Monday 16 November 2020

PRECIOUS by Jonathan Ward

When we’re still very much in the eye of a pandemic storm, and witnessing the worldwide fallout that is going along with it, the phrase “we’re not in Kansas anymore” takes on a whole new relevance. Many of our ideals and beliefs have shifted over the past eleven months, and that has also extended to the way we shop. Christmas has always been about festive limited editions but, even though we all long for a slice of “old world normality”, achieving a respectful balance this year was always going to be a challenge. However, Jonathan Ward is showing the industry just how it should be done with his perfectly Precious collection.

The idea of lighting a candle, closing the curtains, and jumping off the carousel of life for a few hours has been at the forefront of many minds in recent months. That brief “stop the world I want to get off” moment has been so important because we’ve all had to adapt to a long list of ever-changing rules. This is why it was always going to be difficult releasing a Christmas candle collection without looking as though you were exploiting the situation. Throwing a splodge of colour onto a jar and calling it original just wasn’t going to cut it, and that’s where Jonathan Ward‘s skill has come into play.

Just before the first lockdown Jonathan released his new Assassin Belarus candle, and it actually turned out to be the last in-person launch of any fragrance product in 2020. It immediately became a bestseller and plans were in place that would have seen the release of a new festive scent. However, it quickly became clear that this was not going to be appropriate. With a reintroduced national call to “make do and mend”, and a return to a feeling of community, Jonathan Ward decided to look closer to home and revisit three of his most famous fragrances. This resulted in the latest stunning collection.

A local jeweller had happened to mention that, during the course of his work, he ended up with boxes of gold and silver dust. Because they’re not pure he can’t reuse them, but Jonathan realised that he could. He took his original crystal candle glasses, had them sprayed three decadent colours, and then had his usual label design etched onto the front. This was then hand filled with a paste using either the gold, rose gold, or silver, and when the candle is burning the light streams through the etching. This is a magical example of industries coming together, but which are the three fragrances he’s chosen?

Dressed in deep blue and silver, we begin with the forest foraging inspired Afreet that blends blackberry and liquorice notes perfectly with earthy amber. Second is the burgundy and gold encased Kartushya, the soldier’s love song, which combines cognac with velvet tobacco and rests on a comforting base of sweetened amber. Finally we have the muted chocolate and rose gold Hermitage Noël that celebrates festive traditions with delicious notes of clementine and prune intertwined with frankincense infused amber. Jonathan Ward is one of the finest candle makers in the United Kingdom, and these fragrances truly are Precious.

The Precious editions of Afreet, Kartushya, and Hermitage Noël are available from the Jonathan Ward website at priced at £65 each. The original clear glass versions are also available for £45 each. [All products were purchased]


  1. Thanks for introducing me to Jonathan's work Stephan!

    1. Hello Haydn, my pleasure. Welcome to the candle obsession! Best, Stephan