Liz Zorn’s SOIVOHLE: reviewing the uber-niche

Hi Everyone,

I hope this finds you happy and well but if not, remember; It gets BETTER.
Recently I came across an interesting niche perfume company. I can’t remember where I heard or read the name but I was intrigued. Googling today I couldn’t find anyone in my blog reader list who’d written about SOIVOHLE and now I’m completely flumoxed. When I wrote to Liz Zorn the ranges creator I mentioned Muse In Wooden Shoes but now I can’t find the pithy intro about how they have the best named fragrances of all time, interesting new potions etc etc. If you were the person that put me onto this crew; Thank You! Seriously, I went and purchased smallish sprays of Harbinger and Rose Sur Reuse and am gasping at the contradictions in one and the divine, must wear it again, can a fragrance really smell this good-ness of the other. (So update- I found the piece and if you click Muse In Wooden Shoes you can read it)

SOIVOHLE = Sending Out Inspired Vibrations Of Healthy Loving Energy (pronounced See-Vo)

Liz Zorn the creative genius behind the SOIVOHLE range describes herself and her motivations on the website thus:

“I have always been somewhat of a dreamer, the old saying I suppose, that artists live in their heads. I am no exception, if I were not constantly mulling over ideas about my next project, I might be able to get to that Zen place everyone raves so much about. In the moment, I can do that. For an artist it is the process or being in the creative zone. A place where the intangible becomes tangible. Where ideas (the head stuff) gets worked out in real time. I can not remember a time in my life when I was not on a mission. I am a purpose driven individual. A pragmatist that lives in her head. A practical dreamer.

Columbine: Liz Zorn 2000 from

Liz Zorn comes from a fine arts background, is a poet, painter, photographer, songwriter, is featured in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Women. As if that’s not enough for one lifetime, now Liz is conquering the fragrance world with delicious, confrontational, sparkling and story filled scents, some of them all four at once.

Liz uses both natural and synthetic ingredients in her fragrances, in many the naturals are alone, in mixed media compositions synthetics are blended with naturals. Currently she is having to add all the IFRA restricted ingredients to her labels so you can make your own choices.

Rose Sur Reuse: Eau de Toilette

Roses are ubiquitous in fragrance, like musk, bergamot, orange blossom and patchouli. Roses are also hard. It is hard for me to like a rose fragrance although when I say that there are a few in my library (No 5, Shalimar, Samsara, Rush, Dreamer, Tresor, Fracas and others) and mostly they are old favourites revisited regularly, but none of these feel like a rose soliflor. I know it’s Rose and Tuberose but for me the rose is way on top throughout the lifespan of Rose Sur Reuse. This is an intoxicating fragrance; warm, boozy and musty it springs to life warming on my skin to a symphonic boom. It is a gentle but pervasive scent. Every now and then as I move a rush of spicy gorgeous bursts from my top and surprises me with its rich and voluptuous tapestry of roses. It’s a changing, never cloying or too rose-ish, fragrance that dances along beside you for around 5 hours when it dries down to a whisper of the orient. This is as FBW as a scent can get. Liz and her crew tried for an all weather rose scent and I think they’ve found it, this was released in 2012 so you’ll be the first person you know with Rose Sur Reuse. To me, a very accessible fragrance that fills a void I never thought I would have. Rose Sur Reuse notes are intense roses and tuberose, black raspberry accord, cinnamon, cloves, violet and a light oriental base.

Harbinger: Mixed Media Demi Absolute (18-22% concentration)

I am surprised that my assessment of Harbinger as a perfume of contradictions is exactly what the website says (moment to huff on nails and buff on jumper) in its opening gambit. Maybe I remembered from buying. This is a grown up scent that I think is currently beyond my ken as a baby perfumista. I don’t particularly like the slightly fetid smell of the sea in this fragrance, it’s a little bit like summer yabbying on the salty mudflats of my childhood in Coal & Candle Creek, is this cumin? The Muse In Wooden Shoes says it smells dirty and sexy but I don’t get it. I think I’m missing a major point though. I cooked with cumin tonight for dinner and it didn’t smell like this in the Tupperware or pan. I will come back to this bottle and try it again in a while. I do love its journey, there is a sweetness and lightness about Harbinger that I enjoy but like its name I feel that there is another scent coming that does not seem to appear on my skin. The notes on the site list cumin, honey absolute, white roses, Saigon cinnamon, ripe peaches, white orchid, roasted coffee beans, caramel, labdanum absolute, radiant musk accord and SOIVOHLE’s own Chypre base. (These notes sound more like Tobacco & Tulle smells, it’s like they were mixed up) Interestingly, Fragrantica doesn’t mention cumin but has caraway instead. This fragrance is tenacious, nearly 12 hours and still powering away in a softer, less invasive way but I am still not loving it.

Tobacco & Tulle: Natural Absolute extract (30-50% concentration)

This is a delicious wonder, it smells like fresh, hot, buttered raisin toast to me; quite close to apple crumble. I can’t believe these notes give such a fruit, yeasty, cinnamon, buttered and toasted, almost a burnt, scent. Warm, cosy and inviting but with some darkness and depth underlying, notes include tobacco absolute, tuberose absolute, earthy natual musk from hyrax tincture and ambergris. This is a showstopper of a fragrance, I used the merest dab from a sample wand and it has filled my senses to overflowing with deliciousness. I probably used too little but Tobacco & Tulle was gone after 4 hours with no traces left. I will try it again soon and edit this post if more juice equals more staying power.

OK update, yes I had too little perfume for my perfume hungry skin. Using more gives me lasting power around 5-6 hours before I lose all sense of it.

Rivertown Road: Absolute Pour Homme

A sample vial of Rivertown Road was my Free Gift with purchase. The spiel says inspired by rivers, river towns and river people. Headstrong, Independant and Proud! It rides the fence between Chypre and Fougere.
It is a warm lusty fragrance that speaks to me of river towns in Vietnam, Thailand and India, especially the Kerala riverboat adventures. It’s almost like the Indian fragrance oils. So many flowers, leaves, twigs and spices all in one place, it is hyper fragrance for fearless adventurers. Bold and bright, Rivertown Road burns an indelible trace across my memory rewriting much that has gone before. The notes on the site read like a roll call of everything ever put into a fragrance
Opening Notes: French Lavender, Dominican Bay, Key Lime, Bergamot
Heart Notes: Dry White Violet, Seville Lavender Absolute, Jasmine Sambac, Green Roses, Saigon Cinnamon, Mimosa Absolute, Tobacco Absolute, Carnation Accord, Foin Coupe (mown hay) Absolute,  Tonka Bean Tincture
Base Notes: Tolu Essence, Animalic Musk, Cedar Wood Oil, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Haitian Vetiver, Beach Ambergris, Liquidambar, Nutmeg Absolute, Oakmoss Accord, Aged Patchouli

You want to try this fabulous crew? Click> SOIVOHLE and it will take you to the Home Page.

Thanks for reading all the way. It was a long one today.

Much love,

Portia xx

PS All pictures from the SOIVOHLE site

6 comments on “Liz Zorn’s SOIVOHLE: reviewing the uber-niche

  1. Dionne says:

    I recently tried my very first Soivohle, Lilacs and Heliotrope. My goodness, it is a beautiful thing. More lilacs than heliotrope, but the most natural-smalling, lush lilac I’ve ever encountered.

  2. […] have been able to interview some astonishing people who are also perfumers. We have previously done a story on SOIVOHLE << hit the jump and find a history and some […]

  3. […] we talked to the amazing Liz Zorn of SOIVOHLE, (pronounced See-Voh) previously we did a story on SOIVOHLE and last week looked at Wild Ginger Chai. Today we are going to look at some more of the fragrances […]

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