indie perfumers: 14 posts

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 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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Tauer Perfumes Zeta : Fragrance Review

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by Suzanna

Swiss perfumer Andy Tauer burst onto the niche perfume scene in 2005 with the stunningly atmospheric L’Air du Desert Marocain, a breath-of-the-desert scent that twisted bergamot and petitgrain through a hot floral-woody core.  This was when Andy had just two perfumes (the other was Le Maroc pour Elle) and those two scents were available only on the Tauer perfume Web site and had to be posted from Switzerland.

Six years later, Andy has produced 21 scents, two of which (Ingrid, Loretta) are not yet released. He was especially prolific in 2011, a year in which he released six scents.  In this number was one of the most ebullient summer-sunshine perfumes you are likely to encounter, Zeta

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Dawn Spencer Hurwitz YSL Retrospective Collection : Perfume Reviews

by Suzanna

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is a Colorado-based niche perfumer with an extensive catalogue of scents. Exploring the DSH Perfumes site is a tantalizing affair that takes you down the boulevards of Paris, through ancient Egypt, and at present, through the fashion and perfume history of Yves St. Laurent.

DSH’s latest project is a collaboration with the Denver Art Museum on a set of fragrances (DSH calls them her “designs”) that complements a touring exhibition of Yves Saint Laurent’s fashion.  The exhibition is the first complete retrospective of YSL fashion. The museum is the only American stop on the touring schedule and DSH’s fragrant tributes are available for sale at the museum, at the DSH Essence Studio in Boulder, Colorado, or on her DSH Perfumes Web site.

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