mandy aftel: 6 posts

Aftelier Wild Roses : Perfume Review


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  Via press release

Aftelier Perfumes Sepia : Fragrance Review


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



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



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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