Friday, March 20, 2009

Aftelier Living Pefume Exhibit ~and Lumiere by Mandy Aftel: new fragrance

Mandy Aftel needs no introduction. Everyone interested in natural perfumes ~and in perfumes period~ has given at the very least a passing glance to her writing in Essence and Alchemy one of the most jam-packed with delicious info papeback to ever come out fom the printer's. Now Henri Bendel, the iconic New York retailer announced that it will hold an exhibit Living Perfume: The Natural Alchemy of Mandy Aftel April 18 – May 11, 2009, featuring the perfume, the craft, and the collection of leading natural perfumer, Mandy Aftel. Henri Bendel is the exclusive retailer of Aftel’s Aftelier line of hand-blended scents which are created from the world’s finest natural ingredients.

This interactive and historic exhibit will showcase the extraordinary materials that bring to life the art and science of natural perfume. It will be created and installed using the responsible design principles of sustainable materials and eco-friendly sourcing, and draw its inspiration from the natural world where natural fragrance originates.
"It is rare to have the opportunity to usher in a new art form, especially one that embodies such great beauty. We consider Aftelier to be the leader in natural perfume and are excited about sharing it with our customers through this historic exhibit" states Claudia Lucas, Senior Vice President of Beauty & Gifts for Henri Bendel.
All Aftelier Perfumes are created by Mandy Aftel, author of the award-winning Essence and Alchemy: A Book of Perfume, a publishing success in seven languages which prompted Vanity Fair to dub Mandy “angel of alchemy”. Yet Mandy has touched earth too, also designing several custom blends for Hollywood stars, writers, and restaurants, as well as private labels. The recipient of the Sense of Smell Institute’s Richard B. Solomon Award, Mandy Aftel stands in the threshold of a new art form that is set to create new directions given the attention it has been receiving by connoisseurs in recent years.
According to Mandy: “As potent as it can be, smell is the most neglected of our senses. Rational precepts and the industrial age have separated our minds, bodies and spirits, and further separated us from nature. Natural Perfume, created from natural materials and aromatics is a multi-layered phenomenon: In a breath, we are able to reconnect with the natural world and ourselves in new and profound ways.”
Thus the Living Perfume Exhibit is dedicated to the sense of smell, aromatics, and the art of natural perfume, with interactive learning opportunities for the public. The Exhibit will feature Aftel’s body of work: her perfumes and oils, her research and writings, her personal library of rare books, graphics, and artifacts - to offer a unique and foundational view of this world.
The Living Perfume Exhibit runs from April 18 through May 11 on the 3rd floor of Henri Bendel. Not to be missed!

Mandy Aftel is also introducing a new pefume in her all-natuals line, called Lumière which means of course Light." Lumière is a sheer elegant floral composed of the precious essences of boronia, blue lotus and sacred frankincense. A sophisticated floral that is restrained but sensual. The base chord is built upon notes of fine green tea absolute and the rarest of Frankincense ~boswellia sacra from Oman~ with its ethereal and mysterious resinous woody notes. Lumière's exquisite heart features Tasmanian boronia with its aroma of freesias and raspberries, and the transparent watery floral note of blue lotus". Aftelier uses no artificial colours, no synthetic fragrances, no petrochemicals, no phthalates, and no parabens
Lumière will be available in 0.25oz for $195) and 2.2ml mini size for $60. (NB: The price is justifiable due to the very high cost of all natural raw mateials) The one quarter ounce perfume comes with a complimentary mini kit! Contact

See the whole line at: And you can download the catalogue here.


  1. Blue lotus is exquisite and prohibitively expensive; a dear perfumer sent me a few vials of the stuff, and my eyes rolled back in my head.

    I love Mandy's work, and hope it's in NYC 's Bendel in time for Sniffa....

  2. All those essences are extemely expensive, it's very true. I was in the fortunate position of a perfumer sending me some costly stuff (tuberose from India, hyraceum, stuff like that)and I wondered how it's even possible to incoporate them into a formula that is set for big consumption: the answer is it's not. Those are niche offerings for those who know. Like you! :-)
    I do hope she makes it for the Sniffa! There is a renewed, serious interest in all naturals, which is a good thing IMO.

  3. Anonymous21:54

    Just a thought...Lumière is a nice name--how come no one thought of it? Wait...didn't Rochas brought out a Lumière many moons ago? Obviously I have no problem heralding another fragrance with a lovely name but I can't begin to imagine the paperwork required to pull it off (espeically since Rochas is now owned by the colossal P&G). Interesting.

  4. Oh, but Rochas's one is discontinued I believe, many moons ago as well. I therefore think either the name has been in sort of a limbo (so someone might grab it like RD did with his Scandal instead of Lanvin's) or it might come to be a comparable case as with Peace and LZ and Bond? (let's hope not).
    P&G doesn't forebode good things, thinking about it.

  5. Anonymous00:01

    Dreaming of a trip to NYC this spring......

  6. Mandy Aftel kicked my essential oil buying into hyper-overdrive. Now all my extra pennies are spent buying the next scent I do not have yet. I learned the hard way at first because I was too excited. Who needs two bottles of ginger? How will I ever get through all that pimento? There were discoveries too. I thought I hated patchouli, now I have grown to love experimenting with it.
    Bergamot ruins everything I create, though Mandy writes that it goes with everything. I know now I just can't stand the stuff.

    Her book was informative but mostly taught me to trust my nose and be an investigator and explorer.
    Now I now why some perfumes have attracted me in the past. I can distinguish individual notes where I was perplexed before reading descriptions in these perfume blogs.

    I would love to actually get a whiff of one of her creations.

  7. Trish,

    hi! How are you?
    Yeah, it seems like a great exhibit. :-)

  8. Knidonovan,

    welcome! How interesting you mix up your own fragrances. Mandy's book is wonderful, I must have read it ten times or so. Always something interesting I missed the first time.
    I wouldn't have thought bergamot would pose such poblems though. I dilute mine in alcohol and use for steeping spices. The result is pretty nice, if I say so myself.
    And I sooo agree with you on sniffing on one's own and taking one's time to explore. As to sampling, I think there is a sampling programme on the site and online decanters such as The Perfumed Court must have samples anyway. ;-)


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