indie perfumers: 14 posts

Q&A with Mandy Aftel about Aftelier Sepia : New Fragrance

Indie perfumer Mandy Aftel’s new perfume Sepia was inspired by her explorations of California’s Gold Country ghost towns. During the Letters to A Fellow Perfumer series on Nathan Branch’s blog, Sepia went from a fantasy of a lost world to a perfume. It is includes notes of cedarwood, yellow mandarin, pink grapefruit, pink lotus, strawberry, jasmine grandiflorum, cocoa, coffee, tobacco, oud, indole, ambergris, cepes, and labdanum. I decided to ask Mandy a few questions about her perfume and the creative process behind it.

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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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Aftelier Perfumes Licorice and Jasmine : Perfume Review

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Licorice

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

Used for centuries in China and ancient Greece, licorice is a scent that vacillates between sweet and cool, creating a sensation of an ice cube sliding across hot skin. Sweetness of anise laced with spicy greenness is accented by warm and delicately earthy vanilla. Aftelier Perfumes Licorice teases with its subtle spice and luscious vanilla notes.

Jasmine solid perfume opens with a tart note of pink grapefruit and sweetness of orange, which are a nice counterpoint to the lush opulence of jasmine. Amplifying its fruity facets, citrus creates a scintillating burst, given the presence of aldehydes in its oils. The solid perfume melds into the skin creating a gentle veil of sparkling jasmine.

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