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Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

1518-1/2 Walnut Street, Cottage at end of brick driveway, Berkeley, CA 94709-1513
+1 510-841-2111
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Review Highlights
Little gem of a collection

After succeeding in finding this little treasure in Berkeley, we felt a sense of adventure upon... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
GrammaBrady
,
Novato, California
Unique, interactive hidden gem of a museum!

This intimate museum has a lot to offer! The experience: I bought a ticket in advance with a... read more

Reviewed 10 June 2018
Audrey B
,
San Francisco, California
Read all 14 reviews
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Overview
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A small museum devoted to natural aromatics and artifacts. Smell more than 300 essences -- & take 3 samples home. Touch & smell raw botanical materials that become perfume essences, pour over turn-of-the-century perfume books, compare 100-year-old essences to their modern counterparts. Every item in the Archive is authentic & original, some dating back hundreds of years. Open Saturdays.
  • Excellent86%
  • Very good14%
  • Average0%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“perfume” (9 reviews)
“ambergris” (2 reviews)
Closed
Hours
Hours Today: Closed
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
LOCATION
1518-1/2 Walnut Street, Cottage at end of brick driveway, Berkeley, CA 94709-1513
CONTACT
Website
+1 510-841-2111
Write a ReviewReviews (14)
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All reviews
"unique experience"
in 4 reviews
"perfume"
in 9 reviews
"ambergris"
in 2 reviews
"connoisseur"
in 2 reviews
"artifacts"
in 2 reviews
"mandy"
in 6 reviews
"archives"
in 6 reviews
"smelling"
in 4 reviews
"pails"
in 2 reviews
"crafted"
in 6 reviews
"renowned"
in 2 reviews
"museum"
in 8 reviews
"books"
in 2 reviews
"beauty"
in 2 reviews
"collection"
in 3 reviews
"visitors"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 14 reviews

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

After succeeding in finding this little treasure in Berkeley, we felt a sense of adventure upon entering this architecturally sublime little treasure, filled with light and calm. The setting allows for minimal distraction from exploring the sense of scent. Lovingly curated by the Aftel family,...More

Thank GrammaBrady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2018

This intimate museum has a lot to offer! The experience: I bought a ticket in advance with a group of friends. After walking down a tree-shaded lane to the entrance, we were personally greeted by the museum's owner and founder, Mandy Aftel. She gave us...More

Thank Audrey B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2018 via mobile

What an interesting place! I would never have thought of a smell museum as an activity before discovering the “Aftel Archive of Curious Scents”! It was such a unique experience, and I really enjoyed myself!!

Thank robn2528
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 May 2018 via mobile

This is quite a place. Came here just to experience and it was really very interesting. You really need to experience this eye opening Place that is unique in my experience. Smell or odor is a a strong sense and this. Places collection is truly...More

Thank Allan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

This place is really something special - something you can’t find anywhere else. Upon entering, we were greeted by Mandy’s son who was very friendly and helpful in explaining how the museum was set up. Mandy later introduced herself to me and my friends -...More

Thank Jessica O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2018

I live near Berkeley and heard a piece on local radio about the After Archive of Curious Scents. My girlfriend and I had read and enjoyed a book about scent (entitled The Emperor of Scent, highly recommended itself) and this unique museum offered an opportunity...More

2  Thank Joshua G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2018 via mobile

This museum is the work of 30 years worth of scent and artifact collection. It is laid out in such a way as to be very approachable and interactive. Almost everything invites you to touch them (carefully). This fact is particularly amazing because there is...More

Thank Neal R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2018

There's magic was hidden at the end of a Berkeley driveway! The Archive has it all — taxidermy, rare scents (ambergris!), vintage maps, rare books, etc. Everything is beautifully and carefully curated, and the attention to detail is astounding; I may need to visit again....More

Thank Jessica N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2018

Not only is this an absolute must for any perfume connoisseur, but it's truly an amazing experience. It's not everyday that you get to smell very rare perfume ingredients like oakmoss or ambergris. The exhibit also gives you the opportunity to smell real rose absolute,...More

Thank Gitanjali D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2018

The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents is an amazing place to visit. I wished I had booked more than one hour to spend even more time with all of the beautiful, interesting and carefully curated exhibits. There is so much to smell and see, and...More

1  Thank Jody H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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