Can something so simple in our everyday lives have such a peculiar history? Well, it seems the candle and its use as a scent has a story which spans thousands of years. Will the candle continue to flicker onwards for another thousand years? Or will there be a time when it fades away, never to be used again like other relics of a time before modern technology and electricity? One cannot answer these questions looking forward; looking back on the other hand, it is clear than the candle has long been an important item in giving our homes a fresh and relaxing aroma.
The scented candle has its origins on the other side of the world in ancient China and India. China used incense sticks which were dipped in wax to release an aroma when lit. Interestingly, different aromas were applied to incense sticks that, upon releasing a different smell, would indicate the time of day. In India, candles were made using varying amounts of boiled cinnamon and yak butter. The cinnamon gave a spicy, relaxing aroma that was a forerunner of many modern scented candles.
It is likely that this idea of a ‘pleasant smell’ brought about by a scented candle will have played a role in the development of air fresheners. Fragrant aromas have been used throughout time to ‘clear the air’, as it were, but the modern air freshener did not appear until 1948.
So, what has this smelly world got to offer?
With Miller Harris, its establishment as a perfumery speaks for itself. Its aromas are all inspired by its wonderful selection of fragrances and are appropriately named the ‘Home Collection’, to emphasise their important role within our homes. Miller Harris’ scented candles offer a simple appearance, perfect not just for the minimalist, but in any home that needs that final touch to complete their personal enclave of design. Whether it is room sprays, scented candles or reed diffusers, Miller Harris’ products serve the archetypal home lover, who just wants to sit back and relax whilst a fragrant aroma radiates the air.
Available at: www.millerharris.com/collections/home-fragrance
Hudson & Co.
The remains of the British Empire may have disappeared over the years, but one can easily rediscover its historic past; and of course, its discovery of ingredients from around the world. Hudson & Co produce fragrant candles and diffusers that echo the ingredients brought back by British explorers over the centuries. One might say the British tradition of discovery lives on, and Hudson & Co allow its users to discover a historic past through the simple sense of smell. Before you realise, a British identity that lives in everyone may start to appear…
Available at: hudsonand.co/
diptyque offer scented city candles; candles that evoke the colours, images, feel, and of course, the smell of the cities. London, Paris and Hong Kong are just some of the many cities that diptyque offer as scented candles and the smell of a city within the vicinity of your home is an interesting combination, albeit a welcome one. It is not plagued by the pollution and unpleasant smells that come with any city, and instead delivers an aroma that has been lost within the developments and progress of one. diptyque gives you the original; the traditional smell that has always been there in cities, but now uncovered…
Available at: www.diptyqueparis.co.uk
National Theatre Bookshop: Chase & Wonder Candles
The Chase & Wonder candles are built on nostalgia; each candle takes you to a place where you can reminisce about your time there; or simply the feeling that you have been to this place before. You may not have been to a tropical paradise, as one of the candle’s is based around, but its pleasant smell may take you on a spiritual journey beyond the boundaries of your home to what most people would describe as their ‘happy place’.
Available at: shop.nationaltheatre.org.uk/
Best Kept Secrets
The Best Kept Secrets are candles that are cute and mischievous. A secret is meant to be just that, a secret, and we always want to know what naughtiness lies behind one – its reason for being a secret. Best Kept Secrets are not the best for keeping your mischievousness behind closed doors but their scented candles are secrets worth knowing about, offering delicious and vibrant scents of Spicy Satsuma and Jingle Berry for that fruity aroma. Unlike other candles on this list, Best Kept Secrets are more innovative, using other details within the candles including glitter and other features to not only smell good, but look good too. Definitely great for the Christmas table!
Available at: bestkeptsecrets.co.uk/
I LOVE Signature Scents Collection
The ‘I LOVE’ brand works well in this emotional world. Our emotional connections spread far and wide, driven by our lust to engage with all things organic and inanimate. It is used in casual conversation; deep conversations between loved ones. Some may say it is overused, applied without substance and projected onto everything and anything. But generally, as with the I LOVE brand, it is just keeping with the tradition; we really do love everything and anything in this materialistic world and we might as well embrace it. I LOVE offers scented candles and diffusers, available in scents of Violet Dreams, Glazed Berry, and more interestingly, Vanilla Milk. All of the candles are vegan friendly, using in their words ‘no nasties’. Natural, vegan, with a pleasant aroma, what more could you want? You’ll probably Love them.
Available at: www.ilovecosmetics.co.uk/product/home-scents
Crabtree & Evelyn: Noel Candle
The scent of Christmas is slowly approaching; Christmas puddings, Christmas dinners, the smell so good things we cannot wait to fill our homes. And then, along comes a scented candle to add to your wonderfully smelly home of goodness. Crabtree & Evelyn have brought to you once again their loved Noel candle, ready for the winter and Christmas times ahead. Filled with a Christmas infusion of mulled spices and of course, citrus fruits, the Noel candle is a candle that Saint Nicholas would use himself. If he ever wanted a present for himself, this would be it.
Available at: http://www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk/
S.T. Dupont, Paris: The Wand
The typical approach to lighting a candle is using a lighter, the overlooked beginning of lighting scented candles. But does this timid beginning have to be so dull? The calm and relaxing aroma of scented candle does not need to start upon its first smell, but rather the lighting of the candle, the true start to the smell you patiently wait to lift your home. Lighting a luxury candle does not deserve the usual disposable lighter; it deserves a luxury lighter, an accessory for an accessory that serves and delivers with elegance – not dullness.
The Wand is quintessentially French, as designed by the Parisian brand S.T. Dupont. Its elegant yet simple appearance can serve any home interior but adds that extra oomph to an already complete home. Using the wand will garner interest whilst you light the candles for a family gathering or even a romantic dinner. Whatever the occasion, The Wand compliments the candle, and its aesthetic beauty from what is effectively a lighter is a nice addition to this creative world.
Available at: www.st-dupont.com
There are so many scents in this world which stimulate our senses, which call up a distant memory, which carry us to far off lands. Whether it be candles, room diffusers or room sprays, our domestic spaces can be made, by scent alone, into enclaves of pleasure; the indoors are filled with radiant aromas which bring the wide world of the senses into the enclosed comfort of our homes.
Photograph by: Jason Yates, jasony.com/