Perfume Review: Aftelier Tango
Remember the night we danced
quietly on the sands where music
was played? Your words were
wonderers, said quietly
in the pockets of my ears."
Dancing Tango by Sheema Kalbasi
Tango by Mandy Aftel is perhaps one of the most unusual fragrances I have tried this year. One of a few that really, really touched something inside me, that made my heart beat faster in excitement and strange, acute and pleasurable, sorrow, the kind of excitement and sorrow that I feel when listening to Piazzolla's music. I find that, as my olfactory discoveries grow, the realm of what I accept and like expands, to the point when I can actually say that there are hardly any perfumes that I find disagreeable. I started on this perfume-obsession path with a long list of notes I hated, and in the last couple of years or so the list has shrank to maybe just a couple of ingredients (anise, almond, and...I guess, that's it!). But as the amount of fragrances I like or perhaps better to say, tolerate, increased, paradoxically, the number of the scents that I truly love shrank to an extent that I hardly ever consider anything full-bottle-worthy anymore. As my perfume-mania progressed, I moved from wanting to own everything I thought likeable to finding myself coming back to just a small "core" of scents and thus desiring to own only the things that really and truly move me, that haunt me, that speak to my soul in a language my mind can't even understand. Tango is one of those scents.
I have been postponing writing about it, because I can't seem to find a way to put in words what it is like. Tango is indescribable. If I said it was softly floral, slightly bitter, almost medicinal at times and smoky in an odd, non-woody sort of way, would it give you any idea of what it was like? If I said that it smelled as if the sea became a being, and that being danced with you all night the dance of passion, would that help ...or would you just think I have finally gone completely mad? Choya Nakh, the aroma of smoked seashells, is in the center of the composition, and it is an ingredient that is fascinating and incredibly appealing to me. I find it to be erotic in the same way that ambergris is erotic (although they don't smell similar at all) ...it has an insinuating, subtle sensuality that is much more effective in making my knees week than any sort of obviously come-hither notes. Aftel's scent is dark, devastatingly sexy and, for a reason that I can't explain, heartbreakingly tragic ...just like real tango.
Tango is available at Aftelier.com, $140.00 for 1/4oz.
Image source, Nancyfina.com.