Niche Fragrance Magazine

Palimsest – by Mandy Aftel

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Well, well – I just received the cutest little package and that completely unexpected. So lovely put together.

Included were samples of Mandy Aftel’s latest fragrances. Mandy creates her fragrances in Berkeley, California. On her website, she states that she “personally attend(s) to every detail of the process in creating every product” and that she “love(s) adding a sense of luxury and well-being to people’s lives”.

Mandy uses only natural essences to create her fragrances, definitely a new experience for me.

The name for the newest Aftelier perfume,’Palimsest’ is explained on the website: “A palimpsest is an old document on which the original writing has been erased and replaced with new writing. Sometimes the older writing can still be read under the new, resulting in a complex and beautiful layering. I wanted to evoke the richness that you feel when you experience the past as alive in the present, creating the gorgeous complexity of life.”

That made me curious and after being treated so nicely with the lovely samples, I really wanted to like the fragrances. I did read through the perfume descriptions, but for me – not the master of the big, picturesque words – they were all a bit too much. So I decided to ‘take on’ the juices as I usually do. Spray on and see whether I like them.

palimpEDPNow Palimsest gave me a shock straight away. I just thought it smelled strong, sweet and weird – not for me. The day went on (just a little insert here, Mandy mentions on her website that her fragrances last about 2 hours – a huge understatement. Palimsest lasts 2 or 3 times that long on me.) Having it on my hand, every movement sent this little cloud of fragrance toward my nose. It kept whispering to me: “don’t ignore me”. After a while, I thought it was the fragrance from my other hand asking to be noticed again and again, but no, it was Palimsest, becoming a bit softer and nicer to my nose as time went on. It just wouldn’t leave me alone. After half a day, I had to go and spray again, to check whether the beginning was as uncomfortable as I remembered and I found it was strong, still a bit off, but I was getting more into the groove.

Several hours later, I used another spray to check the top note again. It was still strong and sweet and I can’t really say what it smells like (Mandy’s website states “top note: gamma dodecalactone, phenyl acetic acid, yuzu” – which doesn’t help me much). It is heavily floral and fruity, but there is also something, I cannot pinpoint. Which shocked my nose at first, but has now become quite interesting.

The next morning, I could still smell the faintest Palimsest on my hand and I had to spray it on yet again. The start is still sweet and bit weird and musty, but I am starting to like it a bit more every time. I just love these fragrances that keep asking you to come back.

So – I went onto the website to check out all options. There is a concentrated perfume, $170 for 7ml, a miniature 2ml perfume for $50 and an Eau de Parfum at $170 for 30ml (samples are $6 for 1ml), but when it came to shipping, I had to learn that shipping charges to me (Australia) are over US$70 and that’s for a 30ml bottle. That unfortunately takes me out of the occasion.



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