By Talia Kennedy
Courtesy of Purfumery
Need a special gift for your sweetheart? Pamper him or her with perfume, says Laurie Stern, founder of Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery in El Cerrito. The business, named for two of Stern’s five pet cats, offers all-natural, handcrafted perfumes, colognes, body oils, and bath salts.
“It’s the greatest art project I’ve ever taken on,” says Stern, a former wedding florist and clothing designer. “It’s like art for your nose.” Among her custom scents are Jasmine Dawn & Dusk, a jasmine perfume with hints of mandarin and ruby grapefruit over a vanilla-and-honey base, and Songbird, a blend of cinnamon, blood orange, tuberose, and Tasmanian heather.
Stern makes all of her products by hand, using natural and organic ingredients, some of which she grows in her backyard. She packages them in French stopper-topped bottles or jewel-encrusted tins, and every order is shipped in a handmade silk purse.
Purrfumery products are sold online at www.purrfumery.com.