Essence and Alchemy: A Book of Perfume

Essence and Alchemy: A Book of Perfume

by Mandy Aftel
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Overview

Essence and Alchemy: A Book of Perfume by Mandy Aftel


An artisan perfumer reveals a lost art and its mysterious, sensual history.

For centuries, people have taken what seems to be an instinctive pleasure in rubbing scents into their skin. Perfume has helped them to pray, to heal, and to make love. And as long as there has been perfume, there have been perfumers, or rather the priests, shamans, and apothecaries who were their predecessors. Yet, in many ways, perfumery is a lost art, its creative and sensual possibilities eclipsed by the synthetic ingredients of which contemporary perfumes are composed, which have none of the subtlety and complexity of essences derived from natural substances, nor their lush histories. Essence and Alchemy resurrects the social and metaphysical legacy that is entwined with the evolution of perfumery, from the dramas of the spice trade to the quests of the alchemists to whom today's perfumers owe a philosophical as well as a practical debt. Mandy Aftel tracks scent through the boudoir and the bath and into the sanctums of worship, offering insights on the relationship of scent to sex, solitude, and the soul. Along the way, she imparts instruction in the art of perfume compositions, complete with recipes, guiding the reader in a process of transformation of materials that continues to follow the alchemical dictum solve et coagula (dissolve and combine) and is itself aesthetically and spiritually transforming.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429936125
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 04/01/2011
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 737,646
File size: 4 MB

About the Author


Mandy Aftel, founder of Aftelier, creates one-of-a-kind perfumes for individuals and private labels, and is also a counselor who specializes in working with artists and writers. The author of three previous books, she lives in Berkeley, California.

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Essence and Alchemy: A Book of Perfume 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book, it's the same that: Essence and Alchemy: a Natural History of Perfume, with different cover
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent information about how perfume is created (from basics to the final blend) as well as the history of perfume useage thru the ages. Whether you are interested in the history or in creating your own allergy free or personal scents - this is the best book I've found.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was a little to hard to understand. I really didn't understand it at all. Oh well. You can't win all the time.