Reviews Uncategorized

What’s in a Name: Beaumes de Cassis from Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery

There was a lot to parse and ponder in this little gem…

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of perfumer Laurie Stern and all the fragrances she creates for her brand, Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery (read more here, here and here). I own multiple solids and liquids from this house, and when I made a purchase late last year, I received a small container of a new solid perfume Laurie had developed but had not yet named, with a little note from Laurie:

“The kitties have been having a magical time making an extra fancy perfume for you! Enjoy this fruity bonbon of blood oranges, black currant buds, Tasmanian boronia, osmanthus, resins and fir balsam as a gift from the Purrfumery this holiday season!”

–Laurie Stern, Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery

Laurie announced the perfume naming contest in her December 2021 Newsletter and tucked samples of the fruity bonbon perfume in with customer orders for the next few months. The winner would receive a full-size jewel box container of the new perfume.

Laurie’s floral fragrances are amongst my favorites and she is particularly skilled with floral notes, but I’ve enjoyed her exploration of sweeter notes in newer releases like 2020’s Luminous Lemurs and 2021’s Pangolin Violette Rose. The unnamed fruity bonbon fragrance definitely had Laurie’s stamp on it but charted a new direction as well.

The black currant buds were a stand-out note on my skin. Juicy blood orange and the apricot-leather scent of osmanthus imparted a gentle sweetness and balanced the black currant’s astringency. Fruity floral boronia was folded seamlessly into the mix. But the fir notes and forest aspects were an important part of the fragrance experience, too. This was definitely a fragrance that could be appreciated at first sniff, but Laurie’s perfumes are always wonderfully complex, and there was a lot to parse and ponder in this little gem. I spent a few weeks wearing the perfume off and on, sniffing, thinking and letting some ideas germinate. Eventually, I made a short list of what I thought were my best ideas and fired off an email to Laurie.

To my surprise, Laurie notified me a few months later that I won the naming contest! She took inspiration from one of my suggested names as well as one of her favorite dessert wines, Beaumes de Venise, to arrive at the final name for this lovely scent: Beaumes de Cassis.

A delightful package from the Purrfumery arrived in late October and I was blown away by the beauty it contained. The sterling silver jewel box adorned with a citrine-colored gemstone, tucked into a stunning green velvet pouch, was a perfect complement to the fruity-foresty fragrance within. One of many things that I love about the Purrfumery is that it offers its liquid and solid fragrances in multiple packaging options, to suit many budgets. The starlight solid perfume compacts from the Purrfumery are attractive, hold a lot of scent (5 ml) and travel well, while also being affordable. If you seek a more luxurious presentation, the 10 ml sterling silver jewel box solids are absolutely breathtaking, as you can see here. They’re perfect for gift giving, marking a special occasion, or treating yourself–you know you deserve it!–and the beautiful jewel box can be repurposed to hold other tiny treasures when you’ve used up the perfume.

Another thing I love about the Purrfumery and perfumer Laurie Stern: Laurie is a fellow animal-lover and uses her perfumes to benefit animal rescue and conservation charities. Similar to what she did with Luminous Lemurs and Pangolin Violette Rose, Laurie is donating a portion of the proceeds from Beaumes de Cassis to Bay Area organizations that provide spay/neuter and rescue services to animals in need. It’s so wonderful when we can do good by smelling good!

So, wow! I am so grateful to have won this beautiful perfume in a contest, but it’s one I highly recommend for purchase as well. And really, all of Laurie’s creations are worth a try, especially for floral lovers and fans of natural/botanical perfumery. If you’re new to the natural perfumes of Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Perfumery, Laurie offers sample sets of her solids and liquids, which are a great place to start. In fact, I’m paying my good fortune forward by offering a sample set of the solid perfumes to one lucky Instagram follower in the US. If you’re not following me already, follow and watch for my announcement on my IG in the very near future.

Big thanks for Laurie Stern/Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery for holding the naming contest and sending this little beauty my way!

All images by me.