New (Natural) Scents for Fall, from Aftelier Perfumes

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I stopped into a craft store last week (for fabric fusing tape- the biggest cheat in sewing history) and before I even crossed the store threshold I was overtaken by a display of potpourri packets in scents like pumpkin spice, caramel apple cider and candy corn. They were just so festive. I picked one up, sniffed it, coughed— and snapped out of it. I am very aware that synthetic fragrance is harmful to the air quality of my home, as well as the health of my body, but it's so hard not to get caught up in a fragrance moment!

Same goes for perfume. On paper, we can be totally savvy about the hormone-disrupting chemicals like phthalates found in conventional fragrance, but get swept up in their alluring aromas all the same. So isn't it nice to sniff some completely natural, completely sophisticated scents for a change? I recently found some winners at Aftelier Perfumes.

A quick note about this pioneering natural fragrance brand: it's run by Mandy Aftel, a perfumer who hand-blends her products based on the unique, often exotic, natural fragrance materials she sources. Her perfume blends capture a moment or an idea, and they're like nothing else you've smelled before!

Here's how Mandy explains her choice of natural ingredients:

"Although synthetics approximate the odors of natural ingredients, they have none of the complexity, mystery or emotional depth. We bring an inexplicable emotional intensity to the experience of an authentic smell and the memories it sparks and creates."

Obviously, Mandy's creations aren't something you'd stumble upon in your local Ulta or Sephora, but you can order a bunch of scent samples from her website (and they'll come in adorable purse-size sprays and jars, like the ones I received, above!). I've been tucking the perfume samples in a clutch for a night out, and the oil in my carry-on for plane travel.

After sampling an assortment of products, here are my picks for Aftelier Perfumes offerings with perfect fall fragrances:

  • Ancient Resins Body Oil & Hair Elixir. This jojoba and coconut-based oil has a deep, mysterious scent punctuated by frankincense and balm of gilead (which has a piney fragrance). The scent is a bit unfamiliar since it contains a large concentration of resins— sticky secretions of conifer trees — that give it a smoky, woody, moody feel. Love it for fall and winter, a great season to moisturize with it from head to toe (you wont need perfume afterward)!
  • Cepes and Tuberose Eau de Parfum. This scent mixes earthy porcini mushrooms with heady, sweet tuberose and dries down to something very spicy— I am obsessed. It's a fall and winter scent that's completely sophisticated.
  • Chocolate Saffron Body Oil & Hair Elixir. I feel like gourmand scents (food-inspired) are perfect for fall and winter, and this chocolate oil is a great example. It's rich, complex, and leaves your skin and hair smelling like cocoa.

Have you tried Aftelier Perfumes? Or do you have a favorite natural fragrance for fall? How do you scent your body and home phthalate-free this season?