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Mandy Aftel Discusses Gourmand Scents

Perfumer Mandy Aftel on Food-Based Fragrance Trend


Last week, I met renowned natural perfumer, author, and owner of Aftelier Perfumes, Mandy Aftel, in her visually stunning Berkeley, CA studio.

With wood built-ins, glass bottles lining the windows, and apothecary style furnishings, it was a little Frank Lloyd Wright with a pinch of Harry Potter. Topped off with the collective smell of essential oils and perfumes? Yeah, it was pretty much like heaven.

When it comes to industry trends, "Food-based smells are quite popular right now," she says. Oh, gourmand, you say? I sampled her Layering Gourmand Trio ($125), which was complex, inviting, and — well, delicious.

"Natural materials really mix with your body chemistry in a very interesting way, then they kind of fade away," she says. . .They have that soft arc that I think is very sexy." Humina, humina. As for this set? The three pieces can be worn apart or together for maximum sensuality. Find out which aromas are included when you read more.

  • Cassis: A great Fall fragrance with notes of black currant and rum.
  • Cocao: A blend of jasmine, blood orange, and cocao from a Costa Rican plantation. Psst — Aftel distills the cocao herself.
  • Fig: A mix of fir absolute, jasmine sambac, and yuzu, duplicating the aroma of this sweet fruit to a tee. Speaking of "tea," she makes that, too — of the perfumed variety, of course.

Photo courtesy of Mandy Aftel

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