Tag Archives: Aftelier Palimpsest

My Top Ten Scents for Spring

brambleberry

Looking through my blog I found it hard to believe that I’ve never done a Spring round up. Since I am a devoted fan of hesperides and green notes, this seemed nothing short of a shortfall. Spring is that time when you can leave the heavy hitters behind and start to wear the scents that reflect a cold earth coming back to life. Many of my favourite flowers are Spring flowers: daffodils, bluebells and hyacinths. I love them in real life and I love them in my garden.

 

1. 4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green

fragrantica

This brings to mind a madrigal I can sing (the only one actually) “Each with his merry lass/Upon the greene grass”. This is, as that quote might suggest, green and grassy and a little chalky and violetty in the base, like a mossy white cliff.  I adore it. You can buy it from 4160 Tuesdays. I reviewed it here.

 

 

2. Aftelier Palimpsest

Mandy Aftel, from www.aftelier.com

 

Dear Mandy Aftel sent me a lovely sample of Palimpsest and my first thought was “she has captured the daffodil!”. It is an exact capture, and being Welsh, I know my daffodils. My review is here. You can buy Mandy’s wonderful (and all natural) creations from her website.

3.Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange

carillon pour un angeI could not leave out a lily of the valley scent in a Spring line up.  I am attempting to grow lily of the valley for the first time this year and I hope my late grandmother’s green fingered genes will live on. I have a full bottle of Carillon Pour Un Ange on my dressing table and believe me when I say a little goes a long way. Here’s my review. You can buy it from the Tauer website or you could try Les Senteurs.

4. Shay and Blue London English Cherry Blossom

cherry blossomWhat could be more springlike than blossom? Here you really get the cherries as well as the petals. I have a full bottle of this and the packaging alone is worth owning. It’s a joy to look at and to wear. You can read my review here. You can buy Shay and Blue from trusty Marks and Spencer.

 

5. Friedemodin Vertine

www.Friedemodin.com

A delightfully green and refreshing scent with hints of mint and basil. It is as gentle as a watercolour. This is one of four beautiful scents in this small but superb capsule range. You can read my review of it here. You can now buy Freidemodin in TK Maxx as well as instore at Harvey Nichols.

 

6. Library of Fragrance

Tomato-LOF-Hero.jpg_1024x1024There are two Library of Fragrance scents that sum up Spring for me: Wet Garden has a touch of earthiness and bags of fresh hyacinth. My review is here. It smells like total heaven on my friend Alison!

Library of Fragrance Tomato proved that if ever it was worth smelling something blind it was this. I was sent it as a surprise and I fell for it hard. Replete with green shoots, leaves and that rhubarby/lemon scent of a true greenhouse tomato, this is an uplifting scent that deserves it place in any Spring list. My recent review is here. You can buy Wet Garden and Tomato from Library of Fragrance or Boots.

7. Penhaligon’s Bluebell

bluebellHow can it be Spring unless there are bluebells? Bluebells are one of my favourite flowers. Penhaligon’s has captured it better than anything else I have tried. My review is here. You can buy Bluebell from Penhaligon’s, Amazon UK or allbeauty.com.

8. Carven L’Eau de Toilette

carven bottleI reviewed this beautiful green scent recently ( see link here) and it was light, airy and clean smelling. This is a delight to wear on a spring day and reasonably priced too. You can buy it from Amazon UK or from Fragrance Direct.

9. Miller Harris Coeur de Jardin

millerharris jardin denfanceMiller Harris, ever reliable, comes up with the goods yet again. Coeur de Jardin is a beautifully spring like fragrance that teams pear, tuberose, jasmine and moss together for the scent of a garden straight from your childhood. My review is here. I also recommend Cassis en Feuille (review here), which is blackcurrants and tomatoes, but a realistic greenhouse version. You can buy these from the Miller Harris website.

10. Jo Loves No 42 The Flower Shop

product_100_fragrance_flower-shopNo 42 The Flower Shop is named after Jo Malone’s first workplace. Jo Malone MBE of Jo Malone fame (does that make sense?) has created a second, more personal perfume house. Using fragrance notes she is passionate about,No 42 the Flower Shop has that lovely accord of a florists that is as much about stems and leaves as it about fresh petals and buds. My review is here. You can buy this from Jo Loves.

 

 

 

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Photos: Top photo of cherry blossom from www.brambleberry.com. Tomato photo from www.westmillorganics.co.uk. Miller Harris photo from Miller Harris. Jo Loves photo from Jo Loves. . Library of Fragrance photo from Library of Fragrance. Photo of Mandy Aftel from www.aftelier.com.  “Wet Plants” photo from Pinterest. All others are from Fragrantica

Aftelier Perfumes: Palimpsest

LIQ-EDP-Palimpsest-1

 Palimpsest: A manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing

Mandy Aftel is an independent perfumer based in California with a die-hard fan base, and more accolades than you can shake a stick at- and after trying several samples that she very kindly Fed-Exed to me, I can see why.

Firstly- the name:  After I’d read it a few times and stopped saying Pample-est in my head, I realised that, aside from some Yuzu, this was nothing to do with grapefruit (it’s not Pamplelune) and everything to do with layers.

A Palimpsest is “A manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing.”

(www.oxforddictionaries.com).  You can see why this is a great name for a perfume that is a cornucopia of layers and which constantly changes on my skin and which juxtaposes the old with the new.

The Archimedes Palimpsest fromThe Guardian

My preconceptions were torn asunder when I first tried Palimpsest, and I have been learning more than ever lately that it will never do to cross olfactory notes off my list of “Likes”.  I usually sidestep peach, honey and yellow flowers, but Palimpsest has all three tied together with a hint of citrussy yuzu, and most interestingly of all, an edge that smells like dried incense smoke.

Initially, there was a sourness to this, which isn’t always a bad thing, but then loud peaches took over, bedding down into richer, dried apricots enveloped in a waft of joss sticks.  Some borderline indolic Jasmine wafts by, leaving an impression but not staying long.  I wouldn’t like to break this down into top,middle and base notes  because it doesn’t stay still.

Mandy Aftel, from www.aftelier.com
Mandy Aftel, from www.aftelier.com

One overwhelming impression that it left me with, is that Palimpsest is the exact, and I mean the exact smell that you get when you stick your nose right into a fully blooming daffodil. There’s honey, yellow flowers and pollen and vanilla and that hint of natural spice in a daff that reminds you that it came from a vegetable like bulb. I don’t even know if it was deliberate or if it’s my take on it- is after all the national flower of Wales where I live, so I consider myself an aficidando of sticking noses in Daffodils.

wiki commons
wiki commons

Palimpsest is not only a superb, multi layered and interesting scent, but it is that rare thing- an all natural perfume.  Personally, I don’t mind what’s in my perfume as long as it smells good, but it is no mean feat to maintain this principal.

Mandy is remarkably successful- she was named in the top seven bespoke perfumers in the world by Forbes and Basenotes rated her in the top twenty five most influential people in perfume ( and they know what they’re talking about over there). Her very first brand, Grandiflorum was sold to Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, and she has been her own boss at Aftelier perfumes since 1997.

LIQ-MINI-Palimpsest-1

Despite her success, Mandy remains approachable and down to earth, and her passion shines through in all she does.

I would like to also point you in the direction of a blog that is so good that I treat it like textbook: Perfume Shrine.  The review of Palimpsest on PerfumeShrine is superb and tells you more than I do in fascinating detail. I’m not worthy!

Stockists

Aftelier perfumes are available from the Aftelier website. Prices vary, and samples start at $6 a phial.

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