|Roses at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (copyright 2012, Lucy Raubertas)|
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)|
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|
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|
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.
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Copyright 2012, Lucy Raubertas, all Rights Reserved.