Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent by Mandy Aftel ~ book review

Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent by Mandy Aftel, book plus kit

In fiction, an effective writer uses plot not just to move the story along, but to illuminate an underlying theme. If Mandy Aftel’s Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent were a novel, the plot would be the five essences — cinnamon, mint, frankincense, ambergris, and jasmine — around which she structures the book. The theme would be beauty.

In Fragrant’s first chapter, Aftel writes about how she became involved with perfume, then says:

As I researched and thought about the deeps ways that perfume touches our most primal selves and the collective self of our species, I realized that I had the makings of an adventure story of sorts…

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Aftelier Organic Ylang Face Elixir ~ scented body product review

Aftelier Organic Ylang Face Elixir

The weather has suddenly turned cool and windy here in the northeast, so it’s the perfect time for me to upgrade my skincare for extra moisture and protection — and if I can work a good-smelling product or two into my regimen, then all the better! Natural perfumer Mandy Aftel of Aftelier has just released a new Organic Ylang Face Elixir, which I’ve been sampling this week. It contains organic ylang ylang, a creamy floral blended with bright pink grapefruit and blood orange, both known for their toning and softening properties, in a base of seven organic oils (rice bran, sweet almond, apricot kernel, camellia, grapeseed, squalene and rose hip seed).

When I first became seriously interested in fragrance, and I was smelling as many perfumes as I could in order to define what I liked, I realized that ylang ylang was (and is) one of my favorite floral notes…

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CleanWell All-Natural Hand Sanitizer ~ scented body product review

CleanWell All-Natural Hand Sanitizer Orange VanillaCleanWell All-Natural Hand Sanitizer Original scent

Every day for the past few weeks I’ve glanced at the local newspapers and noticed large-type headlines about a FLU EPIDEMIC. I’m generally healthy, so I didn’t bother getting a flu vaccine; instead, I’m just trying to eat healthily, get enough sleep and wash my hands frequently. For moments when I’m on the move and I can’t get to a sink with hot water and soap, I like to carry a CleanWell All-Natural Hand Sanitizer. It’s not a magic bullet, of course, but it lessens my anxiety about germs from stairway railings, subway poles and any other unsavory surfaces I might have touched.

CleanWell offers a range of liquid hand soaps, cleaning products and disinfectant wipes, but the All-Natural Hand Sanitizer is my favorite. This is a liquid product, packaged in a slim container with a flip top and a spray dispenser; a few spritzes into the palm of a hand gives enough sanitizer for one thorough use…

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