More of a biographical mapping out of the discovery of a new career path and the richness with which it has gifted its author than a mainstream guide, Fragrant: The secret life of scent by Mandy Aftel is a fascinating journey into four key materials (cinnamon, incense, mint, jasmine and ambergris), their mystical significance, their aura, their historical pathway and with it the trajectory of natural perfumery. The book takes the form of a meditation on the sensuality and pleasure that natural materials offer, divided into 5 parts corresponding to each material) and a plea for the embracing of their sensuous capabilities in our increasingly sterilized world.
Aftel's Essence and Alchemy is already a perfume book classic, aimed at the fragrance enthusiast with the desire to learn (it includes a hands down approach to learning to build fragrant chords with natural essences and a classic fragrance pyramid structure tutorial a la Jean Carles), while Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent is less of a traditional guide. Instead Aftel muses on several points on scent while adding tidbits that are always interesting and a handful of recipes for edible stuff that would make you see things in a new light. For that reason it would appeal to the novice, as it does not require special knowledge in order to follow its beautiful prose, but also to the more accomplished fragrance collector as a tome to stand proudly in their library.
You can order the book on Amazon at a special price.
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