SOLIFLORE

A few years ago I started work on a collection of soliflore perfumes based on the accords and bases that I use in our perfumes. I found myself creating even more accords and bases and never quite got around to launching the perfumes.
Occasionally I would go back and look over this notebook and work on the formulas, but still not feeling the burn to put a collection together.
That all changed this spring when I started revamping our collection. Just about everything in the Soivohle Collection has distinct intensity to it. There are no polite sit in the corner type of scents to be found. Not that I wanted to create a collection of wallflower scents, I did want to follow through with the soliflores.
I have five of them that I am working on now, and that could change as I hope to launch the new collection in the spring of 2018. This will give me enough time to get through the holiday rush, my commitments to the art world, a possible studio move, and just the time it takes to pull this off.
 

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The collection will be of eau de toilette concentration and each scent will focus on one heart accord, with minimal top and base notes. The entirety of each formula are also minimalist in nature.
There was a time when creating complex perfume formulas was very appealing to me, but just as I am moving back to my comfort zone of creating minimalist art in my studio, I also feel this same energy tugging at me in the lab. Who knows, maybe this is the full circle synchronicity that will define my path for years to come.

For now though, I am excited about the old work that has become new again.
 

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.

 

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.

Hello From The Little River Valley

It's been awhile since I last rambled on about perfume, or made any major changes to the brand. This past year has been a challenging one. Since I returned to full time painting, I have been trying to figure out how to juggle two full time jobs, doing things that I love. I had some health issues that sidelined me for awhile, but I am feeling great now, and taking advantage of my good fortune.

As you might notice, I have put the Street Collection on sale. This was a mix and match of perfumes that I made when I had my shop. I added a couple of others in lighter concentration (Leather Krem and Raspberries & Black Pepper) to round things out. I am at a place now where I can either devote a chunk of time to keep this collection going in that direction, or cut the strings and let it go. I have decided to let it go. I do this because the main focus has always been on naturals and mostly natural perfumes. In this regard I am taking my lead from the wise and valued customers who have been supporting soivohle all these years. I will be expanding the Art Moderne Collection (mostly natural) by bringing back several perfumes that I had only been making by request. Included so far are: Lilacs & Heliotrope, Rivertown Road, Red Canyon Sutra, Honeysuckle Bird and Daybreak Violin. I really want to bring back Centennial as well and I have been trying to put together all of the materials I will need to make it. Some of these perfumes have unique tinctures and accords that will have to be modified, due to the inability to source the exact same things as the original. Things such as a particular Rose Absolute, or Vanilla Beans, Jasmine, Osmanthus Absolute, etc. So often these materials have a great vintage, I buy a lot and use it until it is gone. When it comes time to buy again, the original vintage is long gone and I have to start the process of finding that rare gem of an oil to complete the project.

With this in mind, I realize that there will be slight changes to the end result. Not that the formula has changes, they do not. But rather the natural materials have nuanced differences, that may or may not be noticeable to the end user.

With time being a precious commodity these days, I am also cutting my work load by re-incorporating our 50ml Signature bottle. We will also be adding a new box design that we will be using for all of our perfumes. Everything will be available in the 50ml and 10ml signature bottles. This means that I will not be making unique labels for all of the perfumes, saving myself tons of time printing and labeling bottles and boxes.

The artwork on the packaging is from a new painting of mine called Better Angels. I have been in a strange mood lately in my art studio, trying to pull from my devotional life of meditation and peace energy. Blocking out the ugliness of the world and staying focused on the things that are most important to me. I found myself going back and re-reading Lincolns first inaugural address, in particular the last paragraph. It speaks to me and I imagine to many in these heated days, where we seem to have lost our love for one another.

"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." Abraham Lincoln

We hear in the news that creative people should just stick to the script. That creatives not have opinions about world affairs, or if they do, not repeat them out loud. I can say that being a life long creative, it is the world that fuels the fire. Without having a deep connection and love for things like, liberty and justice,  the earth, the well being of others, creatives would have nothing to be creative about. Each of us does so in our own way. Through music, visual arts, the spoken word, literature, dance, so many outlets for creativity. So many opportunities to share our vision through our chosen medium. Whatever the motivation, for me it is an act of love. I love what I do. I could not imagine that I could have taken a different path. So here it is. Becomingand sustaining beauty, in all of it's guises, through expression, through scent and color.

and I say to people if you don't see it, the beauty, the hauntingly overwhelming emotion of life, seek it out, be a different kind of warrior. walk into the fire of love and let it consume you...

So this is where I am and what is motivating me to move forward. I hope that the new look and the new (around the block) direction of soivohle, will be as exciting to you as it is to me. That weird place that can only be appreciated by the accumulation of time, where everything old is new again.