To celebrate the New Year and the launch proper of AlchemyduCorps, I am giving away a new copy of Mandy Aftel’s book ‘Essence & Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume’ (RPP $16.99, paperback) (2004)[for How to Enter, see end of post]. What better a book to gift than an almost namesake, though I chose AlchemyduCorps as my nom de plume blind to any knowledge of Mandy Aftel. How happy I am to have discovered her literary works on perfume as they have been hugely instrumental in guiding my own tentative steps into the alchemical world and wonders of natural perfumery.
This blog cum site for my budding artisan perfumery adventures has been online over a year, yet has had a couple of false starts while I decided where my true heart lay in the world of natural skincare and perfumery. Now, at the dawn of 2016, I’ve plumped for perfumery loud and clear! I started a natural, organic skincare course with a superb online school – Formula Botanica (see my review here) and a few modules in, while genning up on the pros and cons of essential oils and ploughing through my Robert Tisserand bible, I realised that the whole scent thing was more my thang than the carrier oils themselves.
I am still working on my natural skincare course, as knowing skin inside out is a hugely valuable basis for my future direction. But as I have no urgent skincare issue to resolve but do lurve scent, I’ve angled more and more into learning the rudiments of perfumery. I swoon (yep, there’s no other word that captures the feeling so well!) when I think of the ancestry of natural perfumery; the fact that its tentacles reach back to the Dark Ages redolent of alchemy, mystery, magic and magician-like creations. When I sniff a scent, read the PR blurb of today’s polished brands and trial it on my skin, whether foul or fantastic, the perfume has a way of transporting my mind back to those centuries of old when perfumery was, as it’s name suggests, magic created in bottles behind smoke screens! It still is like that in some quarters even though the noses have come from out of closeted labs and are far more known names these days.
Now that my own smoke screen has fallen and I can declare myself a perfumista, I feel lightheaded and happier and keen to create in AlchemyduCorps a long-desired scent journeys, both mine and yours. I hope to take you along with me, and give you space here to air your own discoveries and doubts, dissing and desires about scent.
About Mandy Aftel and Essence & Alchemy
Mandy Aftel is a doyenne (founder even) of the natural perfumery movement. Her name is legendary and her work has driven the careers of several now leading name perfumers; Andy Tauer, Swiss chemist and acclaimed niche perfumer said that he was inspired to go into perfumery after reading ‘Essence & Alchemy’.
I can only second his reaction, as this book, even now, well over a decade since publication, is hard to surpass as a history of perfumery – the facts and fiction, fantasies and famous names – and surprisingly also as a go-to, starter manual on how to create a perfume yourself.
I’ve read it time and again along with her latest work ‘Fragrance: The Secret Life of Scent‘. For more on Mandy Aftel and this book, see the entry on Amazon and Wikipedia, as well as her own site Aftelier Perfumes.
How to enter
Some simple steps to be in with a chance to win Mandy Aftel’s ‘Essence & Alchemy, a Natural History of Perfume’. Here’s how:
Share this post or mention this giveaway on your Blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #alchemyducorps
Subscribe or be a subscriber to alchemyducorps.com (don’t forget to verify your subscription). Here’s the subscribe form link – and it’s in the sidebar too.
Like Alchemyducorps on Facebook and/or Pinterest.
Here’s the good news, the more times you ‘share’ this giveaway on the various social media, including Twitter, the more times your name will put into the bag for the draw for your chance to win.
If you do manage to rustle up a blog post, however brief (!), and mention the giveaway adding links to this post on Alchemy, there’s a bonus chance too! Just make sure you let me know and send me your blog post link.
GIVEAWAY COMPETITION CLOSES MIDNIGHT (CET time – ie, Rome time) FRIDAY 1ST JANUARY, 2016. WINNER ANNOUNCED AT 12 noon 2ND JANUARY.*
Do please tell me what you’d like to see on my new revamped AduC site this coming new year. And finally, a big thanks in advance for sharing and here’s to wishing you all health and happiness for 2016 – scented to the hilt I hope with good things!
*I’ll be contacting the winner asap after the deadline and posting the book to the winner on 8th January, when I am in the UK.