Aftel Archive of Curious Scents, Berkeley

#4 of 8 in Museums in Berkeley
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Library
Aftel Archive of Curious Scents is located in Berkeley. Use our Berkeley online trip itinerary builder to add Aftel Archive of Curious Scents and other attractions to your Berkeley vacation plans.
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Aftel Archive of Curious Scents reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
18 reviews
  • While visiting family in Oakland, we decided to check out this place. First, I think the experience was overpriced...$20 for about 1 hour of smelling various things was a bit much. There are...  more »
  • This exquisite little gem of a place is a must for any perfume or scent enthusiast. It’s truly gorgeous and so much fun and informative! The vintage collections are such treasures and there was lots.....  more »
  • AMAZING!! One of the most fantastic experiences ever! I’ve been a perfume fanatic for 40 years and of natural perfumery for 30, and visiting here was a dream come true. It’s unlikely you’d be able to view...and touch, and sniff...such beautiful displays (with descriptions) of antique items related to perfumery...raw materials, finished blends, bottles, books, etc...all in one place anywhere else. It’s impossible to say which area(s) were my favourite(s): the antique little apothecary and watchmaker’s chests of drawers filled with raw ingredients to touch and inhale; the exquisite delicate flacons, coffrets, and other receptacles; the side-by-side aged and new raw materials for scent comparison; the step-by-step compositions of top, middle and base accords and finished product; the scent all overwhelmed in the best possible way. I was in ecstasies. Mandy Aftel is THE doyenne of natural perfumery and it was an unexpected pleasure and a privilege to meet and chat with her. Her husband Foster was also a delight and very knowledgeable. I’m a bit of a fangirl and still have five or six perfumes from Aftel’s line Grandiflorum, dating back around 25 years or so, as well as earlier Aftelier scents that are no longer available. It is my hope to some day take the course she offers from her studio in Berkeley. You’ll be given an additional treat of two coins of dark chocolate spritzed with Aftel’s Chef’s my husband declined his, I got to have four! I chose Pink Pepper, Cardamom, Fresh Ginger and Peru Balsam...all were wonderful. I also purchased four of her perfumes, traditional and was very hard to choose as there are so many I want! Her books are also available. If you are interested in perfume, its history, and natural perfumery in particular, do not miss this!! Thank you, Mandy, for sharing your collection!!
  • Quirky, educational, and a lot of fun! Definitely worth a visit on a weekend afternoon.

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