Perfume Review: Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille

 All in the Golden Afternoon

I am something of an SSS fangirl, with several of Laurie Erickson’s fragrances on my “favorites” list: Tabac Aurea, Champagne de Bois, Nostalgie, and Jour Ensoleille.  I know I’ve mentioned this one several times, especially since it came back into regular production after a slight reformulation in 2009.  But I’m wearing it again today from my tiny purse spray, and I think it’s awesome, and I notice that somehow I’ve never managed to do a full review.  So without further ado, here it is.

Jour Ensoleille (“Sunny Day”) is best described as a golden afternoon of a perfume.  From the SSS website:

Perfumer’s Comments: I was lucky to grow up in a rural area at the base of some beautiful wooded foothills. After school each day I spent my afternoons at a nearby barn riding horses and working until dark, and my favorite time of day was late afternoon when the setting sun created a beautiful golden glow on the hills in the distance and on the oaks all around me. Later on I lived in a more suburban environment and didn’t have that special view, but I still found places to see the golden afternoon light on the street trees out the windows. Now I’m back in a beautiful spot again and treasure the hills all the time, but the late afternoon light is still my favorite. Jour Ensoleille makes me think of that afternoon golden glow on the hills and oaks; it’s a happy scent for me.

The notes for Jour Ensoleille include: Orange blossom, neroli, tuberose, jasmine, beeswax absolute, labdanum absolute, myrrh, sandalwood, ambergris, vetiver, green leaves, oakmoss absolute.  (Laurie uses low-atranol oakmoss.)

 Jour Ensoleille opens up with a faint hit of camphory tuberose and a bit of green neroli, but suffusing the whole thing, beginning to end, is the golden veil of sandalwood and honeyed beeswax.  The orange blossom comes into focus briefly with a small soapy phase, and then we’re on to some really rich, thick, heady jasmine-jasmine-jasmine.  That sticks around for a good long time, and this fragrance is really anything but innocent.  I’m pegging the jasmine and beeswax as the culprits producing this animalic effect.   Eventually there is a little bit of a chypre vibe, what with the oakmoss-vetiver-labdanum in the base, but it’s heavier on labdanum than a lot of classic chypres are, and it reminds me more of the recreations of Coty Chypre than, say, Miss Dior, or even the re-release of Coty Chypre EdP in the 80s, which was a soft powdery oakmossy thing.  JE is never powdery.  

I see Jour Ensoleille as a golden glow around a nexus of jasmine, beeswax, sandalwood and labdanum, with the other notes being decorative accents.  It carries the nostalgic sweetness of summer coming to an end, or a beautiful day drawing to a close.  The fragrance tends to last about six hours or more on my skin, but despite its Big White Florals, doesn’t radiate much, instead simply enveloping the wearer in that golden glow.

All of the SSS fragrances are a fabulous deal, in terms of getting more than what you pay for.  They’re all parfum strength, and even with her new distribution arrangements (some scents are sold in boutiques in California, with some only available at the SSS website) and resulting small price hike, you can get an ounce of parfum (parfum!!) for the not-so-whopping price of $65.

Other reviews of Jour Ensoleille: March at Perfume Posse (with mini-reviews of several other SSS scents), Dee at BOTO, Dionne at BOTO, Olfactoria’s Travels, IndiePerfumes (mini-reviews), Parfumieren, and Suzanne at Eiderdown Press.  Elena of Perfume Shrine reviewed the original formulation.

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8 thoughts on “Perfume Review: Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille”

  1. JE certainly is exquisite. Not everyone gets the indolic/animalic aspect, so I’m glad to hear that I’m not alone in noticing it. And you’re so right about the beeswax — it’s such a gorgeous and prominent component of the fragrance.

    Lovely review, Mals. Thanks for the link.

    1. Thanks! It is pretty frankly indolic-skanky, but in such a delightful way. I mean, I can’t wear Patou Joy because of the Ho Panties Jasmine, but this I love. I have several friends who say that it smells like horses to them, but my experience of horseback riding is limited and I don’t get the reference.

      It was a delight to read your review as well; my thanks for reviewing it so beautifully.

  2. “…the nostalgic sweetness of summer coming to an end” Exactly. The first time I sniffed this, I thought: “September!” It reminded me of the beautiful late summer days we got when I lived in the Pacific NW. Another beautiful scent from SSS.

  3. Fascinating review, Mals. Your nose is far more discriminating than mine. I came home tonight and put on Jour Ensoleille to see if I could discern the notes you describe. It is symphonic to me, so seamlessly blended I don’t think I could list notes. Golden is a good color for it, and it never fails to make me smile. I agree that there is some skank or dirt beneath the florals, but in such a classic style. It is a grand perfume. Beautiful. I cannot imagine spraying it, though. A tiny dab of most SSS fragrances goes a long way. JE is massive on me, and I’d agree that it is not appropriate for my perfume hating office.

    Thanks for pointing me back to something beautiful. Laurie Erickson at SSS deserves praise for the work she creates. I’m glad writers like you can craft word images and possibly bring her works to a wider audience. Okay, that sounded silly, but you get the idea 😀 Be well.

    1. Oh, thanks very much!

      You’re right, JE is very classic, and even the naughty bits are in that classic vein. I don’t know that I could spray it from a big bottle, because it is so rich, but I have one of those 2.5 ml purse sprays and the atomizer is tiny.

      Laurie is a genius.

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