Wordless – Review: Aftelier Tango

When I apply Mandy Aftel‘s Tango many things happen at once.

The most impressive thing, for somebody like me who loves writing and loves writing about perfume even more, is the fact that it overwhelms me with a multitude of emotions and images that conspire to effectively shut me up (for once :) ).

Luckily there are people out there who can summon the words to describe Tango, please let me refer to their brilliant reviews, all different, showing how Tango resonates with different people of different levels. I’ll add the links at the end of my non-review.

But first let me describe with other means than words what Tango does to me, how Tango smells and why Tango is akin to a drug or better: medicine.

The dignified way this woman says Goodbye to her former life, her country, her freedom moves me immensely… that is how Tango smells to me.

The determined look on her face, the concentration, the tension… that is how Tango smells to me.

The harsh voice, the aggression, the passion, the submission, the devastation, the pain and the deterioration of love all captured in the exact moves of a tango… that is how Tango smells to me.

Tango, the dance, is the combination of harsh and soft, quick and slow, aggressive and passive, the fusion of extremes into one perfect movement, the fusion of two people into one perfect being. For four minutes another creature exists. All rhythm, all music, all passion. Tango is transformative. The dance and the perfume.

Tango is devastating. Devastatingly, heartrendingly beautiful. Smell it.

Reviews of Tango: Tarleisio on Scentless Sensibilites, Carrie Meredith on eyeliner on a cat, Marina on Perfume Smellin’ Things.
Image source: aftelier.com, The last Dance by Pino Daeni via pino-artist.com, tangoevita.com

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50 Responses to Wordless – Review: Aftelier Tango

  1. Egads, I’m so happy Tango has another admirer! It’s so dear to me in a way that no other perfume is; I said recently on Twitter that to me, it’s the olfactory equivalent of a warm hug from a beloved friend. There’s not TOO much that can top that in terms of praise for a perfume, in my book.

    Your “non-review” is not a non-review at all, it’s very review-y! And very lovely, as well. :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Tango whizzed past all my other fragrant wishes and resides on the top of my list now. It is perfect. I understand your praise.
      I hope “very review-y” is not a bad thing?! :)

  2. Sandra says:

    Having Argentina as my birthplace I love the tango. If the perfume speaks to you the way the music speaks to me I will most certainly be looking out for it for a test run. Thank you for such a lovely review.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Tango – the perfume, the music and the dance – touches me deeply. Smelling Mandy’s perfume it all comes together.
      As an Argentinian, this seems to be made for you.

  3. Tarleisio says:

    And I bet everyone thought I was exaggerating in my review!!! But no…and another joins the long, long list of Aftelier fans…;)

    I’m so happy you loved it so much! As do I…can’t live without it – wouldn’t want to try!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Lol! Maybe they think we are both exaggerating? ;)
      I wouldn’t want to be without Tango as well. Need to get a full bottle under my nose soon. All else can wait.

      • People could easily accuse us all of exaggerating our love for Aftelier, that is, until they try her splendid juice for themselves. It’s a revelation, and I learn new things about each perfume every time I wear them. I also love how willing (and enthusiastic) Mandy is to share her experiences of creating her fragrances. I’ll have her book Essence and Alchemy in my hands in a few days, and I am so excited to read it. Sheila, I know you’ve got it and are probably burying your nose in it every chance you get!

        • Olfactoria says:

          That book is wonderful, I have read it several times as well! :)
          And you are absolutely right! Until you smell it with your own nose, you have no idea of the complexity and depth of Mandy’s creations. And I adore Mandy herself too, she is such a lovely and approachable person. A real artist.

  4. lady jane grey says:

    Is that the one with the burnt sea shell note in it ?

  5. Tara says:

    Well, your wordless non-review made enough of an impact on me that I have today ordered samples of both Tango and Candide. I have put off trying Mandy’s creations for the longest time despite being a great fan of her writing just because of the adverse affect I know it’ll have on my solvency. Seems like one sniff and you’re a goner! You shattered my resistance with this heartfelt post, B :)

  6. Undina says:

    I was impressed already after reading yesterday Tarleisio’s review. And now yours… But I must say that Carrie’s review got to me the most – so thank you both, Carrie for writing it and Birgit for bringing it up. I really hope Tango will work on my skin (unfortunately, several other Aftelier’s perfumes that I tested recently in the store didn’t work for me at all).

  7. Mandy Aftel says:

    Thank you so much Birgit! I am moved by your “non-verbal” interpretations of my work, and glad to have you find so many of the feelings in Tango that I tried to put into it. Of course I do love your way with words as well, and am honored to have made one of your favorite fragrances.

  8. deeHowe says:

    Between you, Carrie, and Tarleisio, I’m having a hard time resisting the Aftelier fragrances!
    And I am trying to resist them: no matter how beautiful something is, I have a hard time justifying a purchase of anything that lasts only two-hours! I suppose that smelling this, or any of the others you gals have recently reviewed, would probably change my mind on that point… but one must tread carefully when we’re talking $20 per mL!

    As an alternative, have you tested any of her EDP’s??? I would be curious to hear how they compare :)

    —signing off,
    your favorite cheap-skate

    • I have only tried one of Mandy’s EDPs, it’s Tres-Vert, which is exactly as it sounds- deliciously, overtly green. Even the color is very green! I did find it more fleeting than the parfum extrait, though. I find that the Aftelier parfums tend to last longer and are more intense than most natural fragrances. I like to keep my vials close at hand for touch-ups, though, because I am a glutton when it comes to this stuff. :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hey there, Cheapskate!
      You are right of course. Aftelier perfumes are far from cheap. But in their case I know I am paying for exceptional high-quality ingredients and Mandy’s artistry, not some fancy bottle and a marketing strategy. And while I wish they would last longer, their beauty captured me and I cherish my tiny sample vials like gold.
      Like Carrie, I only tried Trevert EdP and I agree with what she says. Eventually I want to try Tango EdP to see how it compares to the extrait.

  9. Vanessa says:

    I tried Tango very early on in my perfumista days, before I understood about natural perfumes being more intense and full on. I dimly recall an orangeness and the scent of ground-up sea shells. I think I am remembering the right one. I must admit I passed my sample along, but my nose is in another place now, and I might be ready to appreciate it. The Maroc one, on the other hand, would probably not be for me even now, being spicy and rich as I recall.

    • Olfactoria says:

      It was the same for me. A while ago I couldn’t appreciate natural perfumes, but with ongoing nose-education that has changed. Still, I apply and have an immediate reaction of: Uff, too much!
      But let it settle for few minutes and it clears itself, melds with your skin and only then you start to smell the “real” perfume. It is like a stirred up lake that finally settles and clears, the water becoming translucent again. And then the love can begin… ;)

  10. Lavanya says:

    I have a sample of Tango thanks to Mandy..I feel like I need to wait for the weekend to try it, so I can devote all my attention to it..I read Marina’s review ages ago and have been dying to try it since..Then your comments on twitter and all the lovely blog reviews- I feel like I need to save this scent till the time is right..lol.

  11. Deborah Anne Oney (Annie) says:

    I wore Tango into the ocean today for a late afternoon swim, and couldn’t believe how it blended so beautifully with the salty seaside smells! It took me by surprise . . . a thing so delightful, a blending so quintessential that I couldn’t have anticipated it in a hundred years! I was stunned.
    For those of you by the sea, I recommend it.
    Annie

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  13. Marie says:

    Late to the party – just wanted to let you know that I too was very moved by Maxima´s (right?) reaction to the tango – it’s a bittersweet moment. I believe I could say goodbye to my country, but my freedom in the manner she had to, never. So, I’d be listening to the tango alone :-)
    Tarleisio sweetly provided me with a sample of Mandy’s Tango a little while ago and I’m wearing it right now, listening to the music and reading your review and the comments to it. I’m not sure yet that I can say that I like it in that good, warm, fuzzy way, but I can appreciate its beauty. However, I cannot honesty think of one single occasion in my life where wearing Tango would be fitting. But maybe Tango will provide its own occasion when worn……

    • Olfactoria says:

      I have no occasion to wear Tango either, I am going practically nowhere at the moment, but Tango makes the most mundane evening special. Maxima and her tears are very moving to me, I get the feeling she knows exactly what she is getting into and she does it for love, with eyes wide open.

      • Marie says:

        This is probably where my problem with Tango would lie – I’m am profoundly not a romantic soul :-) So, I can aprreciate its beauty, and I do, especially in the later stages of its existence on my skin – the ginger was a bit too prominent for me at first – but I don’t think I’ll ever fall in love. It’s like a beautiful work of art – something to be appreciated and revered – but not something I want to take home with me :-)

        What makes Maxima’s reaction so moving is, I think, that she’s not a very young woman when she marries. She’s an adult who, as you say, knows what she’s getting into. She loses some things and can only hope and trust that she will gain something even better. That makes it all the more significant. I can also appreciate the very inclusion of this piece of music in the wedding – it recognizes where she came from and that she has a past. That seems like a very mature and respectful way of going about such an event.

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  17. Caro says:

    Would you believe I am just now reading your Tango review/non-review?
    I find it so touching that you choose to illustrate it with the images from Maxima’s wedding.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I admire the way Maxima seemed fully aware of what she was getting into, and did it anyway, for love. She would have loved to wear Tango that day, I like to think. :)

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