About a month ago, I was lucky enough to be the winner of a Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes drawing. This was a real thrill as I have not really delved into the realm of natural perfumes and after hearing Freddie from Smellythoughts rave about the Aftelier fragrances I knew that I would be in for a lovely surprise. As part of the drawing I was able to choose 3 miniature perfumes from Mandy’s collection. Based on notes that I love and review of others, I decided upon Wild Roses, Secret Garden and my favorite of the three which I’m reviewing today, Haute Claire. Of course, Mandy couldn’t have been sweeter and actually sent me a few more samples along with the minis. My package arrived in the most exquisite box and the 3 perfumes were housed in these sweetly small bottles in their own little carrying case. As wonderful as the juice always is, the packaging just adds that something extra that makes it so much more special. Mandy obviously understands this to perfection! Now, these fragrances are masterful in their composition and you can immediately tell that they are blended perfectly and my nose is not sophisticated enough to really give the justice due with words, so please bear with me.
WHAT I SMELL: In the bottle it smells strong and biting and dare I must say, a little musty (galbanum?). Once you apply it, that strong and musty opening makes way for an orange and ylang ylang intoxicating delight. It somehow is fresh and cool and warm at the same time. It is substantial in that there is a depth, an almost layering of various notes that seem to rise and sink back each time I put my arm to my nose. I have always thought of natural perfumes in the sense of earthy and oily. This breaks that thought in that it is like a 1200 count egyptian cotton sheet; substantial, smooth and ultra luxurious. Haute Claire is thick and ripe and the honeysuckle sticks to the back of your throat. It’s not sweet, but it’s pungent with a thick and palatable consistency. I love to be intoxicated by a perfume and this does the trick in spades. After quite some time in the end you are left with a wonderful warm green vetiver fragrance. The vetiver is deep and luxurious and this is coming from a man who typically doesn’t care for vetiver scents.
From the Aftelier website:
Haute Claire is both crisp and soft, cool and warm. The fresh edgy greenness of galbanum is offset by the creamy floral of ylang ylang edged with honeysuckle. The green and floral notes harmonize in perfect pitch, with neither dominating the other. A warm base of vetiver and vanilla provides a soft finish of sweet grass.
Top: galbanum, Mexican lime, wild sweet orange, ylang ylang co2.
Heart: honeysuckle absolute, ylang ylang extra, clary sage.
Base: vetiver, ethyl phenyl acetate, vanilla absolute.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE HAUTE CLAIRE: intoxicating, rapturous, wise (you can tell that Haute Claire was composed with a great deal of experience, knowledge and wisdom)
BOTTOM LINE: This was a wonderful surprise for me. I can’t thank Mandy enough for the opportunity to experience her artistry. I am thinking at this point that a mini of Haute Claire will not suffice. Thankfully, Mandy has 30ml EdP bottles for sale too!!! Please do check her website and all the wonderful fragrances and other products at www.aftelier.com.
- Bone Rating: 5 out of 5 possible bones
- Scent: Green
- Nose: Mandy Aftel
- Classification: Unisex
- Expense: $50 as tested, 2ml perfume