Natural Perfumer Laurie Stern

I recently met Laurie Stern from Velvet Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery at the Rose Perfume Tour. I first learned about her in 2007, after reading about her natural perfumes in the article Uncommon Scents in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Laurie was also interviewed by the Contra Costa Times, Making Scents in June. I read this article by chance at Peet’s Coffee and Tea. My husband and I were having a latte and he was reading an abandoned Contra Costa Times newspaper. He gave me the article to read as he knew I am interested in natural perfume. He didn’t know I already had plans to meet with Laurie.

In the article, Laurie offered a contest asking readers to help her name a new scent. The first 75 people that emailed her would receive a small sample of the perfume to try it and come up with a name. Laurie received an overwhelming response with over 200 emails. I was fortunate to smell her new creation and received a sample. It is rich and decadent. I think it is a unisex perfume-anyone can wear it and it will be one of her best sellers.

I love natural perfumes. A natural perfume is alive with personality, it holds the plants, the country they grew in, the climate and the magic of life. Natural perfumes intertwine with your essence and smell different on each individual. It is like having your own custom perfume.

Laurie invited me to have tea in her garden. She lives in El Cerrito in a beautiful home with a spectacular view of the bay. Her garden is majestic, peaceful, artistic and harmonious. This is instilled in her perfumes.

It was an unusually hot day so Laurie made smoothies with fresh fruit instead of tea. We sat in her garden and talked.

This is Luma, one of Laurie’s beloved cats. Her perfume business is named after two of her sweet cats.
Laurie is also a beekeeper. A wild swarm of bees showed up in her yard and she decided to keep them. This year she caught a stray bee swarm and added them to her bee family. She uses the beeswax and propolis from her bees in some of her perfumes and products. Laurie gave me a jar of her honey. It is delicious. I had some as soon as I was in my car. To me honey is liquid gold. I take a spoonful in the morning and evening. Honey is an elixir.

The bees were flying abundantly and visiting her many flowers in her perfumer’s garden.

Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery is filled with essential oils and natural essences. This is where Laurie’s perfumes are hand blended and made in small vintages instilling the love of flowers and the wonder of the nature. Laurie keeps a journal on her journey with perfume and scents. She is holding her journal in the above photo.

Laurie also makes and sells natural body care products from bath salts to body butters.

Contact information
Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery

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  • I love reading your post about Laurie Stern. She has a beautiful and fresh looking environment. How I wish to have a chance to smell her new creations and smell her samples.

  • We are so fortunate to have great natural perfumers in our area.

    My 3-Day course went well. We created some amazing products and aromatherapy scents. I love meeting people from all over the country and formulating together.

  • What a great blog post about Laurie Stern. Would you believe I also read (and still have) that Uncommon Scents article on her from 2007! I finally met her in person several months ago here at my studio and she was a delight! I'm envious of your day together – sounds wonderful! Great pictures too. Thanks for sharing Joan! Hope your intensive is going well :)

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