When I first tried Aftelier solids I was struck by their wonderfully soft consistency and their skin-caring smoothness. Wildflowers had me swooning, so of course I wanted more.
Orchid was the next solid perfume I tested.
I love lilies. These are the flowers I love to have at home, because they are capable of scenting a large room and are so beautiful to look at.
Orchids as well as lilies produce no extractable essential oil, so their perfume has to be recreated from other elements. It has to be faked by the perfumer. Mandy Aftel, of course, is a master forger of nature.
Orchid transports me into a hothouse. Glass walls, lush greens everywhere, air so damp, beads of moisture start building on your skin, and in the center stands a perfect white orchid, or is it a lily? I can’t see it clearly, but it does not matter. It is its scent that lures me in. Its pull is inexorable, I feel like a bee that is compelled to fly to this flower.
Orchid is spicy, almost hot, cinnamon and cloves. Then orange blossom unfolds, pure and clean and true to life. There is a green, almost herbal undercurrent that is hard to place for me, but that evokes the verdant atmosphere of the hothouse perfectly.
In the base I detect vanilla that completes the perfume to make it a rounded, soft and warm creation that, whenever I smell it, makes me involuntarily roll my eyes heavenwards and smile. It is that original, unique and plain good.
I wish such a flower existed, I would fill my house with it.
It lies in the nature of solids that they wear close to the body, in this instance I sometimes wish for a little more presence, mainly because keeping my hand close to my nose at all times does not exactly help in lending me a sophisticated air in public. But it is hard to refrain from doing so, I dare you to try.
I also wish the perfume lasted longer than the approximate two hours it lives and breathes on my skin, mainly because I only have a sample that is dwindling rapidly.
I even started to wonder whether a silver compact filled with Orchid solid would not present a loophole in my full bottle embargo, it is no bottle after all!
So I end up with another Aftelier creation that has put its spell on me. The alchemist Mandy Aftel knows how to enthrall and captivate us with her creations that summon the spirits of nature and sublimate them into something intangible, ultimately greater than the sum of its parts.
This Orchid is a pretender, but it is easy to forgive deception when it is done so utterly charmingly.