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Friday, December 18, 2009

9 Favorite Candles

In my perfume tastes, during the last couple of years, I have been all over the place, and noticed a rather significant bend towards fresher and greener scents. As far as my home fragrance tastes are concerned, however, I have always been consistent. Anything too fresh (fresher than L'Artisan's Invitation Creole...which is not that fresh!) and too green (with an exception of, again, LAP's Jathinthe et Feu de Bois...which is not that green, with all those smoky the way, a great candle, it has always evokes to me a generalized idea of an "old, classic perfume") are no-no for me. The atmosphere of my house has to be warm, not only temperature-wise, but in olfactory sense as well. Therefore, on my list you will see gourmands, balsams and spices, and one lonely floral is also a warm, tropical one. And thus, in no particular order:

Ladurée Café Crème. They say that this is une odeur très Parisienne. To me, it is very New York. You could argue that an aroma of coffee with a splash of milk is just très everyday life of pretty much anyone in anyplace. That one aspect of everyday life that often keeps one going.

Tocca Rodolfo. A velvety, languid tuberose with a characteristic that I can only describe as a "nutty" aroma. Nutty as in when you bite into a pine nut...the sweet, balmy quality that I adore.

L'Artisan Parfumeur Mûre Sauvage. What I would call my everyday candle. I am so used to it that I don't notice when it is lit, so easy-going and comforting is its delicately sweet, slightly tart aroma. And when it hasn't been lit for a while, I miss it.

Agraria Balsam. Pine needles... tree bark...childhood...home...Russia...Love.

La Cherche Midi No 21. Sweet and piquant, with cardamom, saffron and a touch of berries and leather. A festive comfort scent.

Mariage Frères Thé Rouge. Opulent deliciousness of tea, apricots and gingerbread. Decadent overindulgence.

Amouage Autumn Leaves. Honeyed, sweetly-spicy, sandalwood with a hint of patchouli. In one word- sensual.

Diptyque Patchouli. If Autumn Leaves is sensual, this is sssexy. Dry and sweet at the same time, as patchouli should be, with the dirty undertone for which I personally love this note.

Cire Trudon Spiritus Sancti. Some incense to cleanse the house after all the extravagance. A scent as melancholy as it is hopeful, as brightly smoldering as it is dark.

Which are your favorite candles? Do share, and once again, Happy Holidays, everybody!

Image source, jonnybaker at



Anonymous Marian said...

Agraria Balsam sounds perfect for the Holiday Season! Living in a city where nature unfortuntely takes a back seat, anything that reminds me of "the great outdoors" is always welcome. There is a small stand of pines that is one of my favorite places in Central Park- it sits on the shoulder of an area where people sunbathe, play baseball and fly kites during the warmer months. If I could bring indoors the dark and majestic wildness of those pines, by merely taking a match to a candle, I'd be ever so happy!
Thank you for the lovely review! I'm off to do a web search ;-)

10:46 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am not big on the great outdoors. Not even on the little outdoors. But I'd love to see that spot in CP!

11:01 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

khiels ambre
miller harris fleur oriental
cuir trudon abd el kader (wonderful mint)
cuir trudon madamoiselle de v
agent provocateur strip
cote bastide ambre
slatkin bamboo and jasmin
voluspa genoa lemon basil
carthusia aria....
and the SHAMASH is...
cote bastide ambre

1:32 AM EST  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

I'm simply a candle junkie, always having quite a stock of them at home ! I've never thought I'd like my home smell like coffee - until I got two lovely twin candles by Valentino : "Coffee" & "Cream". Unfortunately I wasn't able to buy them again, nowhere, so I'm tempted to try your Ladure one. If it's about food I liked the Chocolate candle by Hypnoses (lovely rich bitter chocolate, with loads of cocoa). Generally I love the quality and scent of Dyptique candles, "Coing" (quince) is my all time favourite (however last time they told me they'll stop producing it...). I'm a religious tea drinker, so no wonder I need "Darjeeling" by Mariage Freres, a sort of "meditative" candle (hm, I'd need Dzonghka in a candle...). Then Jo Malone's "Dark Amber & Ginger Lily" - however, it's dark scent is nothing uplifting. At La Maison du Guerlain I always stock up on "Bois des Indes", with it's sophisticated, elegant spicy-woody scent. And the last week(s) before Christmas my home is filled with the scent of Annick Goutal's Christmas candle.
The next candle I want to try though is "Ta'if" by O.J. ...

4:41 AM EST  
Anonymous london said...

Diptyque Opoponax and Narcisse (sadly d/ced), Henri Bendel Clove, Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac and Annick Goutal Ambre are my Top 5 favourites so far. I haven't lit my Cire Trudon or Amouage candles yet though. Love candles at this time of year especially.

7:23 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I always wanted a mint candle, so I need the abd el kader!

8:57 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Darjeeling is on my to-buy list.
Dzongkha SHOULD be in a candle, the fragrance is asking for it, it is so atmospheric.

8:58 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

There is definitely something as if warming about seeing a lit candle in winter. I am curious as to how a narcisse candle would smell.

8:58 AM EST  
Blogger Eclectic Design Source said...

Baltic Amber
Herb Garden (the best for clearing the air after cooking!)
Santiago Huckleberry.

Green Fiddlehead
Blood Orange
Spice Trade (great scent for the holidays and beyond)

9:35 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Eclectic Design Source,
Am intrigued by the Huckleberry candle, thank you!

9:38 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Candleland magic! I can't imagine surviving the cooler months w/out candles. And, like you, I want ones w/ scents that invoke warmth and comfort - a sort of talismanic energy, protecting our home from the cold outside. Currently am basking in the joy of getting to play w/ new scents from Le Cherche Midi. :-)

9:20 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Do you have one very-very favorite candle?

9:27 AM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

These all sound good - I actually love all the Amouage candles - I can't have stuff burning in my house due to nothing being truly safe from the cats, but I would have them just sitting around for the aroma. Autumn Leaves is truly wonderful. If I had to pick one it's probably Spring Sonata, a white floral blend that just whispers of sunlight and warm breezes.

2:38 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Some candles are strong, I often feel I don't even have to light them, to smell them :-)

6:22 AM EST  
Blogger M said...

Great list you've got there. My own shortlist: "Ambre Thé" and "Thé des Pluies" (the scent of their shop!) by Mariage Frères, and "Thé" and "John Galliano" by Diptyque.
Love your blog; looking forward to more.

12:22 PM EST  
Anonymous Kate Malle said...

Flambeau Candles in London have the most divine candles that I have fallen in love with. Currently burning....
Flambeau Malabar
Flambeau Versailles
Dyptique Opopanax

2:05 AM EST  

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