Sunday, June 4, 2023

Pre-Order Mandy Aftel's New Book The Museum of Scent: Exploring the Curious and Wondrous World of Fragrance

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Mandy Aftel's new book The Museum of Scent is coming out in October, but it is available to pre-order now on Amazon [here]. It is a gateway to a lost world of plants and scent that stretches back to the beginnings of human culture, intertwined with medicine and magic, sexuality and spirituality. Full of gorgeous photos, botanical paintings, and a scented bookmark! Published by the amazing Abbeville Press.

About Mandy Aftel,

Breathe in the natural and cultural history of scent with this richly illustrated book inspired by the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents.

Mandy Aftel is one of the world’s leading bespoke perfumers, with a clientele ranging from the singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen to Sir Jony Ive, the former chief design officer of Apple. Eschewing the synthetic molecules that dominate commercial perfumes, Aftel creates her complex and subtle fragrances using only natural essences. For her, each of these essences is a gateway to a lost world of scent, stretching back to the beginnings of human civilization and intertwined with the history of medicine, cuisine, adornment, sexuality, and spirituality. In 2017, Aftel opened a one-room museum―the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents―in her backyard in Berkeley, California, to help a modern audience rediscover the enchantment of this lost world. Her museum has attracted thousands of enthusiastic visitors and has been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, Goop, O: The Oprah Magazine, and numerous other media outlets.

Now Aftel has created this beautiful book, illustrated with treasures from her museum’s collection, so that readers at home can immerse themselves in the world of scent. She guides us through the different families of botanical fragrances (including flowers, woods, leaves and grasses, and resins), depicting each plant with a hand-colored antique woodcut and revealing its olfactory notes and lore. Special chapters are devoted to the most rare and precious fragrances―such as ambergris, formed of a rare secretion of the sperm whale―and to antique essential oil bottles, handwritten recipe books, and other evocative artifacts. The Museum of Scent, which includes a bookmark subtly scented with a natural essence, invites us on a sensuous, imaginative journey.

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