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Jul 6, 2011

Aftelier Honey Blossom is a Natural Beauty



Well, I would not have thought it possible but someone has managed to bottle Summer and they call it Honey Blossom. Mandy Aftel of Aftelier perfumes has taken the essence of sweet fragrant air, scented with blossoms blooming with the promise of the honey that’s too come. You can close your eyes & feel the sunshine and hear the gentle buzzing of honeybees as they lazily bob from flower to flower. Seriously. One of the things I love about perfume is the visceral experience scent can offer. It can take you back in time or just trigger a memory with one sniff. Honey Blossom made me feel like a kid lying in the gorgeous parks that are all over my fair city, maybe rolling in sweet clover. Or playing in the garden at my friend’s cottage next to the impossibly huge honeysuckle vine. From Aftelier’s website “If there were a flower that smelled like honey, this would be it.” Well this is a fact.  I had to keep sniffing my wrist to experience it.  Amazing still, this is an all natural fragrance.  I have the parfum/extrait version of this, and love it. Lately I have been a big dabber of perfume as I like to keep it light and simple, and the ritual of dabbing my scent on my pulse points is so pleasurable and part of my whole perfume experience.

honeysuckle blossoms

Mandy is a perfectionist and a purist who and hand blends and bottles the fragrances in small batches in her studio, and personally attend sto every detail of the process in creating a fragrance. In this fast world with everything available in masses and where the masses all smell the same, this is a refreshing outlook. Kind of explains why this perfume has “fairy tale” pretty written all over it. And why Honey Blossom was a top Finalist for Fragrance Foundation 2011 FiFi Award: Fragrance of the Year - Indie Brand. The FiFi awards are quite prestigious and usually go to the huge sellers and well knowns like Marc Jacobs and Dolce & Gabbana.

Honey is a notoriously tough note to work with. In too-high doses it can smell, well, urinous. Yes I’m talking to you Serge Lutens Miel de Bois- you can read a very witty review of this one on Perfume Smellin' Things. I know there are many that love this one, but seriously, all I got was, um, pee. I remember my daughters recoiling in disgust when they tried it. Funny how we smell things differently. But Honey Blossom is smooth, sweet and delectable, and somehow finds that "perfect" honey note without being too sweet or too, well, you know. It is the Goldilocks of honey scents - "just right". The notes of Honey Blossom include mimosa, linden blossom, orange blossom absolute, ambergris, and benzoin but it really is a sum of it's parts.

Sweet, innocent & natural...

Mandy is a true lover of perfume and is quite knowledgeable as well regarding the histories and traditions around perfume. She is the author of six books, three of which are on natural perfume. I know her from her amazing book  Essence and Alchemy: A Book of Perfume, which has been translated into seven languages and was the winner of The Sense of Smell Institute's Richard B. Solomon Award and was my very first book about perfume. I still have it & treasure it.

Aftelier is not out to re-invent the wheel with oddball bizarre perfumes. Nor is Aftelier a boring linear line of predictable naturals. After wearing and loving Honey Blossom, and having sniffed but not fully tested a few others (stay tuned for reviews) I can safely say that Aftelier is out to share knowledge & simply make the world smell prettier, one lovely scent at a time. 

4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much Jane for this beautiful and thoughtful review. I had considered putting honey absolute into this perfume when I was creating it but just as you said it is difficult to work with and i wanted the perfume to have a "sheer" texture.

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  2. I wonder how this compares to MAC Naked Honey? we were moaning about it's loss on Twitter the other day. Maybe Mandy Aftel has given us a replacement?

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  3. Sounds lovely! Do you think this is something that you could wear all year long? Where can I sample this, do you know by chance?

    I'm so thirilled that a natural perfumer is getting the recognition and attention that they deserve! Congrats to Mandy!

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  4. Anitac- You could absolutely wear this all year round! I think in cooler weather the warmer creamy aspects of the scent would just bloom. Mandy is a talented perfumer!

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