Incense fragrances, while beloved by many, myself included, carry a certain gravitas, a solemnity that often precludes other feelings. Wearing incense perfumes induces a mood of somber reflection, it can inspire awe and calm, quiet and spirituality. It can evoke old churches or big skies, dark and smoky alembics or camp fires in the dusk.
Incense for me often means solemn catholic rituals, funerals, high mass on special holidays, a wedding at best. Certainly no laughing matter.
Mandy Aftel’s Candide is – on me at least – an incense fragrance. But, make no mistake, this is not one to make you feel the least bit somber.
Candide manages to introduce happiness, contentment, joy, optimism, hilarity even to the smell of incense. Candide – for me – is the Buddhist version of incense.
Calm and happiness, no dualistic, guilt-ridden catholic ambivalence to be found here. Candide could be incense of choice for moments of happiness for believers and atheists alike. 😉
Featured notes according to the Aftelier website are black pepper, blood orange, pink grapefruit, jasmine grandiflorum, Moroccan rose absolute, frankincense, opopanax absolute and myrrh.
Candide takes off with a lovely citrus accord of pink grapefruit and blood orange, setting the mood barometer instantly to “Good”.
Jasmine is the dominant floral note in candide, and while this can be a difficult note for me, as I am easily overpowered by indolic jasmine, here it is so smooth and coated by the citrus notes it smells just lovely to me, full and rounded.
The bed of incense upon which the jasmine rests, peeks out soon and starts to develop like the slow uncurling of a leaf. It is, as is to be expected from my introduction, the dominant note on me. Candide’s incense stays light and somehow “white” throughout the entire wear time of about three hours.
After reading other reviews of Candide, this seems to be a perfume that develops very differently on different people. I love such chameleon scents, although it is very hard to make a decision on reviews alone.
I urge you to try a sample from the Aftelier online store, available for 6$ for a quarter ml of the perfume, which I tested and 6$ for a 1 ml spray sample of the Eau de Parfum.