Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is by Mandy Aftel, who is an all-natural perfumer in Berkeley. She comes out of the same movement for the best natural ingredients that created Chez Panisse [restaurant], also in Berkeley, which started the foodie revolution. This is a wonderful, swoony, sensual book. She gives you the history of perfume through the ages, from the ancient Egyptians and Assyrians. She talks about how people have moved away from the idea of perfume as a ritualistic, meditative, aesthetic creation. The mass marketing of perfume, which includes a lot of synthetics and chemicals, has taken away a lot from the original idea of what perfume was and should be.
Aftel started her own atelier to make perfumes. She uses natural ingredients, so no synthetics, no chemicals, no fixatives. The downside is that all-natural perfumes don’t last that long, maybe two hours maximum. But she has striven to show that you can make elegant, complex, interesting, beautiful perfumes using all natural ingredients. She holds workshops where you can make your own perfume. The book is really a primer to go back to the roots and the ancient ideas of what perfume is all about. She talks about the meditative nature of certain essences, and notes their healing properties and the transcendental element of perfumery. It’s also gorgeously written.
People have read this book and developed their own interest in making perfume. It’s a seminal, inspirational book that many people cite. Earlier I mentioned the Swiss perfumer Andy Tauer. He trained as a chemist. He told me he read Mandy’s book, and after that he decided he wanted to make perfume. He started experimenting in a home laboratory, just mixing ingredients, and his first perfume was called “L’Air du Desert Marocain”. It was a huge hit. Luca Turin gave it five stars and called it a masterpiece. Tauer is now a highly recognised niche perfumer. He’s not a completely natural perfumer, but he uses up to 50% natural ingredients which is huge these days. There are many perfumes that use just a few percentage points of real ingredients and the rest is synthetic. That’s not to say you can’t make perfumes using all or mainly synthetics. There are some wonderful perfumers out there with very modern takes on perfumery – such as Comme des Garcons – and they have no problem using synthetics.
This book has inspired a generation of perfumers, and it brought people back to the original idea of what perfume was supposed to be. Mandy Aftel is a very spiritual person, who is able to meld the spiritual and ritualistic elements of perfumery with the pure, hedonistic, sensual beauty of it.(Denise Hamilton The Browser 2011-10-04)
This is a brilliant and inspiring book. Exotic, mysterious and smart. The author knows the subject from so many perspectives. Read morePublished 3 months ago by seagypsy
This is such an amazing book. If you have interest in aromatherapy & creating beautiful scents then this is the book. Mandy is a great writer. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Stacy Downs
Wonderful book - mixes history and essences of perfume. This is eye opening for those who wish to venture into the art into making perfume. Check out her website. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Bernardina Kimmerle
A great book if you want to be inspired, convinced perfumery is a worthwhile thing, or provided with a teeny bit of instruction for getting started. Read morePublished 8 months ago by TMW
So much knowledge, written with passion and consideration. Love it!Published 10 months ago by Luceole
This book was recommended to me by Miriam Vareldzis, a significant figure in the world of fragrances, and the principal of 40notes (see her on-line!), who knows the author. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Daniel O'donnell
during my short period of perfume fascination i bought the book, and i just never read it, meaning it was too boring to read, i read few parts, and in general i dont think there... Read morePublished 15 months ago by ivy
This is more in-depth information so that you understand the history of perfume making as well as the process of making the Essential Oils and then making the perfume.Published 16 months ago by David Purington