Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

Welcome to the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents
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Everyone loves the Aftel Archive! We have over seventy 5-star reviews on Yelp, Google, and Trip Advisor. And you can read about us in Goop, Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, Vogue Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Berkeley Hills Living, Quirky Berkeley, Via Magazine (AAA), Sunset Magazine, East Bay Express, Berkeleyside, Diablo Magazine, Louis Vuitton Guide, and Atlas Obscura.

At the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents you can choose from more than two hundred natural essences derived from fruits, flowers, trees, grasses, etc., to take three samples home. All visitors must wear masks and be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and we have added new safety measures (see below).
Smarter Travel video: Inside the Aftel Archive

Archive ExhibitsA Selection of Exhibits In my practice of perfumery, I have curated hundreds of gorgeous botanical essences from all over the world. They are all part of the extraordinary lineage of scent that reaches back to the beginnings of human culture and is entwined with the earliest history of medicine, cuisine, adornment, and worship. The books, engravings, essences, and raw materials I have collected are an endless source of beauty and fascination.

See and touch the raw botanical materials that become perfume essences. Explore the wonders in our cabinet of curiosities and be blown away by a 16th-century symbolorum. Pore over more than a hundred antique books from my collection, retracing the amazing history of natural aromatic materials. 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. Cabinet of CuriositiesCabinet of Curiosities

Perfume OrganPerfume Organ Come see, touch, read, imagine! 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.

NY Times

"The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents is not just the first museum in the U.S. dedicated to perfume, but more beguilingly, the first one dedicated to the experience of fragrance. This tiny museum manages to contain the olfactory history of the world: hundreds of natural essences, raw ingredients and antique tinctures gathered from every corner of the globe."
Click for
full article & gorgeous slide show!

Apothecary DrawersAntique Drawers of Botanical Materials

Click for a video tour of Mandy showing you all the Archive exhibits!


Buy Tickets to Aftel Archive

Safety Measures:
1. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccinations required
2. Masks must be worn for the entire visit - no smelling 3. Hand-sanitizers provided
4. Limited number of visitors per hour
5. Commercial HEPA air-filter
6. Full refunds for cancellations due to illness

Open every Saturday 10 am - 6 pm
Adult admission price is $25 for a 1-hour visit
Child tickets (17 and under) are $15
Your visit includes 3 letter-press scent strips dipped in essences to take home

Cottage at end of brick driveway,
1518-1/2 Walnut St. Berkeley, CA 94709
Phone: 510-841-2111 Email:

Archive photos by Joel Bernstein

Letterpress Scent Strips