“Notes from the Lab” Part 4: Debunking Fragrance Myths

Posted in Contributor Series by

My new monthly contributor series on award-winning perfume blog, ÇaFleureBon called “Notes from the Lab” continues this month with the topic “Debunking Fragrance Myths”. Below is an excerpt, for the full article head on over to ÇaFleureBon here.

After many years of working as a perfumer, writing formulas has become second nature to me. I find it to be calming and therapeutic. When I hear “experts” talking about fragrances—their notes, the latest status of “naturals,” ingredient labelling, niche vs. artisans— my mind wanders back to my formulas.

Read more…

October 28, 2017

“Notes from the Lab” Part 3: Fragrance Descriptions ~What’s “Real” in a Fantasy World?

Posted in Contributor Series by

My new monthly contributor series on award-winning perfume blog, ÇaFleureBon called “Notes from the Lab” continues this month with the topic “Fragrance Descriptions~What’s Real in a Fantasy World?”. Below is an excerpt, for the full article head on over to ÇaFleureBon here.

Despite the growing trend in beauty towards ingredient transparency, one area that remains a mystery is fragrance descriptions. To be clear, fragrance descriptions are not ingredient listings, but instead subjective interpretations of a scent profile.

Read more…

September 23, 2017

Take me to Chicago!

I was recently honored to have been selected by the Chicago Women in Flavor & Fragrance Commerce (WFFC) and the Midwest Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) to speak on the topic of “Creating Natural Experiences Through Fragrance” at an event in Chicago, IL.  Perfumer & Flavorist published some highlights from the event here.

Here is an excerpt from their article:

A “Sense” of History During her presentation, Sebastian played three iconic commercials from three iconic brands that aired in the ’70s and ’80s. During the commercials, attendees smelled three jars and tried to match the scent to the commercial. Scents included Finesse shampoo, Jean Nate by Revlon Body Splash and Charlie by Revlon perfume.

“As style changes so does fragrance,” she said. “In the 1980s, scents were bold, like Poison and Passion. In the 1990s, scents had clean lines and were sheer, like CK1.”

Now, as consumers demand sustainable, organic and natural products, new trends are forging forwards.

“During my 24 years as a perfumer, I estimated that I’ve personally written 30,000 formulas,” said Sebastian. “That’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears; however, what I’ve kept with me are the experiences and those tangible memories the consumers will have.”


It was a great night mingling with old friends and making new ones. The best part was seeing peoples reactions to the commercials.  You couldn’t help but feel inspired by the energy of these iconic images and jingles. Most people were able to easily match each ‘mystery’ scent to the commercial, which accomplished my goal of steering people away from thinking and instead to feeling a fragrance .

One of the best things about working in the fragrance industry for many years, I believe, is having the chance to influence and enhance the every day experience of so many people with scent.

Almost everyone call recall a ‘scent memory’ from their past.  For me, the smell of lilac instantly transports me to my grandmother’s house as a young girl. The scent of horses and bales of hay will forever take me to my childhood in Pittsburgh, growing up on a farm.  Today, the scent of wild jasmin and smoked wood reminds me of my home in Southern California.

Following are the commercials I played. As a teen I didn’t realize how fantastic they were and that the way fragrances were portrayed in coming years would change so drastically.

Jean Nate
Finesse (Do you recognize the actress in this one?)

When it’s all said and done and our perfume bottles are empty, the memories attached to the scent are what lives on.  Over the years I’ve always remained mindful of this when working with clients to develop a new ‘experience’.

September 15, 2017

“Notes from the Lab” Part 2: Fragrance Innovation vs. Duplication

Posted in Contributor Series by

My new monthly contributor series on award-winning perfume blog, ÇaFleureBon called “Notes from the Lab” continues this month with the topic “Fragrance Innovation vs. Duplication”. Below is an excerpt, for the full article head on over to ÇaFleureBon here.

Perfumery today has become a rapidly expanding culture of analyzing and copying existing fragrances. Although analytical instrumentation may have overridden the need for patience, it hasn’t replaced the deep understanding necessary to truly innovate. Slick marketing campaigns are designed to make existing fragrances seem new and exciting, but a discerning nose isn’t fooled by pretty packaging and a cleverly worded campaign.

Read more…

August 19, 2017

‘Notes From the Lab”: My New Monthly Contributor Series on Award-Winning Perfume Blog, ÇaFleureBon

Posted in Contributor Series by
CaFleureBon Perfume Blog Contributor Series "Notes From the Lab" - Sherri Sebastian, Perfumer

I’m really excited to announce my new monthly contributor series on ÇaFleureBon called “Notes from the Lab”. I’ll be taking readers behind the scenes to gain a deeper understanding about fragrance notes and ingredients on this award-winning perfume blog.

“We begin a new monthly series “Notes From The Lab” with Sherri Sebastian who has a seat on the board of directors of American Society of Perfumers. Sherri has spent 24 years as a professional perfumer. Sherri shares her knowledge and will explore different topics. Today we focus on Musk, “I have an appreciation of the importance of musk today. They can dominate, or take a subtle back seat. They also have the ability to push top notes. For instance, someone might say, ‘This is the best citrus scent!’ not realizing that it’s a precisely chosen musk, added at an exact percentage that enhances the citrus characteristic.” – Michelyn Camen, Founder, CaFleureBon

Read more…

July 21, 2017

Meet The Makeup Blogger’s New MVP: Align Ultimate Face Oil

Posted in Brands, Press, Provision by

Many thanks to celebrity makeup artist Kim Do aka The Makeup Blogger for including my Provision  Align Ultimate Face Oil in your story “Are These Facial Oils Really Worth the Hype?” and declaring it to be a new skincare MVP that is indeed worth the hype!

Here is the excerpt about Align:

I discovered Provision Align Ultimate Face Oil in the middle of winter when my skin really craved an extra drink. A cocktail of sweet almond, avocado and sesame seed oils create a formula ideal for oil cleansing, which, in case you missed it, is what we do now because regular cleansers are so passé. Just kidding; I love a good face wash, but cleansing with oil can be surprisingly transformative for both dry and oily complexions. Makes sense—oil dissolves oil, so an oil-based cleanser would naturally be better at clearing clogged pores than a water-based one (oil and water don’t mix). Oil cleansers are also usually free of the drying surfactants found in typical foaming cleansers.

Read more…

April 25, 2017

Exciting News! My New Role with the American Society of Perfumers

Posted in Associations by

After 24 years of being in the fragrance industry, it’s an honor to now be officially on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Perfumers (ASP). I have been serving as an Alternate Director for the past year and I have really enjoyed being part of this talented team of industry pros.

This was the first meeting (pictured above) where the number of women was greater than the number men. We are all equally lucky to have careers in perfumery!⠀

Read more…

March 28, 2017

Product Spotlight: Provision Fine Fragrance, Maitri

Meet Maitri, one of three fine fragrances from my new collection Provision.

I created Maitri, which means ‘self love’ in Sanskrit to be a modern version of a classic Vetiver scent composition. The Eco-Certified Vetiver is just out of this world… the way it wears on skin is indescribable. My best attempt at translating the experience is to say that it completely transforms and adapts to becoming a sheer layer on your skin that makes you feel ‘more like you’, like your best self. Combined with fresh Italian Bergamot and classic Oakmoss, the effect is sophisticated, fresh, and most importantly invites you to be happy with where you are and who you are, right now.

Maitri was featured in WWDProvision Champions Self Care for Sophisticated Beauty Shoppers” in December 2016.

For the backstory on why I created Provision, visit this post.

February 1, 2017