Monday, October 13, 2014


 Press Sample (Unaffiliated Links)

Nobody who knows Mandy Aftel, or her work, would ever refute that she is a true visionary and a creative genius. From her nuanced atelier perfumes, to her cultivated culinary essences and teas (that titillate and enrapture even the most rarefied palates), to her extraordinary Face, Body and Hair Elixirs-- there is no disputing her rare talent. If you are lucky enough to have read any of her books, then you are abundantly aware that her literary talents rival the most celebrated scholars. Mandy's imaginings result is treasures the likes of which one seldom finds today.  
About Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent

In Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent, through five major players in the epic of aroma, Mandy Aftel explores the profound connection between our sense of smell and the appetites that move us, give us pleasure, make us fully alive. Cinnamon, queen of the Spice Route, touches our hunger for the unknown, the exotic, the luxurious. Mint, homegrown the world over, speaks to our affinity for the native, the familiar, the authentic. Frankincense, an aromatic resin, taps into our longing for transcendence, while ambergris embodies our unquenchable curiosity. And exquisite jasmine exemplifies our yearning for beauty, both evanescent and enduring.

Mandy Aftel is widely acclaimed as a trailblazer in natural perfumery. Over two decades of sourcing the finest aromatic ingredients from all over the world and creating artisanal fragrances, she has been an evangelist for the transformative power of scent. In addition to providing a riveting initiation into the history, natural history, and philosophy of scent, Fragrant imparts the essentials of scent literacy and includes recipes for easy-to-make fragrances and edible, drinkable, and useful concoctions that reveal the imaginative possibilities of creating with -- and reveling in -- aroma. Vintage line drawings grace a volume that will be a treasured gift as well as a great read. 
I just received my advanced copy of Fragrant, and I have to say that it is an astoundingly beautiful book, and it reveals Mandy's extraordinary scholarly abilities. Because of copyright laws I have not photographed the interior, but I will say that her nuanced skill as a writer is matched by her skill as an atelier perfumer! Click here to read how Mandy became a perfumer.
Purchase The Fragrant Companion Kit here

The Fragrant Companion Kit "was created to allow you to 'smell along' as you read about Fragrant’s main characters – cinnamon, mint, frankincense, ambergris, and jasmine. The cinnamon and mint essential oils are not for wearing, but can be used in food by diluting them - for instance, use a drop or two to flavor tea, whipped cream, olive oil, or vinegar. The frankincense resin can be rubbed between your fingers to release its fragrance, and along with the diluted ambergris and jasmine tinctures can be worn directly on your skin - you can layer them on top of each other to create your own perfume." 
Scheduled Appearances (click here for more information, and to pre-order)

Oct 16, 7:30 pm
The Institute for Art and Olfaction
3023 W. 6th St., Los Angeles

Oct 23, 7:00 pm
Diesel, A Bookstore in Oakland
5433 College Ave., Oakland

Oct 29, 7:00 pm
A Great Good Place for Books
6120 LaSalle Ave., Oakland

Nov 5, 7:00 pm
In conversation with Daniel Patterson
Jewish Community Center
3200 California St., San Francisco

Nov 7, 11:00 am
Towne Center Books
555 Main Street, Pleasanton

Nov 8, 12:30 pm
Book Passage - Ferry Building
1 Ferry Building, San Francisco

Nov 14, 6:30 pm
Gallery Bookshop
319 Kasten Street, Mendocino

Overall Assessment: Fragrant is an astounding achievement, and you owe it to yourself to get a copy. Not only will you learn a tremendous amount, but you will be transported by this inspired work! The Fragrant Companion Kit is the perfect accompaniment to Fragrant, and the importance of its didactic function cannot be sufficiently underscored. Furthermore, it delights the senses while facilitating a deeper understanding of the art of fragrance. If you live in the Bay Area take advantage of your ability to meet Mandy at one of her scheduled appearances!

Press Sample. All views expressed are categorically my own.
Copyright © 2014 All Rights Reserved.


  1. Thank you so much Lola for your kind and generous post! I am so appreciative of your brilliant writing and gorgeous photos - they truly convey the rich experience I want people to get from reading Fragrant!
    xo Mandy

    1. My pleasure, Mandy! Your creative talents know no bounds! I am grateful to count you among my friends, and am touches that you feel my writing and photos do justice to your amazing work! xoxox


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