Spring Inspiration

The weather this year has really inspired me to create new things. Not to mention our upgrading of the Soivohle packaging. For years I have been creating the labels for all of our packaging while using stock plain black or white boxes.
We had the bottled printed which eliminated the task of putting labels on bottles, but ran out and went back to the old way. Now we have a full stock of the printed bottles, and enough bottles to continue for some time with the same design.
 

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With that in mind I felt it was time to upgrade the boxes. Each of the major boxes that we use, the 50ml the 10ml and the sampler box (previously a tin) will all have their own box. The new design is almost ready for the printers, and will be covered in the artwork from one of my original paintings "Better Angels I" Taking us to the color blue once again.

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This image is not the actual box but a good idea of where we are going. Like I said it will take a lot of the work out of packaging, save on printing costs for labels and make me a much happier girl.
NEW LAB STUFF - With all of this change in the air, I decided to go back and pull out some of the best scents from our past collections. My aim here is to have the Signature Natural Collection and a Modern Collection that is mostly natural. In doing this I have upgraded many of the materials to include the natural versions of aroma chemicals, such as natural ionones over synthetic, natural building blocks for Jasmine, Rose and many others. I had been doing this with many of the perfumes already, but knew that I could upgrade to include even more naturals. It is a costly investment, so doing so took a commitment on my part to see it through indefinitely. This is why we have removed the Street Collection from the permanent collection. It was the most mainstream with highest percentages of synthetic materials and the the lowest cost to produce. I have been asked if there are any that will return, and as I work out the formulas I can say that Raspberries & Black Pepper will return with a higher percentage of natural materials and possibly Leather Krem. I haven't decided about making them as custom scents. Perhaps batching formula to keep in cold storage, as I do with some of the others. This of course is not fully sustainable because I only have so much room to store things. Whatever we have available in this area, as well as low stock, dinged boxes, bottles only, will all be moved to the Archive/Sale page. The page is live with a link now in the main menu. Once we go live with the entire new collection and packaging it will be moved off menu and accessible through the About link only.
NEWER LAB STUFF - For awhile now I have been working out some kinks in a couple of new natural perfumes. One is ready to go with only the need to make a larger batch. It will be a Patchouli centric parfum with a light flowery heart and earthy amber base. Think dirt after rain with soft flowers all tinged with patchouli. I will be sending out samples soon with orders, so this one is almost a done deal. Next is a white floral natural parfum. I have wanted to add more florals to the naturals collection but my artistic personality always has me working with dark, murky notes. Hopefully this will change. What I have so far is a green lime opening with a floral, Jasmine, Lilac, Lily, Rose heart accord and a natural musk vanilla dry down. These are abit tricky because the base needs to be accommodating to the heart and not clobber it over the head. But... so far so good.
Anyway this is what's been happening at Soivohle. Enjoying the warmer temps and creating new things.

Embracing The New

Well I am down to three formulas. Yep 3, three, three, three.... to be batched out for the launch of everything.. I think I am going to make my fall deadline, and could not be happier. Yesterday I batched Green Oakmoss (and I still smell like it) and Violets & Rainwater. After a little tweak to Anniebelles Rose I am going to make the perfume today. Since it had always been an oil the profile was a bit off for an alcohol based perfume, but fear not, I have fixed it..

Here are a couple of images of the new look. The Street Collection has collided head on with the old Studio Collection. It makes perfect sense because they really are the same thing. The Studio Collection began as an offshoot of our Scentual Artistry custom and customer perfumes, and Street was the incarnation when we moved our perfume shop to the new location.  I decided to keep the name Street because many of these perfumes really were a product of people walking in off the street and creating a fragrance. I made changes to them for the collection, to give them more body and a finished composition, but the reality really is Street...

Street Collection EDP, 60ml Flacon

Street Collection EDP, 60ml Flacon

After a ton of work on the new Signature Naturals packaging, it is finally finished and we can now set up the labels to be run on the big printer. I wanted to go all out with the packaging for this collection. Not since our original snap closure black box have we had such a nice set up. I was heartbroken when we lost the manufacturer of those original boxes and have not been very happy with anything since. Now I am, and even more so that my original artwork is the imagery for the box sleeve.


I am doing the same thing for the Art Moderne Collection. The best of the best of our mixed media perfumes.

and how about this website... isn't it amazing. I am head over heels about this new template, layout and design. It is more me than anything we have ever had. Everything is. I could not be happier with it.

.........and grateful, don't even get me started. A lot of fire has been walked through to get to this place, and I thank my lucky stars that I am still here walking the earth. Life can toss us a lot of crap, and it can lift us to the heavens. Enjoying this little jog through the clouds at the moment and thankful for all the wonderful folks who have helped me along my way.

Soivohle News

It's been a crazy week getting web pages finished and all of the new sampler options. I still have one or two more things to add, but for new we are in really great shape with samplers.

I also have four more of the original absolutes online and available in a parfum spray. Including Oudh Lacquer and Underworld. We are still waiting on our new bottles for the larger size, and will change out all of the old images of the signature flacon as soon as we can get the new ones ready.

I will not be launching any of the new perfumes until all of the other stuff is updated, so there is no official launch date for the Alchemists Series.

There will also be a new collection of Botanical Colognes. This will take the place (somewhat) of the old mixed media collection that is now only available by request (where available). For information on these scents it is best to email me directly.

Soivohle News

SAMPLES - As we make changes to the website and fine tune the line it is becoming more clear to me that people, when presented with the option will purchase sample sets over individual samples. I think the time of the individual sample has reached it's tipping point and as I introduce a wider variety of sets, the individual samples will go the way of the dodo bird.  This is something that I am actively working on and could be implemented in the coming days. We will have three different samplers sets that contain 1ml vials, a set that contains two 2.5ml sprays, our signature coffret is getting an upgrade from the three 5ml screw top flacons to atomizers. Most if this will be for the naturals, but for the 1ml samplers three of them are mix and match across the board from oils, to body oils to parfums.

SIGNATURE NATURALS - The filtering of several Signature Naturals will put many things long out of the rotation back in the mix. I am so excited about this and excited as well by all of the great response to the news of their return. We are down to the last case of our small 11ml signature printed bottles and I am on the fence about having another 1000 printed and continuing it as a stand alone option as it is now. It is currently available as a gift set with refill, and this will stay in the line-up for awhile.

I  also plan on introducing a new flacon with new packaging to replace the 50ml that we have discontinued. The aim is to have one nice packaged flacon that represents the collection. This will be the new 34ml. We already have the tins and the bottles are on the way, so in the next two to three weeks these should be available.

34ml Signature Natural Packaging, Atomizer Spray Flacon

34ml Signature Natural Packaging, Atomizer Spray Flacon

I am very happy with my decision to focus my attention to the natural perfumes and oils. Many have expressed a sadness for the loss of some of the synthetic based scents like Green Oakmoss, Centennial, Rosa Sur Reuse etc... The Green Oakmoss I can recreate in a similar scent as a natural, but the other two Rose scents both depended on a special absolute that I no longer have or can get. If it ever becomes available again I will buy it all up and re-introduce the scents. In the meantime I am working on new and interesting things within my naturals palette.

Shipping - Soivohle News

We have made some changes to our shipping options. All US orders will now ship FEDEX GROUND ONLY.  With so many mixed orders being placed for both the oil and alcohol based items we felt that it would be best to just have one option. This eliminates all confusion about the ground only option for the Signature Naturals.
 Because of this we have also eliminated the SAMPLES ONLY option, as many were choosing this for regular orders and we cannot afford to ship expensive packages for the price of a small bubble bag.

SAMPLERS - We currently have Sampler Tins available for the Botanical Oil Parfums and the Street Collection Parfums. I will be adding a Sampler Tin for the Signature Naturals as well. Individual samples can still be ordered.

We also give away free samples with each regular order.

SIGNATURE NATURALS - This is the collection that is getting the biggest makeover. We have eliminated all high concentration 40/50% parfum absolutes and replaced them all with a lesser concentration Parfum Absolute Spray of 25/30% concentration. This is still a very high concentration, as industry standards are around 18/22% for an parfum. Many of our existing sprays are already at this concentration and only the lighter ones in the Eau de toilette have been increased.

I will be adding them to the collection online as they become available. Solstice was added today, and several others will be filtered over the weekend and will be online next week.

With the Signature Naturals getting all the attention I also decided to update the packaging a bit. The labeling will stay the same, but we will be replacing the white box with a silver (recyclable) tin.

My continued work on the new Alchemist Series (a mini series within the Signature Naturals Collection) will launch with two new Parfums at the end of summer. The first is Paracelsus, inspired by my childhood favorite crazy man and magician Paracelsus. A cocoa tinged Fougere/Chypre Rose/Iris Parfum and 12 Keys, an homage to the 12 Keys of Basil Valentine, an earthy green Fougere with Galbanum, Lavender, Fir Balsam Woods and botanical musk. I have been wearing both of these all summer and can't wait to introduce them to you. This will mark the first new Natural since Amun Re The Tears of Ra.

Amun Re The Tears of Ra

It has been years... literally, since the idea to create this essence first found itself floating around in my head.  The finished essence was created using only natural materials including my house amber and botanical musk. My desire was not to recreate the scent of  salty tears and honey, or to create a scent dominated by these notes. In the end though there is a hint of saltiness that mingles with honey, flowers and musk.

There are many versions of the story of the Egyptian Sun God Ra. Depending on the specific period in history Ra can be seen as a team player in the Egyptian Pantheon of Gods, or as in later years an Amun, Creator God. I would imagine that the first telling of the story "The Tears of Ra" came from this era.  It is a creation myth that sets Ra as the high creator Amun Re who's tears are either honey or honey bees (various stories exist) that fall from the heavens only to transform into the first humans when touching the earth.

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In Memoriam

Sending out heartfelt thoughts and gratitude to all those who served and died for our country. And for family gone too soon, loved ones and cherished friends.

We at Soivohle will be taking a little break through this holiday weekend. All orders placed over the weekend will go out Wednesday the 28th.

I am still waiting on the second shipment of matt board for the Rose prints. It is set to arrive the first week in June. Sorry for the delay.

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Soivohle News

I have had a lot of interest in the Street Collection Oils that I mentioned in my last post. These are not available onsite, but are available in my studio/shop. As I had mentioned, I will be closing the perfume shop, and moving some of those items to the online shop. Some will be available for immediate sale and others will not.  I will be in the studio on Wednesday taking inventory and packing up a lot of the perfume stuff... I will then decide which scents stay and are moved online and which ones are archived (if any) and which ones go...

NEW MINIS - I am working on labels right now for a new 5ml size that will be available in the Demis and EDT/Colognes... I had offered a smaller pocket spray in the past, but these will be small open cap bottles. I sometimes give these out with orders, and will be adding them to the site soon. They will be available individually and as curated sets..

STUDIO Z - I have had no news about moving yet... Still waiting on studio space in the city. In the meantime Studio Z will be open for business, perfume bar and all, for the upcoming art walk at the Art Center. I will not be moving anything until I have my new lease confirmed. This could be a month, two or three.., so when I know I will pass on the info. The perfume shop will remain as is until that time. and yes I can still come in for special appointments. just shoot me an email or call. My schedule is pretty flexible at the moment, but prefer that it be during regular business hours at the art center which is 11-5 Tuesday thru Friday, 11-3 on Saturdays.

Soivohle A Look Ahead

As I try to wrap my head around the possibility of warmer weather and a not so cold lab (the dungeon) my thoughts are turning to the next phase of Soivohle. I am phasing out Custom Perfumes any and all body products, oils, lotions etc... My passion and interest has always been with scent creation, and I find that veering off into drugstore fare just doesn't speak to my sensibilities. In other words I am going back to the future.. To that place where I started with interesting, quirky small run essence blends. I like to work and stay busy and the idea of creating every scent as an open edition that never ends can be overwhelming. Right now I have too many batch and bottle essences in my collection. So much so that it takes up all of my time just keeping them in stock (mostly) and up to date.

FREE FORM SCENTSCAPES™ - I have spoken a bit about this concept, and in a nutshell they will be small single run Signed & Numbered editions. The first to be released is Kentucky Bourbon Rose. There is no release date and no there are no samples available. I have had so many requests for samples since I mentioned this, that if I had given them out there would be no essence left. This edition is  less than 120ml to be divided between full 4ml bottles and a very limited amount of samples. There will be no free sample giveaways.  The scentscapes will be available exclusively through my Fine Art Website, Studio and through Fine Art Venues. They are not perfumes. Each edition will be packaged with it's own scent vessel, for enjoying the essence.  For more about scentscapes you can visit my art site here

STUDIO Z - My studio at the Pendleton Art Center in Middletown OH is really the home base for all of my work right now. It is mostly dedicated to Olfactory work but is also a place where I show my original artwork/paintings. I have maintained a retail perfume studio/boutique for the past several years and although I enjoy it I am also going to be phasing it out. Since I will no longer be creating custom perfumes I will have no need to maintain such an elaborate blending station in the studio. I have already disassembled the DIY scent station. I had put myself on a two year time plan to phase out the perfume studio, but I am going to fast track this and try to transition out in a year or less if things fall into place. What this means for Soivohle is that it will be an online business only. I have just ended my relationship with the last retailer who was carrying Soivohle, and I have no plans to work with retailers in the future. This is strictly a business decision. A larger company can absorb some of the cost of doing business with distributors and retailers, but someone like myself loses money every time.  It may look like a sweet deal on the surface, but once you crunch the numbers and figure in your time and extra efforts, it is very draining and offers little to no reward other than saying so and so carries my perfumes...

I think so many people get caught up in that I want to be a rock star mentality and think bigger is always better. As someone who has devoted an entire lifetime to the arts and the ideals of high art, I can say that it is very difficult to stay true to a vision when you allow others to peddle your dream.. It is near impossible to find just the right folks with enough insight and integrity to nourish rather than exploit you.. Believe me. LESSONS LEARNED... many times over.

STUDIO FUTURE - I am currently looking for a new art studio in the city (cincinnati) and will hopefully have something in the next month or so.  At some point my studio space will overlap with Studio Z and the new space. Once I am in the new space I will be devoting my time to painting and Olfactory Art Installations. This is where it gets tricky folks... Soivohle will go on as a retail business, but the scent work that I will be doing in the new studio will be all about the artistry of smell.... It will not be about perfume. The continuation of this conversation will be best suited to my art blog, so I will just leave it hanging here. To be continued somewhere else at a later date, haha!

As things stand now I did look at new studio space yesterday but neither place was well suited to my needs. Too many stairs, too narrow, too isolated... At first I was thinking small, but now I am thinking I would like a really big space, even bigger than my old Scentual Artistry space... Yes, I want it to be grand. I want to pick up where I left off with my scent work, and introduce more people to the idea of scent as art. This has always been my passion, and with my scentscapes and the new direction of Soivohle I feel that I am getting my life back. Hopefully others will be feeling the vibe of my renewed love for my work. Being frustrated the past couple of years has not been fun for me or anyone around me.

So here's to the future.  LZ