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Scents & Sensibilities: Creating Solid Perfumes for Well-Being

Scents & Sensibilities: Creating Solid Perfumes for Well-Being [Kindle Edition]

Mandy Aftel
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Delve into the world of natural aromas and discover their profound effect on emotional well-being, from relieving stress to enhancing sensuality. Renowned perfumer Mandy Aftel shares everything you need to know to create personalized handmade solid perfumes. Aftel has created custom scents for top celebrities like Kate Hudson and Madonna, and has been featured in magazines such as Vogue, O and Vanity Fair. She explains the science of "top," "middle," and "base" notes, and discusses the subtleties of fragrances that will unlock the secrets to finding the perfect perfume for every individual.

Step-by-step instructions along with helpful photographs make this book simple and easy to use, and explain basic equipment necessary for getting started, such as beeswax, a hot plate, and a grater. Aftel also tells how to pick the right containers to store scents, from vintage boxes to jars.

"Smelling her extraordinary collection of oils took me to beautiful places the fragrance that Aftel blended exclusively for me is full of citrus and herbal fragrances that complement my culinary life."

-Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley.

Mandy Aftel is the founder of Aftelier, through which she creates one-of-a-kind perfumes for individuals and private labels. Ms. Aftel is also a counselor and the author of three previous books, including Essence and Alchemy. She lives in Berkeley, California. Her website can be found at

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1961 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith (7 Jun 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001TH8LTK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #516,161 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a well written little book that explains the history of solid perfumes. There are some nice illustrations. My only disappointment was that there weren't more recipes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best for beginners, not for those already familiar with Aftel's work 9 July 2005
By T. Morrison - Published on
I am a fan of Aftel's work, and I would recommend this for the person casually interested in making solid perfume. This small book -- it's about the size of a CD case -- contains a brief history of solid perfumes, an overview of top/middle/base notes, and easy-to-follow instructions. It's also packed with some beautiful photographs of Aftel's studio and various vessels, such as the shells of pocket watches, used to carry solid perfumes. For beginners, I would give this 4 stars.

For those already familiar with her work, I would give this 3 stars. 90% of the material in the book has already been covered in Aftel's other works, the excellent ESSENCE & ALCHEMY and AROMA. If you have the former, there really is no reason to get this book unless you are a completist or enjoy the photographs.
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a complete waste of money 3 Nov 2005
By Y. Rubensson - Published on
Not the nicest thing to say, but I found this book is acompletely waste of both money and reading effort. After reading Ms Aftels first book on natural perfumery, I had expected something similar and was deeply dissapointed. This is one tiny book, but so is Mindy Greens book "Natural Perfumes" and that one is surely worth every dime. The size of the fonts are too large = very little text on each page and the sad fact is, that it contains absolutely nothing new, that wasn't covered in Ms Aftels first book. Some of the pictures are beautiful, but so are the ones in other books on perfumery. The very few formulas that is offered are simple beyond simpleness and I believe that even beginner at the art of NP could come up with more inovative ones.

My advice is - don't buy this book! If you is interested in natural perfumery, there are quite few books on this topic, that offers more knowledge and inspiration than this one.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Perfume as Art 16 July 2005
By Clementine - Published on
This is not the most informative book about perfumes or aromatherapy that you can purchase. It has rudimentary info on a handful of selected oils and concretes. These topics are covered in more depth in Mandy Aftel's previous books, for those who want to know more. I am giving this one four stars for its beauty, its simplicity and for two very important points that it makes: 1) the act of creating a solid perfume is meditative for the practitioner, and 2) the use of a solid perfume, carried in a lovely container, can be a comforting and joyful daily ritual.

Aftel truly understands that the creation a beloved perfume should be a pleasant harmony of art, science and magic. Read it, try it and prepare to be delighted!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Cozy Style with Practical Appeal 27 July 2006
By Rebecca of Amazon - Published on
"Using solid perfumes is a simple activity to incorporate into your life for reduction of stress...over time, just a whiff of your special fragrance can help you to become calmer and more grounded." ~Mandy Aftel

Mandy Aftel's work has been featured in Vanity Fair, Vogue and Allure. She creates unique perfumes for private labels and for individual clients. In this lovely colorful book, she explores how you can make your own solid perfumes and maybe even refill a collectible compact you discovered in an antique store. This book has made me want to go visit more antique stores to look for the little compacts you refill with the liquid perfume mixture. You could also use glass or new metal containers.

A Brief History of Perfume introduces you to the process of extracting the essential oils from plants. Entertaining facts about the Egyptians wearing solid perfumes on their heads makes this very enjoyable.

"As the ancients used perfumes in brooches, rings, pendants, and charms, so can we incorporate the same pleasurable effects of solid perfume in jewelry today."

The chapter on essential oils also explores top notes, absolutes and concretes. Perfume ingredients that are described include: Bitter Orange, Bois de Rose, Ginger, Lime, Pink Grapefruit, Virginia Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Jasmine, Lavender, Nutmeg, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Bezoin, Cocoa, Frankincense, Labdanum, Oakmoss and Vanilla.

Tools, beakers, bamboo many things I didn't know to use when making perfumes. You will probably find you have many items in your kitchen.

A Basic Solid Perfume Recipe is the starting point for your own discovery. Detailed instructions with pictures lead to the blissful moment of your own creation.

A soft, warm and sensual blend I made up recently: Ylang Ylang III, Egyptian Musk, Lavender and Patchouli. You can mix your own essential oil blends and then add them to the solid perfume while still a liquid.

~The Rebecca Review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Charming but Very Small Book 18 Oct 2010
By Bibliophilia Eclectica - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you have Essence & Alchemy, you don't really need this book, although I'm happy to own this one, as well. I love the many pictures and the lush binding and the overall aesthetic mood of the book. I also enjoyed the history sections, where she speaks of balms and perfumes in antiquity (some of which is in Essence & Alchemy, but it's presented somewhat differently in this book).

Scents & Sensibilities is slightly more safety-aware than Essence & Alchemy, but in it she still advises the use of of cold-pressed citrus oils (I'm guessing Mandy Aftel had not, at the time her books were written, heard of phototoxicity), so before you use any of the recipes in this book, do your homework and learn about the cautions associated with essential oils.

As for the perfume recipes, there aren't that many of them, and the basic recipe for the beeswax and jojoba base is the same as the one given in Essence & Alchemy. If you know anything about aromatherapy or perfumery, you don't need these recipes, so buy the book for its lovely aesthetic graces, rather than its formulae or other content.
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