Renowned perfumer Mandy Aftel explores the primal nature and fundamental importance of aroma in everyday life, teaching people about the nature of smell and the idea of "olfactory consciousness" in Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume. With gorgeous illustrations, the book also serves as a practical guide to making custom scents for a variety of uses, and explains the process of selecting "base notes", "heart notes" and "head notes" to create truly personal aromas and perfumes.
"...extraordinary treatise on the history and making of perfume." —Publisher's Weekly
“A compulsively readable compendium of perfume lore, legend, and instruction.” —San Francisco Chronicle
"Reading Mandy Aftel on perfume is like listening to Mozart on original instruments-it's a revelation of tone and technique." —Avery Gilbert, President of the Sense of Smell Institute
Writer and perfumer Mandy Aftel was a founder and chief perfumer of all-natural perfume company Grandiflorum, and went on to create Aftelier, an all-natural perfume company. As an authority on natural essences and custom perfumes, she has participated in panels for the perfume industry and demonstrated and taught the art of natural perfumery across the nation. Her work has been featured in publications including InStyle, Vogue, W Magazine, Self, O (Oprah) Magazine, Allure, Health, and Elle.