Before we begin, here's the giveaway, courtesy of Mandy Aftel who will send the bottle to the winner: A 5 ml spray bottle of Aftelier Haute Claire in Eau de Parfum. How to be eligible: Leave a comment, telling us what it is you like or don't like about natural perfumes and if you have experiences with them.
I have respect for Aftel's work; her technique is solid, her knowledge on raw materials, the intricate melding process and the mythoi of aromatics insanely immense. I have learned many things from her books and her work. Her recent creation was therefore something that, hadn't she volunteered to sample with bloggers, I would have sought out myself to try anyway. Mandy Aftel describes Haute Claire as “high and bright” and the juxtaposition of two ordinarily clashing components, the lush floral of ylang ylang and the bitter green, resinous touch of galbanum, is an arc that extends high with a brightness that shines far; somewhere over the rainbow, sort of.
On one end the green elements are reinforced by vetiver, an earthy element that gets licorice facets and salty nuances revealed on skin. On the other end, the natural sweetness of the floral is embraced by the sinful, calorific touch of vanilla. The vanilla is given an extra kick through a slightly spicy kick that whispers at the end. Haute Claire is an all-natural perfume that feels complex and with a very decided message, not some sort of aromatherapy mix which you would endure for the sake of itsbeneficiary effect. I don't know if there is some veritas in the -perhaps partly placebo- effect of some essences, but Haute Claire is certainly uplifting and optimistic, a summery scent for mental summers even in the heart of winter.
Notes for Aftelier Haute Claire: galbanum, Mexican lime, wild sweet orange, ylang ylang Co2, honeysuckle absolute, ylang ylang extra, clary sage, ethyl phenyl acetate, vetiver, vanilla absolute
In the interests of full disclosure, I was sent a sample of the fragrance directly by the perfumer.