The Golden Season: A Holiday Trio from Aftelier Perfumes
Aftelier Perfumes has launched two special new products for Holiday 2012, coming close on the heels of her new perfume launch, and after testing all three of them I can state with confidence that you just can’t go wrong whether you give one of them as a gift or if you are lucky enough to be the recipient.
Not long ago I reviewed the wonderful Oud Luban, a welcome all-natural addition to the dizzying array of oud-based fragrances that are so popular now. Smelling neither overtly medicinal nor harsh as some synthetic ouds can be, it is a warm and radiant fragrance, and a great introduction to oud scents for the timid among us. The Extrait version, which really knocked my socks off, is now available. It is hypnotically redolent and incredibly smooth. Even in this highly concentrated formula, it is better mannered than many oud perfumes and the use of elemi, blood orange and orange terpenes in contrast with the oud works like a charm, creating both a delicious citrus opening and a saffron-like effect as the scent develops on the skin. It would be an ideal special occasion fragrance for men, but women will love it too, as I do.
Mandy Aftel started making her Ancient Resins Body Oil & Hair Elixir especially for a certain Mr. Leonard Cohen, who uses it as hair oil and is never without it. Now the rest of us can experience this wonderful product, which is a subtly scented oil that softens the skin, smoothes the hair and adds a touch of fragrance to the daily grooming routine. It is a simple composition of frankincense, balm of Gilead, benzoin, elemi and labdanum, in a rich base of jojoba and coconut oils. It is rich without being too sweet, soothing without being greasy, and easily suited to either women or men. It is quickly absorbed and its moisturizing benefits last all day, so it is ideal for winter use. This elixir, which is also available in several other holiday-worthy scents such as Chocolate & Saffron and Pear, Fir & Coffee, is among the most affordable in the Aftelier lineup, which means you can give it as a gift and keep one (or more) for yourself.
It might seem strange that Wild Roses is the first rose perfume from Aftelier; the line has fragrances of almost every style you can think of, and not having a perfume that highlights the Queen of Flowers might seem to be a major gap in the line. Fear not, for it was worth the wait. Wild Roses is a rose scent like no other, rich and resplendent, and saturated with the intensity of three different rose essences, spices, apricot, tarragon and other herbs, in base of vanilla absolute, indole and aged patchouli. Mandy took her inspiration from the experience of walking around her own garden and smelling all the roses there. It does not capture the aroma of any particular kind of rose, but it does remind me of several of my own favorites – the rich, sleepy muskiness of the old Hybrid Musk ‘Buff Beauty’ which, unlike most roses, gives its perfume freely to the warm summer air; the astonishing David Austin English Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’ with its nearly tropical mélange of fruity notes; and most of all, the modern Romantica rose ‘Comtesse de Provence,’ in whose deep coral petals lies the delightful surprise of sweet apricots bursting with ripeness. I can’t tell you how often I have inhaled the scent of this delicious rose and thought to myself how wonderful it would be to have a perfume that captures it. Well, now there is one! Wild Roses is a fantasy rose perfume, and its evocation of a bigger than life, languid rose fragrance is the kind of flower one dreams of in deepest winter, a golden talisman to cling to when the garden is nothing but lifeless black branches and barrenness. It is the hazy anticipation of summer that keeps us going when our only garden pleasure is looking at catalogues and gazing inward with the mind’s eye at our ideal garden - yes, this year it will be perfect, just the way we want it, glowing with color and filled with fragrant blossoms and glistening fruits. Whether the Eau de Parfum or the simply stupefying Extrait is selected, this marvelous perfume will warm anyone’s summer-starved heart.
Image credit: Collage by Donna, using various images from the Web and aftelier.com
Disclosure: Aftelier Perfumes sent me the samples of the above products for testing.