I had been doing a back and forth as to whether or not now is an ideal time to write about candles. As I write this, we are a mere couple of weeks away from the official start of Spring or as I should probably say, the Vernal Equinox, out of respect for my exceptional Geography teachers who walked us school girls through the wonders of this planet we occupy. Added to that, I’ve wanted to write a post about candles since I started this blog. But I didn’t want it to just be a one-off review about whatever the hottest candle is at the moment. In recent years, candles have taken front and centre as something we ‘should covet and have’ and to me, the hype that now surrounds candles is equivalent to the hype surrounding a new lipstick or mascara launch. A casual scroll through Instagram delivers a high number of candle photographs, whether as the main subject or flanking other products. Also, the cost of a single candle can run well into hundreds of dollars, with the virtues of wax types and burn time lengths used to justify the cost.
Well, in this post you won’t see any candles that are enough for a car payment but I will share two that have brought me hours of comfort at home especially during the deepest parts of winter, along with a third candle that I’m including because of the design elements. Second to the joy one can get from the scent of candles, there’s also the visual aspects of watching light flicker. There’s something hypnotic and calming about it and it certainly sets a certain tone in your space.
Let’s make a start then, with Miller Harris Digne de Toi (Worthy of you).
Miller Harris is a niche British fragrance company founded in 2000 by classically trained Master Perfumer Lyn Harris. Drawing on premium ingredients from the world’s key spots for fragrance elements, Miller Harris combines the art of French perfumery with the hipness of London. The candle Digne de Toi comes in a simple pale pink glass holder with clean graphics on the front, a perfect vessel for this elegant, feminine scent. Digne de Toi blends notes of rose absolute, blackcurrant, mandarin and patchouli, which seems to emanate from the candle in a circular pattern. When I hold it to my nose (unlit), I also pick up the scent of berries and whiffs of citrus.
Digne de Toi is the most feminine candle I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying in our home. Wax reduction is not as fast, while it burns evenly and the scent unfolds beautifully into whatever space it is in. With a sparkling bouquet, similar to premium pink champagne coupled with the perfect balance of fruit and floral notes, this is the candle you want on your sink, in your bedroom or beautifully arranged in your sitting room. It is magical, sensuous and would make a perfect gift as well.
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille
If you want a candle that veers both masculine and feminine, this one from Tom Ford fits the bill. The molasses brown, heavy glass jar is a rounded square that houses wax the colour of the glass. Tobacco Vanille is inspired by old-fashioned, exclusive gentlemen’s clubs in London. The scent first appeared as a unisex concotion and made quite a splash. I appreciate deeper, warmer, masculine leaning scents so the overarching tobacco notes of this candle isn’t bothersome at all. In addition to tobacco, the other scent notes are vanilla, tonka bean, dried fruit, cocoa and spice. In the namesake fragrance, reviewers describe notes of rum and ginger. While my nose does not detect either of those accords, I can imagine them fitting into the blend.
One can argue that Tom Ford shook up the fragrance industry when he introduced his big, bold scents that drew upon more traditional ingredients and production methods. After all, his designs and overall aesthetic is the opposite of demure, casual and breezy. With that said, my issue with this candle is that despite a formulation meant to depict masculinity via deeper scent notes, I find that the throw is somehow not as powerful as I was expecting. Is it fair to expect to detect candle scents several rooms away when not lit? At this price, I do. Sure I can smell the candle when I enter the room, but it doesn’t quite push out sufficient scent to meander into the hallway. With this candle, I also take issue with the fact that the wax goes down as quickly as it does. Yet, if you’re into deeper, muskier scents and love the look of clean lines, Tobacco Vanille should take pride of place on your wish-list. Try to promise me that you won’t fill the jar with makeup brushes after the candle is used up. While some empty candle jars are better suited to that, this ought not to be one.
Jan Barboglio Adelita Golondrina Votive
Jan Barboglio is a designer and artist whose multiple creative abilities have resulted in a brand covering home furnishings and accessories. She spent her childhood in the Northern part of Mexico and has infused folkloric elements into many of her designs. We have a few of her pieces at home and I have to admit that I really adore some of it while I can’t quite fawn over other pieces as much. Her candles certainly get a nod from me. Made from unscented, hand poured wax, I really appreciate the design elements of this votive candle. From the raffia at the top to the bluebird made from hand-blown glass along with the actual votive holder as well, this is a complete work of love.
When lit, especially as the evening begins to set in and the sun has exited the stage for the day, it casts a comforting spell as it dances in the glass holder. My other favourite design element of the holder is the custom bronze metal flower attached to the three silver rings of metal at the top. This votive will definitely continue as part of our decor long after the candle is spent, as it has the potential for use in a number of ways. I have a tendency to shift little things like this around often, so it’s job as a candle is only the beginning. There’s a similar one here.
Fire has been a tool for humans for aeons now. The fact that it’s now become fashionable via the use of scented candles is ironical to me, similar to the way that water has become fashionable, albeit invaluable, with designer water bottles being a new level up. It’s quite a racket, isn’t it? So do tell, what are you candle favourites?