Monday, 5 December 2011
Aftelier Oud Luban (solid) and Secret Garden (liquid) fragrance reviews
Secret Garden liquid perfume, on the other hand, is all about the flowers. If you love Aftelier Honey Blossom but you would like something a little more vampy for the party season, Secret Garden is for you. I divide most jasmine-based fragrances into two families; tea party jasmine (grandiflorum) and nightclubbing jasmine (sambac). Secret Garden is firmly in the sambac camp. Secret Garden opens with an almost banana-like indolic haze on my skin, and then the flowers bloom together; the rich jasmine, rose and lotus. This secret garden is somewhere warm and dark, discovered on a midnight escapade. In the base Mandy Aftel has used some vintage civet and castoreum together with patchouli, deer tongue (a plant!) and vanilla to give a rich, warm base to the fragrance.
There's something quite vintage about Secret Garden than reminds me of the classic feminine fragrances like the original Chanel No 5, Joy or Fracas. In the liquid perfume concentration it lingers closely to my skin and I've felt comfortable (and comforted) wearing it during the day in the cold weather. This would be a lovely fragrance for the holiday party season, and is also available in the Eau de Parfum formulation if you like a lighter perfume concentration with more lift. The liquid perfume I sampled it in lasts well; three or four hours at pretty much full floral power, then gently fading into the warm base which lingers for another hour or two on my moisturised skin.
These two fragrances were composed as part of quite separate projects but they layer beautifully together; I'd like to know if this was a conscious decision or Mandy's sub-conscious at work. Oud Luban is an almost minimalist pared down blend of highs and lows, whereas Secret Garden lives and breathes in its seductive heart notes. Together, the combination is a beautiful spicy, woody, rich floral.
I also tried Secret Garden over an Aftelier Orchid solid sample I had already, and this combination was too overpoweringly floral and sweet for me, although I like both a lot separately. It does work well over Aftelier Muse solid, which is a more neutral (rather than strongly floral) amber fragrance.
Oud Luban also layers beautifully under Aftelier Tango liquid fragrance.
Aftelier fragrances are available directly from www.aftelier.com.
Disclosure: samples of Oud Luban and Secret Garden provided without charge.