Thursday 3 December 2015


It's taken twelve long months but we're finally here again ... Christmas!! It's the season of extravagance, gluttony, and fights over the Bassetts Liquorice Allsorts, or Toblerone if you're anywhere near Odette Toilette! Hand in hand with this though is the pressure of finding the perfect present. A staple Christmas gift has now become the "scented candle", I think it's taken the place of the humble "bath cube", but the quality of these varies dramatically. Uneven burns and questionable fragrances makes choosing one a bit of a minefield. So, with everyone wanting that perfect scent, I went on the hunt for my top five.

Number One will always be Cire Trudon's Solis Rex. I've spoken of this one before, but a little reminding never did anyone any harm. Inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at the Château de Versailles, this candle is a must for anyone who wants to create that beautiful antique scent that you find in those National Trust houses. The smell of floor wax, history and decadence, it's available from Selfridges priced at £70 (270g).

Number two takes us to a high street staple, Yankee Candle. Best known for their floral and abstract scents, they've now launched a MEN's range called the Barbershop Collection. The five candles are designed to evoke different scents from the barbers, but my favourite is the title fragrance called Barbershop. A beautiful blend of sparkling lavender with amber gives a contemporary twist to this classic combination. It's £12.99 (226g) and available from their website and all Yankee Candle stockists.

Number three sees Mr Dove make an appearance with his new candle simply called 51. Named after the address of his new boutique, he perfectly describes it as "inspired by the best of the past". This one has a sexy warmth but with a mischievous cinnamon. Perfect for those winter evenings, it's the most expensive on my list at £75 (220g) and is available from his website or the new boutique at 51 Burlington Arcade.

Number four has to belong to the original "Christmas Gifting" company, Jo Malone, and their Pine & Eucalyptus Candle. Don't panic, this pine creation doesn't smell like toilet cleaner, the eucalyptus gives it a piercing freshness which makes it the perfect Christmas scent. If you don't have a real tree this year then this candle will make the room smell like you do. It's available for a limited time from the website and all of the Jo Malone boutiques priced at £42 (200g).

Number five goes to Pain de Vienne by The Hype Noses. Quite simply this is the scent of a freshly baked croissant. A buttery richness but without any sickly vanilla, I defy you not to feel contented when you smell this. What you also get with this range is an unusual wooden wick which gently crackles as it burns. It is available from Avery Perfume Gallery priced at £35 (190g).

All of the companies have many more candles to choose from, but these are the five that just nudged ahead of the rest. Whatever candle you buy please remember to observe the instructions and NEVER leave a burning candle unattended.

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