Amber Tapestry by Mandy Aftel for Aftelier Perfumes (2016)


I was delighted to receive a little parcel via Fed Ex all the way from Berkeley California recently. It was from master perfumer Mandy Aftel and was wrapped like a piece of precious treasure. Mandy is a fragrant and flavourist expert who has the worldwide respect of customers and peers alike.


I received my sample spray phial of Amber Tapestry last week and I have been taking my time in getting to know it before reviewing it. After all, Mandy didn’t rush making it, so I owe it such courtesy in return.

Amber Tapestry is suitably named. Each component makes up the overall picture with splashes of colour and vibrancy that make this scent a constant unfolding  enigma.

The heliotrope, which my nose mistook for lilac, speaks of springtime optimism. There was a note of pollen in there too, that reminded me of the dust you get on your nose when you sniff a daffodil (I should know, it’s the National Flower of Wales).  The orange and the jasmine together give this a creamy and alluring opening act.  The combination of the two makes for a sort of exaggerated orange blossom.amber2

The middle phase is where this gets more tapestry like. The resin-y incense tones of benzoin  (often used in cough mixture) seem to add a faded grandeur to the big white flowers that start so brightly. The heady white blooms are toned down by the warmth of golden amber as the base notes cast a sunset over this evocative scent. There is a subtle touch of animal in the finale, but rather than being a body odour  animalic, its more of an intimate back-of-the-neck scent- if you’re familiar with my review of Aftelier Memento Mori, you’ll know the honeyed skin scent I mean.

Each note is interwoven to give an overall accord of a resinous, leathery vanilla. It was a real grower on me. The longer I have worn it, the more I like it

Amber Tapestry is a scent for all seasons. From Spring to Autumn in one fell swoop, the floral optimism of its opening gives way to a cosy richness that ends with the feeling of being hugged by an amber blanket of warmth.

Mandy uses natural ingredients and to my nose, these have an authenticity that makes for a deep and rich olfactory experience. It is my ambition to visit her perfume museum in Berkeley one day. Like Aftelier fragrances, I just know it will be unforgettable.


All Aftelier Scents are available from the Aftelier website.


Top photo of Klimt painting from Photo of sample is my own. Illustration from sample provided by Mandy Aftel with my warm thanks. Opinions are my own.

8 thoughts on “Amber Tapestry by Mandy Aftel for Aftelier Perfumes (2016)”

  1. Heartfelt thanks dear Sam for your wondrous, insightful writing (and I love the Klimt that you chose)! You really got it about the phantom vanilla note – there’s no vanilla in it (to avoid overlap with Vanilla Smoke), but the facets of nearby notes combine to create the image of vanilla. 🙏💜👃
    xo Mandy

    1. Dearest Mandy, yes! the phantom vanilla! it’s like hybrid of the other ingredients but at the same time very different to beautiful Vanilla Smoke. I do think that your winter scents are unbeatable. They are a real sensory experience and more than just a scent. xxx

    1. Oh thank you bellissimoal! What lovely words. I am so chuffed. Thank you! Comments like that keep me going and mean so much. xxx

  2. I too love reading your reviews. I think a winter scent which you enjoy spending company with all day is somehow more difficult to find. I particularly enjoy reading about natural unusual scents as well as old familiars like Avon. I think you get the balance so right, I love reading your reviews it’s so uplifting and transporting after a so so day at work. 🙂

    1. Lucie, I can’t thank you enough for your lovely comments. I’ve had a tricky time lately but comments like yours put a spring in my step and wings on my back. Thank you! xxxx

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