Monday, 2 December 2019

My Top Five Candles For Christmas 2019

The decorations have been retrieved from the loft, the grapple with the Christmas tree lights has begun, and you still can’t remember buying the twenty metres of tinsel that’s just fallen on your head. Alongside the mix of old and new baubles that all need to be hung on the tree, every house is destined to have the gently flickering flame of a festive candle at the heart of the celebrations but, with an ever-increasing choice, it can be hard to make that perfect decision. Choosing a good quality, beautifully scented candle can be a minefield which is why I’m here to help you out with my annual Top Five Candles For Christmas.

Fifth place goes to the natural candle company Octō London and their uplifting Hygge. Ieva and François had always used candles but increasingly became interested in what actually went into them. Their current range of twelve fragrances is beautiful, and affordable, but Hygge has the edge. The idea of a spiced citrus is nothing new but Ieva and François have taken a very zesty orange, studded it with delicate cloves, and then sprinkled sweet spices over the top. Warmed with a distant touch of vanilla, Hygge is available from the Octō London website and is priced at £28 for 180ml.

In fourth place we see the enchanting Wild Eve by AS Apothecary. The company was founded by Amanda Saurin in 2015 and was born out of an appreciation of nature. From distillation right through to blending, Amanda and the team are passionate about their whole collection. Wild Eve is a wonderful combination of frankincense, spruce, and elegant cedarwood but there’s also a hint of mandarin in the background that seems to accent the forest-like mystery. Encased in a porcelain holder that glows when the candle is lit, Wild Eve is available from the AS Apothecary website and also their Lewes boutique priced at £28.

For third place we head to Nottinghamshire and Every Nook. Emma Robinson had always had a love of interior design, specifically the mid-century style with bold prints and colours, and it was this that inspired her to start the company. Cranberry + Triple Sec perfectly blends a sour cranberry with a zesty orange which means that it remains vibrant when the vanilla and sandalwood notes come through. There’s a hint of rose in the centre and, in the truest cocktail tradition, you’ll definitely be reaching for another. Cranberry + Triple Sec is available from the Every Nook website priced at £20 for 170g.

Second place sees an entry by Mathilde Gauvain in the form of her Mikan Energising Candle. Mythyn was founded in 2016 but, apart from her very loyal followers, has remained a well-kept secret. The company uses rapeseed wax as opposed to the usual soya and is completely natural. Mikan has a festive quality to it but it is definitely one that can be used all year round. The sweet and sour combination of mandarin and bergamot pulls away from the patchouli in the base to create a dynamism that is addictive. Mikan is available from the Mythyn website priced at £26 for 220g.

This brings us to first place and the wonderfully evocative Gustav candle from Frassai. It was created for the Argentinian company by the perfumer Yann Vasnier and, once again, shows just what a talent he is. Gustav is a stunningly rounded animalic scent that provides a glorious fire-side warmth. A smooth sensuality is provided by notes of oud, labdanum, and a touch of civet, but the floral aspect comes from a well-balanced jasmine along with a whisper of bergamot. There’s even a pinch of pepper to add some hot spice. Gustav is available from the Frassai website priced at $60 for 240g.

Whichever candle you go for this year please remember to observe the instructions and NEVER leave a burning candle unattended! To read my candle recommendations from previous years you can click on the images below. [Samples provided by the companies]

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