Compact Perfumes Making a Come Back & Book Shows How

These hard perfumes in pretty cases are making a real return to the market and for good reason. Who really wants to chance their cell phone to the possibility of a leaking purse atomizer? Not good. So this makes a book I reviewed a good while ago even more pertinent today... one of my all time favorite books, it's title just happens to be a play on one of my favorite novels: "Scents & Sensibilities: Creating Solid Perfumes for Well - Being" by Mandy Aftel / Gibbs Smith.

Walking around a used books store, I couldn't help but notice all of the gift books for sale. The tiny books with colorful covers that always seem to be pristine. It made me wonder how many of these books are ever really read or appreciated? I've come across a book that might finally break the mold. The title, "Scents & Sensibilities: Creating Solid Perfumes for Well Being" by Mandy Aftel (Gibbs Smith Publisher: $12.95), really says it all.

Like many other gift books it is small (about 5 x 6), has a thick hardcover and is filled with glossy pages. It also has lavish full color photographs that actually add to the book instead of distract or provide useless filler. The cover is bright with stylistic flowers and there are hints of metallic gold. For its size it feels heavy and just a bit decadent. All good things!

Where many gift books fall short is in the "meat" department. Meat meaning good content. Often times the content, especially if Aromatherapy related, is stale, dry and nothing special in gift books. When you go to actually read one it becomes apparent why no one keeps them. In this book however Mandy Aftel has taken the time to write a book really worth giving.

Anyone who is interested in perfume blending or Aromatherapy will treasure and greatly enjoy using this little tome. Mandy starts out by giving a nice, illustrated history of solid perfume making and use. She then goes on to run through a list of ingredients (including essential oils) and materials needed to make your own. While brief, you will get the idea and the illustrations convey Ms. Aftel's precision in blending perfumes, one drop at a time. Top, middle and base note structures are mentioned along with a list of aromatics, some of which include Frankincense, Lavender, Nutmeg and Oakmoss. The photos also give great inspiration. In one, old watch cases are shown to hold your latest aromatic creation.

There are only but a few recipes included in the book but they are fantastic when made. It is refreshing how , "Scents & Sensibilities" encourages the reader to create their own scents and trust me once you create one. You'll find yourself wishing to create many more. This may very well be one gift book you should also give yourself.

Yes the Aftel of Aftelier so instead of the above you can always spring over to her place and pick up one of those dainty bottles of amber luxury and swoon.

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Copyright 2008
Looking through an antique store one day I found the above solid perfume case in the cute shape of a pineapple. It took a while but one day I found a perfume blend I wanted to try and went about filling it with a jasmine concoction. Showing it around it wasn't long before others gave major hints that they sure would like something like that. The perfume making was easy, it was finding the case that was hard. Tins found in craft stores and used for holding lip gloss can also work well although they don't look as nice. For a real change use an old watch case.

Here is a little video tutorial on how to create your own solid perfumes at home.


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