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  1. #1

    Default On the way to Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

    We just crossed the Northern California border right now on our way to San Francisco and the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents. I知 bringing a dozen tiny amber bottles with me. Each visitor gets to smell 3 things and take home the strips. Hoping to get a whiff of some rarities and thought that I might be able to snip the dipped part of the smelling strips and put them in the bottles to smell a bit longer at home. Hope that works. In any event I知 excited about visiting the archive. Anyone been there and have some not to be missed aroma suggestions? I値l report back later whether the amber bottle trick works or not.
    祢 want all the perfumes
    Currently wearing: Amarige by Givenchy

  2. #2

    Default Re: On the way to Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

    Enjoy!!! This place is awesome!! I hate Berkeley, but it is totally worth it to make a trip there. You should check out Cheese Board for lunch - it is within walking distance.
    I was shocked about how different the naturals smell from what we smell in fragrances. For one of the displays you could smell all the ingredients separately and then compare with the finished product - was quite a sensory journey. I really liked the Osmanthus natural (especially because at that time I never smelled it before). You can also experience some of her food flavorings and those are amazing.
    Have a good time and please report back with your impressions.
    QUOTE=Earlyn;4699000]We just crossed the Northern California border right now on our way to San Francisco and the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents. I知 bringing a dozen tiny amber bottles with me. Each visitor gets to smell 3 things and take home the strips. Hoping to get a whiff of some rarities and thought that I might be able to snip the dipped part of the smelling strips and put them in the bottles to smell a bit longer at home. Hope that works. In any event I知 excited about visiting the archive. Anyone been there and have some not to be missed aroma suggestions? I値l report back later whether the amber bottle trick works or not.[/QUOTE]

  3. #3
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    Default Re: On the way to Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

    Omg, I’m so envious of OP right now. Mandy Aftel’s a serious fragrance guru. I expect a full field report, soldier.
    ...too many among us die at thirty and are buried at eighty. - Robin Sharma

  4. #4

    Default Re: On the way to Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

    Enjoy! I visited last year and got to meet Mandy herself. She was so lovely, a true joy to talk to. Also yes, you will get to smell some very rare materials that you most likely won't find in any (even niche) perfumes because they are so heavily restricted by IFRA. But have fun!

  5. #5

    Default Re: On the way to Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarissochka View Post
    Enjoy!!! This place is awesome!! I hate Berkeley, but it is totally worth it to make a trip there. You should check out Cheese Board for lunch - it is within walking distance.
    I was shocked about how different the naturals smell from what we smell in fragrances. For one of the displays you could smell all the ingredients separately and then compare with the finished product - was quite a sensory journey. I really liked the Osmanthus natural (especially because at that time I never smelled it before). You can also experience some of her food flavorings and those are amazing.
    Have a good time and please report back with your impressions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    Omg, I知 so envious of OP right now. Mandy Aftel痴 a serious fragrance guru. I expect a full field report, soldier.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tilda View Post
    Enjoy! I visited last year and got to meet Mandy herself. She was so lovely, a true joy to talk to. Also yes, you will get to smell some very rare materials that you most likely won't find in any (even niche) perfumes because they are so heavily restricted by IFRA. But have fun!
    Thanks all for your responses. Here痴 my report of my experience -
    Overall our time at the Archive was fantastic. I have to say the only problem I had was that I was desperately trying to smell everything and experience everything in the one hour time limit. Honestly, I think I would need at least one hour every day for 3 months and then just maybe that would be enough time just to give attention to all the of the items in the organ and all the drawers of raw materials and all the antique books.

    What a pleasure it was to grab fists full of vetiver in its raw state and shove my face in it. So much benzoin and frankincense that I couldn稚 even hold it piled up in two hands. Many drawers of raw materials - Sandalwood shavings, Tonka Beans.. so many I can稚 remember them all. Stuff I致e never heard of with amazing smells. I was happy to get to smell some animalics. I smelled antique and younger ambergris and civet. At one of the smellling stations laid out there was a bottle of rose ablsolute surrounded by individual bottles of isolated components so you could smell the whole and compare the parts. There were comparisons for naturals and synthetics. As Clarissochka mentioned there was a station where you could smell each ingredient, then the accords, and then the final perfume. In addition to the materials and antique tools, bottles, etc., there was an impressive collection of books that were available for perusing, and a comfy window seat for reading.

    The perfumers organ is notable both for the number of materials it contains, and the quality and variety. There are no wimpy watered down things here. It was so difficult to make choices about which materials to dip our (3 each person) allotted test strips in. Mandy came out to meet us as I was snipping the end off my strips and shoving them into my amber bottles. I explained to her that I was attempting to extend the service life of the reference samples and instead of thinking I was a crazy person, she was very nice and very happy to show me some of her favorite items and suggest some study books.

    As we ended our time we each got two pieces of dark chocolate and our choice of a flavor essence to spray on our pieces. I chose blood orange and cardamom and both were delicious.

    Here is a picture of my amber bottles containing the dipped portion of my testing strips. From what I can tell so far I think this is going to work well in substantially extending the smelling time available.

    957F3501-6FED-4853-AEDB-2E0908E9E1BF.jpg
    祢 want all the perfumes
    Currently wearing: Amarige by Givenchy

  6. #6
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    Default Re: On the way to Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

    Thank you for that update. 1 hour is still better than what the rest of us got (zilch). I think you’d done well to choose those essences to go with the dark chocolates; I’d have probably picked the same two. Btw did you get to meet Mandy Aftel?
    ...too many among us die at thirty and are buried at eighty. - Robin Sharma

  7. #7
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    Default Re: On the way to Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

    Sounds like you had a good and fruitful time.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  8. #8

    Default Re: On the way to Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    Thank you for that update. 1 hour is still better than what the rest of us got (zilch). I think you壇 done well to choose those essences to go with the dark chocolates; I壇 have probably picked the same two. Btw did you get to meet Mandy Aftel?
    Yep. She came out as I was stuffing my little amber bottles with test strip tips and sort of gathered I was a little obsessed with the whole smelling thing. She was very gracious and shared some of her personal connections with the materials. Her son and husband were also around - her son, a wel informed and helpful guy, was overseeing the visitors.
    祢 want all the perfumes
    Currently wearing: Amarige by Givenchy




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