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July 25 2014

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Bendel’s Goes Au Naturale

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Attention, fragrance junkies looking for a way to get an olfactory fix this weekend: Henri Bendel has teamed up with Mandy Aftel to present a new exhibit dedicated to the collection and craft of the legendary natural perfumer. Living Perfume: The Natural Alchemy of Mandy Aftel opens tomorrow at the Fifth Avenue retailer and is designed to be a historic and interactive journey through the materials and techniques exclusive to the creation of natural scents. Aftel, the author of three books on natural perfume, has been dubbed “the angel of alchemy” for her distinctive custom and private blends as well as her unique dedication to the evolution and preservation of natural perfumery as an art form. Her belief in the sense of smell as a way to reconnect with nature in our post-industrial society has informed her own line of fragrances, which will be on view alongside a collection of writings, rare books, bottles, and other ephemera that help tell the story of the ancient practice of blending natural essential oils. Apropos to the subject matter, the entire exhibit, which is the first of its kind in New York City, has been designed and installed using sustainable materials sourced in an eco-friendly way. The exhibit runs through May 11.

Photo: Map of Bulgaria’s rose essential oil region, courtesy of Henri Bendel

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