April 24, 2011

Aftelier Honey Blossom Perfume

This is perfume like liquid gold sunniness warming up the cool that clings around us from the long winter we've just had. A sweet nectar-like perfume, based on the theme of linden tree blossoms, which will soon to be bursting out upon us.  I  think of those cool Spring evenings landing over the warmer days, causing a heavy mist that catches and holds that linden flower fragrance in the air.  Daytime cheeriness, night-time narcotic.  The perfume is indeed a good likeness as in portrait of warm honey on the skin, which is a perfume idea whose time has come.  Somewhat rarer a perfume idea in the past, now we want to bathe ourselves in its olfactory equivalent.  Not the sweetness of sugar that is in many very "young" fragrances but  floral nectar thickened by the sun, a much deeper and more relaxing tone of sweetness.

This is the natural perfume that is in the running with a good chance for the first time award in this category, as held by the Fragrance Foundation. I think they have invited Aftelier into this awards process in part to open up the mainstream fragrance industry to what is happening all over, that is, so much creativity and interest in  natural perfumes.  Mandy Aftel's book, Essence and Alchemy was the inspiration for many, including me, to get seriously interested in perfume. Her presentation of the traditional materials and ways of making perfume have exerted a great influence on natural perfumers in this country, and green thinking people who love the sensuality of fragrance.

Mandy Aftel was and continues to be a pioneer  in making natural perfume as something creatively far beyond the simpler presentation of  natural elements as simply themselves, but more in the form of metaphorical and allusive poetic beauties.  For example rose as not just a rose but an iconic Rose in solid perfume form, in a silver case beside a deep Fir solid perfume; the layering implied and accomplishing the summer and winter round of the year in physical and olfactory form.   I think her background as a psychotherapist and writer must influence that reach into the primal sense memories of us all.

I remember when the Aftelier perfume Tango, about that passionately dramatic dance and Shiso, about that singular Asian scent essence central to the geisha's way of beauty came out, those dark liqueur like fragrances were demonstrating a very personal direction and motivation for composition with natural essences.  The more specifically personal the perfume, the more creative and interesting, in my experience.  

There is a consumer vote in this category of natural perfume, so I encourage all to enter the site and vote for Honey Blossom.  This will support natural perfumes as a category and Aftelier as an independent perfumer who does everything on their own, but has successfully reached out across to the wider world.  Encouraging to all independent perfumers to see Aftelier opening up this gateway to the mainstream fragrance world for well deserved recognition, for natural perfumes generally and this singularly beautiful one in particular.

The voting will open in a couple of days, at which time I will post a link directly to the voting area.  Facebook will also have a voting area.  I look forward to voting and to seeing what transpires.

Above, Unter de Linden, 18th Century print of the famous avenue of flowering trees in Berlin; and the Aftelier Honey Blossom photo from the site.  See the letters on Nathan Branch for  more information and links to the process of creation.  I love that transparent golden heart filled with Honey Blossom perfume - $80.
Please note the vote is now open, and anyone can vote!  Follow this link:
Please help elect the natural beauty, Honey Blossom.  
You must also vote in the men's section, in order for the ballot to be accepted.  
(My choice was 1 Million,  mainstream but well crafted )


lostpastremembered said...

Lovely homage to a great perfume, Lucy... it is all about Spring, isn't it? Those sweet nectars after all this snow and dark... wonderful heavenly gift. Does it get sexier than warm honey on skin???

I'm sure all you perfumers knew this, but I just discovered that early Egyptian scents were made with honey in the mix... Mandy is just channeling her inner Nile goddess! For me Linden will always be Proust and madeleines and that Linden flower tea... it is the iconic food/scent memory, isn't it??

Lucy said...

Lost Past,

I remember in the 80s trying Linden tea and hoping for rather more of this floral nectar effect than I got, but such perfumers are now channeling our collective desires and making them come true, for which I am thankful

tarleisio said...

This was a beautiful review of what is surely a beautiful perfume. I've never tried any of Mandy's creations, so I'll have to take your word for it, but if it's anything like the sample of Andy Tauer's Zeta I received yesterday, then it must be...spectacular! In my part of the world, linden blossom equals..summer, since they bloom in high summer here. That breath of warmth and heat and light and...sunshine, in both the air and the scent of the flowering trees...Color me intrigued - and thank you for such an evocative review!

Lucy said...

We must find a way for you to try some, I think you will be intrigued, it is a very different experience. I think I have said before naturals need a lot of space and quietness, they are subtle, hold close to the skin and are not as lasting but the spectacular effect you get with the full range of everything that is within the natural materials is so dimensional and alive.

Lucy said...

Ah ha! the consumer vote is open, please all go vote for the natural beauty Honey Blossom in Women
you must vote in men too. I know the One Million for men, rather good, and I love the video, got me into the Chemical Brothers...

Donna Maria @ Indie Business said...

I love Mandy's work! As the founder and CEO of the INDIE Beauty Network (IBN), I am especially excited to see this recognition for Mandy. I have known her for years and am proud to say that she is a member of IBN. I am excited to see how someone who makes handmade products has focused her efforts so much that she has been able to become so well known and remain profitable, yet still enjoy her life and remain true to her calling. Thank you for this wonderful post. Go Mandy!!

mandy said...

Thank you Lucy for your always beautiful writing. I deeply appreciate your aesthetic sensibility. Thank you too Deana, Donna Marie and Tarleisio for your kind words and thoughtfulness. I appreciate it very much.
mandy aftel

perfume million said...

All of you have an excellent work, mandy for all that handymade products and donna maria for help a lot being ceo and founder of IBN.

Lucy said...

Donna Maria and Perfume Million, thanks for stopping by, and supporting natural perfumes.

Lucy said...

Mandy, I am so looking forward to the results, which I hope will be good for you, and in any case, so happy to have the perfumes you have made brought forward for more attention.