Thursday, 24 November 2016


One of the best times to write about fragrance is as we approach the festive season. Throughout the previous twelve months there will have been numerous launches and products, but during Christmas we fall back on some old favourites and maybe introduce a few new ones. With this in mind I've been working hard, honestly I have, to find this year's top five candles. Whether it's delicate, inspirational or even historical that you're looking for I think that I've found something for everyone. So, close the door, pass me a mince pie, reach for the matches and let that fragrant flicker combat the winter cold.

A surprise entry at fifth place is a candle that just missed last years list but is available online at Harrods this year. ESTEE LAUDER’s MODERN MUSE is a whopping 283g for £40 so is a very impressive gift. It’s very true to the original scent and for a large single wick candle it burns surprisingly evenly. The strength of this candle is impressive, which might explain why I’ve got through three of these already this year, so it’s a “must have” on any MODERN MUSE lover’s Christmas list.

At number four we see my only “Christmas” candle choice this year. JO LOVES, the new company set up by Jo Malone, has again released CHRISTMAS TREES. This is a £50 for 185g but the increase in price is worth the scent. The pine is wonderfully understated and the smokey amber is given a sweet touch by a hint of dried fruits. The overall scent reminds me of midnight mass, a glass of port and presents under the tree. Yes, it truly is the scent of Christmas ... and the glass lid just adds that final touch of style. It's available online or from the JO LOVES boutique.

GUERLAIN’s exquisite HIVER EN RUSSIE makes its appearance at number three. Now this candle has been around for a while but it is often overlooked. The name translates as Russian Winter and the country’s palaces, samovars and religious ceremony inspired the fragrance. The mysterious black wax holds the scent of smokey tea, frankincense and a smooth amber wood. It makes an interesting alternative to the usual “Christmas” aromas and is available from Selfridges and Harrods at £57 for 180g.

The penultimate place is taken by the famous “gift-giving” company JO MALONE and their new fragrance BASIL & NEROLI. The candle has an Autumnal feel, with what can only be described as a boxing day freshness, and the aromatic quality from the basil mixes perfectly with an orange floral. It makes a wonderful change to the vanilla heavy offerings from most companies at this time of the year, and at £42 for 200g you can’t fail but to impress. It’s available online or from any JO MALONE boutique.

The top spot for 2016 goes to a new company that won a FiFi Award at this years ceremony. MARINA BARCENILLA PARFUMS, formerly The Perfume Garden, has released a range of candles with inspiration taken from their fragrances. PATCHOULI FLOWER has very quickly become a firm favourite with me and I’ve reordered it twice already. With a rose and ylang over a patchouli and sandalwood it provides the most beautifully warming aroma. The candle is £39 for 210g and is available from

My absolute favourite candle would still have to be SOLIS REX by CIRE TRUDON but that was featured on last year's list, which can be viewed by clicking here. So, get shopping and I hope that one of my choices makes it under your Christmas tree.

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