I have had an affection for walking through the woods since I was a Scout, as a child. We would spend many S. Florida weekends among the pine trees learning skills for our merit badges. I was always kind of reluctant to take a shower after returning home. I liked the way the remnants of the scent of the weekend clung to me. The bits of sticky pine sap under my nails I could smell even after the shower. I continue to enjoy a walk through a pine forest, decades past my scouting days. It is one of my favorite smells of nature. It draws me closer to nature. Aftelier Perfumes Forest Bathing has given me a new perspective on that.
There has been something unique to the smell of a pine forest to me. It isn’t just the terpenic nature of the pine trees themselves. It was the expansiveness of the space in between. If you are trying to make a perfume which captures that you literally have to find the forest instead of the trees. Ms. Aftel finds the entire forest including what lies between the woods.
Ms. Aftel begins with the trees. I was expecting Christmas tree redux but Ms. Aftel is more creative than that. There is fir balsam but there are also the cleaner woody lines of hinoki, cypress, and sugi wood. They represent a delineated style of woodiness while also imparting a soft focus to the entire tree accord. The forest surrounding comes via the surrogates of filtered sunlight; pear, beta-ionones, and linalyl acetate. The latter two are the main chemical components of violets and bergamot, respectively. By going directly for those ingredients, in concentrated form. It also creates a gauzy effect to match what came before with the trees. The floor of the forest is represented by a fabulous myrrh which has a freshness I don’t usually associate with it. As it comes together, I am surrounded by the forest.
Forest Bathing has 12-14 hour longevity and is a skin scent with minimal sillage.
When I take a walk in the pine woods near home it is a meditative endeavor. I walk through the tall sentinel pines while breathing in the natural smells. It is only after being anointed with Forest Bathing that Ms. Aftel reminded me of the glory within the forest.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Aftelier Perfumes.