Tag Archives: aroma

3 weeks before Christmas – my candle wishlist

My Christmas shopping guide continues. After a suggestion of various scent diffusers today I would like to focus on candles. And I love candles. There’s something magical and peaceful in their light. Whenever I want to relax or clear my mind a little flame in the jar is just perfect for that. A candle is also an ideal companion for long conversations with friends. Warm light and gentle aroma in the air are like a fluffy blanket that embraces you. To me the scented candle is a synonym of comfort.

When you ask me, candle was a second fragrant product in my life that I started using. (first came the incense sticks) I use all variety of candles. Starting from cheap scented tea-lights bought in a supermarket, ending at more expensive ones with more complexity to them. Below I tried to inlude some good-looking (and hopefully great-smelling) suggestions at different price ranges.

Starting with a cheapie. I have discovered P.F. Candle Co. by a total accident when one day I noticed their beautifully packaged candles in the pictures that appeared in my Instagram feed as profiles I might like. This artisanal California-based candle manufacturer offers only hand-made soy wax candles made in small batches. Their products are hand-poured into amber glass jars with a brass lid. A simple label printed on a gray-ish recycled paper gives P.F. Candle Co. candles a minimalistic look and since packaging is so simple, you know your money are spent mostly on the content inside, which is always a fantastic thing. Among a varied offer here’s what I’d love to burn:

  • Mistletoe Special – with notes of pine needles, sweet berries, pineapple and green apple;
  • Amber & Moss – with notes of musk, amber, moss, lavender, sage, orange essence;
  • Campfire – with notes of smoke, pine wood, raspberry and vanilla;

For a a 3.5 oz. (103,5ml) mini candle you’ll pay $11 (~€9), 7.5 oz. (222 ml) candle costs $16 (~€13)

We all love Mandy Aftel and her unusual perfume creations made with only fine and natural essences. For this Holiday season Mandy has prepared a special candle that sounds just perfect to light it during these special days spent with family. If you crave for a little more sweetness and you’re afraid to eat another piece of Christmas cake (oh, a diet), indulge in this Candy Apple candle. It is made with natural beeswax, so it has a beautiful golden color and I’m sure it smells amazing. It is packaged in a tin, so you can even take it with you for a Holiday trip and enjoy it wherever you are.

2 oz (59ml) candle costs $45 (€36)

How about the Swedish niche perfume brand Byredo? I had more or less luck with their perfumes, not to mention that I have only tried a small number of them, I would be very keen on trying how good they are at making perfumed candles. Just by having a look at the way they packaged their candles makes me want to buy one. A golden and brownish shade of amber glass contrasts with a clean white label of a minimal design. Could there be anything better than a rich scent of spices filling your house not only thanks to the bakery goods your family prepares for Christmas, but also thanks to a candle? The limited collection from Byredo should satisfy anyone who is looking for a snuggly aroma for winter amore.

  • Safran – with main notes of saffron, black pepper;
  • Cardamome – with main notes of cardamom, black pepper and nutmeg;
  • Gingembre – with main notes of ginger and black pepper;

Each of this candle costs €65 (~$80) for 240 gram

And now something special for extreme perfumed candles addicts! Everyone knows Jo Malone, the woman who started from scratch and gradually built a little fragrance empire. For her Jo Loves brand she has just composed 2 limited candles in a wintery, Christmas theme. Presented in a beautiful jar in white color (not sure if it’s milky glass or white lacquer on top) with silver details really brings the Holiday aura to your home. Truly, I would take one home immediately, if it wasn’t for the size! It’s enormous!

  • Log Fires – with notes of smoky woods and Lapsang Souchong tea;
  • Salted Caramel – with notes of caramel and crushed sea salt;

2,2 kg (wow!) candle costs 325 GBP (~€410, $507)

Honestly, there are so many choices for perfumed candles! I have shown you just a small part of what brands have to offer. If it’s still not enough for you make sure to check the limited editions from Diptyque (Resine, Hiver and Epice), Cire Trudon (Bethleem, Gabriel and Nazareth), Atelier Cologne (Gold Leather, Santal Carmin), Aedes de Venustas (Cellarius, Phoenicis), Jardins d’Ecrivains (Dickens, Beatnik, Zweig). Hope anyone can find their perfect candle!

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The making of – my first candle

There are many first times in our life when we think about it. First breathe and cry after we were born, first tooth, first word, first ride in a car, bus or train. Everyone probably remembers their first day at school, their first best and worst grades. Later was the time for first crush, first date, first kiss, first break-up. I have experienced many of those first things and I know that there are many more to come. One of those things happened to me last weekend – when I created my first candle.

All of you around me know that I want to be a perfumer one day. But becoming a perfumer is not a short and easy thing to achieve. At the current level of my ‘sniffing skills’ and with the knowledge I possessed at the university and on my own doing a lot of online research I think I would be unable to create a perfume. Sad but true. But I wanted to create something scented, so I thought about a candle. People love scented candles and they are not as difficult to make as perfumes are.

materialsFull of energy, hope and positive attitude I created a list of things I would need. First of all – a wax. The one that would be easy to use, that would be scentless and friendly for environment. My choice – eco soy wax. It doesn’t produce harmful substances while it burns and it lasts longer that the paraffin. Then the packaging. I knew from the start I want to keep it clean and simple, my first thought was a brown glass jar, to make it look a little bit like from apothecary or a lab. The label was meant to be white, made of paper and I found a great font that looks like from an old typewriter.

Finally I ordered everything, including the wick that would be suitable for a candle size that I wanted to make. Last but not least my candle needed a scent. I didn’t want it to be just a single note candle, that would be too boring, unoriginal and ordinary. So I came up with my mind of a composition consisting of 3 notes, blended together by me to create some pseudo-perfume for it. Having all that I proceeded to the kitchen to do the magic. I have an older type oven with gas burners – those would simply burn the wax. I had to think of some sort of intermediate way of how to melt it. A short google research gave me an answer – I needed to prepare a water bath.

1-candleI took two pots – one bigger and one smaller. I poured a glass of water to the big pot, placed it on a heat station. Then I took the small pot and I put it on, or should I actually say into a bigger one. The handles perfectly kept the small pot few millimeters above the water level in the second pot. I measured the necessary amount of soy wax. It wasn’t easy as the wax is sold in some sort of flakes some pieces were big, some were small. I took like 2-3 spoons more than I needed to fill my jar as I knew that once the wax melts it will fill the jar entirely and flakes definitely didn’t fill it.

The wax was melting really nicely in the water bath, it was a great idea to do it that way. Once the wax melted completely it was a yellowish liquid. Now was the time to add the scent. It was the moment of ‘to be or not to be’ for this candle. The essences that I decided to use featured rosewood, grapefruit and olibanum. I used essential oils of aromatherapy grade and I believe they were quite alright for the candle. I wanted the smell to be slightly woody and sweet, with a transparent smokiness and a bit of juicy flavor. Something that would make people think of autumn.

3-candlesOnce the oils were added to the molten wax I had to stir, stir, stir it so that the aroma composition is evenly distributed in the entire mass of the candle-to-be. Once I did that I slowly poured the mixture into my little glass jars. Luckily I didn’t cause much mess in the kitchen. Placing a wick inside of it was a bit frustrating as it was sliding in every possible direction, instead of staying in the center. But I somehow managed to place it correctly. Laundry clips came in handy, helping me to keep the wick in the right position until the wax starts to get thicker. Almost done!

After 15-20 minutes of standing in the jar the wax started to become solid again. You could see how it’s becoming blurry-white at the bottom and that this effect was going up the candle as its temperature was going down. After around 1 hour the candles were all white, the wax crystallized again. I didn’t touch them until the other day, that’s when I removed the clips and trimmed the wick to the desired length. Last step was to make a label and the candle will be finished.

chasing0firefliesDesigning the label was a challenge because the jars are small and so has to be the label. I needed to plan how to use the small writing space and what to write on it to include some information and not to overdo it. After creating a few versions I decided on one that uses different font size for different parts of the label and that has some separations to make it clean to read. The candle also needed a name. Someone made a good point – it is my baby, I should give it a name. Something original, not a copy of a name. And something funny. I named it #01. Chasing Fireflies.

The result of my work is a scented candle made of eco soy wax and aromatherapy essential oils, in a 30ml brown glass jar, containing approximately 25 grams of wax. It is scented at the level of around 6%. Of course I had to try it myself and in my opinion it gives a very gentle and nice aroma with rosewood as a dominating accord, exactly how I wanted it to be.

fireflies-with-cinnamonI had a lot of fun creating this candle and I’m very happy that some people expressed their interest in trying the first candle I created. First #01. Chasing Fireflies candles flew yesterday to their new homes. I hope that they will be loved and I’m looking forward to any feedback people might want to give me. I would love to know if they liked the candle or not, if they think of something that needs improving I will try my best to do that. If the time allows, I will be creating some new candles in different aromas once in a while. And I’m taking one with me to Pitti to show it around. Opinion from the people in this business matters twice.

[note] All pictures are my own, all rights reserved.

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