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

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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.

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October 28, 2017

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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August 19, 2017

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

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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

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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.

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April 25, 2017

Kicking off the New Year with Prince Harry!

Posted in Brands, Press, Provision by

What an incredible way to kick off the new year! My Provision Dream Extract was featured in  Town & Country Magazine  (Feb 2017) with none other than Prince Harry himself gracing the cover.⠀

“Ten years ago perfumer Sherri Sebastian was having what she calls an Eat Pray Love moment in Belize. Much like that book’s author, Elizabeth Gilbert, she met a healer in paradise who told her to put clary sage oil on her pillow at night if she wanted colorful, vivid dreams. All of a sudden, Sebastian says ‘I stopped thinking about sleeping and looked forward to dreaming’. Using fragrance to shift one’s perspective was on her mind when she created her new line, Provision, which includes Dream Extract, a room and linen spray built around fresh, herbaceous clary sage. Perfuming bed sheets may seem impossibly indulgent, but it can be functional as well…” – Town & Country Magazine

January 12, 2017

Provision Champions Self Care for Sophisticated Beauty Shoppers

Posted in Brands, Press, Provision by

Thank you WWD for an incredible feature of my new collection Provision. Also featuring a quote from my fantastic Los Angeles retailer Ron Robinson. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

I am extremely particular about how I scent my home and the products I surround myself with. I created this out of my own personal desire to have the ultimate experience in self care,” said Sebastian, who celebrated Provision’s debut with an event at retailer Ron Robinson earlier this month. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been using fragrances to inspire a mood, and the Provision line comes from that. It’s the realization of what I like to have in my daily life for different moods. – Sherri Sebastian

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January 3, 2017

OH. MY. GOD. Oprah.

Posted in Brands, Press, Provision by

My Provision Purify Deo is in this month’s (January 2017) Oprah Magazine’s “The O List”! On newsstands now! (I’m doing a happy dance of epic proportions over here). So, so honored to be featured!

“DRY IDEA We love this all-natural, paraben-free, nontoxic spray deodorant that’s made in the U.S.A. by a professional perfumer. Because sometimes you need a quick spritz of freshness when you’re on the go.” – Oprah Magazine ⠀

December 5, 2016

Trend Tracking: Amber Notes on the Rise

I’m honored to have one of Provision’s fine fragrances featured in the WWD article Fall Fragrance Trend: Amber Waves”and to have been invited to comment on the rising trend of Amber notes this Fall.

Amber notes are becoming more popular as retro-inspired fragrances continue to trend,” said Sherri Sebastian, a Los Angeles-based perfumer who is launching her own niche brand — Provision — this fall. She is spotlighting a trademarked ingredient called Amber Xtreme in Resonance, a star eau de parfum in the collection.”

That’s a bottle of Resonance in the bottom right hand corner of the photo.

November 22, 2016