Located In Berkeley, California, The Aftel Archive Of Curious Scents Is A Must-Smell Museum For Lovers Of All Things Fragrance-Related, From Perfumes To Essential Oils

Photo 155352086 © Chernetskaya - - illustrative purposes only

If you love all things scent-related, from perfumes to essential oils, you may have to add this neat museum to your travel list.

The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents in Berkeley, California, is a fascinating museum full of all kinds of scents, artifacts, and perfumes collected and put on display by perfumer and author Mandy Aftel.

Located on a residential street, the archive, which opened in 2017, allows visitors to learn about and smell some of the earth’s scents and essences they had never even heard of before. 

Much of what can be found in the archive are natural items that Mandy had been using in her impressive career as a perfumer. Decades ago, she began making all-natural perfumes with essences and scents unique to her brand, growing quite the collection of unique scents and materials. 

In 2001, she released her popular book, “Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume.” Then, over a decade later, she had the brilliant idea to invite people to see and smell the large variety of natural essences and oils she was using.

The archive serves as a cabinet of curiosities for those who love exploring different scents and aromas, as visitors can touch and smell the botanical items that have gone into Mandy’s perfumes. There are also a variety of antique books that visitors can look through during their visit.

Upon each visit, which costs an adult $25 for one hour, you’re given a pair of gloves for handling books, four letter-press scent strips dipped in essences to take home, and a scent magnifier to use outside in the Garden Annex, where they can smell 50 different essences.

“Every item in the Archive is authentic and original, including the hand-tinted postcards and engravings, some of which date back over four hundred years,” is written on the museum’s website.

“Learn and experience the history of natural fragrances. Immerse yourself in beauty, slip into a world apart, a lost past. Allow yourself to step outside of time.”

Photo 155352086 © Chernetskaya – – illustrative purposes only

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