Natural perfumer exhibits at Bendel
Mandy Aftel, who only uses natural ingredients in her perfume brand, Aftelier, is showing her collection of fragrance-related artifacts at Henri Bendel until May 11. The psychologist-turned-perfumer, who creates her fragrances in California, gave us the low-down on the difference between natural and synthetic scents.
What is natural perfume?
Its all made from materials that come from nature: flowers and barks and resins. It doesnt come from a test tube.
What's the difference in the way it smells?
It smells richer. I think they interact with your body chemistry. I think because you're wearing something that's of quality from nature you feel differently about yourself.
Why does it cost so much? (Afteliers are $195 for .25 oz.)
Its the ingredients. A synthetic perfume could cost, say, $80 a pound for the juice and mine cost $2,000 a pound.How long does the scent last?
A synthetic lasts all day. A natural lasts one or two hours.
Has the natural perfume industry been growing?
There's just been more and more interest in pure and natural perfumes because of the green movement and because of people's concerns about ingredients from cooking. People are more aware of artisan goat cheese, wineries. People are more interested in the integrity of ingredients for food, and I think that's spilled over into fragrance.
Is the making of natural perfumes more environmentally friendly than the making of synthetic fragrances?
A lot of the materials [in natural perfumes] are organic and sustainably harvested.
See "Living Perfume: The Natural Alchemy of Mandy Aftel" until May 11 at Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Ave., at 56th St.).