“Songbird” is a lovely name. It’s a pretty word to speak, and the thought of songbirds is a charming one. But after several wearings, I have a new name for this perfume. I find Sensual Chameleon to be more appropriate since Songbird flows through several alluring transformations. No disrespect to Laurie Stern of Velvet and Sweet Pea, creator of this beauty. She has outdone herself with this fragrance, but sometimes a gal needs to come up with a nickname for a loved one.
Juicy blood orange is the entree to Songbird, reminiscent of the fruit dripping in its perfectly ripened sweetness. This opening is most succulent and reminds me of Laurie’s Orange Blossom Body Frosting -a decadent treat for the skin and soul- and I hoped Songbird would linger in this familiar scent for the duration. I so enjoyed the floral and gently spicy citrus aroma wafting about me, but sometimes it’s better to not have your wishes come to fruition as what laid before me was much more fullfilling that anything I could have hoped for.
Just fifteen minutes in, I was swooning over the evolution from citrusy fullness to the tea-like and slightly herbaceous glistening of boronia. I have grown to love boronia more and more as I explore it in natural perfumes. I adore its wild, all encompassing scent as it moves from woods, to jammy fruits, to culinary herbs and tannic teas. Boronia is also slightly floral, in a breezy way as if the blossoms have been baked in the beachside sun and then moistened again by the salt drenched water.
As the orange faded and the boronia became more pronounced, an enticing beeswax note appeared and brought Songbird to the level that made me think of it as the Sensual Chameleon. I was not expecting to be struck by a thick, dark honey scent after I had just been mesmerized by boronia. Songbird became suggestive of beeswax melting in a pan over a kerosene stove; a mix of heat, oil and pure sweetness, possibly an aspect of tuberose absolute. I’m a little crazy for this particular scent in a perfume, and it’s a rare one. (There’s a Strange Invisible Perfume that shares this scent, and I will get to its review as some point I promise). Clearly, I reveled in this stage of Songbird’s metamorphosis.
One can remain in an olfactory stupor for only so long, so sandalwood came knocking at the drydown. Fortunately, the wake-up call was a gentle one. Smooth, vanilla soaked sandalwood kindly nudged me awake and I was pleased to spend time with such a grounding and smooth essence. And as you can surmise, I was more than pleased to spend time with Songbird in its entirety and experience its gorgeous evolution.
If you haven’t peeked at the Velvet & Sweet Pea website, please take some time to peruse Laurie’s enchanting aesthetic. I also encourage you to read her FAQ page in order to read more about how devoted Laurie is to using all natural essences, artisinal perfume making and her dedication to helping animals. Here is some information from her site that I find very salient:
Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery perfumes are made by hand in small, carefully crafted batches, using only natural ingredients. (Commercial perfumes are made using a dizzying list of chemicals and synthetic fragrances.) The distinctive use of the word “botanical” is key to one of the core principles of the Purrfumery. Many perfumers who call themselves “natural” perfumers use animal products (such as civet cat musk or beaver castoreum) in their perfumes. These products are harvested from the animals under terribly cruel, species-endangering conditions, and so Velvet and Sweet Pea designate their perfumes as botanical to indicate that only nature’s plant treasures – flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves, and aromatic woods – are used in creating their delicious scents.
All Velvet and Sweet Pea perfumes are created in a base of organic alcohol or beeswax (because the base comprises 65-95% of a perfume, all our perfumes are almost entirely organic). Laurie also uses as many organic, wildcrafted, and sustainably grown ingredients as possible in all her creations.
Songbird is available at Velvet and Sweet Pea. 8 ml for $185, 15 ml for $325, or 1 oz for $550.
In The Orange Blossoms by Hadley Hutton at etsy.
Posted by ~Trish
15 thoughts on “Velvet & Sweet Pea's Songbird”
Oh my. That sounds unbelievably delicious. Thanks for writing a review that almost made me believe I was wearing–and smelling–it.
Thank you so much! 🙂
Please let me know when your etsy shop is up and running. Your soaps look wonderful.
I LOVE Laurie’s creativity …her fragrances seem to be dreamed up with me in mind. And I appreciate her high standard of quality…that’s my kind of perfume!
Agreed! Very high quality and most creative. Songbird is going to be my next splurge 😉
I just happen to have a little sample of Songbird and dabbed a bit on just now — I love the vintage feel of it, and it diffuses beautifully off the skin. The spiced citrus is a real nose grabber! Laurie is one of my favorite perfumers as she perfectly captures the elegance and beauty of botanical perfumery.
Isn’t the orange super juicy and enticing?! I love it. I agree there’s a lovely vintage feel to Songbird, but in a sensual way.
I luuuuurve Laurie’s creations.
Songbird is beautiful.<3
I told her I wish I had a million dollars, I want all her perfumes.
They are soft, heady and made with the care the earth and creatures deserve. My Fir-Ever Young is almost gone, I only have a couple mls left of my dark green gem, I must get more for the winter! I also wish with all my being that I could get a hold of Honey, that stuff is decadent and rich and smells like sin! In the best and greatest way of course! ha.
Love you Laurie<3
Honey is outrageously gorgeous! I love it and wrote about it here:
So many V&SP beauties to choose from…..fingers crossed for that winning lottery ticket 🙂
Thank you so much Trish for your beautiful thoughts on “Songbird”! I’m honored that you even have your own name for it too! Lovely. The songbirds were singing madly outside my window during the months that I worked on it and I was listening to a lot of Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams, especially to Lucinda’s “Essence” song. “Songbird” is my favorite, and the one I wear most of the time, it always makes me feel great, and I love the richness of the first hit all the way to the drydown. And thanks deeply for the sweet comments!
You are so welcome Laurie! I am so glad you approve of my nickname for your gorgeous creation!
Thanks for sharing your inspiration behind “Songbird” 🙂
I don’t really have access to this range, but I remember reading someone say that they had found their HGS in Songbird, so ever since it has been on my radar! Which means my radar will continue to sweep – or whatever the appropriate verb is. : – )
Sweep, beep and leap!! I hope you get the chance to smell Songbird someday 🙂
This is a beautiful review. This sounds like a very interesting fragrance. I haven’t found a boronia fragrance to love even though I love their essence “in the wild” (botanical gardens). The dry-down of Songbird sounds very intriguing.
Thanks V, it’s a beautiful fragrance. If you ever find yourself in PDX please let me know, we’ll have a sniff-a-thon!
I wish I knew what boronia was. This post is a reminder to explore V&S’s sumptuous looking creations. Looking at her website, it’s obvious the perfumer’s a virtuoso. I adore the “vintage” packaging and the descriptions!