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 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 2 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 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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 5 months ago by David Purington
Even though this author knows alot about perfumes and I am sure the information is so, this book was not what I expected. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book has a good deal of info and more to the point plenty of personal observation and techniques within the field of natural perfumery.Published 7 months ago by crystal davidson
This is a fine history and explanation of the fragrances down the ages. I found the descriptions of specific components the best I have found in any compendium so far. Read morePublished 9 months ago by C. Johnson
Informative, but only parts of the book were really what I was wanting. I skipped the whole last section. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a nice addition to have. Informative and practical, it's obvious she's done her homework and is passionate on the subject.Published 11 months ago by Patricia Davenport
It is worth purchasing and reading for the beginning natural, artistry perfumer or kitchen witch but probably not going to be an easy read for empirically minded chemistry... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Justin Beasley