Mandy Aftel has launched a new perfume and all the blogs rally. When Mandy releases something new, that is an occasion to pay attention to, because there is no one comparable out there. Mandy is truly in a league of her own.
Haute Claire is an Eau de Parfum combining two strong materials, that are not usually combined because they easily overpower each other, try to fight for supremacy and generally tend to make a mess in their bid for king of the perfume. But Mandy Aftel has found a way to not only reconcile these two brats, but make them sing in perfect harmony.
The story of Haute Claire’s inception is interesting. In a letter exchange with fellow perfumer Liz Zorn hosted on Nathan Branch’s blog, Haute Claire‘s creation can be followed, its name was suggested by Nathan (it is French for “high” and “clear”) and is a derivation of the name of a famous sword from the 12th century French poetic epic, “The Song of Roland“. (Totally off topic side note: another work of art based on the Song of Roland is Stephen King’s Opus Magnum The Dark Tower, that I love. Not relevant here, just sayin’…)
Haute Claire includes notes of galbanum, ylang ylang, clary sage, lime, orange, honeysuckle, vetiver, ethyl phenyl acetate and vanilla.
When I smelled Haute Claire for the first time I heard angels sing – literally, and they were singing a very real melody. Viens, Mallika, the Flower Duet from Delibes’ opera Lakmé. Nothing portraits Haute Claire so perfectly for me as this piece of music, sung here by two divas, Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca. High and clear indeed.
Mandy Aftel has a tendency to make me speechless, as evidenced with Tango recently, but thankfully there are is music that helps to convey the sublime duet this perfume sings.
Imagine my disappointment when I wore Haute Claire on skin for the first time (after initially testing on paper) and, I don’t know why, my skin chemistry and Haute Claire somehow don’t go together well. Haute Claire is very different on me. Somehow I amplify a slight animalic note, indoles abound and I end up overwhelmed.
But, not to be diverted easily, I enlisted he help of a friend. She wore Haute Claire for two days and was subjected to several sniffings and the outcome is, Ladies and Gentlemen, it worked perfectly on her and we have a new convert. Thankfully on her skin, Haute Claire sings without a hitch, the bitter galbanum and the sweet and lushly ripe ylang ylang dance around each other, gracefully underscored by vetiver and a dash of vanilla.
The lasting power of this Eau de Parfum is very good, one of the longest wearing perfumes in the Aftelier range.
While I am not happy that Haute Claire and I did not get on too well, I absolutely enjoyed smelling it on my friend whose skin allows Haute Claire to shine and fulfill its intended purpose of showcasing this incredible pairing.
Please leave a comment on this post stating what combination of two materials you would find interesting in a perfume? Which duet would you like to “hear” in a fragrance?
I will pick a winner using random.org on Thursday 28, 8am GMT, the draw is open to anyone, anywhere in the world. Your prize will be shipped directly from Aftelier Perfumes in California.