And That’s PIZZAZZ

By Kathleen Mailliard Solmssen



Perfume is the oldest luxury known to man.  From ancient times and even more so today, intrigue, mystery and global quests for scents have never waned.  Unfortunately, synthetic copies of precious oils have all but wiped out the natural fragrance industry.

Like polyester materials, made-in-a-minute synthetic perfumes have nearly numbed our desire and satisfaction for the intimacy that natural perfumes evoke.  As with music, natural perfumes have notes, vibration and harmony.  From deep to delightful, uncontrollable feelings soar through sounds and scents.  The layering aromas evoke memories and ignite inner beauty.

Due to the desire for the next best chic thing, a rebirth of custom perfumes has come alive and announced made-to-order perfumes as the must-have international “it” accessory.  The bonus to having this “in” item is the complex, emotional resonance of wearing a custom-made, unique as your fingerprint, perfume.  The mystery and sillage left behind as the scent of a custom perfume floats through a room is indescribable.

This custom buzz cannot be avoided.  It’s gone viral!  Locating the best natural perfumer is another story.  A hide-and-seek search for an artist who blends pure essences to perfection is nearly as much of a challenge as the hunt for the essential oils.  As with any artist, perfumers have a peaceful yet energetic passion for the process of combining the best that nature has to offer into a magical dance that is YOU.  Just as the best conductors work with the best musicians and compositions, so too great perfumers search the world for exquisite scents before the remarkable blending begins.

As with a painter’s palette, a gallery (called an organ) of hundreds of essential oils is arranged into top, middle and base notes.  Knowing the client (long distance or in person) and then blending a personal scent to perfection is the creative gift of an expert perfumer.

Forever, I have been obsessed with perfume.  Years ago, I had a small vial blended in Grasse, France.  The scent didn’t resonate with me.  Like hunting for truffles, I found myself on a quest to find a custom perfume maker.  Talk about miracles, I located a bespoke, world famous perfumer just a few zip codes away from our home!  Meeting Mandy Aftel, dubbed the “angel of alchemy” by Vanity Fair, was a thrill rooted in my mother’s perfume tray.  After “getting” you, she blends sumptuous, handcrafted liquid and solid perfumes from her organ of more than 500 of the finest essences in the world.  Like my first trip to Disneyland, je reviens, I will return again and place my order with Aftelier Perfumes.

2 Responses to “And That’s PIZZAZZ”

  1. Lani Mein | 03.01.15 at 2:48 AM said…

    And what zip code is that???

  2. Mandy Aftel | 11.06.12 at 2:35 PM said…

    Thanks so much, I’m honored to be featured in your groundbreaking magazine!