Aftelier Perfumes - new packaging (and a review of Honey Blossom!)

Oh, hai! Pic-heavy post here. Bringing in the freshest news from Aftelier Perfumes. Well, almost the freshest news. More on that in a bit.

Anyway, these are pictures of Mandy Aftel's new packaging. Isn't it exquisite?!

[before pic via Mandy's Facebook page]
Let's start with the bottle itself...

Pre-makeover, we had a sleekly-shaped rectangular bottle - kind of apothecary style - with a wrap-around sticker. Lovely.

Now, though, the same bottle is adorned with a gorgeous, streamlined logo, silk-screened in white.

While the name of the scent isn't featured on the bottle itself, it is present on a sticker placed on the top of the cap. So cute! It's easy to find the scent if you have multiple bottles of Aftelier (you should!) but the overall look remains subtle and pretty.

Why I really love the new bottles: I get to see more beautiful juice! I find the colors of perfume to be mesmerizing. It's on of the many pleasures to be derived from this obsession hobby.

Plus, the bottle just looks even more professional and upscale now.

On to the exterior packaging...

I'm a fan of that gorgeous mega-floral print in deep purple, ivy green, and vibrant orange that Mandy uses. I always have loved that! Now it's the main feature on the boxes from Aftelier.

My edp came in a pretty box that has no excess space. The bottle slips perfectly into the inner box, which then slides into an outer sleeve. It opens like a matchbox!

The exterior packaging doesn't give a hint to what wonders are inside save for a simple clear sticker placed on one end that tells the scent's name.

Why I love the exterior packaging: The colors! The sliding! I also adore that the somewhat busy print on the box contrasts so nicely with the minimalistic appearance of the bottle. If both were vibrant and busy or both were spartan, it wouldn't have the same delightful impact.

Overall, the packaging is incredibly well-done. I'm impressed. I'm not someone who buys a perfume just for packaging (ok - maybe the cute cats for Katy Perry's scents or the fairy on Feerie, but let's ignore that for now). And I would never skip a great scent because the bottle was ugly. But isn't it nice when a well-crafted, beautiful scent comes in well-crafted, beautiful packaging?

On to my review of Honey Blossom...

I have no stories about honeysuckle, mimosa, or linden. As far as I know, there's no linden (called "lime" in England but not actually a lime tree) anywhere around. I outlined my history with mimosa last Spring (here). To summarize: I have no history with it. My experiences with honeysuckle are the same as many people's experiences: when I was little it would be on fences in my neighborhood. We'd pluck it apart, sip the nectar. I have no recollection of how that tasted or how they smelled. So there, I'm totally not qualified at all to review this scent, but that has never stopped me before!

Scent Family: Soliflore
Beautiful honeyed floral, hypnotic with notes of honeysuckle. If there were a flower that smelled like honey, this would be it.

Featured Notes
Top: mimosa, linden blossom CO2.
Heart: orange blossom absolute, phenyl ethyl alcohol.
Base: ambergris, benzoin.

Finalist for Fragrance Foundation 2011 FiFi Award: Fragrance of the Year - Indie Brand

Here's what I can tell you about Honey Blossom: it's a beautiful expression of Summer. And Spring. And just sumptuous florals in general. 

This perfume is the result of Mandy's Letters to a Fellow Perfumer Series with Andy Tauer, featured on Nathan Branch's blog (read the first installment here and then follow along!). Andy ended up with Zeta, Mandy created Honey Blossom. Both are worked around a linden CO2 extract, and yet they smell nothing alike. I can't really wear Zeta (I will try again this Summer, perhaps), but Honey Blossom I love. As always, I encourage you to follow along with the perfumers in the Letters... series. It's an incredible opportunity to see how creative minds work, how indie perfumers create, and how the individual perfumes evolve.

Honey Blossom opens with a beautiful floral note. "Honeyed" is the word I'd use, rather than "honey". Meaning, it smells sweetened and floral but not like the gooey stuff Pooh loved so much. It is by no means that alleged honey smell that you can find in some cheap perfumes. No. What it does remind me of, though, is a ridiculously good wildflower honey I had the pleasure of eating two years ago. Let me tell you, that was so gorgeous and rich and sweet and heady and unbelievable... And while smelling Honey Blossom probably smells nothing like that wildflower honey, the experiences are still somehow incredibly similar. 

Stretch out on a picnic blanket in the sun
next to these gorgeous flowers...
That's how Honey Blossom makes me feel.

I'll be honest: I can't pick out the mimosa or the linden. As the swirl of the opening settles on my skin, I can pick out the orange blossom, but it's not a soliflore orange blossom. It's just evident that it's there, involved in the melange of floral blooms.

This scent is warmed but not warm, if you take my meaning. It doesn't generate its own heat, but rather feels like it has been heated gently in a meadow in the sunshine. It's like basking in the sun on a Spring day. Not hot, not humid, just warm. Honey Blossom glows.

This is a natural perfume. As such, it does not lift off the skin and call out to strangers. Your sillage won't follow you for blocks. Honey Blossom is more of a "come to me" kind of scent. It's for you and those lucky enough to be close to you. It's neither translucent nor short-lived, however. 

The drydown for Honey Blossom is oh-so-subtle and yet exquisite. This scent melts into the skin over the course of a few hours, leaving behind the most delicious honeyed nuance to the skin. It's incredibly soft and incredibly sexy.

Honey Blossom is more than welcome in my perfume cabinet. It's perfect for almost any occasion and will never overwhelm. I wanted to compare it to MAC's Naked Honey, but really - there's no comparison. Naked Honey seems shrill and strong and a little clunky when worn next to Honey Blossom. They do not smell the same, but I suspect they wanted to have a similar feeling about them. I like them both, but Honey Blossom is truly a work of art.

You can get Honey Blossom on Mandy's website, Aftelier Perfumes.
A sample is $6 for either the perfume or edp; a perfume mini is $45; an 30ml edp like mine is $150; a bottle of the perfume (1/4 oz) is also $150. 


PS: This isn't Mandy's only new news. Or not her most recent news. She's got a new scent called Sepia and it's breathtaking. It's actually Mandy's creation from another Letters to a Fellow Perfumer series, this time with Laurie Erickson of Sonoma Scent Studios. Stay tuned for my review!

[additional image credits: linden, orange blossom, mimosa]


  1. Annoying moments in perfumery. when you have worn a fragrance yesterday and re loved it but put it to the back of your mind, UNTIL, someone comes and shows you new packaging to go with it. Leaving your site to go to Aftelier to purchase.
    Portia xx

    1. Enjoy, Portia! I don't usually store perfumes in boxes, but this one I will. Proud to have it and the perfume inside. :D

  2. Wow, the new packaging is gorgeous! I'm already a sucker for good aesthetics and thought Aftelier's stuff was pretty nice before. Now they've got me hooked.

    1. I can't rave enough about Mandy or her perfumes. :D

  3. Wow, I love your review Jen, and am in awe of your energy & talent! Your terrific writing & photographs paint such a complete (and compelling) profile of my work – I appreciate it so much!
    xo Mandy

    1. I'm happy to try to throw words at the experiences you give me, hoping some of them make sense. :D

  4. Great review and great photos.
    I must admit I like old label more... this one looks good of course, but the previous one was more romantic. :)
    How many ML in the bottle?


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