August 12, 2012

Aftelier Fir and Roses Solid Perfumes

Roses at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (copyright 2012, Lucy Raubertas)
Certain perfumes, especially these, evoke the deepest archetypes.  Everyone knows the scent of rose and fir, even if only from Christmas, or as a reference in the reproduction floral scents found everywhere. 

Aftelier Fir and Roses solid perfumes are made from the finest sources available, from essences of the real things, and I must say, these perfumes open as spectacularly as the dawn.

They reach into and round out  your memory to fill in the gaps, if there are any, of what you know about roses in full peak of bloom in the sun, and fir standing in cool fog, releasing scent from the crushed dry needles under your feet.

They put you right within the midst of roses and fir.  They perfect your memory of these iconic scents in case you have forgotten even a particle of their subtlest aspects.  These perfumes provide a full experience of these seductive natural fragrances in the moment the essences of their hundreds of natural compounds hit your brain through your nose.

This is an ephemeral experience, different from other types of perfume, more like tasting a fine wine as it passes through your mouth.  Since there are no preservatives or other additives to promote longevity, the experience lasts as long as a natural one does.  There is a tremendous initial rush, and then the fade is slow and subtle.  As solids these perfumes hold very close to the skin, and have more longevity than they would if held in a rapidly evaporating medium such as perfumer's alcohol.

Prospect Park Evergreen in the Rain (copyright 2012, Lucy Raubertas)
The initial experience of Roses is like jumping into an enormous pile of fresh rose petals.   The fragrance of Fir fills your mind with its energy and bracing aromatic dry wood tone.

According to the Aftelier site, Roses is blended from different tonalities of rose, those of honey, myrrh, musk, and spice. The fir tone has an an almost animal soft sweetness that blends well with the natural clean musc tone of skin.  The site recommends trying Fir alone, or as a layer over Roses or other florals, uplifting them both through a marriage of compatible complementary natural compounds.

This perfume experience demonstrates the relationship of humans to both the flower and the tree.  We are all cousins in that we aim to cloak ourselves in olfactory beauty for the sake of attracting a mate.  Or in our case also for the sake of beauty itself, for our own pleasure, and because it is in our nature to crave beauty.

As I am reading the Ellena book Perfume, I thought of his advice about the juxtaposition of perfume materials, in that they influence our perception when close to each other.  It is true when you put these two together, either layered or side by side, they influence your perception of each. My preference is to have one on each wrist, which is close enough to gain dimension by proximity but separate enough for each to preserve their full individual power.

Fir and Roses silver compact/Aftelier
I have long admired the simple divided silver case with Roses on one side and Fir on the other that I have seen on the Aftelier site.  It is a brilliant arrangement that works in so many ways.  As an object, as the two separate perfumes, as the presentation that allows them both to be accessed at the same time, and as a way to show them to be so essentially different but essentially related.

The medium is a soft unfiltered beewax with jojoba oil.  Separately Roses and Fir are $210 each for 1/4 ounce in a solid sterling silver hand-made compact case.  (There are also a selection of unique repurposed silver watch and snuff cases for varying prices).  The double solid compact of Fir and Roses is $395 for two 1/4 ounces together.  Samples of can be had for $6.

Marie Antoinette a la Rose, by Vigee-Lebrun 
The Muse (as in ambery musk) and Jasmine solid perfume double compact combination looks like another  that would make for a deep swoon in those susceptible to such olfactory natural magic.

For more about natural perfumes please read Mandy Aftel's Essence and Alchemy, so evocative and generous in its sharing of experience and sources.
Disclosures:  Please note, the two small samples of these solid perfumes were provided to me by the perfumer Mandy Aftel. We have an ongoing relationship that has developed over time and we have spoken frequently about perfume and our creative endeavors. As always, my opinions are my own and I have not been commissioned or compensated in any way.

Above images: the first two photos are by me (Copyright 2012, Lucy Raubertas, all rights reserved). 
The Aftelier compact photo is borrowed from the Aftelier site;
More on the detail of a hand holding a rose, taken from a portrait by Vigee-Lebrun, at:  Marie Antoinette a la Rose.

Dear Pinner to Pinterest or Tumbler: If you want to pin my photographs, please link back to this site and make sure that the link works. I love sharing with you, all I ask is that you kindly share back with me!

Copyright 2012, Lucy Raubertas, all Rights Reserved.


lostpastremembered said...

Love the combination, Lucy! I put fir into so many things... currently labdanum and carnation. I think it is a magical ingredient that feeds into our primeval roots. Lovely review.

Lucy Raubertas said...

Could agree more, the fir is primeval, and one of those rare instances where you can get an olfactory hit of the full real thing that hits all the right places. As with the roses. I wish I had enough to bathe in.

mandy said...

Thank you for this wonderful review Lucy - such vivid eloquence is rare! Besides your very cogent, informative writing about naturals in general and my solid perfumes in particular, I appreciate your artful descriptions of the moods & notes – so masterful at truly elucidating this art!

Lucy Raubertas said...

Thank you Mandy. I think anyone with a feeling for beauty would love this Roses and Fir compact --so soothing and beautiful. said...

Hi There, I just spent a little time reading through your posts, which I found entirely by mistake whilst researching one of my projects. Please continue to write more because it’s unusual that someone has something interesting to say about this. Will be waiting for more!

Lucy Raubertas said...

I will write more, please check back. Thanks for the encouragement.