Unity in duality, Sonoma Scent Studio Yin & Ylang

Laurie Erickson, founder and perfumer (she’s like a grand institution, multi-talented person) of Sonoma Scent Studio has recently launched a new fragrance in her line. It was created in collaboration with Michelyn Camen, Editor in Chief of Cafleurebon perfume blog. The idea for a fragrance came from Michelyn and Laurie was eager to work on it. The concept was to create a soft and classy floral scent. Laurie has been working on a flowery perfume for a while but she haven’t yet mastered the formulae of it. But now we can enjoy a totally new creation.

This collaboration between Laurie Erickson and Michelyn Camen resulted in creating a perfume of a beautiful name: Yin & Ylang. The composition opens on my skin with juicy and acidic shot of bergamot to create a real ‘wow’ impression. After a couple of minutes blood orange joins the composition. I find this note to be both bitter and sweet, tart and mellow, making a perfect fit for the yin-yang concept. After 20 or so minutes I start to smell aldehydes. They create a really bright, prominent aura around the opening notes.

When aldehydic tones begin to calm down 20 minutes later, leaving a minimalistic oily sensation in my nose, some slightly powdery feeling starts to emanate from Yin & Ylang. This kind of smell makes me think of a floral pollen, so much loved by the bees. And there it is, a little bit of beeswax which creates a bridge between lively citrus tones in the opening and flowery aromas in the heart.

The flower that I notice as first is the rose. It effuses a delicate and dewy aroma of the soft, pink petals. This particular accord also carries a bit of fruity molecules, especially peach and apricot come to my mind. At 1 hour mark the composition of Yin & Ylang begins to thicken a bit when ylang-ylang chord is being introduced. I have to admit it smells truly amazing – the flower aspect is present there for sure, though I think it’s a bit muted right now. As the time and the warmth of your skin allow the perfume to evolve I start to notice more creamy, tropical and exotic facets in this very perfume.

I find ylang-ylang in Yin & Ylang (I feel so zen writing this!) to be presented in a perfect way and in ideal proportions with other ingredients used to create this perfume. Somehow my skin makes this perfume smell a little bit milky, a little bit buttery and slightly like a vanilla pudding. For the next two hours I could notice how ylang ylang blends with the citrus notes that appeared in the top of the composition, how it reconnects with rose and with this somewhat funny beesxwax note.

Later, when ylang note becomes more airy, jasmine and tuberose become more pronounced on my skin. The first one I find to be slightly indolic but not animalic or offensive. It smells very pleasant and girly. Tuberose is presented here in a classy way, creating a smelly cloud of white flowers around the wearer. On top of it there’s a ginger note which adds a sparkling sensation of fizziness that tingles the senses.

After around 4 hours Yin & Ylang started evolving in the woody direction on me. Mysore sandalwood created the impression of elegance and refinement on me. Combined with vanilla it feels smooth and delicate, yet substantial. A bit of amber and patchouli spice up this stage a little bit, also leaving the wearer with wilder and a little bit more animalic impression. For a moment the patchouli accord smelled earthy on me but I didn’t bother. Rotten leaves patchouli repel me the most.

Further into the fragrance development I felt the familiar note that is also one of those that I’m really fond of in perfumes. The oakmoss accord is a part of Yin & Ylang drydown, providing it this nice, woody and shrub-like facet. There’s also some musk that also matches the yin-yang symbol of balance, of complimentarity because it doesn’t smell totally clean and it doesn’t smell completely dirty. The feeling is somewhere between these two sides of the spectrum.

My skin allowed Sonoma Scent Studio Yin & Ylang last for around 7-8 hours, which considering the fact that this perfume in a natural blend in whopping 92%, is a great result. At the beginning the sillage had a medium power and for around half of the wearing time it was rather close to the skin. The composition was created in 2014 by Laurie Erickson and is available in 1ml, 3ml samples, 5ml travel spray as well as in 17ml and 34ml bottles. The perfume is absolutely worth a try. I think that the composition like this could be something spectacular during summer.

[note] Many thanks to Laurie Erickson for providing me with a sample of her Yin & Ylang. Pictures used in this review are my own; All rights reserved.

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9 thoughts on “Unity in duality, Sonoma Scent Studio Yin & Ylang

  1. Great review for a great collaboration. My FB purchase should be here next week!

  2. hajusuuri says:

    Woo hoo, it is the morning of Sniffapalooza! Michelyn will be at the lunch and I hope to meet up with her. You know I strongly prefer gourmands but you made this sound so good I just want to jump into a vat of it! Great review!

    • lucasai says:

      Have a great time at Sniffapalooza! Can’t wait to hear about your impressions and to see some pictures. Hug Daisy from me.
      I’m sure you’ll like Yin & Ylang, you should get a sample from Laurie

  3. Holly says:

    Great review, Lucas! I’m really looking forward to sampling this one. Ylang ylang is one of my favorite notes. Alas, tuberose is one of my least favorite notes, but I will be brave!

  4. Undina says:

    Very nice review, Lucas!

    I think that the name is just great. I’m testing the perfume now. I should probably apply a little more to see if I can get it to last 7-8 hours.

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