France / Perfumes / Reviews

Jul et Mad Paris and Aftel’s Chef’s Essences at MiN New York

If you live in New York and you try to take advantage of all of the things the city has to offer, you often feel like it’s a losing battle.  There are events, however, that I try never to miss, and the ones hosted at MiN New York are among the few that I will gladly attend.  Chad Murawczyk and Mindy Yang, the owners of MiN, create a convivial but elegant atmosphere to smell and try new perfumes and beauty products without the hard sell.  Let me speak frankly: I love these guys, not just because I consider them friends, but also because they carry some of the most unusual and captivating perfume and cosmetics lines in the world.  I’ve met world-class perfumers in their midst as well as “fragheads” like myself who love talking about scents and are eager to share their knowledge and passion with whomever is willing to sniff.  Chad and Mindy also pair smelling perfumes with other sensorial experiences such as cocktails and chocolate to create a synesthetic synergy that can blow your mind.

During my last visit to Crosby Street, I had the unique opportunity to try three scents from Jul et Mad Paris, a new line launched in August of this year.  My favorite was Terrasse à St-Germain for a multitude of reasons.  Firstly, no legitimate Francophile would be able to resist the idea of sitting at a terrasse and watching the people go by on Boulevard St. Germain, whose legendary cafés have been graced with the presence of art and literary luminaries such as Ernest Hemingway, André Derain, and Ezra Pound.  Mindy Yang created a masterful cocktail to accompany it, made of gin, peach, apricot, and lime juice, seltzer water, and elderflower syrup, not to mention a few drops of Mandy Aftelier’s Chef’s Essences.  Aftel developed the essences, all housed in the same humble glass bottles as essential oils,  after the publication of the book Aroma (with renowned Bay Area chef Daniel Patterson) to explore the connection between fragrance and food.  Mindy was gracious enough to allow me to taste a few drops of Aftel’s culinary creations, and I was blown away.  The sweet basil essence exploded in my mouth, creating the experience of having an entire bunch of basil on my tongue in a single drop.  Amazing!  I couldn’t help but feel like these essences were so close to the real thing that it was like cheating–no need to crush those herbs or juice those fruits for your favorite tastes anymore.  Mandy Aftel has bottled it for us.

Aftelier’s Sweet Basil Chef’s Essence

The pairing of Mindy’s cocktail and Jul et Mad’s elegant formulation of grapefruit, rose, and patchouli in Terrasse à St-Germain won this perfumista’s vote of confidence.  Days later, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the way the drink and the perfume came together in this magical dance on my tongue and in my nose.  

Please visit Jul et Mad’s website for more info on their scents:

For more on Mandy Aftel’s Chef’s Essences, see

MiN New York hosts many events throughout the year, where you can meet perfumers and perhaps a fraghead or two while you are at it.  Check out on their events calendar:


14 thoughts on “Jul et Mad Paris and Aftel’s Chef’s Essences at MiN New York

  1. It was great to meet and talk to you at the event, which was so enjoyable. I too like that particular one the most, but the other two in the set complete the morning afternoon night triad — great combination, to taste such essences into you as inhale the perfumes too.

    • Lucy,

      It was great to meet you too! I hadn’t thought of the morning to night triad–what a nice idea! It was also fascinating to smell Alexis Karl’s scent. I wore it to the ballet and it turned into a lovely powder on my wrist. Hope to see you soon.


  2. Sounds fab! I have always wanted to try Mandy’s essences – will get my hands on some soon 😀
    Thanks for introducing me to the Jul et Mad line too – I’m so jealous of you over there!

    • After reading your comment, I realized that it’s only being sold in the US at the moment. I am indeed very lucky! Definitely try Aftelier’s essences. Put a little drop of the nutmeg into your hot cocoa and you’ll be so happy!

  3. This is great Katherine! I appreciate your blog’s very intelligent and personal commentary in general, and especially here about your experience with my Chef’s Essences at MiN New York – I’m excited to have them there!

    • Mandy, it’s such a pleasure to be able to be a part of this fascinating world and to make new discoveries all the time that I can’t help myself but share it with everyone. Thanks for your kind comments–I’m so honored!

  4. It was a very nice event. I didn’t know about it in advance, I just happened to plan my visit to MiN for that day and time.
    My favorite of the three perfumes is Amour de Palazzo but I’ll need to get samples and test all three of them again.

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