Monday, September 12, 2011

Cepes and Tuberose by Aftelier Perfumes

The Trolls and the Tuberose

In order to describe Afteliers "Cepes and Tuberose" I'll retell you a short story I read a while ago. It's called "Border" and it's from a collection of stories named "Paper Walls" written by Swedish horror author John Ajvide Lindqvist.

The main character is a woman named Tina who hasn't got the happiest of lives. She married to a good-for-nothing guy who cheats on her and spends her money. Furthermore, she's big boned, scarred and, by most peoples standards, downright ugly. She works at the customers office but the only place where she feels at peace is in the forest.

One day, a man passes her at the customs counter and she just knows he's hiding something. He also smells incredibly good. During a routine customs search, nothing out of the ordinary is found, though.

Paper Walls
Later, it turns out that he's renting a room in the house next to hers. She gets more and more obsessed by him. She breaks in to his room, into his car and just sits there, breathing in his smell, at once musky, woody, beautiful, just RIGHT, somehow.

Now, at this time she might be sounding really creepy, but it turns out that the two of them are not really humans at all, they are trolls. He is one of the last ones to have been raised free. Tina was taken away from her parents at a young age, tail cut off, put up for adoption among humans in an attempt to integrate her into society. Her parents were institutionalized, driven insane from being deprived their peaceful existence in the forest.

I've had this story coming to mind ever since I first put on "Cepes and Tuberose". That is how I picture those trolls smelling. It starts off with boozy orange, chocolate and marzipan accord. When the orange wears off the cepes (=porcini) reveal themselves. A mushroom perfume might sound odd, but just think of the truffle pigs. The reason why they are so keen on finding those truffles is that truffles smell just like a female pig in heat. Ok, she seems to be hiding a few inches below the ground, never a good sign, but sometimes you don't ask any questions. Now, smelling of truffles would be a bit much, at least for me, but the earthiness of cepes are the second best thing on my internal mushroom sexiness ranking chart, and in "Cepes and Tuberose" - they smell good! 

There are other notes as well. I get woody cloves and cedar. Sometimes I get something musky. And there is the tuberose, flickering like an elusive forest fairy. Sometimes she's out in the open, sometimes not, but her glowing pixie dust helps  bringing the other notes to life.

To say that "Cepes and Tuberose" smells like an autumn forest would be true but it would not be the whole truth. This is one of those scents that sum up to a whole lot more than the individual notes in themselves. It IS an autumn forest, but it's a sunny one, a happy one, one that is chock full of pheromones, smiling at you, beckoning to enter.

Disclaimer: I read the story "Border" several years ago and I might not have all the details right. There is a lot more to it than what I tell here.
My sample of "Cepes and Tuberose" I bought at the Aftelier Perfumes Website.
Troll image is by Swedish artist John Bauer.


  1. As you know, Cepes and Tuberose holds a very, very special place in my heart, a place no other perfume has quite captured in a way I can't even really explain! I'm may be that troll blood I've gone to such lengths to hide! ;)

    This was such an evocative review - I'm so glad to see I'm not the only diehard fan! Thank you!

  2. Thank you Sigrun, I adore this review! The story of the trolls is such a treat, I love the idea of connecting with something that just feels so right through scent. Mandy Aftel.

  3. Tarleisio, Cepes and Tuberose is my favourite out of the Aftelier perfumes I've tried so far. Maybe we are all really trolls up here ;)

  4. Mandy, I find that scents inspire me like nothing else and I find the C6T absolutely lovely :)

    I've read that the brain processes smells in it's most primitive part and by scent memories you can connect to the most primitive parts of yourself. I don't know if that's scientificly valid, but that's how I seem to work.

  5. Did you see on FB that this gets my award as the best use of trolls in a perfume review. I must be part troll too

  6. What a fun and fabulous review, Sigrun! A pleasure to read.

  7. Lovely review, Sigrun!! Cepes was my early favorite of all of Mandy's perfumes- I just knew I loved it without knowing why. You are right- it smells 'just right'. I am hoarding my last few drops..
    Oh- you get the chocolate too- I got something edible but couldn't put my finger on what it was..this perfume is so beautifully blended that I find it difficult to find the component notes..and I haven't managed to finish my review either, because I keep sniffing instead of writing

  8. Who would have thought trolls could be so enticing.. Great review.

  9. Carrie, thank you :) And I'm so excited about your bespoke perfume!

  10. Lavanya, yes, I do get a bit of chocolate as well, as well as gingerbread dough and spices. I'm pretty sure that some of the components are the same ones as in Tango. Cepes and Tuberose is such a great scent, one I truly love :)