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: Indie Greens


Once, when I was shopping at a perfume discounter, the owner brought me a fragrance and said: “You’ll like this. You’re a throwback.” I was taken aback. Was I? And was it so obvious? The suggested scent was a crisp green one, with the bite of galbanum, and I did like it, very much. I moved down the counter and snuffed the dusty tester, a bit embarrassed, while the owner helped a new customer pick out a bottle of Armani Code for women.

Pickings for the bitter green fiend are rather slim at department stores at present. Counter sales assistants will tell you that such scents are now old-fashioned and do not sell well. I imagine those last crisp green floral buyers, stately and melancholy as they have always been, at home with their Lauren Hutton cheekbones and maybe the accouterments of WASP style mentioned in Angela’s Estée Lauder Private Collection review: boat sneakers, gin martinis in iced silver carafes and small, strangely dignified dogs. (Of course, I still buy these perfumes and I am short, roundish and never to be found in tennis whites, alas. I would like a schnauzer, though.) Shopping at the mall these days, one worries that such green fragrances will go extinct, like the serious hats men used to wear in Cheever short stories. As with many holes in the market bemoaned by the fragrance obsessed, however, indie perfumers have leaped in to fill the galbanum gap…

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Byredo Super Cedar ~ fragrance review

Byredo Super Cedar

I spent my Sunday afternoon this week perusing the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) website. IFRA prohibits and restricts the use of many beloved perfume ingredients. Some of these ingredients cause sensitization, phototoxicity, are carcinogenic or have the “critical effect” of genotoxicity (they mess with your genetic info). These are serious issues and IFRA also advises on the use of such ingredients to flavor products that come into contact with our mouths and digestive systems: tobacco, toothpaste, pastilles, syrups and the like. What got me on an IFRA kick in the first place? I’ve been testing LOTS of perfumes recently that are full of Iso E Super and I was wondering what IFRA had to say about it.

Iso E Super is on IFRA’s restricted list (as flavoring) due to its critical effect of sensitization; it can cause an allergic response (one that may worsen with repeated use). You can smell Iso E Super in hundreds of perfumes and in toiletries, home fragrance sprays and candles, and household cleaning products, like laundry detergents and dryer sheets…

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2 for Tuesday: Tauerville Tuberose Flash & Vilhelm Parfumerie Purple Fig

Brief reviews of two recent-ish indie / niche fragrances: Tauerville Tuberose Flash and Vilhelm Parfumerie Purple Fig.

If you’ve smelled anything recently that we should all know about, do add your own brief review in the comments!

Tauerville Tuberose Flash

Tauerville Tuberose Flash

When I reviewed Tauer’s Sotto La Luna Tuberose, I said “it smells to me like tuberose right away, and it goes on smelling like tuberose straight through, and more so than usual, a blow-by-blow of the proceedings seems pointless”. I could say the same of Tuberose Flash…

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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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