Mandy Aftel's Wild Roses (new!) - A perfume review

I always get so ridiculously giddy when I know I'm getting to smell a new Aftelier product (or taste a new flavor, when it comes to Chef's Essences and teas). Perfumer Mandy Aftel is such a talented person with a true gift for capturing natural materials and lion-taming them, making them sit nice and proper-like or prodding them to growl and snarl! She can urge them into incredibly deep, complex, and wonderful configurations that simply blow my mind.

Mandy's newest scent came across my path recently, and my first thought was "oh no! a rose scent!". Said before in this space: I'm not a rose kinda gal. I love looking at them, but they belong in the garden or in a beautiful flower arrangement. I do not want them on my clothing or furniture, and I really don't want to smell like them. When I say that, what I really mean is that I do not want to smell like only rose. As Mandy so succinctly put it, "I have mixed emotions about rose perfumes". Yup - right from the perfumer's mouth. She has had her own issues with  rose scents herself and admitted to me that creating this one was "a bit of a struggle".

 Here's her concept (from her press release)...
Having grown roses in my garden for years, I was smitten with the unique beauty and great variety of rose aromas. I wanted to capture in perfume the experience of walking around my garden and smelling each rose, as their perfumes blended in my nose. Wild Roses perfume evokes the garden in our imagination and memory -- the book of a hundred petals unfolding: balsamic, spicy, apricot, and honeyed roses, mixed with the smell of warm earth and herbs. This is the rose that exists in your mind after you have smelled so many garden roses -- blush, ruby, canary, purple, crimson edged with brown, pure white, candy-cane striped -- that you feel intoxicated. 
Read that last bit again. "This is the rose that exists in your mind after you have smelled so many garden roses...that you feel intoxicated".

As they say, "NAILED IT".

Wild Roses
Top: rose CO2, heliotropin, bergamot, geraniol, m-methyl anthranilate, damascenone.
Heart: apricot, Turkish rose absolute, pimento berry, p-ethyl alcohol, rose petals attar. 
Base: tarragon absolute, vanilla absolute, indole, aged patchouli.
The apricot-rose heart is perfectly rooted in a base of tarragon absolute -- its herbal round anise aroma giving a nuance of both earth and leaves. The balsamic vanilla absolute and the whiskey-ness of aged patchouli support tarragon’s warm, powdery aspect. Indole contributes the almost animal aspect of ripeness in a rose. The heart is punctuated by pimento berry, lending its nuances of clove, ginger, and cinnamon. The candied-orange flower aroma of methyl methyl anthranilate, the soft powdery floral of heliotropin, and the slightly floral citrus of bergamot contribute a modern freshness to the opening.

These flaçons are accompanied by a 2 ml miniature screw-top bottle that can be filled with the included pipette for a portable version of your perfume.

Wild Roses opens strong, racing out of the bottle onto the skin and blooming immediately into the air around me. A seemingly frenzied swirl of sweet rose and rich spice swirls around. It quickly becomes clear, though, that this wild appearance is simply an act. Mandy's deft hand has created that delirious opening that so perfectly represents the "intoxicated" feeling she was trying to evoke. It may seem unrestrained, but there's structure and purpose in there - and that makes it all the more beautiful. 

Once I get my head around the roses, which only takes a moment or two, I realize how many different nuances are sparkling in the air. I smell anise. There's something sweetly candy-like. There are green herb-y flashes. I smell some rich, dirty patchouli that shifts between fresh earth and a little bit of naughtiness. There are spices -almost an all-spice kind of blend that doesn't allow me to pick each spice out individually but gives the impression of freshly a grated pie blend. There's a bit of vanilla, but it's not super-sweet. There's citrus and stone fruit, too, with an apricot-y impression being strong and fresh, evoking the feel juice dripping between my fingers and onto the rose blossoms below. Throughout the scent's dance, there is a distinct fleshiness and slightly naughty nuance (I blame those delicious indoles). 

Just as a dream constantly shifts and wiggles beneath our hands as we try to pin it down, I just can't get this scent to sit still - in a good way! Wild Roses is not a painting of a rose. It's a jazz piece written in celebration of roses. There is no scarlet, peach, yellow, pink - it's all of the colors at once, like a prism in a lightening storm. 

Wild Roses isn't so much that "rose that exists in my mind" as it is a rose garden that exists in my mind - a wild, overgrown thicket of glorious roses draped and twining together over the supports that used to keep them in order. And sometimes, that kind of all over the place wildness, however rooted in order it once was, is simply thrilling. 

Wild Roses lifts off of the skin beautifully, projects modestly, and lasts about 6 hours on my skin. It's beautiful and wild indeed, and I need a bottle. I need one! I never imagined I'd be so infatuated with a rose scent, but I can't stop spraying this and my little sample sprayer is quickly dwindling away. I need to replace it with a bigger bottle in an attempt to capture this wild dream and make it mine, all mine!*

I want to add a special "thank you" to Mandy Aftel not only for granting me the privilege of trying this scent, but for clearing up my confusion. I don't have mixed emotions about rose perfumes anymore. I don't love all rose perfumes, but I surely love Mandy's rose perfume! 

*OK. Yes, you can make it yours, too. I won't be greedy. 
For the record, I sampled the edp.
The perfume may just blow my mind into smithereens! 

This product was provided to me by the manufacturer or a representative thereof for consideration only. 
For more information on my review policies, please check this out.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Heya,
    Love Mandy Aftel and Roses. A sample is on its way. You have just added so much fodder to my excitement,
    Portia xx

    1. Portia, I can't wait to hear your thoughts! So lovely, this one.

  3. Thank you so much Jen for your extraordinarily kind words about me and Wild Roses! I feel so blessed and grateful for your thorough understanding of my work and wonderfully evocative way with words!
    xo Mandy

    1. I'm relieved you commented. I feel such pressure trying to write clearly when talking about your work. Love it.

  4. I could not have said it better, Jen - Wild Roses is a masterpiece, and so different from other rose perfumes!

  5. I was curious with the scent of this perfume, Did you try to make a perfume like pheromones men? I think you really love perfumes so much.

  6. Now-a days Wild Roses perfume is quite unique.It is different compared from other perfumes.If you want to presenting perfume gift set to someone,it's all about making something personal and special.


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