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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


  • 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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