“If you're going to San FranciscoSan Francisco has been the scene of many a wonderful time for me and it came as no surprise to me at all when my teenage son fell in love with it too. Alex has spent so much time wandering around that city that it’s almost like another home for him. When we visited one summer several years ago our son insisted on taking us on an incredible walking tour of the city! My husband had never seen this wonderful city and we had a ball. Up and down the steep historic streets we walked , stopping for fresh fruit here, nutella crepes there and fragrant flowers everywhere. At one point, Alex and I smiled at each other knowing that we’d saved the best for last. The Haight - Ashbury District was no more than a five minute walk away, a fact made clear to us immediately by the perfume of patchouli, tea and incense that still seeps from almost every house in the district . Sure enough , my husband was as enchanted as we knew he’d be and all of the memories of my fairly frolicksome and notorious youth came into the present as quickly as a flashback. I am the youngest daughter of passionate antiwar activists, with an older sister and brother who were a wonderful influence on my over active imagination and the hippie lifestyle came as naturally to me as breathing. I was one of the flower children and I still have the beads, dresses and go-go boots to prove it so it came as no surprise to anyone when I began to spend as much time as possible in Haight- Ashbury and Berkeley visiting my friends. Those were wonderful days! Tie Dyed shirts were everywhere still and I loved wearing my jeans and beaded Indian tops with all of my funky beads. I loved scenting my long hair with lilac and rose oils that I purchased from the local incense store. My memories of that time are so strong that it seems like only yesterday that I was sharing a Passover Seder in the wonderful apartments above that famous cross street sign. I’ll never forget that day. We drank local wines, shared homemade matzo and organic honey, ate vegetarian curries and huge steamed artichokes dripping with California olive oil. We smoked a goodly amount of questionable substance and went dancing all evening in Golden Gate Park.
Today’s San Francisco is still a passionately vibrant and artistic city and is currently home to one of the most magical natural perfumers that I’ve ever met, a fragrantly luscious and completely lovely little Hedgewitch named Laurie Stern. I first made her acquaintance when I was gifted with many luscious samples as well as a bottle of her Honey perfume and it was then that I discovered firsthand her almost legendary legendary powers of “scentual” persuasion. In a city known for its uniqueness, Laurie stands out as one of the most creative and original people that I’ve ever experienced. In her beautiful botanical paradise across the Bay she tends her incredibly lush gardens and I love to fantasize about all of the afternoons that she spends wandering with her gorgeous cats Velvet and Sweet Pea, while she touches each pregnant blossom with her fingertips, coaxing the sweet nectar for her perfumes to the glorious petals. I love talking to Laurie, for her laugh is completely bewitching and instantly you become aware that this is a woman who has all kinds of secrets that you are longing to know.....
I am told that Laurie’s gardens where she grows many of the botanicals that she uses to create her wonderful perfumes are simply living love spells. They are powerful and instantly evocative of something a bit bacchanalian in nature although her designs are full of Victorian beauty and whimsy. Opening any package from Velvet and Sweet Peas Purrfumery is an instantly orgasmic assault on every one of the senses, not just for me but for my cats Zoe and Pantoufle who were generously gifted with a beautiful bag containing literally the strongest “bud”....(catnip that is!) that I’ve ever had the pleasure of inhaling as well as an amazing catnip hydrosol to enhance their sniffing pleasure. Before I’d had the sealed envelope on the table for even 5 minutes, my kittens had dragged in down and were frantically trying to rip open the package. But that was only the beginning for many truly delicious and fragrant surprises awaited me.....Emboldened by my kitties obvious enthusiasm, I tore open the envelope and settled in for a long and pleasurable evening.
Laurie Stern’s packaging is precious, velvet bags with crystal fastenings and colorful dupioni silk purses with handmade flowers strewn around the top with exquisite care. Her beautiful crème perfumes come in containers topped with colorful gems and her bottles are French crystal and labeled beautifully with delightfully gilded photographs of her cats. But as beautiful as the packaging is, the perfumes completely outshine them. Each one is incredibly interesting , titillating and utterly gorgeous.
Her fragrances delight me, especially the “Kittylicious” Black Cat, a sensual and almost edible (at least my husband thought so) fragrance that completely enchants with it’s beguiling blend of cocoa, blood orange aniseed myrtle and vanilla.
Then there is “Narcissus Poeticus” an intoxicating blend of spring blooming Jonquille and French Violets. Thrown into the cauldron with mandarin , lime , iris and rare Chinese osmanthus and allowed to brew, the resulting potion is a glorious fragrance that is so completely seductive and narcotic that it should be illegal!
Most mesmorizing to me though is Lauries “Honey” perfume. “Honey” is a completely erotic masterpiece of blended orange blossom, roses, vetiver, vanilla ,honey , beeswax and propolis finished with rare antique clove, pomegranate and pink grapefruit. It is bewitching, a bottled love potion and how you unleash it is up to you. I personally love it when worn in my hair, cleavage and inner thighs. It warms up as you do and becomes sweeter with your heat. It has an energy all its own and I love it because I can wear it during the day, yet it becomes completely captivating at night. It’s one of those fragrances that draws a man towards you like a honeybee to pollen. Quite frankly, my husband didn’t know what hit him but he was delighted to be completely spellbound. The first time that he noticed it, I was going on and on about Laurie and her perfumes and her cats. He took one look at me, nipped my catnip scented wrist and proceeded to kiss me in a way that made my knees weak. Enough said. She truly has the gift.
You can purchase all of these perfumes and more through the completely enchanting Velvet and Sweet Peas Purrfumery website at Purrfumery.com