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!"
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.