Review: Candour by Humieki & Graef

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A bright green fragrance that unfortunately doesn’t agree with my skin.

Candour is the latest release from high-concept perfume house Humieki & Graef. 

Created by the ‘two Christophes’ perfume duo of Christophe Laudamiel and Christoph Hornetz, as are all Humieki & Graef fragrances, it is based on a star construction in place of the usual pyramid.

The notes include ‘green notes’ – immediately apparent upon spraying the fragrance – calamus, ginger flower, iris, galbanum, violet, olive leaf, sage, lavender, almond, cardamom, milk, vanilla, sandalwood and lily of the valley.

Like all the firm’s fragrances, it comes in a square, squat bottle, and in this case the outer packaging is embossed to resemble the plumage of a swan, which the firm says can serve as either a good or a bad omen. It costs 160 euros for 100ml.

Candour has as its inspiration the comfort of a caress, or the feeling of empathy of ‘twin souls meeting after a long absence’, but don’t imagine from this that it’s a gentle fragrance – in eaux de toilette concentré format, with 20-25 per cent essential oils, it gives you a fair smack in the face, and one or two sprays is more than ample.

On my skin, the first notes that are apparent are very green indeed – almost unpleasantly vegetal, unfortunately like cabbage rather than grass. And the perfume has a strange quality, almost effervescent in the way it ‘pops’ off the skin. For me the top notes are a tad too cleaning-product-ish to be enjoyable, and it by the time it quietens down to something I can bear, it’s near-enough gone. 

It is a shame. From the notes, I had hoped to like this, especially the milky drydown, but although this is a competent perfume, it’s just not working on me. Maybe others will have better luck.  

Humieki & Graef, founded by German design team Sebastian Fischenich and Tobias Mueksch (who are not perfumers), is named after the men’s grandmothers. It launched in 2008 with five high-concept perfumes (Skarb, Geste, Eau Radieuse, Multiple Rouge and Askew) and there are now 13 in the range. All are based on concepts, such as fury, desire or melancholia and all have been created by Hornetz and Laudamiel. 


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