Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

Welcome to the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents: Come inside and Look Around ☝︎
Buy Tickets to Aftel Archive
Our hours are 10 am-6 pm every Saturday -- we recommend getting advance tickets online, as we often don't have room to take walk-ins. If you have a gift pass or complimentary ticket please call or write us to schedule your visit. Come have an incredible time visiting my world-class collection of one-of-a-kind-antique artifacts, aromatic materials, and century-old books from the world of natural scents! At the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents you can choose 4 samples to take home from more than 200 natural essences derived from fruits, flowers, trees, grasses, and resins. See and touch raw ingredients like vetiver grass, benzoin resin and bushman’s candle. All visitors are required to wear masks inside the museum. Outside in our Garden Annex with masks off, smell 50 different essences including the historical animal scents, some 100-year old essences, and the legendary oud oil.

Everyone loves the Aftel Archive! We have a hundred 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, Quirky Berkeley, East Bay Express, Berkeleyside, Diablo Magazine, Louis Vuitton Guide, and Atlas Obscura.

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.

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 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.

All visitors must wear masks while inside the Archive
. Open every Saturday from 10-6. 

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. Masks must be worn while inside the museum

2. Social-distanced smelling outside in Garden Annex
3. Limited number of visitors per hour
4. Commercial HEPA air-filter
5. 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 admission is $15
- Your visit includes 4 letter-press scent strips dipped in essences to take home, an AromaCone scent magnifier to use outside in the Garden Annex, and a personal glove for handling our antique books.

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

Archive photos by Joel Bernstein

Visitor Tool Kit