The Good Old Days Are Here Again – Review: Sonoma Scent Studio Nostalgie

For some time now, I have debated with myself whether to go down the vintage road to heartbreak or not. I feel the need to expand my fragrant knowledge and smelling tiny samples of vintage classics is a necessary part of acquiring a scented “education” in my opinion, and I do that whenever the opportunity arises. But what if I fall in love with one of those old, beautiful perfumes?

I own a few vintage minis, but am afraid of actually wearing them, because I am painfully aware of the value of every single, irreplacable drop.

Enter Laurie Erickson (and Dawn Spencer Hurwitz too, see my review of Pandora here).

Laurie heard us fumeheads whine and lament and in more than a year of hard work, developed a beautiful floral with the name of Nostalgie. Harking back to better days, Nostalgie is all I wish for in a perfume. Rich, nuanced, deep, high quality naturals, powerful and longwearing and, most importantly, very, very beautiful.

“This fragrance, inspired by the classic scents of the past, features aldehydic topnotes, a heart of precious jasmine, rose, and mimosa absolutes, and a base of Mysore sandalwood, natural oakmoss, violet leaf absolute, tonka, amber, vanilla, orris, and musk. Nostalgie dries down to a warm, lightly spiced amber and sandalwood base with soft floral accents. Fragrances today are rarely composed with so many fine naturals; the ingredients and the style rekindle memories of vintage perfumes.”

– from the Sonoma Scent Studio website

Nostalgie includes notes of aldehydes, jasmine, rose, mimosa absolutes, mysore sandalwood, violet leaf, orris, amber, oakmoss and musk.

Nostalgie opens with that typical Laurie Erickson touch of tiny champagne bubbly aldehydes, no big nose-blasting screechy aldehyde whack that some perfumes (cough, Chanel cough) have and that I don’t care for so much, but just an effervescent sparkle lifting the jasmine-rose-mimosa bouquet up towards the sunlight. (After writing this review, I read Dee’s and saw she says almost the same thing about the aldehydes, great minds thing alike, I did not copy that. 😉 )

The base is what I love the most about this fragrance, and it is what makes me crave this perfume (and it is dead certain that I will buy a bottle eventually!). After the initial florals fade out a little, what remains and remains for hours, is a perfect blend of mysore sandalwood (the real thing, ahhh!), amber and oakmoss. Soft, powdery, silky, woody, a bit dank and mossy, sweet and ambery smooth, this base pushes all my buttons and is toe-curlingly lovely.

Nostalgie wears softly, but tenaciously, its creamy sillage is undeniably there but never overpowering or dominating, I would absolutely wear this to the office. I received four compliments from absolute strangers on Nostalgie every time I wore it, which makes it an absolute winner in my book.

And those compliments made me think…

Isn’t it maybe the case that people, and I mean regular, non-fumehead, just going about their daily business people, do like a real perfume more than, say, the L’Eau d’Issey style non-entities or the newest Paris Hilton super-fruit cookie dough concoctions we are sold today?

Maybe people are not as dumb, as the industry relying on mall rat focus groups, wants them to be. Maybe the tides are turning, with a global crisis going on, we need more substance than the pinkest cotton candy could ever deliver.

Look here for more SSS reviews!

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About Olfactoria

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This entry was posted in Chypre, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Jasmine, Mimosa, Rose, Sonoma Scent Studio and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to The Good Old Days Are Here Again – Review: Sonoma Scent Studio Nostalgie

  1. Everything about this sounds absolutely wonderful. Everything I’ve tried from SSS has been awesome. On a side note, a lot of the more independent brands don’t have very nice bottles, obviously because they focus all the cost and effort on the perfume, which is how it should be but I can’t help but love the SSS bottles, they just look very smart.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I totally agree, the SSS 34ml bottles are beautiful! I love that she offers smaller sizes as well though, but I am seriously contemplating getting the large size because of that nice bottle, I am such a shallow girl! 😉

      I love that Laurie uses mixed media, her perfumes have a high percentage of highest quality naturals, but the longevity is just like a “regular” perfume. Synthetics are not at all bad in my opinion, if used wisely and in concert with naturals. Perfumes like this are only to be had through small, indie businesses. I think it is not possible due to regulations and quantities needed, to make such a perfume as a big brand.

  2. lady jane grey says:

    I ordered some SSS as Christmas present for my friend in the US and Laurie was awesome and helpful and lovely. Your review just reminded me that I need to order my sample pack, at the end.
    BTW, I love those bottles !!!

  3. masha7 says:

    I love SSS and it’s definitely time for a new sample pack! Have you tried the Grossmith’s Phul-Nana, Hasu-no-Hana, etc?? They are based on 19th century perfumes. How does Nostalgie compare to those ultra-rich retro ambers, and how does it compare to, say, early No. 5 or L’Origan? I have a lovely bottle of L’Origan from the 40s, and the perfume is just extraordinary….

  4. Vanessa says:

    I am very intrigued by your glorious description of this new retro scent. Even though my taste lies somewhere in between the pink fruity concoctions and the classic scents of the early 20th C, it sounds a must try.

    And I quite agree about those Grossmiths – they are just unwearable sneezefests to my nose.

  5. Sugandaraja says:

    I can’t wait to try Nostalgie – it sounds great. I already know Laurie makes some fantastic scents.

    There seems to be a bit of a vintage ”fad” of late in indie perfumery. You mentioned Dawn, but Andy Tauer’s new Tableau series comes to mind as well.

    I’m adding to the voices of those who feel repelled by the Grossmith’s, too! Everything about them sounded like they should be a perfect match, but instead, they were a disaster.

  6. Susan says:

    I really agree with you that the general public is ready for more intelligent perfume, if only it were marketed and sold to them. A lot of people aren’t wearing perfume these days because they aren’t pleased with the department store options.

  7. Susan says:

    I also wanted to add that I am also hesitant to get deep into vintage. It just seems like it could be so crazy-making to hunt everything down. For example, modern Arpège is one of my favorite, perhaps very favorite, perfumes. If I try vintage Arpège and don’t enjoy the modern anymore, where would that leave me? I don’t know if I want to go down the vintage rabbit hole! Or swallow the red pill. Or whatever.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I agree. With some really hard to find scents, I am reluctant to even try them. But there is the argument: Better loved and lost, than never having loved at all. 😉

  8. Tara says:

    Wow, four unsolicited compliments from strangers has to say something. I bet you’re right about people wanting something classically beautiful and good quality in times of crisis. Or maybe at any time? I hope other perfumers take note! Vintage without the heartbreak is a very good thing.

    I’m now hoping for a vintage minis chapter in your Perfume Cabinet series 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Vintage without the heartbreak, exactly. Did you try Miriam yet? It sounds so nice too.

      I’ll make a note to take a photo of my minis. 🙂

      • Nina says:

        I have Miriam, and it’s gorgeous! It is certainly a unique blend of vintage-y feel and yet a modern element. I wonder how this SSS Nostalgie would compare or contrast.

        • Olfactoria says:

          I’m very curious about that too. I must say I am especially curious to see how Andy Tauer handles something so feminine, since I perceive his creations as very bold and masculine in character (not necessarily in smell).

        • malsnano86 says:

          I have Miriam as well and love it – Nostalgie is perhaps a little more floral while Miriam is so gorgeously rich in sandalwood. Miriam is a bit sweeter too. In feeling, Miriam is so tender and wistful, while Nostalgie is more confident, and serene.

          But I certainly think that if you like Miriam, Nostalgie will suit your taste as well. It does mine.

  9. deeHowe says:

    True, true! A nostalgic scent, that is thoroughly modern! Even though it is utterly different, the fragrance it reminds me most of is Roja Dove Unspoken, because if the way the “retro” concept is handled. Nostalgie is stunning, and a testament to Laurie’s gift. I too will one day own a bottle, even if it’s just a purse spray!

    P.s., I love that we have some crossover in our perception of the scent; as you say, great minds think alike! 😉

  10. Sombreuil says:

    I would really love to try the SSS scents, but I have spent a FORTUNE in the past year and have issued an embargo on smellies for a bit – which will give me a chance to catch up on what I already own too… Think the first break will have to include SSS, DSH and Mandy Aftel though.

    Regarding vintage, I have around 40 minis of all sorts of things from L’Aimant to Youth Dew and I love them more than almost anything else in my collection. The bottles are beautiful and wonderful to hold, and the scents transcendent. Yes, I have seen the occasional ‘turned’ scent (most disappointingly Nombre Noir – I was miserable for a week) but mostly it has been a successful, fun pursuit, and not too rough on the budget. If you are worried that you will lose your heart, just imagine a world where you couldn’t event try these things any more – to paraphrase: ‘better to have loved Emeraude and lost Emeraude than never to have smelled Emeraude at all’. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      I agree, Sombreuil, that sentiment is certainly true and it is what I will stick too. I’ll take love where I can find it, even if it is only for a short time. 🙂

  11. malsnano86 says:

    Lovely review! And I think you have an interesting point, that people do know quality when they smell it on someone else, without all the marketing nonsense. The only compliment I received on a fragrance I wore to work (well, I do apply quietly, and I worked by myself in the back of the store!) was on 31 Rue Cambon, which is definitely not fruity-floral or candy, and does have a slightly retro appeal as well as classic Chanel quality.

  12. The name and note list on this one sound like a winner. And I think you are on to something regarding the compliments you received on Nostalgie 🙂

  13. GeM says:

    Of course people are not as dumb! About tastes everything’s the same in this stupid system.
    (I’m not anti-system fighter, but I’m a Black Sheep)

    I wasn’t in time to read this, Birgit. This perfume sounds amazing, absolutely everything is right!
    I love all composition from the beginning to the end. I take note of it, and if there would be some possibility of decanting just a few, I’ll ask you for someday in a future. 😉
    mimosa absolutes, OMG!

  14. GeM says:

    ha! ‘Indie’ is the magical word… so a Black Sheep! That’s waaaaaay much awesomer! I’m happy!
    😀 and you see that wonderful colour…?? is it orange juice -arrrrrfff arrrff!!-, or just the bottle?!
    So Pretty
    Of course I’m bewitched by the name too.

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