OFFSITE: Mandy Aftel Presents Her New Book "The Museum of Scent"

Mrs. Dalloway's is pleased to present a special off-site event on Sunday, November 5th at 4:00 pm with author MANDY AFTEL, the owner of Aftelier Perfumes and the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents in Berkeley, California. Mandy will discuss and sign copies of her new book The Museum of Scent: Exploring the Curious and Wondrous World of Fragrance.  Breathe in the natural and cultural history of scent with this richly illustrated book inspired by the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents. (Mandy's photo by Aya Brackett)

To attend this free event, you must register on Eventbrite. Space is limited to 40 attendees for this special event so sign up early!  Click here to preorder a copy of The Museum of Scent. 

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: the first 20 people to preorder the book will also receive a complimentary ticket to the Aftel Archive of Curious Scent — a $25 value!

Please note, this event is offsite at the author's beautiful backyard garden located at 1518 Walnut St. in Berkeley, not in the bookstore.

Mandy Aftel is one of the world’s preeminent natural perfumers, with a clientele ranging from the 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 to the beginnings of human civilization 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. Her museum has attracted thousands of enthusiastic visitors and has been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, Goop, O: The Oprah Magazine, and numerous other media outlets.

Now Aftel has created this beautiful book, illustrated with treasures from her museum’s collection, so that readers at home can immerse themselves in the world of scent. She guides us through the different families of botanical fragrances (including flowers, woods, leaves and grasses, and resins), depicting each plant with a hand-colored antique woodcut and revealing its olfactory notes and lore. 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. The Museum of Scent, which includes a bookmark subtly scented with a natural essence, invites us on a sensuous, imaginative journey.

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.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is REQUIRED. Registration ends at Noon on November 5th.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be allowed at this event only if space allows.

THE MUSEUM will not be accessible during the event.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 3:45 and 4:00 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

NO RESTROOM access during the event so please plan accordingly.


Sunday, November 5, 2023 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event address: 
1518 Walnut Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
Pre-Order Now Badge
The Museum of Scent: Exploring the Curious and Wondrous World of Fragrance By Mandy Aftel, Clarissa Pinkola Estés Reyés (Foreword by) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780789214713
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Abbeville Press - October 31st, 2023