Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Nosy Interview: Mandy Aftel

Mandy in Star-Forming Region S106, © NASA, ESA 

What a treat to feature perfumer and writer Mandy Aftel as the first Nosy Interview of the New Year! I met Mandy in the spring of 2010 when she gave a talk at Essenza, a lovely shop in Seattle. The volume of notes I took as she guided us through the making of Parfum de Maroc and talked about her life as a perfumer, along with Mandy's encouragement when I had her sign my copy of Essence and Alchemy, helped spur me to start this site. Come back later this week for part two of our interview (the first I've conducted by phone), and be sure to visit Aftelier Perfumes to learn more about Mandy and her dreamy creations.

What do you smell like?
I think I smell kind of neutral, actually. When I’ve gone to IFF [International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc.] and visited friends who are perfumers there, I’ve always noticed when we share perfumes and smell things, they always put them on a perfume blotter, and I always put them on my hands. So I’m always, always putting things on my own skin. And I think I mustsmell somewhat neutral because I can smell things best on the skin, and on my own skin. So I don’t think my skin, my own body smells that much. I think I have a very sort of neutral faint smell. So I’m a dud in that department. [laughs] Yeah, I’m more like a scent strip.

What do you like to smell?
Me, I love to smell everything. But I really like funky smells. I like intense, alive smells that are out of the atmosphere, out of life. I love, which I’ve said before, the smell of a skunk—not too close, but I do like the smell of a skunk.

I like other peoples’ bodies and how they smell. I like animal smells a ton. I love animal smells. I like dirt, flowers, you know the usual things like beautiful flowers and herbs—the regular kinds of things. But I like smells that feel to me like they pulsate with life, that they bring with them the life that’s in them, you know like the forest and resins and trees. I’m kind of a notorious petal and leaf crusher in my backyard. I crush most things so I can get at the oil and smell things in my hands.


mandy said...

Thank you Elizabeth - I’m thrilled to be in your fabulous blog! I love your interview questions and can’t wait for the rest. I admire your whole witty & artful presentation, and am honored!

Larry said...

What's the reason for the pic of a star-forming region?

nosy girl said...

Thank you so much, Mandy! The honor (& pleasure) is mine.

Larry, all of the nosy interviewees are pictured somewhere beautiful in the universe. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you'll take a look: http://bit.ly/nosyinterviews

Larry said...

Just wondered because I do some work on that very region :c) Look forward to reading more!

nosy girl said...

Ah, now I know which Larry this is! That's amazing that you work on that very region. You'll have to do an interview yourself, and then you can pick your own corner of the galaxy.

Britta said...

What an honor for you, E! I'm so thrilled for you. We are so lucky to get to know Mandy a little better through you... Perhaps we will, after all, have to save up for her class.

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