Two New Fragrance Releases from Mandy Aftel

by Lila Das Gupta, 21st November, 2011

California-based writer and natural perfumer, Mandy Aftel, has launched two new fragrances - one contains real animal extracts. The second, a solid perfume, is inspired by a vampire!

Secret Garden was created as a result of the 'Letters to A Fellow Perfumer' series on Nathan Branch's blog. The perfume was inspired by the 1910 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett about a young girl who herself blossoms after she discovers a barren secret garden and brings it back to life.

Described as an 'exotic floral experience' by the company, it includes two historical animal essences: very old civet bought from a retired perfumer and castoreum tinctured from the beaver. Roses, wood and 'mixed citrus' are listed as notes, as well as jasmine sambac at the heart of the perfume - a "spicy indolic kick, paired with the jammy raspberry". Secret Garden is available in a 1/4 oz. bottle ($150), a 30 ml EDP spray ($150), a 2 ml Mini bottle ($45), and a sample size ($6)

Oud Luban, a solid perfume, takes its inspiration from Theophile Gautier's story about a priest who falls in love with the vampire Clarimonde, described as "a story of extremes: austerity and opulence; sin and holiness; carnality and abstinence". Aftel says that Luban (the Urdu word for frankincense) contains a blend of eight different varieties of oud.

Oud Luban is a perfume of highs and lows, with no middle notes according to the company. It's ingredient list includes: citrus top notes of hojari frankincense, sweet incense, elemi and luban, vanilla, benzoin, opopanax, and aged patchouli. This perfume is said to be effective when layered with florals.

Oud Luban is available in a sterling silver case holding 1/4 oz. of solid perfume ($210) and 1 ml sample ($6) . Both fragrances available from

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    • rtamara41 | 24th November 2011 03:24

      Wow, these both sound intriguing. would love to try them! The Secret Garden is one of my beloved books from childhood. Civet and castoreum don't seem like scents of childhood, but I am certainly willing to sample.

    • Kalynne | 24th November 2011 04:56

      I'm planning on sniffing then at her studio sale next month. I went last year and she's very friendly!

    • aftelier | 5th December 2011 19:57

      Thank you so much for posting this and your kind words.

    • aftelier | 5th December 2011 20:01

      Thank you so much for posting this. I appreciate it very much

      Mandy Aftel