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.
Swing photo via