Having blogged about our newly decorated home office the other day, and with many more of us now spending more time at home than ever before, I thought that today I would write a post on one of my favourite homelife enhancing rituals – scented candles. I know, that may seem like a tenuous link, but it sprang up when I was thinking about pieces that I can write at the moment that may be at least semi-useful. And mindful that we are understandably less inclined to shop right now, I wondered whether smaller treats that make spending time at home more pleasant would be a semi-useful piece in these baffling times. Next week I’m going to be sharing my favourite essential oil recipe for a homemade room diffuser, which so long as you own a couple of essential oils you could easily freestyle yourself.
But today I’m focussing on favourite candles for this time of year. I am far more inclined towards fresh, green and citrus fragrance than any other scent family, and as the resident scent snob of our house I have tried a great many of these over the last decade. My preference tends to sit within the spring and summer seasons, often with products using a combination of similar ingredients (I chuckled recently when reading about Gwneth Paltrow’s Vagina candle for her lifestyle brand Goop, as it essentially contained most of my favourite ingredients, but hey Gwynnie says vagina, I say summer!). What I absolutely hate is when these ingredients are combined in a synthetic rotten mess, so you can trust that none of these picks do. The seven candles I have chosen, cover a breadth of prices with one for under a tenner, five mid-price (£15-30), and one luxury (>£60). All the candles I have chosen use natural, sustainably sourced ingredients wherever possible and most are soy candles with cotton wicks.
My picks from top left clockwise: Citrus Basil by Hobo // Calm, M&S // Petal Storm, Miller Harris // Green Lavender, Urban Apothecary // Geranium Leaf, Daylesford // Cocon de Serenite, L’Occitane // Onsen, Earls of East.
The Smells of Summer:
One of my favourite scent discoveries of the last few years has been the new line made with essential oils from M&S. I’ve mentioned them before on here, I’m really sold on them all not least because a spa like scent with real essential oils for £7.50 a candle is a complete bargain, but also because the fragrances are gorgeous. My absolute favourite is Calm, made with lavendar, sweet orange, clary sage and cedar wood. This is the perfect restorative smell, and one I’m using a lot in these uncertain times. Citrus Basil by Hobo is summer in a jar to me, mixing sweeter notes of mandarin with zesty notes of lemon and lime against a backdrop of basil is really evocative scent that makes me think of balmy days on the Mediterranean.
Next up is the Japanese inspired Onsen, by Earls of East, with notes of peppermint, eucalyptus and mandarin. Reminiscent of the Japanese bathing experience this is one of my absolute faves, I have it in an essential oil blend too which is perfect for putting in a diffuser and being zen, also it genuinely does remind me of time in Japan. It is available in the most beautiful handcrafted ceramic holder (link above) as a massive 300ml, but also comes in a more purse friendly standard size for £20.
I find Green Lavender by Urban Apothecary incredibly comforting, this is a really soothing fragrance which mixes the familiarity of lavendar with fresh notes of lemon balm, spearmint and clary sage. Next up is a candle that retails for £14 but is regularly offered for £10 on Ocado, I may be cheating a little to consider it a budget option since I am alluding to the travel sized candle (although at 125mls it’s a lot weightier than many travel candles) but Geranium Leaf by Daylesford is one of my favourites. This is a beautifully fresh scent that mixes the classic combination of Geranium Leaf with rose, and also mint, it is a very heady fragrance and perfect for the balmy evenings ahead.
One of my favourites for unwinding in the evening (it also comes in a pillow mist to aid sleep) is Cocon de Serenite from L’Occitane which mixes sweet orange, bergamot, mandarin and geranium upon a background of deep lavender, it is very familiar and relaxing, a real wind down favourite in our home. The final candle is my top luxury pick. Handcrafted by scent artisans Miller Harris in collaboration with McQueens florists. Petal Storm is a fragrance based on the aromas left on flower shop floors, it is both intricate and moist, containing a complex blend of ingredients drawn from white florals and pink pepper (Bergamot, Mandarin, Neroli, Dew, Mimosa, Black Pepper, Pink Pepper, Water Lily, Gardenia, Wisteria, Muguet, Amber, Musk) it also comes in a beautiful ceramic holder which makes it a lovely keepsake item. So, that’s my edit, I’d love to know what do you like the smell of during the lighter months. Let me know in the comments below.