The thing I appreciate most about Mandy Aftel (and there is much to appreciate!) is that she makes natural perfume for people who truly love perfume. This is not natural perfumery for people who want to smell like a rose quartz crystal or whatever the current wellness trend is. Aftelier is all about natural perfume for people who love Shalimar and Mitsouko. The selection of samples I recently ordered really reflect that!
Fig: I love fig scents so this one is an easy like for me. It’s not a scent that conjures up emotions or deep thoughts for me. It’s just one of those nice and easy-to-love scents that I could wear on a daily basis. This is the type of scent I love to have in my collection to balance out some of the more challenging ones.
Embers & Musk: This is Aftelier’s newest release and I’m afraid it’s not suited to my skin chemistry! The pine tar is so smoky on me, it overpowers the composition. It’s beyond Zoologist Tyrannosaurus Rex levels on me. It’s just so out of balance and I don’t believe that’s what Mandy intended at all. I will give it a couple more tries in different weather just to make sure it’s not a fluke of my current body chemistry.
Sepia: This is an Aftelier that I’ve been eyeing for years now and finally took the plunge to sample it. It did not let me down! Sepia is a unique composition that is centered on a full-on indolic jasmine. There’s also a jammy strawberry and, somehow, I get a sweet caramel popcorn note! This is such a lovely and interesting composition.
Secret Garden: Even more than Sepia, this one seems to suit me all the way. It really evokes the book for me, which was a childhood favorite of mine. Secret Garden doesn’t just smell like a green and floral garden. It smells like soil, like manure, and like the old stone wall and heavy wooden door that keep the garden hidden for so many years. I may do a separate write-up for Secret Garden because it brings up a lot of details for me.
I purchased these four samples directly from Aftelier. I hope to purchase a full bottle of Secret Garden (and possibly Fig) at some point soon!
The photo of my samples was taken by me.