A Lily By Another Name – Review: Aftelier Perfumes Orchid Solid Perfume

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.

What a surprise upon first sniff – Orchid was not what it proclaimed to be, but it was a lily I smelled.

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.

The conservatory in Schönbrunn Castle, Vienna

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.

Image source: aftelier.com, waagner-biro.at,some rights reserved, thank you!

About Olfactoria

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30 Responses to A Lily By Another Name – Review: Aftelier Perfumes Orchid Solid Perfume

  1. Gisela says:

    That was my first thought when I saw the picture: a solid doesn’t come in a bottle… 😉

  2. the husband says:

    Definition of BOTTLE
    1a : a rigid or semirigid container typically of glass or plastic having a comparatively narrow neck or mouth and usually no handle
    b : a usually bottle-shaped container made of skin for storing a liquid

    in fact it wouldn’t even be bending the rules, much less cheating. that said i am willing to help you by sticking to part 2 of rule 1 – if i like the scent.

  3. Ines says:

    This sounds truly captivating!
    I can imagine why you would want to circumvent the embargo and I believe the husband has the right idea. 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is captivating, I love Mandy’s solids so much, and this perfume is intoxicating!

      The husband is known for his great ideas (most of the time) actually! 😉

  4. the husband says:

    i have to be nice. i am a reverend after all.

  5. Victoria says:

    Mmmm, sounds wonderful! If a reverend says, bend the rules a little bit, it is ok, I guess. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      He is no reverend, he is a surgeon!!! He just got ordained in an internet church to be prepared to (possibly) officiate at the wedding of a friend in the US! 😉

      Orchid is indeed wonderful, Reverend or not! 😉

  6. deeHowe says:

    When I first read this, before getting to all the comments, I thought, your birthday is coming up! Surely you must be making a list (and checking it twice)?


  7. Marina says:

    Sounds gorgeous!

  8. Mandy Aftel says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words and the loving attention you paid to my perfume. You are more “spot on” than you know. I named this perfume Orchid but was trying to capture the fragrance of a lily. (Lilies are my favorite flowers to have on the table to scent a room — like you) I didn’t want to name the perfume after a lily because there are several other perfumes with that name.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank YOU, Mandy for making such a delightful perfume and for taking the time to read my review.
      I am just looking at the lilies standing on my table and loving the fact that you love them too. 🙂

  9. Jessdr says:

    “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.”

    I did that *at least* six times in a meeting today! (Boronia – luckily I tried it at home first. I smelled it so often and so deeply I got a little dizzy!)

  10. This sounds so wonderful! I’ve been wanting to try the Wildflowers solid, now I must try this one as well. Every scent I’ve tried of Mandy’s has been totally captivating.

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