Aftelier Perfumes Candide

...euphoria in a bottle.

About ten years ago, I went through a phase when I only wore natural perfume oils. These were Aveda things like Love or Energizing Composition, or simple blends I picked up at Whole Foods. I wasn't trying to save the trees or hug a whale -- there was no eco-political manifesto behind my choice. I just liked the behavior of the perfume oils, the way they'd glow softly off my skin. I also enjoyed the clarity of the compositions, getting a real fix on that ylang-ylang and sandalwood, or rosemary and bergamot, or whatever the particular mojo mix was.

Before I drifted back from Planet Natural to continue my tour of the greater fumiverse, I became obsessed with a little bottle of scented oil a yoga teacher had given me. It was called Euphoria, and I couldn't get over how happy and uplifting the fragrance was. I never knew who made it, but I do remember the three ingredients listed on the bottle: neroli, jasmine and ylang-ylang.

Never was a smell so well named. Euphoria was my companion on long, stuffy plane trips, as well as a secret ally during stressful times at work. We were happy together, Euphoria and I, and then it was gone. The company who made it stopped, or went bust, or something, and I forgot about it.

Until Aftelier Perfumes Candide came along. Candide, named for Voltaire's optimistic hero, reunites me with my memory of Euphoria. And then amps it up with perfumer Mandy Aftel's luxury artisanal spin.

Candide shimmers off the skin in veils of bright, tart orange and sharp-sweet jasmine. The jasmine deepens into lushness, joined by sweet Moroccan rose. The aroma sings out in a pure, unwavering tone, which gradually transforms into a chord through the distant hum of piney frankincense and dusty myrrh. This perfume oil stays delicate and true on the skin, but with the nature of these most natural of ingredients, the tenacity isn't the most robust.

Candide is up with people and down on frowns. Sniff it and you'll smile. Wear it -- and you better get ready for some euphoria.

Candide is available from, starting at $45 for 2 ml

Swing photo via


  1. hmmm... different ingredients in this "Euphoria"... maybe they changed the recipe? =\

  2. Tina, thanks for sending that link. It's a different "Euphoria" than I'd enjoyed 10 years ago. Mine wasn't Aura Cacia, it was a small "here today, gone today" brand. Thank goodness for Candide!

  3. Hi Katie,
    This sounds absolutely lovely, I just want to inhale it while reading your wonderful description! I was very into essential oils before getting into perfumery in a big way, and I too found it a useful grounding for getting to know individual notes.
    You've probably read Mandy Aftel's book "Essence and Alchemy" but I can highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't.
    (SOTD Bois des Iles)

  4. Hi tara - "Essence and Alchemy" is one of the most valuable resources I have for understanding the relationship of perfume ingredients to each other, as well as perfume's role in history. Mandy has a wonderful way of articulating odor descriptions.

    (SOTD Aftelier Perfumes Parfum Privé)

  5. Katie thank you so much for this wonderful review of my perfume and your and Tara's kind words about Essence and Alchemy. This means so much to me.