Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent

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A Fragrant Journey with Mandy Aftel

Artisan perfumer Mandy Aftel is a fragrance tour guide, guiding you on a scent journey through history, filled with cultural touchstones and alchemy.  The backdrop to the aromatic adventure is what Mandy calls the five “landmark scents” from around the world:  cinnamon, mint, frankincense, ambergris and jasmine. Fragrant:  The Secret Life of Scent is Mandy’s exploration into a world of mystery, power, medicinal practices and the pure pleasure of perfume.  The author, who is also the creative force behind Aftelier Perfumes writes, “Lands have been discovered and conquered for the sake of perfumed materials.”  According to Mandy, mankind has a common desire for the exotic, the familiar, transcendence, the curious and beauty.  As she writes, “Scent is a portal to these basic human appetites.” I spent time with Mandy one recent afternoon at her Arts & Crafts home in Berkeley, California that serves as her perfume atelier.  She embodies the eclectic,…