Monday, June 6, 2022

New Revised Edition of Mandy Aftel's Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume

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I am a huge fan of Aftelier Perfumes, and I am in constantly in awe of Mandy Aftel's artistry. Mandy is a woman of many talents, and among her many achievements is her long list of publications. Mandy is a gifted writer, and everything that she writes is a great pleasure to read. Mandy has updated her extraordinary book, Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume, and it is now available to purchase.

According to Mandy Aftel, "I completely updated the composition chapter and added 6 pages of instruction about making natural perfume. In the new forward I talk about how the world of perfume has changed in the last 30 years since I started. And I completely revised and updated all the text and recipes-- but of course kept all of the great history and lore!"

The new paperback and Kindle versions are both for sale on Amazon.

About Essence and Alchemy (Revised Edition, 2022),

For centuries, people have taken an instinctive pleasure in rubbing scents into their skin and using them to pray, to heal, and to make love. Yet in many ways perfumery, with its lush history and creative and sensual possibilities, is a lost art. No one knows this better than artisan natural perfumer Mandy Aftel, who has spent nearly thirty years immersed in the world of scent, culling the most beautiful natural essences from all over the world and using them to create exquisite fragrances.

In Essence and Alchemy, which has been published in fourteen foreign editions, Aftel teaches the art of making natural perfumes, complete with recipes. She resurrects the social and metaphysical legacy that is entwined with the evolution of perfumery, from the dramas of the spice trade to the quests of the alchemists. Tracking scent through the boudoir and bath and into the sanctums of worship, she offers insights on the relationship of scent to sex, solitude, and the soul, unearthing a forgotten world of natural essences and their profound resonance with body, mind, and spirit.


  1. This sounds like such a fun book to explore! I've never delved into making my own fragrances but i did have a little bodycare line in my late 20's!

    1. It's an extraordinary book, and something that everyone who is interested in fragrance should have!

  2. As a fragrance fanatic, I am definitely intrigued by Apfel's book. I just went to Amazon to download the Kindle version!

    1. As a fragrance fanatic, this book would be of great interest to you, Allison. Mandy is not just a gifted perfumer, but also an equally gifted writer!


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