Monday, 3 February 2014

Aftelier Perfumes

Mandy Aftel, creates hand blended artisan perfumes at her studio in Berkeley, California.  We got chatting on Twitter and she offered to send me some samples to try out and review.

Here's what I chose - Cepes & TuberoseCuir de GardeniaWild Roses and Cacao.

The samples* arrived wrapped in tissue and presented in a cute little tin.

As well as creating her artisan scents, both liquid and solid, the solid perfumes are housed in beautifully designed sterling silver cases of Mandy's design or a one-off antique case.  See here.  Mandy is also an author (link), creates scented teas and chef's essences for cooking.  You can see the full range on her website here.

The perfumes are hand blended using essences which have been gathered from all over the world.  They are created from flowers, fruits, leaves, roots and barks. Some perfumes are created instantly and others take weeks of revisions until Mandy is happy with the finished scent.  The scents last for about 2 hours on the skin.

My favourite is Cepes & Tuberose* "wild mushrooms with animal undertones and one of the world's most voluptuous florals". 

The scent starts off quite rich and mellows down to floral tuberose with an earthy edge. A top note of Bois de Rose, a heart of Tuberose and Moroccan Rose with base of cepes absolute and benzoin. It is unlike anything else I've got in my collection. Now Smell This said that it should be a perfume "every Perfumista should try".

Cuir de Gardenia* this has no top notes and goes straight into the scent of the Tiare flower - Gardenia with notes of leather. It's not intensely floral like other gardenia scents I've tried but subtle creamy and green making a fresh and woody scent. Again, I've never tried anything like this before. Love it.

Cacoa* a gourmand scent with top notes of blood orange and pink grapefruit, a heart of jasmine sambac and grandiflorum and a base of chocolate and vanilla. Mandy creates the chocolate alcohol which is the foundation of the perfume. It really is a lovely combination. The citrus note make first appearance along with the chocolate followed by jasmine and vanilla.  This is quite a heady scent which lasts quite a long time on the skin.

Wild Roses* Mandy says it "evokes the garden in our imagination and memory - the book of a hundred petals unfolding: balsamic, spicy, apricot, and honeyed roses, mixed with the smell of warm earth and herbs". This smells very herbal to begin with and then the fruity notes of apricot appear followed by the rose with a spicy note of pimento berry with a base of patchouli, tarragon and vanilla.

Mandy will ship to the UK - see the website for further details.

I've really enjoyed trying all the pefumes and stepping out of my comfort zone and trying really different scents.  See the website here and follow Mandy on Twitter 

*complimentary sent for review


  1. The Cacoa sounds absolutely divine! xx

  2. I really love the unusual essences used in these perfumes, such unique ideas x

  3. It's always good to step out of your comfort zone. I am most tempted by the wild roses. I love patchouli x

    1. I definitely agree! I was really thrilled to try them as they are so different to anything I've ever tried before x

  4. Nice discovery - I think I would like wild roses x

  5. Oh these sound gorgeous! Especially the wild roses :)

    1. they are really all unique and very different to anything I've tried before x