated -but lovely- Météorites by Guerlain, or the much more strongly vanillic talc-like Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi. Admirers of Flower by Kenzo and woody Genie des Bois by Keiko Mecheri should also take note, although Lieu de Rêves is much subtler than the former in terms of sillage and projection, remaining polite in its invitation-only disposition. Laurie masterfully restrained the usual sweetness of violets, injecting somber woody touches and a delicate silvery-green transparence in the form of jasminy hedione. The combinations of damascones and ionones to render an amalgamation of rose and violet is akin to a seamless blend of micronised particles on a big pon-pon of face powder the shade of iridiscent orchid-purple, like Cattleya labiata blossoms. The rose takes supportive role behind the violet powderiness and the hazy soft focus ambience of heliotrope (the common garden variety Heliotropium arborescens) which has a fluffy almond-vanillic note like air-spun meringues that is hard to harness as it is inherently sweet and is usually rendered via heliotropin. The coumarin-rich tonka bean is also complimentary to sweet notes, creating a "clean" powder vibe. Yet here the trick seems to consist in upping the somber cedar and grassy-woody note (vetiver) and adding a quite discernible overlay of soft-focus iris coolness (the irones of iris are ionone-like and complimentary to the violet notes). This gives Lieu de Rêves a somewhat wistful, tender beauty of a bygone era that doesn't fall back on oversentimentality nevertheless. Much as it being a floral fragrance, it possesses a well-bred character with some appetite for healthy pleasures that would suit a heroine in a Henry James' novel. It makes me reach for kitten-heels and goose-down puffs and dream about traipsing across Giverny in spring.

Notes for Sonoma Scent Studio Lieu de Rêves:
Heliotrope, violet, rose, jasmine, cedar, amber, vetiver, tonka, orris, vanilla, musk, very soft aldehydes.

The perfume launched in February '09 and is available in 17ml or 34ml bottles, directly from Sonoma Scent Studio.




For our readers Sonoma Scent Studio is organising* a lucky draw of 5 sampler duos of both Lieu de Rêves and Sienna Musk (another one I loved). State your interest in the comments please!

*{Please note some shipping restrictions due to Customs apply as stated on the SSS site}.

Pic Les Reves d'Amelie by BigboyDenis(fc02.deviantart.com). Claude Debussy's Rêverie clip originally uploaded by atrafalgar on Youtube.

62 comments:

  1. OOOH !
    May I be included in the draw ?
    I adored the Champagne des Bois !
    Thank you !

    ReplyDelete
  2. OOOH !
    May I be included in the draw ?
    I adored the Champagne des Bois !
    Thank you !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fiordiligi22:52

    So good you named it twice Chaya?!

    It sounds divine though E - you had me at Heliotrope and I don't know this line at all.

    May I please be entered into the draw for this?

    Merci cherie

    ReplyDelete
  4. Please include me in your drawing. I tried a sample of SSS's Winter Woods this December and it was lovely. I've been meaning to sample more but.....

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous23:19

    Enter me in the drawing please!

    I've been dying to try this one since Laurie first started creating it.

    I loved your review E! You have me sold on it already.

    Have a wonderful day.

    Dawn

    ReplyDelete
  6. Count me in! I'd like to try it. Laurie makes some wonderful scents!

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  7. Me, please... I'm embarrassed to say I haven't tried Laurie's fragrances yet, but I follow her blog and feel it's maybe about time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous01:52

    Please include me in the draw :)
    I've never tried anything from this line before but have read several good reviews of their scents.
    Thank you!
    Molly

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous02:34

    I too feel its time to dive into SSS temptations. Thanks for the lovely and enticing reviews.
    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  10. Meteorites! One of the best violets ever made. But I moved away from violets as I discovered more fragrances.

    But recently I ordered a small bottle of Insolence EdP (because purple is my favorite color and that purple bottle is gorgeous!!!) and I had read some great reviews about it. Any thoughts on it, darling?

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would love to be included in the drawing; I've been wanting to try this line for ages. Thank you so much...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello, E. A lovely review! Please enter me in the drawing.

    What's even more interesting to me is that I don't know this Debussy piece at all. Not sure how it was that I never heard it before.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello, I have never tried your perfume and would like to :)

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  14. Just trying to get the word out on my new line of natural home-brewed perfumes. Please check out my website, the Anosmic Perfumery.

    ReplyDelete
  15. maitreyi197807:59

    They sound great. Please include me in the draw.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'd love to be included in the draw aswell! Great project.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great post as usual! How are the kitten heels going?

    I'd like to be included in the draw please, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  18. stella p11:43

    I would very much like to be included in the draw. Both of the scents sounds (well, the whole line..) so tempting to try!

    (ps: what about a violet series? it seems like it must be a challenging note to work with)

    ReplyDelete
  19. this one is very fetching too, dear I!
    Of course you'tr included! :-))

    ReplyDelete
  20. Please enter me in the drawing. I love Sonoma Scent Studios. Fireside and Opal are my favorites so far.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous14:17

    Hi! Please enter me in the drawing as well! It sounds amazing...

    fountaingirl

    ReplyDelete
  22. kristin14:30

    I'd love to be entered in the drawing! I appreciate the bottle sizes she offers, and have been wanting to sample many of her scents. Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
  23. OOOH, add me to the draw. Helg you are so good at causing a lemming, lately I have been wanting violets.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have mixed feelings about violet and found your review most enlightening. I have to admit I didn't enjoy Laurie's woodsier violets so much, but this one sounds intriguing. I'm hopeful anyway. Would love to be entered in the draw.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous17:40

    This sounds intriguing. I hope I win a sample!
    -- Gretchen

    ReplyDelete
  26. Please enter me in the drawing. I love sampling.

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  27. AnnS19:05

    Laurie's Lieu de Reves is so breathtaking and pretty. I was an early convert - it just smells so fresh, springy, earthy, soft, etc. It is very "pink" but not silly, cute, or cloying. It is a quiet, reflective "pink" - soft, fresh, light. It does have an organic type of simplicity. It is soft soft soft, like Drole de Roses is soft, or Apres L'Ondee is soft. It is a wonderful fragrance - anyone who likes soft violets, powders, etc, should try this. Even though it has a powder component it is in no way old fashioned. It smells like that wonderful time right when winter begins to change to spring, when the air changes and becomes fresher, more lively, and little buds come out on the trees. Very lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'd love to be entered! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. BenA07:20

    Sounds intriguing. Please enter me in the draw!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Ma dear D,

    it's a lovely little indie line and I think you'd like this one!
    I've included you of course :-)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Caragh,

    maybe now is your chance to sample more! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Dawn, honey, thank you so much for your kind words. I think you'd like this one knowing your tastes a bit ;-)
    It's smooth, cuddly, angelic and with a nice gourmand quality that never veers to the oversugary. Just lovely! You're in!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Karin,

    she does indeed! Sienna Musk, the other part of the sampler duo we're having a drawing on, is wonderful as well. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Marin,

    following the process of creation is very interesting, I agree. Hope you win!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Molly,

    the hearsay is to the point and accurate, there are very nice scents there. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Jane,

    you're very welcome, thank you for stopping by and complimenting and of course you're included :-)

    ReplyDelete
  37. R, honey,

    enjoy!!

    I love Insolence (in both concentrations) and find a very, very good creation. I had reviewed the newer EDP in full on this page!

    Wasn't Meteorites completely wonderful? Why did they have to discontinue it, I'll never know....

    ReplyDelete
  38. Natalie,

    you're welcome and we have to thank Laurie for her generosity in providing so many samples for the readers of Perfume Shrine. I was humbled.
    You're in!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi J!

    Thanks for stopping by (there will be a little surprise for you later on which I think you'll like).
    Of course you're in, hope you make it to the "finalists"!

    ReplyDelete
  40. T,

    I have included you in the draw for the Sonoma Scent Studio's fragrance samples. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Suga,

    we don't accept advertising here, unless there is a specifically mentioned as such sponsored link for it. Since it's the first time, I am leaving this be for the time being, but I would prefer if we stuck to the content of the actual post, all right? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Maitrey,

    best of luck in the draw!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Justin,

    thanks for stopping by. You're included, so good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Audit!
    Hope things are better there now!

    The kitten heels for now belong to booties which get me from place to place in style (I hope!). Come spring however and I will go for more strappy little numbers :-)

    Good luck for the draw!

    ReplyDelete
  45. S,

    you read my mind! A violet series is a definite project to be done soon. I have many violet scents I like and would love to recommend them.

    Best of luck for the draw!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Amanda,

    I also like Opal and Fireside is very transporting, isn't it?
    You're in!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Fountaingirl,

    it's very very pretty and wonderfully restrained for this sort of genre. You're in!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Kristin,

    you're very welcome. I think the bottle sizes is one of the best things actually: how could anyone resist? Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Jena, how are you?

    LOL, I am causing lemmings? Aww, you're too kind.
    It's quite lovely, I think you're like it. I've included you :-)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Ahsu,

    thanks for the very kind compliment, I do like to think that the reviews are somewhat helpful, especially when comparing between different scents and styles. This one is not too woody like Wood Violet, more of a floral gourmand with deft arrangement.
    You're included of course!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Gretchen,

    I hope you win too! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Judith,

    thanks for stopping by, of course you're included, sampling is fun, that's for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Ann,

    oh you describe it very well, it's quite like that, thank you! Pink but not silly, quite the contrary.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Deanna,

    you're included :-)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Ben,

    thanks for commenting, of course you're in! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  56. rachaelg15:21

    your description is so lovely. I'm looking for the right violet, perhaps this is it. I would love to be in the draw, please and thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Rachel,

    thank you...I hope you do find your perfect violet and I have included you in the draw, so the chances are high! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi, I hope I am not too late!
    i have sampled some fragrances from Laurie and I liked them so much! Fireside intense is so lovely and opal is so warm! Since I live far far far away from you, Laurie was very kind in sending me the samples.
    If I get the sample pack, I will be so enormously happy!
    Have a good dday!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Not at all! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Laurie makes some great scents. I like both of those.
    I've included you so best of luck! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Oooh, I hope I'm not too late to be included!

    ReplyDelete
  61. brie12:05

    Love the reference to one of my favorite authors (henry James) and couldn't agree with you more that this is a fragrance that one of his heroines would indeed wear. I was going for that effect when I purchased a full size bottle and wore it daily for a week until my lovely co-worker ruined it by exclaiming that I smell like a "diaper" (albeit a clean one she added as an afterthought). Needless to say this one was gifted to my mum. Such a pity, it was a beautiful violet to me.

    ReplyDelete
  62. brie,

    glad on one part, sorry on the other...

    ReplyDelete

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