Provision Scents: American Perfumer Interviews

Hi there Posse. Recently I introduced you all to a new business called American Perfumer. The name says it all. Independent Artisan American Perfumers being put on display so you can find a large selection of them in one spot. Genius! From that initial post I was inspired to meet some of the people behind the perfume brands that are for sale at American Perfumer. They all get the same 10 questions so we can see how they differ and how they are similar. After I will give you a quick review of one or two of their perfumes. Today let’s meet Sherri Sebastian of Provision Scents

Provision Scents: American Perfumer Interviews

Provision Scents

What do you recall of your families fragrances as you grew up?

My early scent memories revolve around shampoo, soap, dish liquid, and laundry detergent. My favorite shampoo scents were Body on Tap, Pert, and Finesse, and for soap I loved the scent of Tone and Neutrogena Rain Bath.

Where is your dream vacation spot?

A year ago I would have chosen a tropical beach. Right now it’s a staycation in my own home. The thought of having a perfectly clean house, all of the laundry and dishes done, a refrigerator full of organic food, clean sheets, and a few good books sounds like heaven to me!

How do you like to start your day?

I like to start my day by setting peaceful intentions. After my husband brings me coffee in bed, I meditate for 30 minutes, then begin smelling blotter dry downs from the previous day. After setting a solid foundation I am ready to move through my day with an inner calm that guides me.

Tell us about your life, family, business or career before perfume?

I don’t remember a time before “perfume.” Growing up in the country, outside Pittsburgh, I was an average American girl, dreaming of a family, career, and the adventures that laid ahead of me. My interest in scent began at an early age when I began wearing deodorant to bed and Love’s Baby Soft to start my day. While my cousins played outside, the women drank coffee in the kitchen, and the men watched sports on tv you could find me sitting on the front porch filing my nails and reading Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines.

As a teenager, my bedroom was a shrine to perfume, with posters of Paris and Versailles on my wall, a mirrored golden tray filled with designer fragrances and my stereo with my latest music obsessions. Back then (in the 80s) it was AC/DC, Styx, Iron Maiden, and Van Halen. Later, in college, I followed the Grateful Dead for a few months, collecting oils I bought at various shows. I still have a bottle from a show in 1989. I started working in the industry when I was 22 years old.

How did you find yourself in perfumery?

I took a circuitous route to get here, especially since I didn’t grow up in the industry or even know the industry existed. After earning a degree in Food Science from Penn State, I apprenticed with a sixth generation wine maker in Europe, where my interest in aromatic composition was piqued. When I returned, I landed a job at a Brooklyn flavor house as an apprentice flavor chemist, where I worked for two and a half years. Once I realized the flavor and fragrance industries were connected, I turned my sights to perfumery and was ultimately offered the opportunity to apprentice to a master perfumer.

What is your favourite perfume note and why?

I gravitate towards amber notes. I’m not sure why, but I suspect it’s because of their grounding and sensual effect.

How did you decide on your company’s name, what is its relevance?

My company, Sebastian Signs, was named after my grandfather’s sign business. I grew up watching him work in his shop, which was a converted bowling alley where he made neon signs. My latest brand, Provision, was born out of my desire to provide all you need to move through your day with luxurious products infused with purpose-driven scents.

What was the last novel or biography you read (current if appropriate)?

The Untethered Soul, by Michael A. Singer.

Hypothetically: If you had to pick a Signature Perfume that you didn’t create, what and why?

I’ve always loved Feminte du Bois by Shiseido. It’s a unique combination of woods, ambers and a nice herbaceous facet perfectly embedded in this otherwise woody composition, it’s just really well done. Also, unlike many commercially popular fragrances, it hasn’t been copied too much so I haven’t seen it showing up in candles, shampoos or bottles with other names, which keeps it special.

Who are your fragrant heroes?

All of the people behind the scenes who spend countless hours and dedicate themselves to the practice, working to create new accords—the true “makers.” Their work is often co-opted by marketers, sales people, and creative directors. I admire the people who simply do the work that others can’t.

 

Thanks Sherri for letting us see a little into your head and heart.

You can buy Provision Scents from American Perfumer

Provision Scents

 

Las Flores by Provision Scents

Las Flores Notes: Orange flower absolute, elemi, canyon air accord, marine nuances, hints of amber

Imagine wearing an orange blossom scent at the beach on a warm day in Autumn. You are rigged up and cozy warm, the breeze is carrying the salty sea smell to you and your scarf has remnants of your favourite amber fragrance on it. Sherri has a deft hand with nuance and it shows beautifully in this briny white floral that warms through to rich dappled amber sunlight.

Resonance by Provision Scents

Resonance Notes:  Cork absolute, vanilla absolute, Spanish labdanum, olibanum, and amber

This is by far my favourite of the two. The resins are deep and honeyed, so animalic and richly sweet. Even in the sticky heat of Sydney summer this wears amazingly well, not overpowering but fragrant and smooth. Modern but with an old school luxurious twist. I am loving the way this smells on me and you can see in the pic I have worn it more than triple Las Flores.

Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies

18 Comments

  1. These sound lovely – thank you. Would love to try both of them…..are samples available? Didn’t see that on the site. Thanks!

    • Samples are not available yet Lemoncake,
      I’ve just eMailed Dave who owns it to tell him to start. You’d have to pay but at least you could test.
      Portia xx

  2. I can’t. I shouldn’t. Canyon air accord? Cork absolute? ? I think I’ve lost my peaceful intentions and inner calm ?
    Thanks for the review, Portia!
    Wonder if I’m banned from APJ now. I hope not ?

    • HA! You’re amusing Marcella,
      Canyon Air Accord would be a group of ingredients arranged to remind of a canyon I reckon. Does cork tree have an absolute? Kinda cool if it did.
      Naah, not banned.
      Portia x

  3. These interviews are wonderful Portia! Sherri Sebastian and her Provision Scents sound amazing. I’m glad to be introduced to both. I love how Sherri begins her day with peaceful intentions and that American Perfumer features all these wonderful perfumers. I’d really like to sample Las Flores and Resonance after reading your review, and love Sherri’s concept of enhancing your daily journey with scent. Samples are available on her website.as a discovery trio.

    • Thanks Kathleen,
      Yeah, Sherri reads like the real deal, I loved that morning ritual too. 100% here for ritual, with my RC upbringing.
      Thanks for the tip on the samples.
      Portia xx

  4. Hello! Thank you Portia for this lovely review. I like how you really “got” Las Flores by mentioning the marine nuances. I really did make this to capture the air in the Malibu canyon (Las Flores) after which is was named. They dry down of Resonance is wonderful–I’m so happy it’s your favorite. Thanks to everyone for your feedback–love hearing the comments. And yes samples are available online–or email me anytime.

    • WOW! Sherri! Thanks for dropping in. It was a pleasure testing your fragrances, you are clever with scent.
      Good luck with the American Perfumer crew, I’m hoping it really takes off for you all.
      Wishing you a safe and joyful holiday period and 2019.
      Portia xx

      • You’re welcome and thank you Portia! I love what your’e doing and excited about American Perfumer, too. Here’s to our collective growth and abundance to everyone in 2019!

  5. I trust that Sherri will accept my genuine apology. Ms. Sebastian, my comments of this morning were not warranted and for this, I apologize. I had no right to make merry of anything you said. I could blame it on being, occasionally, a cranky old bat, but that only serves to diminish my rudeness.
    It is painfully clear that I should be the one setting kinder intentions. I wish you every success in your business. If you happen to check in here, I hope that you will read my apology and know that it was sincerely given.

    • Hi Marcella, Thanks for your note, but not to worry, apology accepted! I personally try to steer away from overly “creative” descriptives with my fragrances, preferring the real experience over words. Re: the “Canyon Air accord”–a combination of dry ambers and resinous woods–I just thought the name captured the actual scent so perfectly. And cork absolute is literally an ingredient –the extract from a variety of trees that grow in Spain. Wild!

  6. Portia, I’ve been following this series with great interest! My bfffe (you met her in Chicago) just moved to KY and Louisville is (sorta) on the way from me to her – I can’t wait to stop in at this intriguing shop – it’s a GREAT idea – and I hope it’ll be super-successful! Thanks for touting it! xoxoxo (and Hippo Hollerdays Two Ewes to you and Jin) xoxoxoxo

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