Summer Heat

We have been lucky so far with our weather here in the Little Miami River Valley. For those not familiar, the Little Miami is a tributary of the Ohio River in Cincinnati. We are just north of the city and live along the scenic river trail. Down in a valley our weather can sometimes be very different from what is happening in the city and other higher locations around the tri-state area.

The surroundings are often an inspiration to me. Being in this place has inspired scents like Riverwalk and Rivertown Road as well as the retail version of Honeysuckle Bird that started out as a Bespoke Wedding day perfume.
The best thing about summer for me is the freedom. To walk outside into warmth and sunlight; No coat, no bundling up, just the deep joy of acclimation. Something that I have never quite mastered for those frigid winter days.

I have been doing a lot of juggling lately to get our new site and packaging to the place where I want it to be. having a vision for something and trying to match that minds eye view with reality can cause a bit of friction, but in the end things have gone well.

Now that we have our collection live online and the two new perfumes CUIR BEURRE and PACHOU MIINIMAL (both naturals) available. I am turning my attention to a project that I started some time ago with the Limited Numbered Edition Kentucky Bourbon Rose.
With the retiring of the Street/Studio Collection and our Oil Parfums getting a makeover, it feels like a good time to get back to that place. As a visual artist the idea of creating one of a kind, limited edition works is normal, everyday fare. In perfumery it hasn't really caught on. People seem put off by limited editions or exclusive collections. I have heard words like pretentious, over priced, affected, etc... attached to this train of thought, and I get it to a point, and then again as an artist I rarely think about endless production and/or the bottom line when I am creating a new perfume. I am only thinking of making something that speaks to me and the vision I have in mind. Sometimes I like to make things that do have a beginning and an end. When I created Kentucky Bourbon Rose I did not work from a tight formula, I kept sparse notes, and when the perfume was completed I threw them all away.
There is something quite liberating about working this way and I will be doing more of it in the future.
Art must feed the soul, and for me this is essential. If I am not motivated in this way, I rarely follow through with things. Whatever it is it must be alive and vital.

 

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.

Hello It's Me

Over the past few days I have realized that this splitting of worlds that I am engaged in becomes a never ending balance and jump rope to answer questions correctly and say yes, I am THAT Liz Zorn. On the one hand there is the art world where I am known as a painter. Rarely does this life bleed over into my work as a perfumer. As a perfumer it happens a lot because I use my art work as the backdrop for all of the Soivohle packaging design, often based on my original paintings. The new package design is created directly from scans of my original art. It is then digitally altered and formatted for bottle and box sized labels and cards, promotion brochures and the like. Even though this is true, the majority of people who visit the website or purchase perfumes are still unaware of this double life.

The name of my company is "Liz Zorn Mixed Media Arts LLC" it is set up this way to include all of my work income: art, music and perfume. Yes I said music, and that is another thing that can wait for another day.. But for the art and perfume, particularly where sales are concerned, this is the name (or something like it) that should appear on your credit card statement. I recently had a lady who was very confused about this. She had purchased perfume and had no idea who Liz Zorn was. It was such a distressing thing for her that when she called to discuss what she thought was a mistake on her statement, she then asked in a high pitched yowl. "Who the f*#K is Liz Zorn. I said, well... that would be me. I am Liz Zorn, I am Soivohle. It says so right there on every page of the Soivohle website. She was having none of it, proceeded to tell me off and hung up.

Most people do make the connection, or at least check the website before calling or sending an email. But still it is another example of this splitting of worlds. For me, I have been doing this for a very long time. I had my first art job at the age of 15, and had studied the art of oil blending at an even earlier age.  I worked as a graphic artist and have painted my entire life. I only began to take seriously my love of scent in the early 1990's when it was easier to source materials, launching my first retail collection in 2002.

TODAY - things are moving again. I have already redesigned the Naturals Labels with new artwork from one of my paintings, and now have the final design chosen for the artwork that will be on the new and completely revamped Mixed Media Perfumes. Going back to one of our old tag lines Art Moderne. As you can see from the image the bottles will also be different. We are down to the last few printed bottles in the 50ml size and are no longer using them. We are changing all of our large sized bottles to the 30ml as in the photo. If they prove out over the next few months, we may go ahead and have them printed and forgo the paper labels. I am on the fence about the 11ml bottle. I plan to keep it as a gift option with refill (already available) but may decide against having more of them printed once our current stock runs out. At the moment I am liking the new labels, as they say a lot about what Soivohle is and who I am.

At the end of the day when all is said and done, I am an artist, I make things. It is my passion and livelihood. I can be focused, scatterbrained, emotional, moody and a complete pain in the ass. I throw it all out there regardless of the consequence. I have had conversations with people who say they only present a certain persona to the public, because they don't want anything to affect their business. I would explode if I did this. Literally explode if I could not be myself. We only get one chance in life to live our passion. To stand up and give voice to the things that matter.

I am a bulldozer and I am a flower. A sharp edge and a feather.


Circling Back Around

The grand experiment didn't work out so well and now I am back to square one. A good thing for many reasons.

You may have noticed the last few months our Clearance Page for the Mixed Media perfumes. Many of these are long gone and will not be back. The collection is being whittled down to the very best perfumes, which include those with a high naturals content, closest to our actual Signature Naturals Collection. The main thing that is changing are the carrier materials. In order to ship Internationally we used a high IPM base for the perfumes. This will go away. Also gone are the denatured spirits. We have always used natural organic spirits for the natural perfumes, and will carry this across the board to all of our spirits based scents. The aim is to offer a healthier alternative and still be able to create from a broader palette. I will still take custom requests for our International customers. I will just not be working with these materials in large order on a daily basis.

With the change comes a change in the look. In the past our packaging for the naturals and the mixed media were pretty much the same. This will change. I have continued the new trend of choosing artwork from one of my original paintings as the artwork for the packaging. Here is the new mixed media label. As you can see I am also bringing back the original Art Moderne tagline for this collection.

There has been a lot of inquiry about many of the discontinued scents. As you can see Carpathian Oud will be back. I will also be bringing back Violets & Rainwater. Green Oakmoss, Lilacs & Heliptrope, Bottleneck Blues, Rivertown Road, a new and improved Journeyman, Honeysuckle Bird and one of the rose scents, not sure yet what I am doing with the rose. I am slo going to bring back Palomino and Moroccan Orange.

Things that will not make the cut are Transcendental Orange (musc) Lavande Legato, Figgy Plum, Oris Ochre, Massive Patchouli, and a few others.

This collection was growing like a weed the past few years and it was time to make some drastic changes, trim it down and start over. Only the best of the best will be included.

Look for the first wave of the new launch in early fall. Sooner if we get all of our packaging in. thanks so much for your continued support.


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.

Continue Moving Forward

soivohle-perfume.jpg

Today I am starting work, again on adding the collection to the new website template and new shopping cart format. I can do this behind the scenes while everything else goes on as usual. As it stands now the shopping link will take you to the original site template to place an order. All other pages are on this new format. Once I have all of the items here on the new site I will just point the URL to the new site. It will be a seamless transition. It will also allow us to keep all of the original Soivohle emails.

The new format will give each item it's own page and menu. I will be adding everything as is. Not cutting the collection just yet. Hopefully devoting the entire week to this I will have all of the items indexed, up and running by this time next week.

We will be using a new payment structure that is linked with our Stripe account. We will also be keeping our old merchant account for awhile and offering paypal for special orders. Hopefully all of the based will be covered.

The new web design is compatible with both smart phones and tablets. I love the way it looks on my own phone and tablet. This will make it easier to order, particularly with folks on the go. I am usually on my ipad more than the computer, and use the ipad exclusively as my POS register at Studio Z.

As the technology upgrades so will the website... This is a big plus for us, not to mention the seamless way that social media is integrated into every aspect of the site. You can share items, pages, blog posts, etc... Everything is built in. So easy compared to building the site on my desktop and adding everything page by page..