Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent (paperback)

By Mandy Aftel

  • Mandy Aftel is widely acclaimed as a trailblazer in natural perfumery. Over two decades of sourcing the finest aromatic ingredients from all over the world and creating artisanal fragrances, she has been an evangelist for the transformative power of scent. In Fragrant, through five major players in the epic of aroma, she explores the profound connection between our sense of smell and the appetites that move us, give us pleasure, make us fully alive. Cinnamon, queen of the Spice Route, touches our hunger for the unknown, the exotic, the luxurious. Mint, homegrown the world over, speaks to our affinity for the familiar, the native, the authentic. Frankincense, an ancient incense ingredient, taps into our longing for transcendence, while ambergris embodies our unquenchable curiosity. And exquisite jasmine exemplifies our yearning for beauty, both evanescent and enduring. In addition to providing a riveting initiation into the history, natural history, and philosophy of scent, Fragrant imparts the essentials of scent literacy and includes recipes for easy-to-make fragrances and edible, drinkable, and useful concoctions that reveal the imaginative possibilities of creating with—and reveling in—aroma. Vintage line drawings make for a volume that will be a treasured gift as well as a great read.

  • "Sublime... From astonishing, almost mythic accounts of the ancient spice trade to easy-to-follow formulas that will allow readers to try their own hand at perfumery, Fragrant is a lush must-read for all lovers of perfume.” —Elle

    "Mandy Aftel's seductive Fragrant plumbs the power of ancient and exotic smells to ignite desire, discovery, and transcendence." —Vanity Fair

    “A valuable recent addition to the perfume nerd’s informational arsenal… Reading [Aftel’s] book makes a person wearing perfume feel connected to every human in every era who has ever done so.” —Bookforum

  • 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.

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