Candles & Home Scents: 15 posts

Holiday Gift Ideas : My Favorite Candles

I love giving gifts, and not just for Christmas. When I want to treat someone to a scented present, a candle is one of my top choices. By lighting the wick, you transform the ambiance of a room in just a matter of minutes. You can give L’Occitane Feuille de Figuier as a memento of the summer, or L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Thé et Pain d’Épices for a bit of winter holiday cheer. With Comme des Garcons’s Jalsaimer candle, you can send your friends on a tour of Rajasthani temples perfumed with myrrh and frankincense. It’s up to you to choose the fantasy.

candles

Although it’s easier to select a scented candle than a bottle of perfume, you should still research your recipient’s tastes. Is she a lover of all things sweet and floral? Does he like clean, understated colognes? In general, you have more leeway when it comes to home fragrances, because while someone may not like wearing gourmand perfumes, they will enjoy the scent of vanilla and gingerbread spices in the air.

Having come across my fair share of candles that were either badly scented and/or overpriced, I have little patience for high-end brands that don’t deliver on their promise.  A good-quality candle should have a strong smell when unlit, fill the space with perfume when burning and also retain its fragrance as long as wax remains in the jar. There should be no scents of soot, burning paper or wool, or other off-odors (assuming that you clip the wick regularly).

It’s best to burn your scented candle for no more than 2 hours at a time. But with the choices below, these 2 hours should be plenty to perfume the whole room.

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Making Armenian Paper Incense and Revisiting Bois d’Armenie

As a graduate student I always loved the serendipity associated with research–when a random reference leads to an Aladdin’s cave of fascinating information. It’s been years since I left the halls of academia, but I’m still a student (read, a geek!) at heart. So when I spotted a mention of E.J. Parry’s Encyclopedia of Perfumery in Nigel Groom’s The New Perfume Handbook, I made it a point to check it out. My reward was a recipe for Armenian paper, which I would like to share with you and to add to Bois de Jasmin’s collection of antique perfume recipes. Armenian paper is a home scent created in the 19th century by entrepreneur Auguste Ponsot and pharmacist Henri Riviere and sold as a natural air sanitizer. With its exotic and mysterious cachet Armenia was a perfect marketing spin for the incense based on benzoin, a resin redolent of sweet vanilla and spices.

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18th Century Incense Recipe and Perfume To Burn

Ince
As the smoke of joss sticks paints fragrant curlicues in the air, I feel that I am participating in some ancient ritual. I love smoky scents in general and my favorite incense perfumes range from tender like Chanel No 22 to austere like Comme des Garçons Avignon. But the process of lighting incense, watching it smolder and then vanish into scented smoke and ashes is what I enjoy the most. The word “joss” came down to us via Portuguese from the Latin deus, god, and whenever I burn incense—even if only to enjoy its perfume, rather than to please a deity—it feels like a spiritual offering.

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Cire Trudon Abd El Kader Candle : Home Fragrance Review

Cire

Few things tempt me more than the vibrant freshness of fresh mint mixed in with a sweet-salty lemonade, a drink called limon nana in Arabic or nimbu pani in Hindi. It is a very simple concoction of mint leaves crushed with lemon juice, sugar and a hint of salt to bring out the floral sweetness of the components. Yet nothing can be more rejuvenating on a hot summer day, especially when the heat of the sun makes the asphalt look almost molten. As we trudge through winter here in the northern hemisphere, a beverage of icy lemonade is hardly what I crave, but somehow its scent never fails to delight. Today my cure for the winter blues is Abd El Kader, a candle by Cire Trudon, that is inspired by the scent of Morocco–mint tea, tobacco, and spices.

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Diptyque Essence of John Galliano Candle and Room Spray : Review

Diptyquejg

The dry resinous fragrance of incense has a very calming, soothing effect, which has been known since antiquity. In fact, both Eastern and Western religions share the use of frankincense in their ceremonies as it is believed to aid prayer and meditation. When fashion designer John Galliano approached perfumer Olivia Giacobetti (author of Hermès Hiris, L’Artisan Premier Figuier, Diptyque Philosykos) to create a home fragrance reminiscent of the Russian Orthodox church, it was the note of frankincense that Giacobetti chose to explore. The result is Essence of John Galliano, available as both a candle and room spray–a beguiling melange of smoky leather and dark woods, wrapped in a dusky glow of incense.

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Latest Comments

  • Maggiecat in Recommend Me a Perfume: May 2024: Seconding the Fragonard perfume museum and stores. Very nice scents at reasonable prices. May 27, 2024 at 4:18pm

  • Karina_NL in Recommend Me a Perfume: May 2024: …and I suggest not to miss Goutal’s (prev. Annick Goutal) stores. Enjoy Paris! May 27, 2024 at 3:03pm

  • John Luna in Recommend Me a Perfume: May 2024: according to the all-knowing consensus of Fragrantica readers, possible substitutes for the Kors include Gucci Bloom, Kim Kardashian(!), and Nasomatto Narcotic Venus (also deserving an exclamation mark for the title… May 27, 2024 at 2:49pm

  • Aurora in Recommend Me a Perfume: May 2024: Hi Andrew: Seconding Jovoy, you’ll find several interesting brands there and adding le musée du parfum Fragonard. Also enter the discount parfumerie Marionnaud, there are several boutiques. May 27, 2024 at 2:40pm

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