Velvet & Sweet Pea's Bed of Roses Giveaway

When Laurie Stern, creator of Velvet & Sweet Pea’s gorgeous perfumes, offered to do a giveaway of her newest release Bed of Roses, I accepted emphatically. To have the opportunity to give one of my readers this luxurious rose fragrance makes me really happy, and it will make one of you very happy too!

The following is my review from December’s Best of 2010 post of which Bed of Roses was at the top.

I don’t want to over-analyze this gorgeous fragrance too much, but Bed of Roses is like a study of contrasts. It’s vintage-esque but also modern. It’s powdery, but at the same time fresh and vivid. I give huge kudos to Laurie Stern for her expert hand and for creating such a dynamic and interesting rose perfume. Her skillful blending of aged sandalwood and cognac (vintage) with green mandarin and rose leaf absolute (fresh) allow different facets of rose to be present at the same moment. At its heart, Bed of Roses is a perfume that contains nine different rose distillations, so it’s richer and lusher than any other rose perfume I have experienced. Rose lovers, you will not be disappointed.

If you would like to experience Bed of Roses, please leave a comment to be entered for a 5 ml bottle in a decorative silk and velvet pouch special for Valentine’s Day! Extra entries if you follow Scent Hive on Bloglovin, Twitter, or subscribe to Scent Hive. Please let me know in your comment what you did so you get the entries you deserve! Drawing is now closed.

Posted by ~Trish


Velvet & Sweet Pea's Songbird

“Songbird” is a lovely name. It’s a pretty word to speak, and the thought of songbirds is a charming one. But after several wearings, I have a new name for this perfume. I find Sensual Chameleon to be more appropriate since Songbird flows through several alluring transformations. No disrespect to Laurie Stern of Velvet and Sweet Pea, creator of this beauty. She has outdone herself with this fragrance, but sometimes a gal needs to come up with a nickname for a loved one.

Juicy blood orange is the entree to Songbird, reminiscent of the fruit dripping in its perfectly ripened sweetness. This opening is most succulent and reminds me of Laurie’s Orange Blossom Body Frosting -a decadent treat for the skin and soul- and I hoped Songbird would linger in this familiar scent for the duration. I so enjoyed the floral and gently spicy citrus aroma wafting about me, but sometimes it’s better to not have your wishes come to fruition as what laid before me was much more fullfilling that anything I could have hoped for.

Just fifteen minutes in, I was swooning over the evolution from citrusy fullness to the tea-like and slightly herbaceous glistening of boronia. I have grown to love boronia more and more as I explore it in natural perfumes. I adore its wild, all encompassing scent as it moves from woods, to jammy fruits, to culinary herbs and tannic teas. Boronia is also slightly floral, in a breezy way as if the blossoms have been baked in the beachside sun and then moistened again by the salt drenched water.

As the orange faded and the boronia became more pronounced, an enticing beeswax note appeared and brought Songbird to the level that made me think of it as the Sensual Chameleon. I was not expecting to be struck by a thick, dark honey scent after I had just been mesmerized by boronia. Songbird became suggestive of beeswax melting in a pan over a kerosene stove; a mix of heat, oil and pure sweetness, possibly an aspect of tuberose absolute.  I’m a little crazy for this particular scent in a perfume, and it’s a rare one. (There’s a Strange Invisible Perfume that shares this scent, and I will get to its review as some point I promise). Clearly, I reveled in this stage of Songbird’s metamorphosis.

One can remain in an olfactory stupor for only so long, so sandalwood came knocking at the drydown. Fortunately, the wake-up call was a gentle one. Smooth, vanilla soaked sandalwood kindly nudged me awake and I was pleased to spend time with such a grounding and smooth essence. And as you can surmise, I was more than pleased to spend time with Songbird in its entirety and experience its gorgeous evolution.

If you haven’t peeked at the Velvet & Sweet Pea website, please take some time to peruse Laurie’s enchanting aesthetic. I also encourage you to read her FAQ page in order to read more about how devoted Laurie is to using all natural essences, artisinal perfume making and her dedication to helping animals. Here is some information from her site that I find very salient:

Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery perfumes are made by hand in small, carefully crafted batches, using only natural ingredients. (Commercial perfumes are made using a dizzying list of chemicals and synthetic fragrances.) The distinctive use of the word “botanical” is key to one of the core principles of the Purrfumery. Many perfumers who call themselves “natural” perfumers use animal products (such as civet cat musk or beaver castoreum) in their perfumes. These products are harvested from the animals under terribly cruel, species-endangering conditions, and so Velvet and Sweet Pea designate their perfumes as botanical to indicate that only nature’s plant treasures – flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves, and aromatic woods – are used in creating their delicious scents.

All Velvet and Sweet Pea perfumes are created in a base of organic alcohol or beeswax (because the base comprises 65-95% of a perfume, all our perfumes are almost entirely organic). Laurie also uses as many organic, wildcrafted, and sustainably grown ingredients as possible in all her creations.

Songbird is available at Velvet and Sweet Pea. 8 ml for $185, 15 ml for  $325, or 1 oz for $550.

In The Orange Blossoms by Hadley Hutton at etsy.

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: A sample of Songbird  was sent to me for consideration by Velvet & Sweet Pea. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.


Rose Jasmine Perfume & Passionflower Gift Set +Giveaway

One of my favorite natural perfumers, Laurie Stern of Velvet & Sweet Pea, has created gift sets for spring that would make an ideal gift for Mother’s Day. My choice would be the one pictured above, the Rose Jasmine Perfume & Passionflower Gift Set and I actually have one tempting me. But it’s not for me to keep, it’s for me to send to the winner of this giveaway.

The set includes Kashmir Rose Body Frosting which I personally can’t get enough of. (Read more about it in my review of Kashmir Rose from May 2009). The set also includes Passionflower Bath Salts made with blood orange, lime, spearmint, and ylang ylang. I have not experienced Passionflower yet, but love V&SP’s Snow Forest and Kashmir Lavender Bath Salts so I’m sure Passionflower makes for a sublime bathtime as well. I can tell you about Rose Jasmine though since Laurie sent me a sample for this review. But first, a quick story.

My cousin and I visited The Perfume House not too long ago, and I showed  her the Serge Lutens line. She was drawn to Fleurs d’Oranger which is shockingly indolic given its rather innocent sounding name. Let’s just say there’s a good amount of dirty jasmine in Monsieur Luten’s creation. As we left the boutique and headed down the boulevard for more shopping, my cousin sniffed her arm and exclaimed, “My skin smells like sex!”

She’d probably feel the same about Rose Jasmine, a wonderfully juicy jasmine scent that exudes more than a little sensuality. The indoles in this luscious fragrance are booming and present throughout its skintime.  There’s only a mere wisp of rose that appears within the drydown, just in case you need a little something to tame the wild jasmine beast. But to be sure, there is no clean-freshness in Rose Jasmine. It’s a saucy number, dripping with dewy jasmine. It wears close to skin though, rewarding only those who lean in close enough to share in your delight. So make sure if you get this gift set for the mom in your life, that she likes to be a little naughty.

And if you’re a little naughty (and live in the US…sorry it’s a very heavy package) you should enter this fabulous giveaway:

To be entered, go here to V&SP’s site and let me know what Spring Gift Set you would choose for the special mom in your life. You get extra entries if you follow Scent Hive on Bloglovin, Twitter, Google Friend Connect, Facebook’s Networked Blogs, or subscribe to Scent Hive. Please let me know in your comment what you did so you get the entries you deserve! You’ve got until Sunday April 11th 9pm PST to enter. The winner has been chosen!

Rose Jasmine Perfume & Passionflower Gift Set is available at Velvet & Sweet Pea for $90.

Disclosure: V&SP sent me a sample of Rose Jasmine for review. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.