The Fragrant Read
We at Scent Lodge love uncovering well-researched books on the art of perfumery. So, when we recently came across “Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent” by Mandy Aftel, we wanted to share it with our readers. Mandy is a widely-acclaimed trailblazer in natural perfumery having practiced the art from more than two decades. She’s sourced the finest aromatic ingredients from around the world to blend her artisanal fragrances. Early on, she witnessed the transformative power of scent.
In “Fragrant” she explores five star ingredients in the world of aroma, following the connection between our sense of smell and our sense of well-being and pleasure. Her journey begins with cinnamon, queen of the Spice Route, which conjures up our hunger for the exotic. Mint is an herb that reminds us of the familiar and plays a key role in so many of the products we use daily: toothpaste, gum, etc. Frankincense, an ancient incense ingredient, taps into our longing for transcendence, while ambergris signifies curiosity. Finally, jasmine exemplifies our yearning for beauty.
In addition to providing a riveting initiation into the history, natural history, and philosophy of scent, Fragrant explains the essentials of scent literacy. Aftel de-mystifies the process of making and enjoying perfume. She even includes a few easy-to-make recipes for fragrance.
The book is so well-written it was awarded the 2016 Perfumed Plume Award for Fragrance Journalism. It’s a fascinating read.