Tag Archives: Mandy Aftel

A natural nose

My nose prefers natural.  Gradually he started rebelling against the artificially fragranced aroma’s I been wearing on my skin and using in my home. My mood joined forces and it seems as if only natural essences can make my happy or lift me up. What happened?

Maybe I want more authentic and genuine experiences now that I’m in my middle years? Maybe I need a closer or deeper connection with nature? To find answers to these questions I’ve been exploring natural perfume and the sense of smell.

According to Mandy Aftel natural essences bring emotional depth, mystery and complexity to a fragrance experience. Although synthetic essences have the same aroma they will not be able to “reach the animal place inside a person”.  As scent is not rational and a very un-languaged way of communication, we can’t always explain the emotional intensity and memories an authentic smell can create.

From an aromatherapy perspective the body knows what to do with natural ingredients.  Antoinette Pienaar mentions in her book The Griqua’s apprentice that the herbs and plants from the region you grew up in, works best for you.  For those fortunate enough to spend their childhoods on wine farms, Tammy Frazer created a natural perfume that reflects the terroir of the Helderberg Vineyards (and the wine from the grapes grown there).

So I came to the conclusion that a simple combination of rose and sandalwood essential oils as a perfume works in perfect balance with my (middle years) soul.  And for home fragrance fynbos essential oils transports me to the coastal plains of Cape  Agulhas where I grew up. Soon I may want something more exotic and challenging but for now my nose is happy and content with authentic and natural!

                                            The perfume of sandalwood,

the scent of rosebay and jasmine,

travel only as far as the wind.

But the fragrance of goodness

travels with us

through all the worlds.

Like garlands woven from a heap of flowers,

fashion your life

as a garland of beautiful deeds.

         Buddha

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Moving forward with Cape Chamomile

Cape Chamomile / Eriocephalus punctulatus / Boegoekapok

Whether you are reflecting on the past year or planning for the next one, Cape Chamomile can assist you in this time of transition.  This deep blue essential oil with its fine fruity fragrance is distilled from Eriocephalus punctulatus, an aromatic bush from the mountainous areas of the Eastern Free State and Eastern Cape Province.

Cape Chamomile will be my EOTD (Essential Oil of the day) for the last two days of the old year.  In some African cultures the fumes of the burning leaves, twigs and flowers are used to disinfect the home after a death has occurred and also to clear away any evil spirits (a similar way to Kooigoed) In the absence of having a twig to burn, I will have to use the essential oil in a burner.

Apart from the transitional properties, Cape Chamomile oil is used to alleviate stress, depression and anxiety. The presence of linalyl acetate in the oil means it has similar properties to lavender as a sleep enhancer and relaxant. It is not related to German and Roman Chamomile essential oil and is 100% South African.

Perfumers use Cape Chamomile to blend with delicate scents such as rose. I’ve discovered natural perfumes and candles with fynbos fragrances made by Mandy Aftelier. She combined Cape Chamomile with Blue Mountain Sage to create a true South African fragranced candle.

Whether you use Cape Chamomile for its fine fragrance, as a stress reliever or to clear your mind, heart or home – have a wonderful transition to 2012!