So.. what’s up with that new website thing, Patty? Surrender to Chance – Deconstructed

Hey, I’ll ask it so you polite friends don’t have to.Sweet Kiss

Of course there is a story, there always is, but the story belongs to the three people who, until recently, comprised TPC, and it’s far more boring than some of the wild speculation I’ve read so far.  I’m not going to go into any kind of detail or even generality except to say the decision to go our separate ways was made about three weeks ago after complete agreement by all three of us.  It became effective April 1, 2012.  We had differing visions, and going in two different directions was the best decision for all of us.  Diane is at TPC and will continue running that website and business as her own – the domain is registered under her name and belongs solely to her. Lisa and I have formed Surrender to Chance, which is furiously undergoing construction and should be open any day (psst, maybe Saturday????).

I almost never address speculation, it usually just makes me giggle because it’s so far off the mark, but reading some of the speculation was alarming.  If people start taking some of the speculation based on zero information as fact, it could be potentially harmful to any of the three parties who just want to go on their way and be left to pursue their dreams in peace. There was no coup or mutiny on anyone’s part –  all parties had full access to everything before and after we made the decision, there was no financial difficulty that brought it about.  Just to address the one thing that is getting speculatively painted as the most potentially Machiavellian – The TPC Facebook page that I set up for TPC and we had been using during our business partnership was to go dormant and only have news of the split and a link to our new pages, which it has, though that darn timeline thing refuses to bend to my will so I can make sure both of those are in the big boxes on the left. i know that looks bad, but Mark Zuckerberg has thwarted my every effort.  When some short period of time passes, the page will be deleted so no one is confused or misled, and that seemed the most fair thing to do for all of us since we all built the business together over five years.

I wish all three of us only the best as this chapter closes and we embark upon our next steps.  I hope all of you will too.

Now, the Skinny on Surrender to Chance:

I swear, I had no idea that anyone would pay much attention to our logo or think overly long or have much reaction about the choice of name. I mean, we beta tested that name over several bottles of wine in a tent in the Sahara, what could go wrong?  The name was originally intended for something else, which isn’t dead, just delayed for the time being, and when this change happened, we pressed it into service. Not saying that we have any comparison to Apple, but if I had been around when Jobs decided Apple was a good name for a computer company, along with a half-eaten apple as a logo, I would have felt really silly today (clutching iPhone, IPad, MacBook Air to chest).  But then I think, well, Edsel.  Could go either way, but I think a teeny perfume sample company can probably survive a poor choice of logo or name.  We, of course, reserve the right to tweak the logo in all sorts of bizarre ways – one of which will be a contest in our grand opening. You’ll see, stay tuned.    

Why the name?  Surrender to Chance is not just a name for us – it is deeply personal and reflects our life view and view of perfume.

Life is a careening adventure that, despite all of our most fervent wishes, we have zero control over.  Realizing you have no control isn’t easy, and most people will refuse to accept they don’t except for the tiny moment in life – usually a death or accident or other loss- when they get banged over the head with it, but go right back to fighting it as soon as the crisis is over.  Life becomes just one long series of battles that, even when you win, you lose.

I’ve posted about my trip to India before, but my experience there was life-changing.  I lived among people who shop daily or even meal by meal, if they have money, for food, who plan not too far in the future, who see time as some endless continuum where everything that really needs to get done will be done, which is unsettling and not just a little infuriating when you are trying to get a straight answer on when you can expect the taxi.They flow through their life, surrendering to all the things they can’t control and spending no time in worry about those uncontrollable things.  Surrender has no negative connotations for me, I will always fight for the things that matter and that I can have some impact on, but I try to not spend more than a second on worry and stress and trying to control the outcome of life.

On my right wrist is the word “Surrender” tattooed in Berber, to remind me that surrender is not a negative – it is not giving up or giving in, it is the strength to know I only control my reaction and action, I control nothing of what happens beyond my personal borders.

Our trip to Morocco was amazing, but almost from the moment we stepped foot in Casablanca, everything that happened to us was complete Chance.  All four of us, upon the first random offer of doing something completely different than we had planned, just looked at each other, laughed, and said, let’s go with it.  We let Chance take us where it would, and where it took us was far better than our original plans.  The morning we sat on the sand dune in the Sahara, after our camel ride in the morning dark with the sun peeping over the horizon, we talked about it and what it meant and how much we would have missed if we had tried to “stay with the plan.”  It wasn’t just Chance that took us, it was all of us Surrendering to it, not fighting the direction life had offered us.

Surrender to Chance is not about waving the white flag – it is about slipping into the ocean of life and floating with a big smile on your face until you see the big whale come by who beckons you to take a Chance and crawl on its back for the Unknown Adventure.  It is not about giving up or careless choosing.

I have “Chance” tattooed on my left wrist in Berber to remind me that a life lived in safety is no life at all. 

All of you that have read here for any time know how we feel about perfume – it is fun!!!  It’s an adventure, it’s sniffing the stuff called “Humanity” that leaks through seven plastic bags and two padded mailers in horrid fascination that makes us laugh and run to our computer to share it with you.  There is a world out there beyond our little perfumista community that thinks perfume in the department stores comprises the extent of perfumery. We all know that’s not right, but most of the world doesn’t know that.  We want to pull that world into ours, encourage them to try something new, to expand their view of what is “perfume” to those “once-odd now-normal” scents known as Sables and MKK.

There was a question or comment about our tagline, which we haven’t completely decided on and are still re-working –   Just Perfume.  No Pressure – and how there isn’t any pressure in perfumista-ville. Again, I agree.  I cannot imagine Franco at Luckyscent spritzing anyone without their consent and over their howling protests.  But I have experienced that approach in what most of the world uses as a perfume counter – department stores – along with the assurances that whatever scent you got sprayed with is perfect and smells divine on you and everyone is wearing it. I still remember that gauntlet at Bendel’s March and me ran through about six times during our first and only Sniffa  We love the perfumista community, but that’s not the only customer we want. We want the people who are driving perfume sales because they buy the thing on the billboard and the big ad campaign. We want them to try our world, explore it, find the classics, the fun, the romance, the adventure of finding something they love, and then maybe mainstream perfumes will get more interesting, more random, more adventurous.

Or maybe not.  But it will be fun to try.  We’ll be up and running in a day or three – come by and see us, let us know what you think.  It’s a work in progress and we’d love to get your opinions! Well, okay, I really do mean that!!  Right now I’m a little stressed with all the things that still have to be done so sometimes hearing opinions and speculation that kinda trash what we’ve done so far adds a wee bit more stress and some prickliness, but so many of you have sent nice comments about the logo and the name, and I thank you for that.  I’m guessing some hate it, some love it, some just wish we’d get open. I’m with the third group.

 And yes!!  if you have a cute, clever tag line that summarizes what we do – using the words, perfume, decant, sample – we are all ears.  So far we are coming up empty on the cute and resorting to the straightforward.  Anyone that can come up with the perfect thing would be my personal hero and might find themselves the recipient of a very generous first-ever-issued StoC gift certificate.

So let’s chat about …whatever!  We are really excited about this, and I hope you will be too!

  • solanace says:

    I only wish Surrender to chance would ship to Brazil…

  • Miguel says:

    While the split maybe amicable, the way it was done seems disturbing. I don’t think that you should air your dirty laundry, but the facebook page issue and email list seem to be an issue of contention looking from the outside. No value in presenting that as an agreed on decision or imply that it was. I actually un-subscribed from both mailing lists. I am fortunate enough to be close to a major city.

    • tsetse says:

      I have to agree. I don’t know what the speculation has been, but the emails from TPC and STC alone have been enough to make the above explanation seem awfully disingenuous.

      • Patty says:

        Like I said, everything has a story. My choice has been to keep that story private. That we all agreed to go our separate ways is a fact – someone asks for it,and the other two agree that’s the best thing. It leaves me confused by other public communications that seem to imply the opposite. So I guess it does look weird, given those communications, but it wasn’t disingenuous.

        You hope things will go smoothly, but I never got rich predicting human behavior, and so… well, that’s all, I’m still not going into it.

  • Joanna Grammon says:

    I am a customer (chump change, really, but it has resulted in a small shelf lined with little glass bottles as well a few happy gift recipients with newly satisfied fragrance yearnings). I don’t care how the split came about as long as I can still find my favorite iris, bergamot and vetivert notes when I can afford to indulge.
    A thought: I would love to see the Berber tattoo. I’ll bet it is quite special. It might be an evocative motif or logo.

  • Elizabeth Watson says:

    Great post, thanks for this. I do hope the trolls on BN will just go away now.
    Best of luck to you and
    Sample on!

  • Great job on the new site, great look, and what must have been an enormous amount of work putting it together!

  • Lala says:

    The new site looks so bright and cheerful, and the rewards for reviews feature is a great idea. Now, if you could just hook me up with a decant of Mohur, life would be perfect.

  • Madison says:


  • Kismet says:

    I second the comments above– I love the idea of another source for samples and decants–best of luck!

    Suggested tagline:

    Surrender To Chance
    Sample the fragrance of your future

  • Sujaan says:

    Wow! I love all the commotion in this little corner of the universe! Even more, I love your description and your depth. This reads like a self help guide to life! Thank you for your inspired outlook.
    I admit, I too was someone who was initially confused by the name. Now I am completely on board. I did read through the suggestions above. I really liked what Tanya offered. I had been thinking along those lines myself. I like the word “explore” and it feels integral to what you’re trying to convey, both in your philosophy and on your site. My tag line offering is: “Perfume decants and samples…explore our world.” I am certainly no marketing person, and I’m also a newbie perfumista, so take anything I’ve said with a very large grain of salt. ???? I am looking forward to the new store!

  • Warum says:

    Thank you for telling the story of surrender to chance!

    I usually do not talk much about the matters that are none of my business, but after I read the story, your vision for the business, and your request for captions, I actually have something to say.

    What’s the point on settling on one perfume which isn’t something that you absolutely love?
    Explore the treasures that the perfume world has to offer, a bouquet of samples at a time.
    Surrender to chance and MAKE YOUR CHOICES!

    I am atrocious at short logos, since I write and think in long sentences, but that’s the general idea. I hope I understood the vision.

  • Lala says:

    I can’t wait to see what STC is all about, and I wanted to remind you guys that there are still people out there (like me) who don’t use Facebook. So please, post a link here as well so that we’re not left out. Thanks!

  • Jayne58 says:

    Sorry for being impolite. I have no right to answers, I know, but you guys have come to mean quite a lot to quite a lot of us. I got quite worried for a while there but now feel nicely reassured that all is well and you are all safe and sound (and have had all your jabs and packed your thermal underwear and are ready for your new adventure).

  • ayotunde adekaiyero says:

    Wishing you ladies success keep decanting and creating unique undiluted fragrance to beautify the world. I will be supporting the three of you!

  • Tom says:

    I’m glad you’re all doing well. I’m going through a transition and trying to “Surrender to Chance” as much as I can since I know from experience that I can try to guide my life but I am not in control. None of us are.

    My measly suggestion for a tagline?

    Sample, life.

  • nozknoz says:

    Best wishes to all three of you. Without The Perfumed Court, I would never have been able to explore perfume, and I’m relieved to learn that it will continue. Now it will be great fun to see how Surrender to Chance unfolds!

  • Musette says:

    I love how you beta-tested the name, btw!!!

    More beta-testing for everyone!!!


  • Erin Miller says:

    Kudos to how you have addressed the rumors. Your logo is wonderful and I love that the name has special meaning! The Crushed Violet name was years in the making, and also has a special place for me, so I understand what you mean. All the best to all three of you. May we all have a joyful, fragrant future!

  • kizzers says:

    Over the last few years I’ve learned to accept change and just ‘go with it’ 🙂
    So when I saw the FB posts about the new website, the backstory never even crossed my mind. I just got excited that things were changing, and thought the new logo was charming and pretty, and got more excited about working on a new decant wishlist.

    Change is good. And I can’t wait to see what it brings to both TPC and STC, and I wish all of you guys the very best!

  • Tanya says:

    Hi there,
    Good luck and best wishes with the new venture! (raises tortured credit card)
    I woke at 3 am with this:

    Perfume decants

    explore, experience, discover yourself

    And it would be good to have STC shaped inside your perfume bottles in the logo and specifically, for the labeling 🙂
    Love the colors.
    Looking forward to the launch.
    Warm regards, Tanya.

  • Tanya says:

    Hi there,
    Good luck and best wishes with the new venture! (raises tortured credit card)
    I woke at 3 am with this:

    Perfume decants

    explore, experience, discover yourself

    And it would be good to have STC shaped inside your right side perfume bottle for the logo and labeling 🙂
    Love the colors.
    Looking forward to the launch.
    Warm regards, Tanya.

  • tammy says:

    I think you should start a combination travel and perfume decanting company called Scented Journeys. You could plan cool trips for people with or without a perfume tie in, and still sell decants and samples. I think you’d be awesome at planning the trips for folks who are willing to surrender to your experience and visions!

    Or just keep the very cool Surrender to Chance name and let your tag be Scented Journeys.

  • Lisa D says:

    I’m very happy to hear that you’re going in a new direction – that’s always exciting, I think. The new logo is just lovely.

    Best of luck in this endeavor!

  • Janice says:

    Best of luck! I can’t wait to see the new site.

    Just chiming in with what others have said in favor of the logo—I think it’s very pretty and fits well with the concept.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Hi Patty, Like others I am glad everything was mutually decided. Your new logo is lovely and I very much like the philosophy behind the name. How about a tag line of Perfume Your Possibilities- Samples and Decants of Fine Fragance? Or something on those lines. Best of luck for the new venture and I am looking forward to your opening! :Happy-Grin:

  • Antje says:

    Congratulations and best of luck!
    There was wild speculation? I had no idea. I guess I have to come out from under this rock.

  • mals86 says:

    Thanks for the update, and I’m glad to hear that there are no lingering hard feelings. Best wishes to all parties.

    I will comment that, considered as a name for a perfume-decant-and-sample company, Surrender to Chance is a little confusing. Considered as a philosophy and a life endeavor, it isn’t – rather, it’s lovely. It’s possible that the name may pull in people who wouldn’t otherwise notice you, and I am all for More Perfumista-dom. And how are you gonna keep them down at the mall, once they’ve smelled Paree?

  • maggiecat says:

    I’m excited about the new site – there’s plenty of room for everyone, I think! Sites like TPC and TPP have allowed me to explore the world of perfume in a way I could never have managed – or afforded to – before – and I wish you all much success and many blessings!

  • OperaFan says:

    Best wishes to all of you, Patty. I have no opinion about the name or the tagline, but I do find the logo awfully pretty. It’s bright and cheerful.

    Thanks for taking the time to post this and for the wonderful backstory.


  • Mimi Gardenia says:

    Firstly, all the very best with the new site and may you all have the success you deserve. 🙂
    Secondly, many thanks for ending the speculation which got tiresome.

    I look forward to the new website ! I love what you wrote and ‘surrender’ and chance’ .
    Many hugs and all the very very best. 🙂

  • Ann says:

    Thanks, Patty, for explaining everything. Happy to hear, as someone else said, that all parties are moving forward with class and professionalism. Hope the launch goes great!

  • SilviaFunkly says:

    Best of luck Patty, more choice is always a good thing in my books.

    Re the tag line, my brain is refusing to engage at the moment, but I’ll think it over the long w-e and let you know if anything decent comes out of the Easter egg.

  • Musette says:

    Thanks for posting this! Now folks can Keep Calm and Keep Sampling!

    xo >-) (gimme my ALIEN back!)

    • Timbit says:

      Patty, Your story will have me thinking all day today. I love your expanded explanation of the meaning behind “Surrender to Chance” – so true, and so easy to forget in the midst of everyday everythings. Thanks!

      Your story, and Musette’s evocation of the Keep Calm and Carry On slogan are now wedged together in my brain – Keep Calm and Carry Perfume.

      • Patty White says:

        Oh, how fun is that!!! right now we are in love with Tom’s Sample, Life tagline, but we think we may wind up with several of these that people have given us today – y’all are so darn clever and creative! – on the website, either rotating or placed on pages.

        I think all businesses have to have a clear idea of what they are, what they believe, where they are going. You can’t just open a business to make money. Anyone who does that will ultimately fail because it will be just work or just money.

        We still have a LOT of work to do on the website, even though probably opening today, and i really want to bring in that sense of discovery and exploration in every way. It just takes a lot of programming time that we don’t have right this second, but we will keep adding and going in that direction all the time. We do sell samples and decants, but that’s just a vehicle for the journey.

      • Madison says:

        Ha ha love that. Be happy, wear perfume

    • tammy says:

      Keep Calm and Sample On, so to speak !

    • Patty White says:

      Well, yeah, baby!

      Why don’t you click on the Zaaza thing below and get yourself an emoticon, Miss Thing? :Happy-Grin:

  • jen says:

    Thank you for addressing this and maybe everyone will stop the silly talk. Why speculate with zero info to go on? Besides, it’s none of MY business – I know that much. 🙂

    What I am glad to know: this was all a mutual decision and everyone’s moving on with class and a professional demeanor. That’s all I care about. And that I can still get samples. lol

    Good luck with the crazy rush to complete things. Can’t wait to see the new set-up. Your stories are inspiring! I now have added travel plans to my perfume wish list. 😉


    • Patty White says:

      Thanks, Jen! I think it’s just human nature. And the perfume community is small and a lot of people know one or more of us personally. I don’t mind people speculating or guessing, but it was getting a little out of hand in some spots!

      Traveling and perfume go together. If I were a good detail person or travel agent, I’d totally arrange some bizarre adventures just to sniff stuff and see if I couldn’t drag some more people along with me, but things go awry a lot, so I’d only take people who could hang and would laugh when the response to “where can we stay tonight?” is “just knock on someone’s door, they’ll let you stay.”

  • carlene says:

    What a great post to read first thing this morning! I’m excited for you, and tomorrow’s payday!

  • Great post and backstory, Patty. Very best of luck to you and Surrender to Chance. Can’t wait to see the new website. The logo’s very pretty.