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…

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy

Aftelier Memento Mori ~ fragrance review

Renaissance Gimmel Ring with Memento Mori

“I wanted to capture the musk-like smell of skin, using all naturals, which was quite a challenge,” Mandy Aftel writes of her latest fragrance, Aftelier Memento Mori. At first blush, creating a perfume that smells like skin might seem pointless. After all, aren’t we wearing skin? We should have skin smell already built in.

Think about it a moment, though, and it makes sense. Maybe you look out your window at a mountain, but it doesn’t take away from the pleasure of viewing Cezanne’s Mont Sainte Victoire. An artist’s interpretion of her subject adds value. Even an exact depiction of something can be art, because the painting is not the original object — ceci n’est pas une pipe. In the case of Memento Mori, this is not skin. It’s perfume…

Read the rest of this article »

A limited but more exuberant lexicon

Like a chef who only uses ingredients grown within 100 miles of her kitchen, a large part of [Mandy] Aftel’s pride and satisfaction is derived from the sacrifice that comes out of self-imposed constraints. That those constraints result in a limited but more exuberant lexicon is more than just a pleasant side effect; it’s arguably what Aftel’s business is all about — exposing the uninitiated to the world’s most precious products and talking about them.

— Read more at The World’s Most Dedicated All-Natural Perfumer at The New York Times. Hat tip to Julien!