Mandy Aftel is the perfumer behind Aftelier Perfumes and has made a swathe of interesting and fragrant scents. Her perfumes just seem to work for me and sometimes that is just the way it is. Aftel uses only pure and natural essences and if you take a look at the Aftelier Perfumes website you will also see that she makes teas and chef’s essences in addition to skincare products. Aftel is based in Berkeley, California and one day I will make the journey to visit her Archive of Curious Scents. Somehow Aftel also manages to write too. Her book Fragrant: The Secret Life Of Scent is one of my favourite perfume reads. It focuses on five scented materials (cinnamon, mint, frankincense, ambergris and jasmine) and the history behind each ingredient. It reminds me that I may read this again to plunge back into this world.
Aftel’s fragrances have a sensual side to them that I really enjoy. I’ve profiled Mandy Aftel here on the blog and her fragrances Vanilla Smoke, Velvet Tuberose, Palimpsest, Cuir de Gardenia and also Oud Luban, Cepes, Tuberose and Amber Tapestry.
The most recent perfume I wrote about here on the blog from Aftelier was Antique Ambergris, a really wonderful haunting solid scent with aged ambergris that is one of my favourites from the line.
Embers & Musk : from Aftelier Perfumes // Perfumer : Mandy Aftel // Year : 2019 // Notes: ambrettolide, pine tar, guaiacol, pink pepper, apple, red champaca, yuzu.
The Low Down : Another beautiful perfume from Aftelier. A smooth, smouldering fragrance with mesmerising flashes of addiction.
This new perfume Embers & Musk and Aftel’s first liquid perfume in two years and is all about a fiery smoulder that packs a punch yet never feels too much. It might help that I have a fondness for smoky perfumes and generally have a high tolerance in this regard. There’s nothing like sitting by a fire and watching the flames burn into the night, accompanied by music and maybe a glass of something too. Aftel has used ambrettolide as the musk to provide a counterpoint against the pine tar and also guaiacol that occurs naturally in whiskey, however this isn’t a boozy smoky scent at all. It is smoky without a huge charred effect. There are some other materials in here too that work to lighten the effect, and as the perfume wears on skin you can catch something sweeter from the apple. There is also a brief glimmer of yuzu that lightens the effect at the beginning of the scent too. Whatever it is, the blend works perfectly and stays on my skin for a long time too.
In terms of likeness to other smoky scents I’ve recently tried, I find it less challenging than Hyde from Hiram Green and the more intense Bois Sikar from Atelier Des Ors.
I’m not sure if this was the intention with this scent but I find it extremely addictive and mesmerising like only staring into a a fire can be. I’m sure you’ve all had evenings in the great outdoors where you’ve been in front of a huge campfire or have watched the fire poi performers weave their ritualistic magic by night. This is really what this scent reminds me of. Embers & Musk is a night time scent and one that will light things up with its addictive quality, but at the same time over the days I’ve worn the fragrance it has provided a level of snuggly comfort too. It seems to walk that fine line and is all the better for it.
Read more about Embers & Musk : I Scent You A Day // Cafleurebon // Colognoisseur //
For where to purchase : Please see the Aftelier Perfumes website for further details. EDP 30ml is US$185 and a 1ml sample is US$7. An 8ml perfume is also available for US$185 and a .25ml sample for $US7. //
Images : Cover and fire poi images from Pixabay and Embers & Musk from Aftelier Perfumers //
Disclaimer : Samples gratefully received from Aftelier Perfumes. Opinions my own.