There’s A Light...Scented Candles For Cold Winter Nights
Marina kindly invited me to contribute a weekly post to her lovely blog. I am honored to do so every Saturday, but before I start, let me tell you a few words about me.
My name is Birgit aka Olfactoria, I live in Vienna, Austria, the Perfume Capital of the World (just joking ;)). I am a thirtysomething mother of two boys and when I am not writing my own perfume blog Olfactoria's Travels, I am a psychotherapist in Vienna, the Psychotherapy Capital of the World (seriously! We have a lot of shrinks here, but even more neurotics ;))
I will write chiefly about home scents over here on PST and make that sort of my specialty, but if something else in the wonderful world of perfume strikes my fancy or begs to be told, I will do just that :)
I not only love to marinate myself in perfume, but I like to do the same for my surroundings.
A well scented room is so much more inviting and makes me and hopefully others feel at home instantly.
In my earlier life as a normal person (i.e. before I had children), I loved to light candles around the house. They immediately deliver a sense of wellbeing, their soft light alone is comforting and cosy. Combine that soft light with a great scent and you have a wonderful invention.
We just made it through the Holidays, so it is not too late to mention the most Christmas-y candle of them all: Annick Goutal´s Noel. A limited edition, that returns every year around Christmas, it smells like the tree itself (better if your tree is a little mangy) and is a must have for the season. I use it throughout winter; it evokes that feeling of walking through a snowy forest, snow and pine branches crunching underfoot, the air cold and crisp, the promise of warmth and hot cocoa just over the next hill
Another seasonal delight is L´Occitane Spicy Cinnamon Candle. It is a pretty straight forward, no-frills cinnamon scent that provides warmth, without turning all out food-y, which I don’t like in any room but the kitchen.
Speaking of which: In the kitchen itself, I like a vanilla scent more than anything else. There is nothing more comforting or assuring for me than vanilla. On myself, as a perfume, I prefer my vanilla to be smoky, dark and set off with decidedly non-gourmand notes, but as a kitchen scent, sweetness is more than welcome. I tested many a candle (vanilla is the most ubiquitous of scents when it comes to candles, but also the most abused, there are horrors out there, I would not want anyone to ever encounter).
What I found to be the best vanilla yet (I’m not done with my quest, but will I ever ;)) is Tiziana Terenzi Almond Vanilla, a shamelessly expensive candle, handcrafted in Italy that is of a very high quality that may just justify the price though. It features notes of almond, coconut, heliotrope and vanilla. It makes me feel good, the second I smell it. It is a good mood contained in wax.
There is one more vanilla candle without which this post would not be complete: Baobab Madagascar Vanilla. It is the most pure, unadulterated vanilla scent possible, it is creamy and sweet, like an off white cloud, languishing in the winter sky, smooth, mellow but radiating out with a considerable strength. Baobab is a brand by a Belgian entrepreneur who designed the collection inspired by African influences gathered on her travels through the continent. The candles and beautiful vessels they come in are all handmade, and easily qualify as luxury items :)
The final items I want to write about today are classics that helped define the genre.
Diptyque candles where the first ones to seduce me and lead me into the world of terrific smelling rooms. My first love from this brand was Figuier (I love their people version Philosykos as well, but that is a topic for spring). In winter there are several options from Diptyque that I love. Myrrhe, Pomander, Opoponax and Ambre are my favourites. They are nice to combine too; one can create individual home fragrances by simultaneously burning different scents at once. Those four are from the permanent line. Diptyque regularly offers seasonal scents before the Holidays, this year there were Pin, Olibane and Orange Epicée. Sadly I did not get to smell these before they sold out.
As I wrote at the beginning, I USED to burn candles regularly, back when I had no children. Of course I still use them, only way more carefully, mostly at night and only very high up ;)
But mainly I use diffusers these days, since the accident probability is less high.
But that is a story for another day…
Most candles featured in this post are available from First in Fragrance, but that is only practical for European readers. In the US Diptyque and L´Occitane are readily available from various sources you probably know better than I do. Tiziana Terenzi candles are available from her own website which also features an online store. Further Information on Baobab candles can be obtained from the website.
Image courtesy of Photo8.com