Aftelier Sepia ~ new fragrance

Aftelier Sepia

Indie natural house Aftelier has launched Sepia, a new unisex fragrance:

Sepia is a tint, a watercolor wash, an atmosphere, a memory. Exploring California’s Gold Country ghost towns over the last years, I have consistently been struck by the desolate beauty of their ruins, and wanted to recreate the mood of these lost worlds in scent. I am drawn to the remains of their previous life much more than to what I would have seen when they were new and pristine. What remains is experienced in the whispers of what came before. Sepia is about atmosphere — the ghostly presences, the patina and beauty of what remain after something is ravaged by time: the dignity of decay. In the aromatic world, could there be anything to better communicate the elegance of decay than ambergris and oud?

Although the many intense aromas that make up Sepia -- cocoa, coffee, cepes, tobacco, oud, strawberry, and pink lotus. -- would normally be pronounced, they are in this case tightly balanced to smell like they have been aged together for decades Yellow mandarin (a rare and very floral citrus) melds seamlessly with the blood cedarwood (intense ruby red oil from the heart of the wood) to create Sepia's elegant deep woody citrus opening note. At the perfume's heart, neither the coffee nor the cocoa lend a gourmand note, but create an earthy and dark counterpoint to the full-bodied pink lotus -- with a hint of spilt wine from the strawberry. Musky flowering tobacco in the base echoes the opening of the rich blood cedarwood. The murmur of cepes, married with the ambergris and oud, creates an atmosphere of aging elegance. Sepia, with its soft, sheer, almost ghostly presence, becomes warmer as it lingers on your skin in a diaphanous veil.

Sepia was created during the Letters to A Fellow Perfumer series on Nathan Branch's blog.

Additional notes include jasmine and labdanum.

Aftelier Sepia is available in 30 ml Eau de Parfum spray ($150), or in 2 ml ($45) or 1/4 oz ($150) Parfum. Samples are also available.

(via press release)

Update: see a review of Aftelier Sepia.

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  1. Anne from Makeupwoot says:

    A full bottle is definitely out of my price range, but I suspect I’ll be ordering a sample of this. It sounds very soothing.

  2. FragrantWitch says:

    This sounds wonderful! Maybe a 2ml blind- buy if I am feeling brave? :-)

    • Robin says:

      Or maybe wait until you read more? Someone is bound to review it soon!

  3. Rictor07 says:

    Those 2ml minis are really just absurdly priced. Its 1/3rd the price of the larger bottle, but for 1/15th the volume. The description sounds amazing, i have to admit, but im not going to shell out my hard earned money for a “sheer, ghostly presence”.

    • 50_Roses says:

      The 2 ml is parfum (extrait), while the 30 ml, is EdP, so they are different concentrations. Essentially, it is $20 per ml for extrait, or $5 per ml for EdP. Yes, they are expensive, but they are made from all natural essences, which are very expensive. My biggest complaint about natural perfumes is simply that they have very little longevity on my skin.

    • Robin says:

      Smaller sizes do usually cost more per ml than larger sizes.

  4. aftelier says:

    I really enjoyed creating Sepia – thank you so much for helping announce it! I’m just putting samples up on the website today…

    • KateReed says:

      Drat! Just when I had finally figured out (I think) what I was going to order in min Miniatures pouch, you go and add something else! *grumble grumble*

  5. nozknoz says:

    Her perfumes really intrigue my nose and sensory cortex with their unusual ingredients. I have Prive and keep meaning to get some Tango, which has burnt seashells (apparently a traditional Indian note), among many other things, and to sample Haute Claire. This sounds like a must-sniff, too.

  6. Lavanya says:

    I just smelled this yesterday- Sepia is a perfect name for it. It is like a ‘sheer Tango’, a sepia colored memory of Tango, if you will. Slightly sweeter- not transparent but like a ‘watercolor wash’ as it says in the description. I need to live with it more but it smells very promising!

  7. Aleta says:

    I had on Cepes and Tuberose when I visited an old mining town in Arizona (Jerome, not too far from Sedona). It was completely and utterly perfect. I can’t wait to read more on Sepia, it had me at “the murmur of cepes, married with the ambergris and oud.”

  8. RobWales says:

    The Oud Demon strikes again. Yawn!

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