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.
 

FIG-MUSK-VIOLET-COLOGNE-ROSE

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.
 

Week in Review

More like two weeks but who's counting. I am moving right along with the new stuff. Have made my selections for the relaunch of the mixed media "Art Moderne" collection. If you are not seeing something it may be on the way, I have yet to batch Lilacs & Heliotrope and Rivertown Road. 

Soivohle Art Moderne - Mixed Media perfumes in 30ml atomizer flacons

Soivohle Art Moderne - Mixed Media perfumes in 30ml atomizer flacons

This is how it will look. I have chosen the artwork for each scent from my original paintings. I am very pleased with the first efforts and love how the images work with the scents themselves. I will be adding these all in one swoop, hopefully be weeks end.

STREET/STUDIO COLLECTION - These are also coming along. I will be bottling more this week and adding them to the website. Once I am finished with this first wave of relaunches, I will take a little break from adding more. My other day job is calling and I also have art obligations to attend to.

FALL/WINTER 2015 - I hope I can pull this off. I really want to launch my Alchemists Collection this fall. It is a naturals collection inspired by real life Alchemists throughout history. Some that have been favorites of mine and some who are more like mystical thinkers, scientists and magicians. I have two of the formulas finished. Paracelsus, who needs no introduction and Twelve Keys, based on the twelve keys of Basil Valentine.

SHIPPING - We go back and forth with shipping and what can ship where, laws changing, rates going up, etc... We do not ship anything to the EU UK anymore. Reasons: the codes for shipping alcohol have changed, we can ship to some countries, but the three page form that we used to have to fill out with Fedex is no longer applicable for some places and each country has their own set of codes. It takes forever to look these up and make sure they are the right noes for the country, and then there is a chance even when everything is done properly the items will still not pass customs. There are also brokerage fees in some countries with Fedex that rival the cost of shipping, which is also very high.

We still ship oils Internationally and samples to some places but it is very limited. I would suggest to our International customers is to set up a liaison account with a company like MYUS or something similar, where we can send your packages to them and they can send them on to you. I think they would have a better chance of getting through to you, and possibly cost less in the long run.

WHOLESALE/RETAILERS - I have set up a new wholesale page and am in the process of contacting some of the retailers who have expressed an interest in carrying Soivohle. When I closed the perfume shop last spring I also ended some retail relationships so that I would be able to regroup and restructure Soivohle. I needed to be able to manage the day to day, and have time for other things, like family or reading a book, or even having dinner with a friend. Closing the store made a huge difference, and it has allowed me to slowly put into place the changes you see happening now.

My aim is to keep the website, and work with other shops and sellers. If it all works out Soivohle will be in a few new places by the first of the year.

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.

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.


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.

The Road Ahead

It's been awhile since my last Soivohle blog post and as things are starting to change with the collection I have had some time to go over a lot of things and make even more changes. Currently I have the Soivohle line, Acousticjus and getting ready to launch yet another.... Except for the fact that I am changing my mind. It seems that I change my mind a lot with this line.

I have had so many requests to keep the mixed media line and the current scents and also to offer the Natural Absolutes as a spray perfume. I still have a lot of cross over sales with Acousticjus and am going to once and for all integrate a small portion of this line back into Soivohle and drop the separate acousticjus website starting very soon.

The big issue for me is the carrier for the spray perfumes. I am currently looking to do away with all of the alcohol based products except for maybe the Absolutes. I just don't like working with alcohol. It is harsh and very hard on my lungs. So I am thinking about my personal health and exposure to alcohol as well as providing a safer alternative for my customers.

With this in mind I am going to be converting several perfumes to solids and others to oils and a few to water based sprays. I have been trying to go in this direction for a long time and now with this new year and the changes already in the works, this is what is going to happen. I will be keeping the natural line as is for awhile but everything else will be converted and the mixed media scents will stay a part of the line and the already oil based Acousticjus naturals will be offered as soivohle natural oils and solids.

I am currently testing different natural emulsifiers for the natural water based scents and hope to find one that I can live with. I have a system for a mixed media water spray and could make this change as well.

Many of these changes will also be good business decisions as I will not be putting resources into extra web design and website, etc. Everything will be here at soivohle.com and soivohle.net.  all under one roof and one brand identity.

Thank's to all who have written or called, I do pay attention and am listening. I want to make this the best of all possible worlds. Hopefully you will be seeing some of these changes soon, with the acousticjus oils and more things in the spring.

Thank You and Goodbye...

Thank You everyone who took advantage of our summer sale. It has been a very interesting week. With the overload after the weekend of packing and shipping I put off going into the city to my painting studio and then I had an accident straining the lower Achilles on my left foot prompting me to take strategic action where movement was concerned, limiting me to doing only what absolutely had to be done. It was the perfect opportunity for me to just sit or lay around with my computer, working on the new labeling for ACOUSTICJUS. Once again and after a couple of years selling AJ almost exclusively in my perfume shop, I am relaunching the website and store for this brand. We will no longer have the AJ oils available through Soivohle once the switch is made. So it will be goodbye and then a cheerful hello to the future of this fun little brand of essence oil creations.

The relaunch of AJ will take place (hopefully) in early fall of this year. I am almost finished with the packaging changes and am working on both an onsite and etsy store to get things going. With Acousticjus being all oils we can ship just about anywhere in the world.

I will also be relaunching the Acousticjus FB page and for the first time it will have it's own Twitter account. The new web address is the same as the old one acousticjus.com  The new email is stellaroils@acousticjus.com  Bookmark the new site, I will be updating it with new pages and info over the next few weeks leading up to the official launch.

SOIVOHLE - not to leave out our flagship brand, I will not be making any changes to Soivohle other than creating gift boxed sets of mini perfumes for the holidays. 

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

We have been treading water so to speak this past week and likely the next two weeks. In the middle of moving the studio, so everything, details and all things Soivohle are on a must do basis until I am resettled. Orders and online transactions are as always priority number one.

I have a ton of stock from the studio to re-shelve in my workroom, and more to go through and figure out what we are going to do with it. I will not make any decisions on the Street Collection oils until later this summer or beyond.

Currently I am getting ready to bottle Amun Re: The Tears of Ra. I have sent out a few samples with orders and will continue to do this up to the launch date TBA...

The first batch of Kentucky Bourbon Rose prints will go out the first of next week. I have been mounting them in-between other things. Hopefully they will all go out by the first of June.

Kentucky bourbon Rose: LE print

Kentucky bourbon Rose: LE print

I have had a lot of questions about the studio move, so am going to address it here and move on. As you can see, we recently revamped the entire Soivohle website with new shopping cart, easier checkout and a very updated look. This was all part of the plan. To optimize the online experience so that I could close the physical location. Most of our business is done online and I have spent the past few years building the online business. With the new format we are optimized for the web, tablets and smart phones. Any way you view this new website will give you the perfect viewing experience for your device...

My new studio location will be devoted to my visual art and Olfactory Art Installations. There will be a settling in period, but this is the perfect set up for me. I can spend much less time on web concerns because a lot of what I was doing before, is now done for me with the new system. The time saved and the time saved from being at a physical location (where I could not paint) frees me up to paint more. This will not take away from Soivohle but make it better. Instead of being overwhelmed by it I can come to it with a fresh outlook and enjoy it more. Being able to do the two things I love is perfect for me. I am sure it will show in all of my work as time goes on.

Most of the news related to the Olfactory Art will be posted on my Art website and blog: and occasionally here if I feel there is a valid connection to Soivohle, otherwise I prefer to keep the two separate as there is already enough confusion about scent and scent as art etc...


Kentucky Bourbon Rose

This Saturday is Derby Day. To be precise Kentucky Derby Day. To celebrate my Kentucky roots and birth state I am releasing Kentucky Bourbon Rose on Saturday. This is a Numbered Edition of 25/4.5ml bottles.

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We will have a pre-order period beginning today. Included in all pre order packages will be an  early release 11ml atomizer of our Spring 2014 Limited Release: Magnolia 826 eau fraiche. Magnolia 826 will be available mid-May.

If we sell out during the pre-launch all orders will ship with the Magnolia 826.

Orders placed with a May 3rd or later date stamp will not have the Magnolia 826.

There are only 25 bottles in this edition that was created over a period of years. A fine Kentucky Bourbon was tinctured with organic Mexican Vanilla Beans to create the carrier/base for the parfum.

Rose Absolutes from Morocco, Bulgaria and Egypt were blended with a harmonious accord of spices including a touch of clove and cinnamon, with a natural oakmoss accord that included green and brown oakmoss. The concentration is +50%.

To insure that this is a truly artistic work there was no formula kept, no notes taken or measurements of any kind recorded other than the amount of carrier to materials used.

Kentucky Bourbon Rose will never be made again..

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.

Studio Exclusives-Street Collection

Box label for street collection oils

Box label for street collection oils

Over the years I have created several essences that have remained exclusive to the physical location. Now that I will be closing the perfume boutique and moving my painting studio back to downtown Cincinnati, I am left with a decision to make about the studio exclusive scents. The ones that are most on my mind are the Acousticjus Street Collection oils. These are inexpensive oil roller ball parfums that were created for individuals looking for something nice, fun and not all that complicated. Whereas the bulk of the Soivohle line are either all natural or mostly natural with no scent having less than 85% natural ingredients the Street Collection oils are about 50/50. They do not contain any rare or costly absolutes or painstakingly thought out tinctures. The most complex of them can contain up to fifteen ingredients, while the lesser ones can have as little as three to five. Having said all that I am thinking more about all of the customers and repeat customers who have been purchasing these parfums over the years, and enjoy wearing them. I do not want to just toss them aside as they have garnered quite a local and loyal following.  I will be going through the list and picking out the most popular ones to add to the online store. Things like Fig Black Tea, Dulce Crema, Egyptian Musk, Lilacs In Spring.. Some of the more earthy and masculine scents are lower on the list, but I do not want to leave them out just because they did not sell as well. So as I will not be adding them to the site until I have closed the boutique, I am going to post the titles here and let people take a look and see if anything pops out.

HIPPIE PATCHOULI
STREET LEATHER
FIG BLACK TEA
SWEET LOVE AMBER
WHITE FLOWERS
ORANGE BLOSSOM
PURE MUSK
COCONUT LIME
DULCE CREMA
LILACS IN SPRING
AIR N SEA
SOFT LEMON RAIN
LEATHER N WOOD
PLUMERIA PURE
ROSE SOLIFLORE
EGYPTIAN MUSK

I could of course just offer them all, and let the larger Soivohle/Acousticjus online audience work out the difference, and may decide in the end to do that.  My main concern is space. I currently keep the formula bases and all of the bottles and packaging for all of the parfums at the studio. I need to make room for all this in my stock/work room.

It's crazy just how much stuff accumulates over a few years, and I have been adding to this collection scent by scent, but always working from the other location. Now thinking about moving the other half of Soivohle to the home base I am scrambling to figure out where I will store everything. I really need to be working on that now before I find myself just putting things in boxes to be thought about later, or knowing me as I do, forgetting all about them.

 

Going Live...

It was my intention today to get my website finished. I am ready to jump in the pool, but it isn't open and the outside temps are more like January than late March. For the past several days I have had a link to the old site store and shopping cart, linking back to the other pages on this new site. Now I will be merging the two web addresses. soivohle.com and soivohle.net. Placing a redirect on soivohle.com to bring you here. The new shopping cart is set up and almost all of the product pages are up. I still have to format the Oil Parfums, which include the natural oils and the mostly natural Acousticjus Stellar Oils.

I will be keeping our old merchant account for awhile as a back up just in case we have issues with this new format. Hopefully things will run smoothly. I know it will save me time from entering all of the data by hand. We will still use paypal for special orders and International sales. I am not sure if this new platform accepts the paypal link, need to check that out. I had been more concerned with making the new stuff work, and had not really thought about PP integration. Making a new list...

I love the look of the new shop pages and how easy it is to share everything on this site with your social media. So go on share away !! 👍

Some items are not yet listed and others are in transition. I am not sure what will be added next. I need to do an evaluation from last years top sales. If I have missed anything important it will be added back to the line up. 

So, fingers crossed that everything works. Yay Me!!!.....

Continue Moving Forward

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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..