Aftelier Perfumes Hey Jude Review


Aftelier Perfumes Hey Jude and Mandy Aftel by Aya Brackett via the brand collage by Michelyn©

To acknowledge award-winning natural perfumer Mandy Aftel’s passion for roses would be an exercise in understatement, by any standard. Mandy cultivates over 100 varieties of rose in her fragrant garden – but of all of these, her heirloom David Austin rose, Jude the Obscure – is the one she finds the most bewitching. This generously free-flowering English shrub rose sports large chalice-shaped blooms which possess deliciously butter-hued outer petals, and richly apricot colored inner ones as creamy as a dairymaid’s delight. Their effusive peachy/apricotty/tender musky aroma fills the atmosphere with its envoûtant rosiness – reason aplenty to inspire Mandy Aftel’s’s latest composition, Aftelier Perfumes Hey Jude.

David Austin heirloom rose Jude the Obscure

 Jude the Obscure David Austin heirloom roses via Mandy Aftel©

Before we begin, I’d like to clarify a few points which might send you down the very same rabbit hole to which I succumbed: no one knows why David Austin gave the names he chose for his cultivars! Mr. Austin may have passed away in 2018 at the ripe old age of 92, but his son and grandson continue to carry on his legacy. David Austin was passionate about British literature, castles, royalty, and notables. He named several roses after characters from Thomas Hardy novels, but the rest is a mystery – especially Jude the Obscure, which is one of the most tragic, heartrending books I’ve ever read. The name Hey, Jude clearly references the beloved Beatles hit from 1968, which enjoins its chief character to create something positive out of a challenging situation; regarding Aftelier Perfumes  Hey Jude, I would counsel you not to read any more into it than a playful and witty moniker, intended to entertain. I think it’s clever and puckish of Mandy!

Jude the Obscure rose tincture used in Aftelier Perfumes Hey Jude

 Hey Jude in maceration and Jude the Obscure roses in Mandy’ Aftel’s garden via the brand collage by Michelyn©

Aftelier Perfumes Hey Jude is the very soul of delicacy, a rose rapture populated by luminous specters. Every single aromatic material used is splendid, voluptuous, and decadent. Particularly poignant is her employment of late student Ross Urrere’s bequeathed aged musk tincture (he died in spring of 2021), which contributes to her triumvirate of true vintage animalics, including a ten-year-old ambergris tincture and civet. Contrary to some expectations, their purpose is purely to underscore this rose varietal’s pristinely musky subtext; they never overstay their welcome or trumpet their presence, for their objective is to make Hey Jude glow. This they achieve as the halo effect which surrounds mouthwatering peach and apricot notes, the good humor of bergamot and yellow mandarin, and a honeyed dewy rose with hints of pepper.

I’d like to elaborate a little about real ambergris tincture vs. the aroma chemicals which are currently very much in use. It makes perfect sense to me why Mandy chose to utilize such a costly material. I have purchased several different white ambergris tinctures from reliable sources, and the difference is startling. In order to more fully understand Hey Jude, I put a few drops on one hand (a 5% tincture solution), and Mandy’s perfume on the other. The radiance and complexity of such a subtle substance confounds: gently iodinic, powdery, faintly woody, sweet, floral – and other nuances besides. While ambergris extends the life of a perfume, it simply makes all the other attendant aromas gleam.


Edward Robert Hughes’ Wings of the Morning (1905) via

Inevitably, the mention of peach, rose, and bergamot might cause perfumistas to compare Hey Jude to Guerlain’s Nahema, or Lancôme’s Tresor. This is an excellent reminder that lists of notes don’t reveal all: although rose/peach oriented, neither of them bear any resemblance to Hey Jude. Lancome Tresor is a rose amber, powerful and powdery; Nahema (in the vintage) is an elaborate screen, honeyed rose/fruit seduction. Aftelier Perfumes Hey Jude is its own mistress, possessed of an evanescence belonging to neither perfume – and this is where its immense charm lies. Mandy Aftel’s latest perfume is endowed with a vital and thoroughly modern feel; effortless, gravity-defying, I would describe Hey Jude as a gladsome, timeless scent which anyone would enjoy wearing. Its rosy fingers are as impalpable as those of Homer’s dawn, and as delicately hued.

Notes: bergamot, yellow mandarin, apricot, peach, Turkish rose, ten-year-old ambergris tincture, Ross Urrere’s aged musk, antique civet

Samples generously provided by perfumer Mandy Aftel – many thanks! My nose is my own…

~ Ida Meister, Deputy and Natural Perfumery Editor

Aftelier Hey Jude

courtesy of Aftelier Perfumes

Thanks to the generosity of perfumer Mandy Aftel, we have one 2ml mini bottle of Aftelier Perfumes Hey Jude($55) for one registered reader worldwide. The giveaway is for registered readers only, so be sure to register if you have not done so. To be eligible please let us know what appealed to you in Ida’s review, where you live and your favorite Aftelier Perfumes fragrance. Draw Closes 10/14/2023

Mandy Aftel received a ÇaFleureBon Best of Scent in the Hall of Fame category from Michelyn 2021

Ida awarded Aftelier Perfumes Joie de Vert a ÇaFleureBon Top 10 perfume of 2021

Please read Michelyn’s Interview with Mandy Aftel here

Cepes and Tuberose is a ÇaFleureBon Modern Masterpiece. Please read Ermano’s article here

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