in conversation with Daniel Patterson
The Museum of Scent
Exploring the Curious and Wondrous World of Fragrance
Free Online Event
Wed., November 8th • 5:30pm PT
Join world-renowned perfumer Mandy Aftel to uncover the natural and cultural history of scent
In conversation with award-winning Bay Area chef Daniel Patterson
Mandy Aftel is one of the world’s preeminent natural perfumers, with a clientele ranging from singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen to Ivy Ross, head of hardware design at Google. Eschewing the synthetic molecules that dominate commercial perfumes, Aftel creates her complex and subtle fragrances using only natural essences. For her, each of these essences is a gateway to a lost world of scent, stretching back centuries and intertwined with the history of medicine, cuisine, adornment, sexuality, and spirituality. In 2017, Aftel opened a one-room museum—the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents—in her backyard in Berkeley, California, to help a modern audience rediscover the enchantment of this lost world.
Inspired by the Aftel Archive—the first museum of fragrance in the United States, featured in the New York Times, Vogue, and Goop, among others—this abundantly illustrated volume delves into the natural and cultural history of scent, rich with fascinating stories and lore. Aftel introduces the different families of botanical fragrances (flowers, woods, grasses, etc.), depicting each with a hand-colored antique woodcut and revealing its olfactory notes and uses. Special chapters are devoted to the most rare and precious fragrances—such as ambergris, formed of a rare secretion of the sperm whale—and to antique essential oil bottles, handwritten recipe books, and other evocative artifacts from her collection.
The Museum of Scent, which includes a bookmark subtly scented with a natural essence, invites us on a sensuous, imaginative journey. Mandy will be in conversation with award-winning Bay Area chef Daniel Patterson, with whom she previously worked exploring taste and aromas in The Art of Flavor.
Mandy Aftel, an internationally known artisan perfumer and authority on natural fragrance, is the owner of Aftelier Perfumes and the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents in Berkeley, California. Her other books include Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume, which helped sparked the natural perfume renaissance and has been translated into eight languages. Aftel's work has been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and numerous other major outlets.
Daniel Patterson is a chef and restaurateur whose restaurants include two Michelin Star Coi in San Francisco and Alta Adams in Los Angeles. He is also the co-founder of the groundbreaking fast food venture LocoL, as well as two non-profit organizations: The Cooking Project, an organization that empowers youth through cooking, and Alta Community, which focuses on vocational training and food insecurity. Patterson has received numerous awards including Food & Wine Best New Chef in 1997 and James Beard Award for Best Chef: West in 2014. An accomplished writer, Patterson contributes to publications such as The New York Times and has authored three cookbooks.
Mandy Aftel photo courtesy of the publicist. Daniel Patterson photo courtesy of the publicist.