Sweet Anthem Perfumes – Meredith Smith, perfumer


Post by Azar


In the past ten years or so the Pacific Northwest has become a hot spot for niche and indie perfumers. Our unique northwest culture of creativity and innovation, our dreary wet winters (we’ve got to come up with something to do!) and the independent spirit of many of the residents all contribute to an atmosphere that encourages our local “noses” to flourish.  Several PNW (Pacific North West) perfumers have developed international followings and have been written up and blogged about extensively throughout perfume-land. If I name a few of these perfumers I will be missing too many. Today’s post is an introduction to a PNW perfumer who is probably not as well known as some others but whose work is very popular nonetheless.

Sweet Anthem Perfumes – Meredith Smith, perfumer

Meredith Smith initially founded Sweet Anthem as a small press / independent publisher in 2001 while at college in Texas and closed the business when she went to study abroad in Eastern Europe. She began studying perfumery in 2005 while working as a graphic designer and web developer in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood. Like many independent perfumers Meredith found composing a fragrance to be a natural extension of her love for creating music, visual art and poetry. Sweet Anthem evolved into an on-line perfume shop in 2007.  Three years later she left the mass design industry and began working as a full time perfumer. In October 2011 Meredith and her husband Phil purchased a live/work residence where she opened her brick and mortar Sweet Anthem storefront and workshop at street level.

Sweet Anthem #1Photo9 Stolen Sweet Anthem Perfumes

I love visiting Meredith’s tiny shop on California Street in West Seattle. She offers her own perfumes for sale, maintains a small inventory of other niche and indie brands and teaches occasional classes in the basics of perfume composition.  For more information about the Sweet Anthem product line and scent related services check out Meredith’s new website Sweet Anthem Perfumes

Recently Meredith added a sample service to her shop.  I recently received my first of four installments from Sweet Anthem’s “SA List”.  The “Spring Anthology” includes two 2ml samples of soon to be released EDPs – Poppy and Lolita, a 2ml sample of Alice and a perfume solid of an older favorite, Cath.  While I have enjoyed a number of the Sweet Anthem perfumes for several years I found that these latest fragrances have taken a slightly more sophisticated turn.

Sweet Anthen #2Photo Stolen Sweet Anthem Perfumes

Poppy, a sort of gourmand-oriental, unfolds like a flower bud in time-lapse photography.  The pointed clove quickly opens into a dark cocoa tinted with red flowers that I perceive as spicy carnations (Meredith points out that there is a trickle of saffron here as well).  After a couple of hours the gourmand heart develops and finishes as a dry, smoky incense/opium fading to musk.  While the name “Poppy” references the perfume classic Opium, I find this new scent to be kin to fragrances like DSH Café Noir and Olympic Orchids Café V, but lighter and drier. Poppy is a warm and spicy fragrance with good sillage and great longevity, a perfect scent for holing up in a cozy den, anticipating the arrival of spring.

Sweet Anthem #3Photo Stolen Sweet Anthem Perfumes

Lolita, on the other hand, is reminiscent of a warm spring afternoon, but without the muguet – thank you!  (Don’t get me wrong, I love Lily of the Valley, but it seems to have become such a seasonal cliché.)  Lolita opens with just a touch of black current, evolving to a heart of fragile and delicate cherry blossoms. I can barely detect the rosewood mentioned in the fragrance notes. The cherry blossoms linger for several hours eventually combining with and drying down to a salty sort of tonka bean.  Lolita is more intimate than Poppy but seems to last just as long on my skin and, like the movie “Lolita”, the final impression of the salty cherry blossoms evoke a youthfulness far removed from innocence.  Lolita will be mine as soon as she is available.

Giveaway Time sassisamblogPhoto Stolen sassisamblog

Sweet Anthem Perfumes US GIVEAWAY


This week we will have ONE USA winner:

Who will receive:
A 2-season subscription to the Sweet Anthem “SA List” sampling program for one lucky US resident.  The  winner will receive two different sample sets.  The “Spring Anthology” will be sent right away and the “Summer Anthology” at a later date (see the subscription FAQ on the Sweet Anthem Perfumes website).
P&H to the USA


Open to everyone in the USA (or who has a USA friend who’ll post it to them) who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


You must have a US address


Leave a comment about a Sweet Anthem fragrance that you already know or about one that you would like to try

Extra Chance?
Tweet: @OzPerfumeJunkie Sweet Anthen GIVEAWAY http://wp.me/p3PURw-2uA @sweetanthem #Giveaway


Entries Close Thursday 27th February 2014 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by random.org or some other more fun way at the discretion of Azar, our host for this giveaway
The winners will have till Monday 2nd March 2014 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

Azar xx

53 comments on “Sweet Anthem Perfumes – Meredith Smith, perfumer

  1. Julie F says:

    I live in the US and follow by email. I haven’t tried any of the Sweet Anthem scents, but Poppy sounds like I would like it. Thanks for the draw.

  2. Ferris says:

    I really love indie perfumes. They are so cool and offer the biggest bang for your buck perfume wise. Each one so unique, you’ll never smell the same thing in the local Malls. I would love to try Sweet Anthems Colin and Poppy. The frankincense and myrrh in Colin is very enticing and Poppy is a warm and spicy fragrance which I love. I follow APJ via email/Wordpress and I have a US address. Thanks for the draw!

    Azar I had no idea you was in the NorthWest. I thought you resided in Austrailia or New Zealand with Portia and The Fragrant Man (Jordan ) Well you learn something new everyday !
    Ferris recently posted…Fragrance Review: Cepes & Tuberose by Aftelier Perfumes: A Grounded and Lovely TuberoseMy Profile

    • Azar says:

      Hello Ferris,

      Yes, here I am in the PNW. This morning it is foggy, cold and very still, not even a tiny breeze. It is quite beautiful but, as many in the US, I am looking forward to the end of this exceptionally cold winter.

      You are absolutely right about indies and artisans perfumes. I haven’t tried Colin but it sounds good to me too. You are IN, of course!

      Azar xx

  3. Patty Pong says:

    I follow by e-mail and want to try some of that LOLITA 🙂

  4. Janet in California says:

    I follow by email. Lolita sounds lovely. I love the new sampling program too. I live in the USA. Thanks!

    • Azar says:

      Thank you for joining the draw, Janet!
      I really enjoy receiving little packages in the mail and am a sucker for sampling programs. Meredith’s SA List stands out for its generous samples and extras – a great deal.
      Azar xx

  5. Kandice says:

    Their store sounds exactly like the type of place I’d like to spend time in. I wish they’d had more places like this when I lived in Seattle. I live in the US and follow via email. I think I would like Lolita best and am excited about the draw. Thanks for the opportunity!

    • Azar says:

      Hi Kandice,
      The retail store-front, live/work space like Meredith’s should really be more available than it is right now. I work out of my home but am not zoned for retail. I don’t need a retail store-front, but for those who do this kind of set up is a super efficient use of space and resources and fun to visit too!
      Thank you for joining the draw!
      Azar xx

  6. Stacey says:

    Portland and Seattle really seem to be a wonderful place for artisan and indie perfumers…the work coming out of the Pacific NW is really unique and different. I haven’t tried any scent by Sweet Anthem but by your description of Poppy I think I’d love it. I follow AJP by email and on Facebook. Thanks for the draw!

    • Azar says:

      Hi Stacy,
      I agree that our PNW noses seem to have a slightly different take on things. Thankfully some of the old self reliance and creativity that made this area so interesting is still blooming around here. Thank you for joining the draw and you are IN!
      Azar xx

  7. Lean S says:

    I am from the US. Thank you for this great draw! I follow via email (same as one entered on this comment form). It is how I noticed the giveaway! I’ve been looking through the Sweet Anthem Perfumes site and I have to say that the Annabelle perfume sounds great.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Lean,
      You are IN twice! I haven’t tried Annabelle but I think I would like it too. Meredith really does a nice job using sea salt with white florals.
      Azar xx

  8. Connie says:

    I follow by email, live in the US, and would love to try Lolita- is there a better smell than blackcurrant?!

    • Azar says:

      Thank you for joining the draw, Connie! I love blackcurrant too but I think Lolita is more about cherry blossoms. That’s just my take, though. Do you have some favorite fragrances that feature black currant?
      Azar xx

  9. Erin W says:

    I follow by email, and I have been dying to try Caroline!! I love perfumes with Lemon and Jasmine!

  10. Jessica says:

    I would love to try Anton! I love almost all of the perfumes I’ve sampled from SA so far. 🙂

    • Azar says:

      Hello Jessica,
      How do you follow APJ (Email, WordPress, Bloglovin, whatever)? Let us know to be entered in the draw!
      Azar xx

  11. Lauren says:

    Hi Mom,

    I like the sound of a “warm spring afternoon” so I would definitely want to try Lolita. I looked on their website and there were a couple with head notes of “snow”. Have you tried them? I wonder if they really smell like snow.


    • Azar says:

      Hi Lauren,

      I have not tried either of the perfumes that list snow. I wouldn’t mind a little snow here but do YOU want more SNOW there??? Where is all that New Hampshire snow going to go when the weather finally warms up?

      Mommy Azar xx and x

  12. Martin says:

    Living in the USA, I am planning on a trip to visit Seattle for the first time hopefully this upcoming May and will be visiting various fragrant shops like Meredith’s. In the meantime I am disappointed that her “Anton” is sold out for the combination of Teak, Apple and Horseradish sounds like something I would wear.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Martin,

      Meredith’s perfumes sell out fast but she does make more up on a regular basis. You might check her website again in a couple of weeks. Hopefully we will have a beautiful May this year when you are visiting! How do you follow APJ? Let me know so I can enter you in the draw!

      azar xx

    • Azar says:

      Hi again Martin,
      I just checked the Sweet Anthem website and it seems that you can access Anton by putting the name in the “search” on the site.

    • Hey Martin!

      I’d love to see you in the shop. just fore warning, we’re taking a summer break the last week of April and the first week of May. Hopefully this won’t interfere with any of your plans to visit! You can always email me before your trip to confirm dates 🙂


      • Martin says:

        I will certainly let you know Meredith when I am more fully committed to the travel plans. I am hoping to attend “Stars On Ice” at the Seattle KeyArena on May 18th.

  13. Tsurera says:

    Lolita sounds like it would be lovely. It all sounds great actually.

    I follow by email~

  14. systeme_d says:

    I follow via email. I had a delightful time browsing the Sweet Anthem website. The fragrance that most appeals to me is Colin.

    • Azar says:

      Hi systeme_d!
      Thank you for commenting! You are IN! Check out the solid perfumes on the website. They are so reasonable, last longer than most solids I’ve tried and are so easy to pop in a pocket or a purse. I haven’t tried Colin yet but it looks good to me too!
      Azar xx

  15. Nemo says:

    I follow by email! I had not heard of Sweet Anthem before, and I am always happy to learn about new small perfumers. I am most interested in trying Lolita. The combination of cherry blossom and salt sounds really fascinating.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Nemo,
      I really like what Meredith does with combinations of salty notes and florals. The tomato leaves, peony and beeswax in her “Joan” create another interesting scent that I like a lot. Thank you for joining the draw! You are so IN!
      Azar xx

  16. maggiecat says:

    I’ve heard of this line, but have never had the chance to sample – and I’m craving some new florals for spring right now, so they all sound lovely! I follow via e-mail, and also on Facebook.

    • Azar says:

      You are IN maggiecat. I think that Meredith has some of the best spring and summer florals. I mentioned before that I really like how she modifies florals with a note of sea salt. The saltiness is not “marine” or “ozonic” but just a kind of mineral and salty scent that tones down and enriches the sweetness.
      Azar xx

  17. mim says:

    Thank you APJ folks and Meredith at Sweet Anthem!
    I follow by email, USA

    The PNW sounds like such a creative, happening place…

    Poppy sounds perfect! I didn’t get the opium reference right away, but love spicy warm florals. And Phoebe sounds like a scent that would take me to a place I know but have never been…very intrigued!

    • Azar says:

      Hi mim,

      The PNW is great today! The sun has come out at last! You are IN and thanks for joining the draw.

      Poppy is not so much related to the old Opium as it is to the new kind of cafe/oriental, almost but not quite gourmand with the spicy floral intact.

      Azar xx

  18. rosiegreen says:

    I follow by email and fb. Would love to try Poppy, love spicy orientals.I
    also live in the PNW and prefer indies.

    • Azar says:

      Hi rosiegreen!
      Is the sun out at your house today? I’ve got to get outside before the rain starts again.
      You are so IN!
      Azar xx

  19. JMR says:

    Phoebe, Charlotte, and Juliet have got my interest. Thanks for sharing this house! I was oblivious to it.

    Following via email.

    • Azar says:

      Hi JMR,
      Sweet Anthem is a great little house with really reasonable prices. BTW I am finally mailing your Noora prize today. Sorry it took so long. I was on a mini-vacation at home!!!
      You are IN and thanks for joining this draw!
      Azar xx

  20. Becky says:

    I love flower scents (especially cherry blossoms) so Lolita and Charlotte sound appealing to me most. I have to say though that Juliet sounds quite intriguing as well! I follow by email and live in the US.

  21. Laurels says:

    Aauugh! Once again I have gotten behind on my blog reading, and I’m wondering what time it is tomorrow in Sydney! I’ve wanted to try Sweet Anthem perfumes for a while, particularly Sophie, which both has notes I like, and was the name of my late beloved mutt, and now Poppy. (I seem to be too late for Edith, which had the most compelling description I’ve ever read for a perfume, something like, “The hope of a better year after a bitter time.” I’m not doing it justice.) Anyway, if I’m not too late, please enter me. I follow with Bloglovin. Great reviews as always, Azar. Sweet Anthem has moved up on my “To Try” list.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      You are well within time LaurelS.
      Portia xx

    • Azar says:

      Thank you, Laurels. As Portia said, you had plenty of time and are definitely IN!
      To get Sidney time (EST) from US west coast Pacific Standard Time I just jump ahead by 19 hours. In my usual circuitous fashion I used to go ahead 24 hours them back 5. I don’t know why…
      Azar xx

  22. […] February 24th of this year APJ posted an introduction to Sweet Anthem Perfumes and perfumer Meredith Smith. Today I have a few questions for Meredith about the business of perfume in the PNW. My next post […]

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