Embers + Musk by Aftelier Perfumes

Hey there Posse. A little while ago Mandy Aftel sent me a sample of her newest fragrant creation, Embers + Musk, along with some stuff I’d ordered. It has taken me a while to work out what I wanted to say about this extraordinary scent. As you know I adore Mandy and her work, love that she is training and involving a legion of new perfumers through her classes and books and am thoroughly impressed at the creation of her perfume museum. It seems Mandy has her finger in everything fragrant; beauty, food prep, ambient and fine fragrance all provide grist to her mill.

Embers + Musk extrait by Aftelier Perfumes 2019

Mandy Aftel

Note list:
Ambrettolide, pine tar, guaiacol, pink pepper, apple, red champaca, yuzu

Embers + Musk opens like a well worn jumper at the end of the month after a night at the Korean BarBQ. Slightly funky, residue of a few vintage fragrances and loads of smoke and charred meat. It’s an exquisite recreation of this jumper phenomenon (that I know only too well from my monthly wash of both Jin and my jumpers). Ramp this intoxicating scent up about 100 times and you’ll have an idea of the opening 10-15 minutes.

Mandy has a way of making things that would usually be considered smells into alluring fine fragrance. Yet again she shows her deft hand at weaving fragrant magic. This time the focus is smoke in many different forms.

The smokiness is absolutely palpable. Rich and all of the many hues of a night at the BarBQ.

Once that nearly photo realistic adventure calms there is a much more resinous woodsy feel to the smoke. The heart of Embers + Musk is dedicated to the campfire in the forest. The camaraderie and friendship of camping buddies or cadets, cooking their meal and telling stories. It even has a deep hint of peaty whiskey underlying.

Later in it’s development Embers + Musk feels more like sitting around a cosy fire with the family, watching TV or playing cards, during the winter holidays. Here is not the sugar and spiced smokiness of Christmas but a log fire in the hearth and the warmth of humanity really starts to show itself in this olfactory picture.

One of the amazing things about Embers + Musk is how well it lives on my skin. A soft smoky muskiness is still traceable hours and hours later.

Go check out the Aftelier Perfumes website when you get a chance. Mandy has an excellent sample selection at very reasonable prices.

Portia xx




Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies

  • Musette says:

    Mandy is about the ONLY perfumer I know who could make that combination of smells alluring – especially the ‘old, worn, well-used jumper’ note! LOL! I agree that she is a marvel!

    And now you have me craving Korean BBQ. You FIEND!


    • Portia says:

      HA! Musette, I think you may be right. Mandy could be the only perfumer to bring such a note list to life in any wearable way.
      KOREAN BarBQ!! So delicious. You need it. Go get it. Delicious.
      Portia xx

  • Mandy says:

    Ever so grateful for such a masterful, kind, alive review dear Portia, I feel truly blessed! You really get it about my work and my artistic goals — thank you for your divine post! ???
    xoxo Mandy

    • Portia says:

      You are amazing. Embers & Musk is wonderful.
      It makes my heart sing that you bother to drop in and comment on posts.
      Thank you.
      Portia xxx

  • Tara says:

    This does sound like an absolute stunner. I think more and more about how my taste in food echoes my taste in perfume. I love smoked and BBQed foods (bad for you I know) and I love smoky perfumes. The inclusion of apple and yuzu is a clever twist.

    Mandy is a marvel.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Tara,
      Mandy is indeed a marvel.
      HA! That’s why we LOVE Korean BarBQ so much. Smokey meat is my favourite. MMMMM
      Portia xx

  • cookie queen says:

    Sounds extremely tempting Portia. Not that I own any jumpers.

    • Portia says:

      HA! You really don’t own a jumper Val? WOW! Is there a reason? How do you keep warm in the freezing winters of Northern Austria?
      Portia xx

      • cookie queen says:

        Hoodies. Long sleeves t-shirts. Plaid/flannel shirts. Just do not own a jumper. Pulling things over my head make me claustrophobic. And I bet I am not the only who doesn’t wear jumpers. Maybe I will do a post on that. Still wanna try Mandy’s Embers …….

        • Portia says:

          WOW! I had no idea. Do you get the same claustrophobia when putting T Shirts on? What a bugger.
          Yeah, You should get a sniff of the Embers & Musk, it’s very different.

          • cookie queen says:

            No. T-shirts are fine. It’s just sweaters. Chris the same. The kids too. I will do a post. I think you’ll be surprised how many people feel the same. Sweaters suck. ?