September 26, 2010

Cepes et Tuberose – Mandy Aftel


This perfume is a fusion of dark and bright.  I thought of a stroke of lightening, a flash of brightness piercing through darkness.
If you have a particularly clear head, and fresh breath, inhaling this is like experiencing the liquid distillation of dark brocade with gold thread worked through it.  The cloy of tuberose is completely subsumed by the earthiness and acrid tang of the loamy mushroom, yet retains its powerful floral sweetness and together they create something like a new form of patchouli.  A form that is much brighter and greener, anchored tightly into a strong muscular base. Each element seems to both conceal and reveal each other.  It must be that push pull that gives it an addictive quality.
At first consideration, this may sound like a combination that would not make a happy marriage, but it is a case of each element highlighting each other’s best side, and even minimizing each other’s potential drawbacks.  I love the earthiness of the essence of cepes, but it can have a dirtiness that isn’t always appropriate, where the tuberose is achingly beautiful but so heady as to be almost immediately headache inducing with the well known cloying aspect that quickly becomes the dominant tone.  So unusual, for a natural perfume to be able to manipulate the notes in such a way as to remove those two over-the-top aspects of each essence so that you have the freshness of a rain soaked earth quality without dirtiness, and the floral high without turning the corner into over-sweetness.  The combination is both primal and refined.
Almost like making a discovery, rather than sensing the beauty of a composition, I was so struck by my first exposure it was like witnessing two essentially different worlds/cultures meet and instead of colliding they enhanced each other.
As with all true and completely natural fragrances, this one is very ephemeral, and dissipates its strength quickly.  The glory is so big it is completely worth it.  This perfume is like poetry -- condensed, powerful, skillfully hitting all the sweet spots in the pleasure and memory centers directly.
This is a most remarkably beautiful thing and my favorite of all the Aftelier fragrances I have tried.  The full note list is bois de rose, tuberose, Moroccan rose, cepes absolute, benzoin. I think the roses and benzoin are smoothing the edges of the strongest elements - not evident in themselves but acting as the most subtle moderators.

9 comments:

Scent Hive said...

I too adore this Aftelier fragrance. Its complexity is beautiful.

EauMG said...

I have to try this one. It sounds amazing.

chayaruchama said...

Didn't you do marvelous justice to this masterwork !
My absolute [ sic] favorite.

Lucy said...

Trish, I think it is the naturals equivalent to Carnal Flower, very different in style but the same power

Lucy said...

Eau, yes, it is worth seeking out. Try it inside a warm room so it can come out more fully.

Lucy said...

C/I, Thank you, I have tried, but as you know, words cannot always express exactly a scent, but this is my personal reaction, & that is all any of us can offer...

nuages said...

Sounds like the dance of two divine lovers.
A stunning review.

Lucy said...

Dear Nuages, thank you, the perfume really is an inspiration in itself

Ragna said...

A really beautiful review.
The combination of the two scents is a creative masterpiece that I must experience sometime..soon! Big thanks to Mandy and you!!
Ragna