To Dream is Sonoma Scent Studio's new addition to its Boutique Collection of fragrances, and it was inspired in part by the line's previous release Lieu de Rêves. I purchased Lieu de Rêves when it was first launched, and I've been enjoying it so much — enough to include it on my personal list of favorite fall fragrances — that I was naturally curious about To Dream.
Sonoma Scent Studio describes To Dream as "a comforting, dreamy but sophisticated and complex blend of woods, florals, incense, and gourmand notes," including violet, rose, heliotrope, cedar, amber, frankincense, oakwood absolute, vetiver, tonka, orris, vanilla, musk, sandalwood, oakmoss, suede, cocoa, and aldehydes. At first glance, that list reminded me very much of Lieu de Rêves, but as soon as I applied a bit of this newer fragrance to my skin, I noticed the differences.
To Dream opens with a strong stroke of oakwood; it's a very aromatic note, with a distinctly wine-like character. Then the oakwood thins and softens a bit into the heart of the fragrance, which contains a dusky violet-rose-iris accord similar to the one used in Lieu de Rêves. This floral heart is framed by the fragrance's "complex woodsy base": there are some warm, cedar-y wood notes, and the vetiver and frankincense also make themselves known at this point. The late dry down of To Dream recalls Lieu de Rêves again, but with significantly less heliotrope, so that it never turns as powdery. To me, Lieu de Rêves feels more like a reverie, or the sort of dream I might have during an afternoon nap on a sunny winter afternoon, whereas To Dream is a bit darker and more complicated, like the dreams you can only have during deep night sleep.
Sonoma Scent Studio seems to have carved out a micro-niche of woodsy-resin and woodsy-violet fragrances, and To Dream fits nicely into its existing catalogue; if you already love the floral heart of Cameo, or the cedar-and-purple-flowers effect of Wood Violet, chances are you'll also enjoy To Dream. It has a "classic" twist at its core, but its edges are still just raw enough to keep the fragrance feeling hand-crafted in the best possible way.
Sonoma Scent Studio To Dream is available as 17 ml ($42 spray, $41 splash), 34 ml ($80), and 5 ml purse size ($20) Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Sonoma Scent Studio under Perfume Houses.
Note: image is James Tissot's The Dreamer (1871) [cropped], via Wikipedia.