Monday, August 08, 2011

Aftelier- Haute Claire (and a sample giveaway)


Good poetry starts with the emotions and vision of the poet, expressed with carefully chosen and arranged words but then takes a new identity and comes alive in the heart and mind of the reader. The poem reaches the reader on his or her own turf, stirring memories and experiences, and if it fits, the words become part of you; you make it your own, even if the poet would never recognize the new form the original creation has taken in your mind.

When Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes created her new EDP, Haute Claire ("High and Bright") she conceived it as
"...both crisp and soft, cool and warm. The fresh edgy greenness of galbanum is offset by the creamy floral of ylang ylang edged with honeysuckle. The green and floral notes harmonize in perfect pitch, with neither dominating the other. A warm base of vetiver and vanilla provides a soft finish of sweet grass."

Just before applying Haute Claire I smell the pretty green floral in the air around me, I see Mandy's vision and it registers as an early summer morning. Then it goes on my skin and becomes mine. All mine.

Haute Claire smells warm and delicious of melted cocoa butter, as also observed by my nearest and dearest. The Blond pronounced it a wonderful gourmand. He can't detect even a hint of flower. I do get some green, but not in any way I would have expected. In other perfumes some green notes cut you like a sharp blade of grass. Others invite you to enjoy the shelter of their cool shade on a hot day. Mandy Aftel's green in Haute Claire allows you to roll on green silk sheets and feel it on every inch of your body.

The chocolate aroma is not supposed to be part of Haute Claire; I confirmed it with Mandy. But it's there, consistently mouth-watering without ever becoming a gluttony low-brow creature. Aftelier perfumes can be shockingly sensual, and this new one is no different. I wear it and noses, mine and others, are eager to get closer and never leave. Haute Claire is only mildly sweet and not what I would consider comforting- it keeps me on my toes in the best possible way.

Notes from Aftelier.com-
Top: galbanum, Mexican lime, wild sweet orange, ylang ylang co2.
Heart: honeysuckle absolute, ylang ylang extra, clary sage.
Base: vetiver, ethyl phenyl acetate, vanilla absolute.

Now for the giveaway: Mandy Aftel will send a 5ml sample of Haute Claire to one lucky reader. To enter the draw, please leave a comment and tell us: Have you ever experienced a "phantom note" in perfume? A note that is absolutely not there but you still smell it clearly. The winner will be chosen randomly from those who leave comments on this post.

Haute Claire by Aftelier Perfumes (30 ml EDP $150 and 1 ml spray sample $6) is available from aftelier.com. The press sample for this review was sent by the perfumer, and yes, I already ordered a bottle as I'm not willing to be without this gorgeous perfume.

Art: La Jardin de Ma Mere by Kirsty Mitchell (on flickr).

52 comments:

  1. I swore (and still swear) I smell a hint of mint in the opening of Onda.

    I'm importuning and reading "mine all mine" as "ours all ours" dear scent twin...

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  2. Please, please enter me the draw- I would like so much to try this
    Thank you

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  3. This sounds beautiful~Thanks for the review :D

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  4. Hmmm. Very interested in smelling this one! (Which is probably why I participated in a few draws of it!) As for your question, I don't think I have ever experienced a “phantom note” yet. Right now I'm mostly at the stage where if I can recognize more than one note listed, I'm happy! I guess it'll take more training before I'm better at this!

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  5. Mandy is my favorite perfumer - I would love to be entered in the drawing .
    Thank you!
    One of my top ten summer fragrances is Bruno Acampora Seplasia parfum . While very green and fresh floral ,
    To me it smells very milky/coconutty but there is no coconut ...

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  6. yes.I smell pickles whenever I try Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess! I have tried it in different temperatures,but it's still always faintly there.cansins

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  7. I swear I smell cumin in Amaranthine, but it's a trick of the spice melange, at least, that's what they say it is. And I'd love to try one of Mandy Aftel's perfumes!
    -Marla

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  8. I'm a newbie at trying to figure out notes in fragrances and am learning so much from you, so all I can say is sometimes I smell something that makes a fragrance just smell like perfume. Strong, uneasy perfume. Don't know what the heck it is!

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  9. I am a big fan of Silver Factory, by Bond No. 9 - at least the samples I have hoarded are lovely. I was working at a Saks store one day and saw a bottle and happily spritzed some on... and was overwhelmed by the stench of tobacco (which my skin doesn't play well with). Ugh. I have been reticent to try Silver Factory again and have no idea what happened that day! lol

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  10. I had to check ingredients of Le Parfum de Therese on many sites to confirm presence of violets. It seems I am the only one experiencing that note and it is dominant on my skin.
    Please put me in the drawing.

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  11. Yes! I have had the phantom note experience, and oddly enough, often it's chocolate. Oh, thanks, I feel much better now.

    I would love to try Haute Claire - the name alone made me want to sniff it.

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  12. I thought Petite Cherie was a sweet cherry perfume. This sounds like an an amazing fragrance. Please enter me in the draw. Thanks,
    Jill

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  13. I too thought of Onda but I get leather, whereas the listed notes are vetiver, mace, coriander and ginger.

    I won't say what I get from Angel but it's not listed and it's not pleasant, although it's something that might have featured in C18th or 19th perfumery.

    I'd love to be entered in the draw (you appear not to be excluding non US?).

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  14. What a lovely review! The picture perfectly illustrates your words.
    I too get mint from Onda.
    Please enter me in the draw.
    Haute Claire sounds gorgeous.

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  15. A couple of 'phantom notes' experiences immediately came to mind. My current 'cheap thrill' fragrance, Boyfriend, is all about patchouli to my nose, though there's no mention of it in the notes. Another example is in one of my all time favorite fragrances, Mitsouko. I could swear I smell violets, but no. None listed.
    This new fragrance by Aftelier sound so gorgeous, I have been reading everything I can about it and I would love to try it! Thanks for the draw opportunity.

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  16. I often smell things that aren't supposed to be there, I just can't think of an example!

    I would love to be entered in the draw :)

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  17. I get an unmistakable whiff of root beer in Fourreau Noir. Please enter me in the draw!

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  18. I keep smelling patchouli (as does a friend) in Slumberhouse Ore but it is not listed in the notes. It is not a strong smell but just a little in the background. I would love to try Haute Claire. Thanks!

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  19. Haute Claire sounds gorgeous; thanks for the lovely review, and please enter me in the draw.

    Yes, I often experience the phantom note phenomenon, and it is usually orange blossom. It's so distinctive a note, and yet I get it wrong all the time! The last time this happened was with SIP L'Invisible. Perhaps I just confuse the scent of any citrus and floral combo with orange blossom.

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  20. I'm afraid I'm not sophisticated enough when it comes to perfumes to detect a phantom note. I'm still trying to separate out the different scents each ingredient lends to the perfume.

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  21. This scent sounds lovely.

    I often smell coconut in fig scents,
    although I do not smell coconut when
    I am lucky enough to be eating ripe
    figs from the Farmers Market.

    I would love to be in the giveaway.
    thanks.

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  22. It is very strange, but whenever I wear Osmanthus from Ormonde Jayne I get a note of something like saffron on my skin, but there is no such note listed in the offical description. Thanks for a wonderful review and offering a chance to sample this unique perfume offering!

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  23. My nose hasn't been so sharp yet, and that's what I admire you so much ( in addition to a lot other qualities you have).

    I would love to try this.

    Daisy
    email:kydchiu(at)yahoo(dom)com

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  24. Yuzu ab Irato by Parfumerie Generale is one big phantom note on my skin! Let's see what should I smell according to the notes: hiacynth, bamboo, yuzu, mint... What I smell? I smell... church! Church I used to go to as a child,I smell a hint of incense in cold air...

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  25. I smell gasoline in Lancome's Magnifique. Obviously, it's not in the notes. That frag is strange and frankly a loser. Mercifully, they haven't spun off any flankers. Please enter me in the draw.

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  26. Cumming The Fragrance smells to me like the pads on my dogs paws. I'm sure that wasn't in the official list of notes, but the similarity is striking!

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  27. I'm not sure I have. I could have sworn there was something like cinnamon in Andy Tauer's Cologne du Maghreb, but I was corrected...

    Haute Clair sounds gorgeous - no one makes me want to wear these scents like you do!

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  28. Lovely review. I'm terrible at picking out notes, so, no, no phantom ingredients... But, I want this sample!! Mandy's Amber is one of my favorites. Please enter me in the draw.
    Thank you. Rachel

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  29. Yes! I just tried Clive Christian "C" and thought that it was a lovely vetiver...except there was no vetiver listed.

    -Kari

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  30. No need to enter me! I just wanted to comment on how lovely your review is. Haute Claire is beyond lovely and I am amazed at how it smells so different on everyone who reviews it. I need to start working on my review.

    xoxoxo

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  31. I want to try this sooooo bad!! I entered a giveaway on another site and didn't win, so here I am :)

    Let's see, a phantom note - Caron Violette Precieuse. When I smell the sillage, it smells almost doughy, like a violet pie in one of those thick delicious crusts. But of course, it's not really there when I put my nose up to it. There's just something there somewhere that gives my nose that impression when I get a whiff. Really pretty yummy :)

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  32. I swear I also smell a chocolatey scent in one of my faves, the all-natural Special Oil No. 20 by Hoodoo Roots. It's rich & decadent, then light &haunting. Delish! -Maureen

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  33. Thank you Gaia, your writing is warm, witty, and wise, and prompted some great comments! I am so touched that you bought Haute Claire for yourself – I like knowing that my work is bringing pleasure to the wearer. Mandy Aftel.

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  34. What a lovely review! This really sounds like a must try.
    phantom notes? *thinks* oh yes- got one- I swore I could smell turmeric in Andy Tauer's Le Maroc pour elle- but he said there wasn't any 'tumeric note' in it..

    Please enter me in the draw!

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  35. I don't believe ever captured a phantom note, but would love to experience! Please send the sample my way!

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  36. The scent sounds great!

    I swear I get Vetiver in Moscou.

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  37. Yes! I can't explain it, but sometimes in vintage Shalimar there's an undertone of hot rocks. Literally, rock that has been in the sun. Only with older bottles, and I've stopped pointing it out as folks think I'm nuts. (But it is totally there.)

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  38. I smell root beer in Private Collection. Odd but nice.

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  39. I get a tiny, tiny hint of mint when first putting on Tauer Reverie au Jardin. Definitely not there! Must be a trick if the nose, but doesn't stick around. Please enter me
    In the draw! This new Aftel scent sounds amazing :-)

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  40. Victoria's Secret Satin Rose de Mai always smelled sweet and rosy to me, until one day my nose went PEARS. And since then I smell pear every time I wear it, but it's supposed to be rose de mai, honeysuckle, grapefruit and mandarin blossom!

    macmahon.erin [at] gmail.com

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  41. Please enter me in the draw, this sounds gorgeous. I smell rhubarb in L'Artisan Piment Brulant.

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  42. I never tried Mandy's fragrances as they are not available in South Africa.I have a bottle of Le Fue d Issy (discontinued now )
    and it has a cough medicine smell which is not listed as one of its ingrediants.
    Its nice though !

    reneeg@discoverymail.co.za

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  43. I still am not sure what some listed notes smell like! (e.g. amber)However, many of the rose scents I have tried seem to have a strong fruity component (raspberries?) and I'm not sure whether it's the notes or my imagination!
    I would love to try this- please enter me in the draw.

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  44. In Roxana Villa's Terrestre solid I always smelled mint. I asked her about it and she said I was probably picking that up from the patchouli. A nice patchouli! (I'm not usually a fan of that note.) I also think Miller et Bertaux's Green^4 is predominantly a lime scent, but the notes say verbena and few reviews mention lime specifically.

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  45. It's probably psychosomatic (or wishful thinking) but I always detect a leather note in Guerlain's Vol de Nuit, like a whiff of a battered old bomber jacket! They say that's not in there, and if it isn't, I think it should be!

    I would love to try Haute Claire!

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  46. I so want to try this scent!! I don't know if it is a phantom note or just a scent memory, but Old Spice smells like the powdery drawer liners in my mom's dresser (maybe it was some of dad's clothes mixed in!). A good memory.

    thanks for the draw--fingers crossed.

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  47. I don't think I've ever experienced a phantom note, but would love to try this as I am devoted to honeysuckle.

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  48. I remember thinking I could detect an animalic ambergris note in one of Roxana Villa's gorgeous perfumes (I can't remember which!), but no, just very clever botanical blending!

    Thank you for such a lovely draw.
    Holly

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  49. You make this sound too tempting. Please enter me in the draw.

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  50. I don't think I've experienced a "phantom note" in perfume; however, it wasn't until i read your blog that I knew what one was. My nose is a novice. From now on I'm going to lsniff for the note that is absolutely not there but I still smell it clearly.

    Cynthia.Richardson@azbar.org

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  51. I don't think I have experienced a true phantom note in a perfume (although I do get a whiff of burning ruber in FM En Passant but that might just be the combination of lilac and the other notes). Loved reading your review.

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  52. I don't think I've ever experience a phantom note but then I don't always compare what I smell to what I'm "suppose" to smell =P

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