Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Candles I have known and loved

I remember having a conversation with a fellow blogger about candles, and whether or not they counted as "beauty". It seems odd to think about scented candles as a beauty purchase, although they do crop up in many beauty companies' product ranges.

They're a kind of hybrid between fragrance and interiors. They're not remotely cosmetic, because they don't enhance your personal appearance in any way, nor do they improve your scent or the softness of your skin and hair. They just produce a nice smell. In that sense, candles are one of the most personal and "just-for-me" categories of beauty purchase. They're fragrance you buy not for anyone else to smell on you, but for you to enjoy yourself.

Here are a few candles I've acquired over the last year or so that I especially like.

L-R Penhaligon's Bluebell*, Aromatherapy Associates Indulgence*, Space NK Tarragon Flower, Malin + Goetz Otto*, Sanctuary Relax.

Penhaligon's Bluebell* (£29) provides a spot-on evocation of the smell of a bluebell wood. When I smelled the Bluebell EDP I wasn't quite getting it (the smell was more like saddle soap or leather), but in candle form this 1978 classic fragrance from Penhaligon's does its job perfectly and transports me to my early memories of walking through my grandparents' bluebell wood in spring. Gorgeous.

Aromatherapy Associates Indulgence* (£25.50) is a jasmine and geranium scent combination. I'm not usually a fan of jasmine, but the exceptional quality of the essential oils and the carefully composed blend means that the tartness of the geranium balances the indolic jasmine nicely, so it doesn't become cloying or overpowering. This is my favourite "in the bath" candle.

Space NK Tarragon Flower (discontinued, was £30) is a lively spring-time sort of scent. The herby brightness of tarragon is a nice way to scent a room in the morning, or before starting some work. A positive, up-beat sort of smell.

Malin + Goetz Otto* (£37) is my newest acquisition and I'm currently a bit obsessed with it. Even when not lit, it fills the room with a deep and sensuous floral smell, dominated by rose. There are also notes of oakmoss, grapefruit, lavender and vetiver in there too, plus many more that I don't have space to list. Complex and sumptuous.

Sanctuary Unwind (£12.25) combines cedarwood and labdanum, two favourites of mine. It's a very soothing, slightly spicy and very comforting smell that makes me think of sinking down into a warm bath or drinking hot chocolate. One for relaxing before a good night's sleep.

*denotes PR samples 


  1. I have a major stash of candles and I tend to 'Keep Them For Best' LOL Some candles have Aromatherapy benefits, so good excuse to include alongside Beauty products.

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  3. Did you ever try any candles from Miller&Harris? The "bois" and "fume" series smell gorgeous in the good meaning of that word and perfectly suit for winter night.


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