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.
I have the feeling that natural parfumes (such as those from Mandy A.) show even more diversity in developing differently on people’s skin, than those containing synthetic ingredients. I’m not particularly for incense (and spritzed a generous amount of Dzongkha on my wrist…), so this one sounds moi-friendly to me.
I’m testing LeLabo’s Another 13 today – and am quite confused, becasue I can smell completely different notes, than given by the producer… Might have a bad-nose-day ?
That may well be, natural ingredients seem to adapt more to individual skin chemistry. But that is nothing I can give a really informed opinion on, just my experience.
Don’t worry about bad-nose-days, what you smell is what you smell, no matter what a list of notes says. 🙂
Bad Nose Day – love it!
Love the idea of a Happy Buddha fragrance – that’s my kind of incense! Samples of this and Tango are on my “To Try” list. Have you read Mandy’s wonderful “Essence and Alchemy”?
I have read the book years ago, when it first came out. I try to reread it now, but mostly these days it comes down to the decision between sleeping and reading, and sleep wins most nights. 😉
Candide may not even read so much as incense with you, I have heard it can turn out very differently on different people. It is a must-try in any case!
Oh yes B I dare say it could be different again on me. I think that’s part of the beauty of natural perfumes. As for reading vs sleep, it’s a hard choice but I know sleep would win more often with me too 🙂
Isn’t it one wonderful book, Tara ? Back then, when started my jurney to the parfume world, it was a huge inspiration for me.
Lady Jane Grey, oh yes me too! Especially as I came into the perfume world via aromatherapy and essential oils. It made a huge impression on me and acted as a wonderful spring-board into a whole new world.
If a perfume -any perfume!- embodies the spirit of that lovely laughing Buddha well, I must have it! Gonna give this one a try. I could use a bottle of love, light and laughter.
I wish I had that Buddha statue’s calm and happiness too, although I can do without that waistline. 😉
Now I’m curious which parfume would embody Buddha Shakyamuni (the thin one, the asketic) ???
Great question, I’ll have to think about that…:)
Thank you Birgit, I love the picture of Ho Tai, and the details you give about how Candide’s layers develop on you – it does vary very individually. The frankincense is an unusual variety that I get from the growers in Kenya. I appreciate people’s kind words about Essence and Alchemy, it means a lot to me as I am just starting a sequel.
Hello Mandy, thank you for commenting!
It is very interesting to learn about the provenance of the incense, this is such an interesting field, I truly admire your work!
Good to know there is another book in the works. I should just shoot the idea of sleep out the window and reread Alchemy tonight. 😉
I have not tried Candide, but you make it sound so good. I very much admire a few of Mandy Aftel’s fragrances that I have tried so far.
Her perfume are like a journey, very complex and interesting. Like any journey they can be exhausting at times but always stimulating. 🙂
B., you make this sound so good… and yet. I get the feeling that the “white-ness” will not work for me. What I need to do is bite the bullet and order a pile of samples.
My mom, who is herself a budding perfumista (with more than 40 perfumes that last time I talked with her) is way ahead of me is this department—she’s been talking about at least three of Mandy’s fragrances, with nothing but the most positive things to say.
I’m not sure, because I have a feeling this would go in a different direction on you. No way around trying it. 😉
Kudos to the Mom, and to you for bringing her into the fold. 😉
Candide gets a lot of love on several perfumeblogs and your description is very lovely!
I read Mandy Aftel’s book last year and I love to read her and Andy Tauer’s perfume conversation – so inspirational! But even after sampling a few of Mandy’s and other perfumer’s creations I still have to find my way into enjoying natural perfumes. To my untrained nose they often have a rich denseness which makes them hard to “read” for me and often there is a sweetness that tends to stay in the foreground and makes it difficult for me to smell beyond. As I don’t like sweet so much this can get discouraging…
However there is one perfume where really enjoy all these things: Narcissus Poeticus by Annette Neuffer, so maybe I have got a starting point there. 😉
I know what you mean about denseness, this is often pronounced in oils. This one – as are the other Aftelier creations I tried – is not like that, I find. But there is no way to find out what one loves than trying it, and that is a lot of fun! 😉
Love this one! Melancholy happiness on me, if that’s possible.
Melancholy happiness sounds very Russian if I may say so, I know the feeling. 😉
Pingback: Aftelier Perfumes « beauty on the outside
Pingback: Perfume As Medicine – Sleepless Nights, Aches And Pains And More | Olfactoria's Travels