You don’t just smell an aroma; you fall into it

“You don’t just smell an aroma; you fall into it,” writes artisan perfumer Mandy Aftel. And entering her exquisite small museum, the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents, tucked into a backyard in Berkeley, is to fall into an ancient, mysterious world. Amid centuries-old books, bottles and curios are natural fragrances that come from the secretions of civets and the bowels of sperm whales, as well as from resins, rare flowers, roots and so much more. We talk to Aftel about her collection, the art of building a fragrance, and her new book, “The Museum of Scent: Exploring the Curious and Wondrous World of Fragrance”.

— Listen to Mandy Aftel at Berkeley Perfumer Mandy Aftel on the ‘Curious and Wondrous World of Fragrance’ at KQED.


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