Aftelier Perfumes Giveaway Winners Announced

Hey Hey All,

We have the best response EVER to a giveaway. Thank You all for getting on board and getting involved. I hope you’ve had as much fun as we have had reading all your great comments and new favourite Aftelier Fragrances.

Thank you Mandy Aftel for bringing us this wonderful week of Aftelier goodness. And yes, Mandy is as lovely, talented, driven and proactive as she looks. What a girl!!


Photo Stolen

How Did You Enter?

You had to follow AustralianPerfumeJunkies via RSS, Email, WordPress and tell me RSS/eM/WP in your comment.

You must also tell me any Aftelier Perfume/EdP/Candle/Tea/Chef’s Essence currently available on the Aftelier Perfume Website 

What’s In The Packs?

Lumiere Spray Tester
Tango Spray Tester
Wild Roses Parfum Splash Micro

Wild roses Spray Tester
Secret Garden Spray Tester
Honey Blossom Parfum Splash Micro

We had nearly 60 Indinidual Commenters and so that means we draw one $25 Aftelier Gift Certificate

Mandy Aftel has kindly offered to match that so we have TWO GIFT CERTIFICATES worth $25

Extra Chances
You could earn an extra chance each for
Facebooking this link: AFTELIER DOUBLE GIVEAWAY
Tweeting this: @OzPerfumeJunkie Aftelier Perfumes DOUBLE GIVEAWAY

Entries Closed Saturday December 1st 10pm AEDST. Winners were chosen by putting names on same sized papers, folded similarly, put on a tray and TSO Jin picked them.
Winners will have till Wednesday December 5th to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or I will give the prize to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit too.


winners propercoursePhoto Stolen propercourse

Aftelier Packs


$25 Gift Certificates


Winners will have till Wednesday December 5th to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or I will give the prize to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit too.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank you for giving yourselves so generously and being our APJ family. Next week we have another AWESOME GIVEAWAY. Don’t miss it.
Portia xx

Aftelier Perfumes Reviews

Hey Fumie Crew,

Don’t forget to have a go in our Aftelier Giveaway in yesterdays post and check my Guest Post on PerfumePosse today please,

Wednesday we were lucky enough to Interview Mandy Aftel, you still have time to enter Thursday’s Aftelier Giveaway and today we are looking at 3 of her fragrances. Two of these, Sepia and Parfum de Maroc, are already in my Fragrance Library on high rotation and I have a feeling the newest release Wild Roses isn’t far behind. I’m putting Wild Roses at the top of my Christmas Wish List and you might think about buying someone you love a set of the samples with a promissory note of a full bottle if they love one.

Wild Roses

Photo Stolen PerfumePharmer

Floral: to capture in perfume the experience of walking around my garden and smelling each rose, as their perfumes blended in my nose.
Top: rose CO2, heliotropin, bergamot, geraniol, m-methyl anthranilate, damascenone.
Heart: apricot, Turkish rose absolute, pimento berry, p-ethyl alcohol, rose petals attar.
Base: tarragon absolute, vanilla absolute, indole, aged patchouli.

I love the opening in Wild roses, dark like deep red rose petals left to dry and alcoholic. Imagine rose water and brandy but not mixed; side by side, like that; you get the idea. I dabbed and I find it rich, treacle-ish and warming. Sizzling rose water sherbet so thick you can become lost. I am going to order a bit more for myself so I can spritz. My mind is offerering me no perfume correlation to this magnificent rose. Spicy, boozy, fresh, dark, sweet, narcotic and magical: Mandy Aftel says this is to have become drunk on the scent of all roses. Yes, it certainly gives that feeling, floating o a sea of roses, buoyant, drifting. Only into the first hour but I’m finding it a linear scent that seems to be warming slowly, it feels like it will be around for hours and hours more.

Further reading PerfumePharmer and SmellyThoughts

Parfum de Maroc

Photo Stolen from Aftelier

I forgot what a delicious journey Parfum de Maroc (perfume of Morocco) takes you on. At once spicy, sweet and resinous like the best curries the opening of Parfum de Maroc is so enticing and full of nuance. It is warm here in Sydney and I feel like I’m back in Africa or India standing near a street vendor as the spices hit the ghee on the hot pan under the baking sun.This is the kind of spicy gourmand that makes me salivate in expectation of a flavour explosion. I now remember what saffron smells like because the opening is pure saffron and cardamom, and reminds me of sitting with my BFF Kath on my birthday at the Wildflower Hall in Shimla watching the chefs cook fabulous meals through the glass and flirting outrageously with our waiter. I get 4-6 hours from Parfum de Maroc depending on my day.

From Aftelier Perfumes website;
Spicy floral inspired by an ancient Moroccan spice recipe Ras el Hanout or “top of the shop” – a mixture of the best spices a seller has to offer….
Top: saffron, galangal.
Heart: Turkish rose, nutmeg.
Base: cardamom, myrrh.

Further reading ThisBlogReallyStinks and TheAlembicatedGenie


Photo Stolen from perfumepharmer

Sepia is a bit of a blockbuster on my skin. It is warm and dusty, floral and powdery, woody, smoky, dry and sere and smells to me like rural Australia. I can close my eyes and smell the unbroken expanses of sun beaten, dessicated red-earth desert where the properties are 1000’s of square kilometers with sheep, wheat and cattle. Many of the smaller towns have been engulfed in the last 50 years and stand silent, crumbling, with only their stone chimneys left like a mouth full of broken teeth. Sepia is the outback. It is also lovely and surprisingly strong. Still powering at 3 hours, now smelling like attics and bookstores Sepia warms and dirties towards dry down at around 5 hours with a skin scent remnant for a couple more.

From Aftelier Perfumes website;
Dry woods: Sepia is a tint, a watercolor wash, an atmosphere, a memory
Top: blood cedarwood, yellow mandarin, pink grapefruit.
Heart: pink lotus, strawberry, jasmine grandiflorum, cocoa, coffee.
Base: flowering tobacco, oud, indole, ambergris, cepes, labdanum.

Further reading PerfumeShrine and TheAlembicatedGenie

All of these delicious fragrances and many more available as well as candles, teas and cooking flavours at AftelierPerfumeswhere they have a sensational Sample Program

I hope you have enjoyed our Mandy Aftel and Aftelier Perfumes extravaganza this week. Don’t forget to go back to yesterday and have a go in our Aftelier Giveaway, good luck. Also don’t forget to go and check my Guest Post on PerfumePosse today please, say Hi while you’re there, it gives me shivers of pleasure when you do.

Till tomorrow,
Portia xx

Aftelier Perfumes DOUBLE GIVEAWAY!

Hello Stink Monkeys!!

Yesterday we were lucky enough to Interview Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes and she has kindly sent us not one but TWO GIVEAWAY PACKS!! They are both different fragrance sets and no, you don’t get to choose, they will go out to our two winners randomly.


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How Do You Enter?

You must follow AustralianPerfumeJunkies via RSS, Email, WordPress, please tell me RSS/eM/WP in your comment. Yes, you can join and follow to be eligible. EASY!

You must also tell me any Aftelier Perfume/EdP/Candle/Tea/Chef’s Essence currently available on the Aftelier Perfume Website (<<JUMP). NO DOUBLE UPS!! There is enough fabulous stuff on the site that we can have hundreds of commenters before we need to repeat anything. Got It? EASY PEASY!!

What’s In The Packs?

Lumiere Spray Tester
Tango Spray Tester
Wild Roses Parfum Splash Micro

Wild roses Spray Tester
Secret Garden Spray Tester
Honey Blossom Parfum Splash Micro

If we have more than 50 Separate Individual Commenters I will also draw a $25 Aftelier Gift Voucher, more than 100 Separate Individual Commenters I will draw 2 x $25 Aftelier Gift Vouchers

Extra Chances
You can earn an extra chance each for
Facebooking this link: AFTELIER DOUBLE GIVEAWAY
Tweeting this: @OzPerfumeJunkie Aftelier Perfumes DOUBLE GIVEAWAY

Photo Stolen Aftelier

Entries Close Saturday December 1st 10pm AEDST and winners will be announced in a separate post on Sunday. Winners will be chosen by putting names on same sized papers, folded similarly, put on a tray and TSO Jin will pick them. He doesn’t even stop watching TV to do it usually.
Winners will have till Wednesday December 5th to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or I will give the prize to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit too.

Photo of Mandy Aftel stolen Aftelier Perfumes

What are you waiting for? If you haven’t already done so, JUMP TO IT!! Aftelier Website link
See you tomorrow for reviews of the Aftelier range of fragrances.
Portia xx

Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes: Interview

Hello APJ Family,

We are thrilled that one of the world’s leading and most loved niche perfumers, teachers and authors has agreed to chat to us. There are few in the industry whose perfumes and self are spoken about with such reverence and respect as our special guest today. We have given her a tweaked version of the APJ Questionnaire and edited the answers slightly.

Mandy Aftel

Photo Stolen anuessentials

1. Do you have any mentors/inspirations in the perfume world? The person who has most inspired me in my creative life has always been Bob Dylan. I admire his great genius at expressing the vagaries of the heart — he is able to capture rich emotional states and memories which is something I seek to do in my perfumes. I think the first way I have of understanding the world is through my feelings… so strong in me that the only place that I can capture them and put them down is in a perfume.
My other great inspiration is the beauty of the essences themselves: the complexity, beauty, range, texture, and shape of the natural essences. I happily spend large chunks of time sourcing materials from all over the world. When I get a new essence in my hands, I’m always thinking about how I can bring it to life in a perfume and find my way to understanding each essence from the inside…. I love the range from funky stinky to drop-dead gorgeous and everything in between. They intrigue, inspire, fascinate and thrill me. I love holding in my hand the essences that have been used since the beginning of time in every culture across the world.

2. What is your philosophy regarding the use of natural ingredients as opposed to synthetics? I don’t really have a philosophy about using natural ingredients. I, myself, am more interested in the talent of the perfumer rather than the palette that they use. Personally, I am deeply inspired by the natural essences, and synthetics hold no magic for me. There is a texture and shape to the naturals aromas that’s extremely beautiful to me, and I feel as though I’m able to enter them and see them from the inside. I also must confess that their history intertwined with the history of man around the planet is something that’s quite thrilling to me.

5. Did you have a formal education in perfume or are you self-taught and tell us about your school please? I am a self-taught perfumer — I have a collection of 200 turn-of-the-century perfume books which I have studied over the years but my biggest teacher was the essences themselves. My Level 1 Workbook gives you the necessary perfumery vocabulary, the basics of relative intensity, the very important aspects of construction, and a deep understanding of what makes a top note, a middle note, or a base note. You will learn about the textures, smells, and intensities that differentiate these notes. The exercises in this workbook introduce various families of scents, familiarize you with the blending capacities of similar essences, and refine your ability to distinguish between essences within each family.
After completing the Level 1 Workbook, you can come to work with me in person at the in-studio class. This level of instruction can’t be done remotely – I need to see how you interact with the materials, and spend some time one-on-one (the class size is very small). This is a key step in learning how to critique your perfume formulas. It is very important to understand what contributes to the essences burying or locking with each other; both effects can have either a positive or negative outcome in a perfume blend.

Essence & Alchemy $15.50 @ BookDepository delivered worldwide

6. Your book, Essence & Alchemy, A Natural History of Perfume is a go-to tome often the first that new perfumistas pick up, how did that come about? When I wrote essence and alchemy I felt I had discovered this useful lost world of natural aromatics and want to share. I could not believe all the treasures I found in the antique perfume books and in the essences themselves…. I had no idea that the book would go on to have such a life and be treasured by so many people. I am now working on a new book, which I see as the successor to essence and alchemy. That feels slightly intimidating and I’m hoping that this will pick up where essence and alchemy left off.

Photo Stolen perfumepharmer

7. Can you tell us a little about your new perfume release Wild Roses? Each of my perfumes is created around solving a design challenge and capturing emotional memory. I usually start with a pair of essences that I am interested in working with and from there I build the perfume. The foundation of Wild Roses was the relationship between apricot and rose, and I anchored it with a foundation of tarragon absolute. It was a difficult design challenge to have the rose aromas evolving all the way through the perfume from beginning to end, revealing the various facets and shades of roses.
Having grown roses in my garden for years, I was smitten with the unique beauty and great variety of rose aromas. I wanted to capture in perfume the experience of walking around my garden and smelling each rose, as their perfumes blended in my nose. This is the rose that exists in your mind after you have smelled so many garden roses — blush, ruby, canary, purple, crimson edged with brown, pure white, candy-cane striped — that you feel intoxicated.

Mandy Aftel’s store Aftelier Perfumes Shop
Aftelier also has an  Excellent Sample Program

I feel like we have been able to look a little into Mandy Aftel’s soul and now when I smell her fragrances I will understand them a bit more too. Very seriously considering doing the Perfume Course right now also.

This week we are dedicating to Mandy Aftel and Aftelier Perfumes. Wednesday we will look at some of the range and Thursday there will be a GIVEAWAY!! Don’t forget.

Till we see you tomorrow,
Take care of you and those in your orbit,
Portia xx

Australian Perfumers: An interview with Liz Cook of One Seed

By Evie C.

Photo Stolen from One Seed


Here at australianperfumejunkies one of our aims is to explore what’s going on in Australian perfumery and to celebrate our own wonderfully talented perfumers.  One of our favourite discoveries has been Liz Cook of natural perfume house One Seed.

Liz has a long-standing interest in natural ingredients and brings a wealth of experience to her range.  She was kind enough to share some insights with us in to the origins and evolution of One Seed.  We hope you enjoy the following interview.

How did you become interested in becoming a perfumer?

 I’ve had an interest in natural health and cosmetics since I was a young teen and I experimented with DIY natural skincare and aromatherapy in my early 20s. Then in 2001 – when I was 25 – I opened an organic beauty and lifestyle store in Adelaide, Out of Eden, and the journey continued. During the next seven years I spent a lot of time researching and practicing, and created thousands of blends for clients and for the store with customised skincare, aromatherapy blends and the occasional perfume. My passion for natural scent developed during that time, and I had a lot of success with the blends I created in that business. When I sold the business in 2008, I kept only the perfume formulae, seeing a gap in the market for natural perfumery that I might fill at a later date. Three months later I began working on the first fragrances for One Seed.

What were you doing before you became a perfumer?

I have had many ‘careers’ in my short life, from starting off in retail (don’t we all?!), then studying a Bachelor of Nursing (which I quit half way through), and photography which saw me through several years of uni and has proved to be a great fall-back choice for me; I also studied Social Science, Community Development, and then Small Business Management prior to opening Out of Eden in 2001. But my passion has always been business. I’ve been entrepreneurial all my life – I can’t help myself!!  By the way, I also have two kids (9 and 5), so that has also kept me busy!

How did you get your education as a perfumer?

I am a passionate researcher and self-trained in aromatherapy and perfumery. I’ve been researching this field for well over a decade, read reams and reams of articles and books, and watch and analyse what some of my favourite indie perfumers are doing. And LOTS of trial and error!!

Why did you want to be a perfumer in Australia where the culture of ‘perfume’ is somewhat limited?

I never accept limitations. Perhaps naively, I’ve always preferred to make my own path, and I don’t feel restricted by what is or is not considered possible or plausible. Sometimes this has been my downfall, and it often means pushing those hard yards for a long time without success or recognition, but it’s just the way it is with me. I feel proud to be an indie perfumer in Australia where very few exist (in fact, there are only two other natural perfumers offering a product at a retail level in Australia). And I like the idea that I might be somewhat of a trailblazer!

Do you have any mentors/inspirations in the perfume world?

Mandy Aftel is just amazing! She is an inspiration for a lot of indie perfumers because she has incredible skills and has made an amazing success of her natural perfumery brand, as well as being one of the main reasons natural perfumery has begun to get mainstream attention. She is definitely a trail-blazer!

Do you have a favourite mass-market perfume?

 I don’t wear them at all myself, but my mum wears Escada Sentiment, and I love how it smells on her. It’s like rose and sherbet. I actually made her something similar using naturals (hoping she’d ditch the synthetics), but she still prefers her Escada! If I was into mass-market perfumes, I’d probably be a Chanel girl because I love originators – and I’m a total sucker for amazing marketing!

Do you have a favourite independent perfumer?

Apart from Mandy Aftel, I also like what Olivia Giacobetti. She’s worked with some big names, but I love what she has done with Honore des Pres (I really want a bottle of Les Carrotes). Annick Goutal also has my attention.

Do you have a signature scent? If so, what is it and how did you find it?

Personally, I don’t have a signature scent; I go with whatever I feel on the day, and I’m always wearing my latest experiment! But “Freedom” has become somewhat of One Seed’s signature scent. It’s an easy-to-wear combination of classics with a unique twist, and has a delicate yet mature femininity, which probably represents our brand pretty well.

Like many perfumers, I also have a set of signature essences which I always go back to by default. They include rose otto, ambrette, amber and magnolia and a few others. I have to make a conscious effort not to use them in everything!

Do you consider One Seed to be bucking the ‘clean scent’ trend?

Absolutely. I understand the trend toward clean scents, as people really want to go back to basics, and that seems to mean the simple pleasure of the smell of clean, fresh fabric. I think it’s about going back to simple pleasures, which is a good thing. But in order to get that type of fragrance you either have to use a bunch of synthetics to mimic to scent, or keep your nose in your linen closet! We don’t use synthetics, and we really don’t follow trends at all. Not that we intentionally buck trends, but each fragrance I create has its own unique story or theme. My focus is always getting the most out of a beautiful natural palette of aromas to create a unique fragrance experience.

Why is it important to you to use natural ingredients rather than synthetics?

(I could talk about this subject for hours!) There is a lot of information out there for anyone who’s interested in finding out exactly what is in their bottle of perfume, but one of the best articles I’ve found is called Not So Sexy. Basically, most perfumes (including the big names) are a combination of lab-produced synthetic fragrances, UV filter, artificial colours, and phthalates for increased silage or longevity, many of which are hormone-disruptors, potentially carcinogenic, and can commonly cause nausea, headache and allergic reactions. Reading the ingredients list is only moderately helpful as up to 50% of ingredients won’t even be listed on the package due to ‘trade secret’ loopholes.

Of course, there are also some natural which can cause allergic reactions, or should not be used by pregnant women for example, but I completely believe in the beauty of natural perfumery, and a skilful perfumer knows how to create a fragrance masterpiece using only a palette of naturals. I am a firm believer in avoiding exposure to unnecessary chemicals, and there are enough natural fragrance options out there these days that I think it’s entirely possible to avoid synthetic perfumes completely if you want to.

What do you see as the most important trend in perfume currently?

There is a definite leaning toward naturals. Most perfume houses have started to include some naturals in their formulae. I think more and more consumers are demanding it, so the market is slowly (very slowly!) turning. But I think the most important trend is toward niche or indie perfumers. That’s very exciting for perfumers like me as it means it is actually a commercial viability to be a small perfumer. Ten years ago, that was definitely not the case. Consumers are definitely becoming more discerning, wanting something unique, and willing to try something different.

Do you think it’s financially viable to be a perfumer in Australia?

It is difficult to make a good income as an independent perfumer anywhere, especially in Australia. But it is viable if you are a good perfumer and understand your market well. And the value of blogs and independent perfume reviewers (like Australian Perfume Junkies) cannot be underestimated.

Could you describe a typical One Seed customer? Are your customers entirely local or do you have customers internationally?

Our customers are about 60% local and 40% international (mainly US). A typical One Seed customer is a 30-40-something woman with a leaning toward organics or natural living, someone who has a broad world view, values family and community and loves finding unique and independent artisans of all types! She is a woman of style, but not overly influenced by trendiness or high fashion, or mass-market.

How significant is the online side of your business and do you think it could be viable to run a perfume business entirely online?

Our online store has become an integral part of our business over the past 12 months as we have had a lot of interest from blogs and online perfume reviewers. Prior to that, we didn’t sell a lot online, but now our online sales are really what help keep the business afloat in tough retailing times. As far as running on online-only perfume business, I think it can be difficult, especially for a small perfume house that isn’t in the mainstream. It is vital to get yourself out there, become known to magazine editors, bloggers and other reviewers whose opinion is valued by consumers. But, ultimately, I think perfume is an experience, not just a product, and it needs to be smelt and seen to be understood.

Can you tell us a little about the genesis of your newer fragrances ‘Frangipani’ and ‘Sweet Water’? (Also, when will they be available?)

 Both are available in our online store, and soon to be available in stores. Frangipani was actually created for my friend Kate as a birthday gift, and I had such good feedback every time people smelled the leftover vial, I just had to release it. We describe it as “A quintessential frangipani fragrance capturing the sweet nectar of frangipani blossoms, delicately supported by melodious fruit, floral & musk tones”, and it’s really pretty. In fact, it’s my husband’s favourite fragrance to wear so it’s not that pretty! On him, is smells a touch more earthly and completely divine!!

Sweet Water was developed as part of a Natural Perfumers Guild Project in 2011, with the theme of “Brave New World”. The idea was to develop a scent using natural only available since 2000. I created Sweet Water inspired by the smell of grass after rain in summer. It’s a sweet green chypre with a sweet heart of honey, mint and summer blossoms enveloped by a watery aromatic top note and dewy base of amber and sweet grasses. It’s one I’m most proud of, but it’s one you’ll either love or avoid.