aftelier: 7 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 Scented Teas : Matcha Chai, Rose and Frankincense

Aftelier, an indie perfume house specializing in all-natural fragrances, has introduced a line of scented teas which currently includes Matcha ChaiRose & Ginger Tieguanyin Oolong and Frankincense GABA Oolong (all three are organic). Matcha Chai is the newest addition, and it’s scented with natural essences: vanilla absolute from Madagascar, organic cinnamon from Vietnam, organic pimento berry from Jamaica, and organic cardamom from India. The tea itself is grown in Nishio, Japan.

Aftelier Organic Matcha Chai

Rose & Ginger Tieguanyin Oolong is based on Muzha Tieguanyin oolong tea from Taiwan. “This full-bodied oolong opens with ripe fruit notes and finishes with a smooth aftertaste, blending beautifully with the spicy rose flavor that Mandy creates with our Aftelier Chef’s Essences: Fresh Ginger and Turkish Rose. These tightly rolled leaves unfurl during the first steeping, and may be re-infused up to 4 times, retaining their fragrance.”

Frankincense Oolong is created with tea from Nantou, Taiwan and high-quality frankincense essence. A full-bodied tea with fruit and honey notes, accented by the peppery and balsamic frankincense.

Matcha Chai retails for $30/25g, while Rose & Ginger and Frankincense teas are $25/30g. More information is available at Aftelier Organic Teas webpage. Via press release

Aftelier Wild Roses : New Perfume

Aftelier Perfumes is launching a fragrance called Wild Roses. Meant as a unisex perfume it was created by Mandy Aftel and inspired by the roses she has grown in her garden. It includes notes of rose co2, heliotropin, bergamot, geraniol, m-methyl anthranilate, damascenone; apricot, Turkish rose absolute, pimento berry, p-ethyl alcohol, rose petals attar; tarragon absolute, vanilla absolute, indole, and aged patchouli.

Wild Roses perfume evokes the garden in our imagination and memory — the book of a hundred petals unfolding: balsamic, spicy, apricot, and honeyed roses, mixed with the smell of warm earth and herbs. This is the rose that exists in your mind after you have smelled so many garden roses — blush, ruby, canary, purple, crimson edged with brown, pure white, candy-cane striped — that you feel intoxicated. …For me, I knew the center of this perfume had to be the harmony between rose and apricot — no other fruit would do: I love the way that they tumble into one another, marrying the soft, warm fruit aromas with the tender florals.

Wild Roses is available as a 1/4 oz. perfume ($170), a 30 ml EDP spray ($170), a 2 ml perfume mini
($50), and a sample size ($6) at www.aftelier.com.  Via press release

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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