Amber Tapestry by Aftelier Perfumes

What the world needs now…

Top Notes: Heliotropin, Yellow Mandarin
Middle Notes: Jasmine Grandiforum, Jasmine Sambac, Pear, Cinnamon
Base Notes: Ambreine, Labdanum, Maltol, Benzoin, Castoreum, Ambergris, Coumarin


At the fabulous Scented Supper in October, I learnt that before becoming an accomplished artisan perfumer, Mandy Aftel trained as a weaver. She continues to intuitively apply this skill when working with natural aromatics; intertwining them to create balance in terms of aroma, texture, weight and vibrancy. She has certainly done a masterful job of weaving together the various fragrant strands in her new release, Amber Tapestry.



There are so many leaden ambers in this classic oriental category however Mandy breathes new life and light into the form.  Ambers don’t normally sing on my skin but this one does. I find lift and luminosity where I normally find flatness and opacity.

The smooth yellow mandarin in the opening of the EdP is simply gorgeous and just as Mandy tells us, it is the most floral of all the citruses. The amber accord is an enticing combination of fuzzy labdanum,  ambreine (a derivative of labdanum resinoid) and the salty tang of ambergris.

The amber accord is liberally embroidered with jasmine from start to finish and it’s the silkiest jasmine I’ve come across. It’s never screechy or uncomfortably indolic. The two varieties used here interlace wonderfully with the amber, adding floral interest, contrast and radiance.

The cinnamon is super soft and I only pick up slivers of the pear if I lean in close. Amber Tapestry also contains maltol and benzoin but I don’t find it too sweet or gourmand.

Coumarin and heliotropin give it a plush, powdery finish. The texture feels like the fur of a rust coloured cat or even dusty golden suede, thanks to the inclusion of castoreum. It stays fairly close to the body, wrapping itself around my skin. However, when you’re within its sphere, it’s enveloping. I’m struck time and again by how meticulously well blended Amber Tapestry is. It feels seamless.

There are no pointy edges; all is softness and comfort. However the ambergris and castoreum prevent it from being too safe. Amber lovers will need a pillow to cushion their fall as they swoon but non-amber fans, such as me, are likely to be taken with it as well because it is so lustrous and floral.

We all need some warmth, beauty and light to console us in these dark days of winter (not to mention these troubled times) and it’s just the thing to lift our spirits as we go into the festive season.

Memento Mori came to jangle our senses but Amber Tapestry has come to soothe them. It’s just what the doctor ordered. Using perfume to self-medicate is a regular practice of mine and this is the perfect remedy for what ails many of us right now.




Does the idea of a floral amber appeal to you?





Filed under Perfume Reviews

31 responses to “Amber Tapestry by Aftelier Perfumes

  1. Lady Jane Grey

    Lovely description of this magnificent piece of art by Mandy – it’s so perfectly blended, the notes intertwining seamlessly into each other. I think it’s my favorite Aftelier scent… BTW, which concentration did you try ?


    • Thanks dear M! I imagine it’s particularly hard to make natural perfumes by hand this seamless. The level of refinement Mandy achieves is quite something.
      I tried the EdP.


  2. WOW! Our experiences are polar opposites on this one Tara,
    I tried it today with Scott and it did not smell good on me, much better on Scott actually.
    It’s like I got ALL the indole and scat and none of the softness.
    Blaming 37C and high humidity, will try again in cooler weather.
    So sad because I often love Mandy’s work.
    Portia xx


  3. What a Beautiful article on Mandy’s latest work. It must smell stunning. I can almost smell it the way you describe it. Do you know by any chance what kind of jasmine was used? Xxx Esperanza


  4. That sounds lush. And I love the image you’ve chosen. Naturals rarely excite me, but I’m always happy to try. Are you coming on Thursday? I have a few things I’d like to give you.


  5. Idea of any kind of amber appeals to me. 😉


  6. Hi Tara

    A stunning review which beautifully captures what Amber Tapestry is like. “Dusty golden suede”- exactly!

    best wishes


  7. I am so moved by your deep and profound review — a thousand thanks to you dear Tara! It means so much to me to that you understand my work so well, and can write about it so brilliantly. 🙏💜
    xo Mandy


  8. You bring it alive Tara and you absolutely
    sold me. I’ll see if it comes into my
    life. Latest when I next go to California!


  9. Sandra

    Hi Tara. Lovely review – you have convinced me to give naturals another try. Wishing you a beautiful weekend. Sandra xo


    • Honestly Sandra, it has so much body and depth most people wouldn’t even clock it was all natural if they didn’t know.
      Hope you have a lovely weekend too xxx


  10. I read your review while I was away and the evocative imagery of rusty cats and dusty golden suede stayed with me. Really love ambers in any variant, and have been wearing them a lot lately in the cold weather – I reckon a floral twist would also be fine by me, especially as the jasmine is so smooth and well integrated. And although not normally a fan of coumarin or heliotrope, you have also reeled me in with the promise of a plush, soft drydown. Finally, I agree that that is a perfect picture to illustrate the post!


    • Thanks so much for coming back and commenting, Vanessa. I feel sure you’d more than like this one. I gave the remains of my sample to Sabine so hope she liked it. It’s a very distinctive and unique take on amber but still has all the qualities people like about that genre.


  11. Such a beautiful review Tara ❣️


  12. Pingback: Aftelier Amber Tapestry Natural Perfume Review – EauMG

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