Perfumer Mandy Aftel of indie natural line Aftelier calls her new Candide "a bright, uplifting floral, expressing its theme of optimism through sublime jasmine and age-old frankincense". I'll second the description. This is a resolutely happy scent — just the sort of thing to add some cheer to a dreary winter day — with a simply lovely citrus opening (blood orange and grapefruit) that lingers far longer than you'd expect from an all-natural fragrance, and then some. It's juicy and bright, and sweetish in that citrus jam sort of way that doesn't give you a toothache. The jasmine is slightly indolic but not too dirty,1 and the incense is light and airy.
Candide has knocked Aftelier's Cepes and Tuberose into second-favorite status, although I tried Cepes again this week, and in a perfect world I'd have piles of money and own bottles of both. It's Candide in particular I'd like to bathe in, though: it's that happy. Of course I don't have piles of money, and we all know that indie natural does not come cheap. Still, given the way niche prices are going these days, Aftelier no longer induces sticker shock.
Candide is not a heavy scent, but it's full-bodied enough to wear in the winter, and I should think it would be easy enough to wear year-round. The lasting power for the Parfum is about what you'd expect — a few hours. I have not tried the Eau de Parfum, but that is the one that will go on my buy list.
Aftelier Candide features notes of black pepper, blood orange, pink grapefruit, jasmine grandiflorum, Moroccan rose absolute, frankincense, oppopanax absolute and myrrh. It is available in 2 ml Parfum mini (above center, $45), 1/4 oz Parfum (above left, $150, comes with 2 ml mini kit) or 30 ml Eau de Parfum (above right, $150). For buying information, see the listing for Aftelier under Perfume Houses.
1. Although as I've noted before, my tolerance for indoles seems to be running high these days. If you've tried and it and found it more than a little indolic, do comment!