Aftelier Perfumes: 6 posts

Aftelier Cuir de Gardenia Extrait : Perfume Review

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Elisa talks about gardenia, tiare, and leather as she reviews Aftelier Cuir de Gardenia Extrait.

Searching for a natural gardenia perfume is a little like hunting for unicorns – gardenias, notoriously, don’t release a natural oil. As Victoria once put it, “gardenia, temperamental flower that she is, does not give up her essence to any distillation methods.” Accordingly, gardenia in perfumery is necessarily a re-creation, using other materials to approximate the flower’s scent: sweetly tropical, but with an earthy element often likened to dirt or mushrooms.

gardenia

I was surprised, then, when I heard that Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes was releasing a gardenia scent, since Aftel is known for her all-natural creations. As it turns out, Cuir de Gardenia is based on the Tahitian gardenia, or tiare flower, which can be made into a (costly) enfleurage (termed monoi when using coconut oil). Aftel has bolstered this material with jasmine and benzyl acetate, an isolate that occurs naturally in jasmine and ylang-ylang and is also used as a solvent in plastic and resins.

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Aftelier Wild Roses : Perfume Review

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Aftelier Wild Roses is a rose perfume with character. It smells like the Summer of Love, with a dash of sweet incense and flower-child rosy cheeks (thanks to a dose of patchouli, I think).  When I smell it I imagine walking through the Haight, the epicenter of hippy culture in San Francisco, during that trippy era, with incense wafting from the shops and a kaleidoscope of other smells—ice cream, hashish, strawberries, flowers—all mixing together in fragrant nirvana.

wild roses

The fragrance was inspired by the roses grown by its creator, Mandy Aftel, in her California garden. She must grow roses as large as dinner plates because Wild Roses smells almost surreal. To smell Wild Roses is to take an olfactory journey through the tangle one imagines in Aftel’s Berkeley back yard. As Aftel notes, Wild Roses is all about a “hundred petals unfolding: balsamic, spicy, apricot, and honeyed roses, mixed with the smell of warm earth and herbs.”

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Aftelier Perfumes Sepia : Fragrance Review

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Natural perfumer Mandy Aftel created Sepia out of an exchange with fellow California perfumer Laurie Erickson of Sonoma Scent Studio.  This, the third installment of Nathan Branch’s Letters to a Fellow Perfumer project, involved each of the perfumers working with a material they had not used before.  Erickson chose black and blue hemlock spruce absolutes for a perfume that became Forest Walk.

Aftel originally selected natural alpha ionone (a violet-like smell) and a fire tree absolute for an idea she had to depict her feelings about California’s Gold Country and its ghost towns, of “the beauty of what remains after something is ravaged by time.”  Shortly into the project, Aftel abandoned both of these original materials, replacing them with flowering tobacco absolute and blond cedarwood and from this built her fragrant tone poem of both an imaginary past and a present reality.

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Aftelier Haute Claire : Perfume Review

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Millermonroe1

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

I followed the exchange of letters between perfumers Mandy Aftel and Liz Zorn with much interest. Nathan Branch, via whose blog this communication was made possible, certainly made sure that each installment was thoughtful and insightful. Haute Claire, Mandy Aftel’s fragrance, was developed through these exchanges, which can be found in the Letters to a Fellow Perfumer series*. The name Haute Claire, suggested by Nathan, refers to a famous sword from 12th century French literature, and its evocation of high and clear certainly serves as a great introduction to the fragrance itself. Bright and lively, it is an intriguing pas de deux between galbanum and ylang ylang.

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Aftelier Honey Blossom : Natural Fragrance Review

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Linden

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The scent of linden trees in bloom is an indication for me that spring is at its full peak. It comes at a time when one is starting to get used to the consecutive days of sun and mild warmth, to the grass turning greener every day and to the cherry blossoms wilting and disappearing. The sidewalk cafes are reopening their outdoor patios, and even the dyed in the wool New Yorkers shed their black uniforms in favor of something more colorful. And then one day you walk through the shady, green alleys and here it comes—the smell of spring at its most languorous and most temperate, the scent of linden blossoms. It is like a wave of warm honey and white jasmine petals, and its effect is simply magical. Every year I long for spring to experience this fragrance, and I am just as devoted to discovering it in perfume. Two years ago, MAC Naked Honey captured my attention for its beautiful evocation of linden, but this year I found something else to replace that lovely, but limited edition– Aftelier Honey Blossom.

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  • delia jean in Scent Diary : In Search of Lost Time: as i read these descriptions, i kept wanting to click a “like” button. thank you June 18, 2019 at 12:09pm

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