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Essence And Alchemy

A Natural History of Perfume
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Gibbs Smith
 | 
October, 2004
ISBN:
9781586857028
In stock now: 
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Banyen's Description: 

Perfume—heady, elusive, ethereal, and timeless. From ancient cultures to the present, people have taken pleasure in rubbing perfumed substances into their skin. But natural perfumery is, in Mandy Aftel’s words, “a sacred and vanishing art.” In Essence and Alchemy, she breathes new life into this spiritual and aesthetic craft, especially the long and secretive traditions of alchemy, which embody perfumery’s dualities. Aftel points out that psychologist Carl Jung recognized this when he used the alchemical process as metaphor for the growth of the human soul through conflict, crisis, and change.

Exploring the primal nature and fundamental importance of aroma in everyday life, including the idea of “olfactory consciousness,” this gorgeously illustrated book is also a practical guide to making custom scents and selecting “base notes,” “heart note” and “head notes” to create truly personal aromas and perfumes.

From the beginning, I loved working with the pure essences. They were voluptuousness in a bottle, and I was elated just by smelling them, as if I were inhaling worlds of experience along with the scents themselves. Some of their names were familiar from reading or cooking or gardening, others absolutely foreign. I began to read about them all, first in the aromatherapy literature, then following the trail… Scholarly or self-taught, earthy or cerebral, these writers share a reverence for natural ingredients and a deep and abiding belief in the importance of scented experience.

This beautifully crafted book, rich and seductive in its resurrection of an art lost in a shadow cast by contemporary synthetic fragrances, will educate, inspire, and transform the reader, as in the alchemical dictum “solve et coagula.” Dissolve and combine. See www.aftelier.com.

Publisher’s Description: 

Perfumer Mandy Aftel explores the primal nature and fundamental importance of aroma in everyday life, including the idea of "olfactory consciousness." This gorgeously illustrated book is also a practical guide to making custom scents and selecting "base notes," "heart note" and "head notes" to create truly personal aromas and perfumes.

"[An] extraordinary treatise on the history and making of perfume." -Publishers Weekly

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