Aftelier Amber Tapestry ~ fragrance review

rug detail, Märta Måås-Fjetterström

When Mandy Aftel announced her latest fragrance, Aftelier Amber Tapestry, she billed it as a “comfort scent.” I heard “amber” and “comfort,” and I anticipated a real snickerdoodle of a perfume — a thick, golden, spicy, chewy scent cookie. (Not that this is bad! Set me in front of a pile of snickerdoodles and watch me go.) Yes, Amber Tapestry is warm and resinous with a touch of cinnamon, but cookies don’t pack jasmine, and lots of it. This could be a floral perfume lover’s new favorite oriental fragrance.

Amber Tapestry’s notes include yellow mandarin, jasmine grandiflorum, jasmine sambac, pear, heliotropin, labdanum, ambreine, cinnamon, coumarin, maltol, benzoin, ambergris and castoreum. Just to head off concerns, the pear isn’t discernable as fruit salad, and the cinnamon, while faintly noticeable, doesn’t give Amber Tapestry a gourmand vibe…

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Parfums Raffy

5 Perfumes that Smell Like Booze


In the United States, we’re at the gateway of the season of Way Too Much Food and Booze. I’m not going to suggest you lay off the pumpkin pie or look the other way when the office manager waves the company credit card and suggests you all go out for a holiday drink. That’s your business. But if you decide you need a break, yet still want to smell like a party, here are five boozy scents to consider, paired with the outings at which you might wear them…

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Tauer Perfumes L’Air du Desert Marocain & Au Coeur du Desert ~ fragrance review

Erg Chebbi Dunes

Displayed on the wall of the store where I work are majestic African tribal robes, Indonesian necklaces as big as breastplates, elaborate Japanese altars, and heavy strings of shells from Papua New Guinea. I love the necklaces, especially, and the other day I finally tried one on. It was grand and angular and cold on my skin, and I felt queenly. Then I saw myself in a mirror. I looked like a mouse in a crown. As much as I loved it, it overwhelmed me.

This is how I’ve felt about Tauer Perfumes L’Air du Désert Marocain. I adore the fragrance’s heady, helicopter-over-the-Grand-Canyon feel, but ultimately it’s too hard for pallid me to pull off, and I swapped away my bottle. This year, Tauer released Au Coeur du Désert, an Extrait interpretation of L’Air du Désert Marocain. I may have found my tribal robe at last…

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Etat Libre d’Orange Hermann ~ fragrance review

Etat Libre d’Orange Hermann à mes côtés me paraissait une ombre, brand image

To be precise, this Etat Libre d’Orange fragrance isn’t just called Hermann. It’s Hermann à mes côtés me paraissait une ombre, a line from a poem by Victor Hugo. Translated, that means “by my side, Hermann seemed to me like a shadow.” Here, we’ll stick simply to Hermann.1

“Perfume as shadow” is a beautiful way to describe the feel of a dark, cool, sheer fragrance. To me, Hermann fills the bill. It also leans masculine and is almost infuriatingly persistent…

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How I Wear Perfume Now

Shalimar Extrait, cap

The week before last, I quit my office day job. I’m transitioning into a new life that’s part-time writer and part-time shop girl supplemented by whatever freelance assignments I can scare up. Even in this short time, my habits have changed: I’m going to bed later and getting up later; I’m outside more and feeling good moving my body instead of trapped catatonic in my office; I’m getting a lot more writing done. And, I’m wearing perfume differently.

First, I’m loving being able to wear whatever fragrance I want. I realized that I’ve been unconsciously limiting my perfume choices so I wouldn’t draw attention to myself. Now I’m like a starving kid with full access to the candy store, and I’m pulling out the big guns…

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