I’ve got about a million amazing candles to talk about this year, but I thought I’d start off with my carefully selected edit of Ones That Smell Like Christmas. I got into trouble with Mr AMR when I was filming the lit candles – I didn’t want any of them to end up with wonky wax, so left them burning for over an hour. All thirty-two of them. He was nearly sick. It was too much of a scent mish-mash, kind of like what it would smell like if there was an orange-and-fir-tree bonfire lit inside a chocolate cathedral.
Burnt individually, however, they are all gorgeous and wintery and really get me into the Christmas spirit. Not as much as a large glass of something incredibly alcoholic would, but as I am still for the most part abstinent the candles (and daily Mint Choc Magnum) will have to do.
Let’s kick off with a beautiful candle from my good friend Kim, aka Mrs Todd, who has gone from strength to strength with what started off as a little kitchen enterprise. I regularly check in on her Instagram to see photos of her orders being packaged up – dozens of them! Her Citrus and Cinnamon is just the perfect winter blend – warm, spicy but with a good hit of fresh citrus and jasmine that makes it nicely modern and thoroughly interesting. Kim does every step of her candle-making by hand – you can order scent samples, find out more info and buy candles at her website here.
Next in line, Rathbornes Rosemary, Fougere & Camphor candle, you can see it in the centre of the photograph above. This smells like Christmas tree without – somehow – being like one of those toilet freshener things that you attach to the rim. Rathbornes are apparently the oldest candle company in the world and I have to say that the centuries of experience definitely shows! The candle burnt evenly and the scent was gentle and sophisticated – herby with a touch of lavender. You can find Rathbornes candles here – this one is £30.
Another Christmas Tree candle – this one is from Jo Loves (right of photo above). Again, a beautifully delicate pine scent, Christmas Trees has a lovely warmth from the lavender, amber and incense. It’s ever so slightly less “green” than the Rathbornes, if I had to split hairs: Rathbornes is an outdoor Christmas tree on a snowy night, the one from Jo Loves is an indoor tree next to a roaring fire! You can find it here – it’s £50.
Now for three candles that are just pure luxe. Ormonde Jayne’s Nocturne is part-Christmas, part-nicest-perfume-in-the-world, so if you actually don’t love traditional Christmas scents that much, this is the one for you! It’s soft and warm – woody but with the cushiony smells of amber and tonka and cardamom. Find it here.
I got incredibly excited when I saw that Diptyque’s frankincense-scented candle was back on the shelves. Oliban was my favourite Christmas smell a couple of years ago and I desperately wished that I had stocked up on it. It’s very churchy, but I love that – childhood memories and all. You can find the Oliban candle in two different sizes at Space NK here.
Then there’s Cire Trudon’s amazing Melchior, with its rich, spicy scent. If I close my eyes and burn this candle I can imagine myself in some faraway palace, lying on a massive silk cushion, having my hair brushed and being fed ripe figs. I know that doesn’t sound that Christmassy, but it is – the myrrh, the musk, the spices… A large 270g candle is £70 here but you can also get this as part of a coffret of three 100ml winter scents, that costs £160 here. (The big size is far more cost-effective; Cire candles seem more expensive than other luxury brands but 270g is a whopping great big candle and doesn’t work out to be any dearer than Diptyque.)
On the home stretch now, folks, and I have to speed up because Masterchef The Professionals is about to start and I’ve been editing candle stuff for hours and hours! I’m all candled out! From left to right, then, we have the delectable Orange Patisserie candle from Lola’s Apothecary, £34 here. If you want to go sweet and tasty rather than myrrh and pine-y then you’ll love this one. It’s like a warm slice of marmalade-filled sponge cake.
Then NEOM’s Christmas Wish, which is perhaps the most unusual of all of the candles here. (£34.95 with free delivery at LookFantastic – save 15% with code LF15 here.) The cinnamon and mandarin together are somehow very clean-feeling, despite being warm and traditionally Christmassy. This scent is part of the De-Stress range and actually, it’s very effective. I’m chilled, at any rate.
Finally we have Molton Brown’s Oudh Accord & Gold candle, £36 here with free delivery. (Again use code LF15 to get 15% off.) This is one sexy scent – it’s quite masculine, I think. A man candle. Or a “mandle”? Ha. It’s totally luxurious and the kind of smell I’d love to find in a body product – a quick Google and my prayers are answered, because this scent also comes in a body wash! (You can find that here.)
Your favourite Christmas scents? Let me know in the comments below…