Monday, 7 December 2020

Fragonard's Christmas Candle Duo

Christmas is the time of year when “familiarity” often overtakes “newness”. For the previous eleven months we are bombarded with release after release which is why, for many, the festive season becomes about falling back on trusted favourites. The feeling of being surrounded by scents and aromas that evoke happy memories is important at any time, but even more so as we prepare to leave 2020 behind us. Many companies still ploughed on with new products, but others have decided to tread more delicately. One example of the latter is Fragonard and their Christmas candle duo of Allumez-Moi and Le Feu Sous la Glace.

Fragonard is probably the most famous of the perfumeries found in Grasse but, because they are still thought of as a “tourist perfumer”, many perfume and candle fans are yet to discover the magic that comes out of their imaginations. The past few years have seen a focus on modernising the packaging, streamlining the catalogue, and even pushing the boundaries of what their existing customers expect. By working with some of the finest perfumers in the industry, and also encouraging those starting out in the profession, Fragonard has become a real training ground for future award winners.

When the discussions began around what the company would offer for Christmas 2020 it quickly became clear that this was the perfect time to fall back on the familiar, celebrate the successful, and offer a feeling of family gathering through scent. With many people separated from their loved ones this year, could Fragonard really bring us together? The company looked back at their previous festive candles and, unusually for them, they decided to rerelease two of their most popular scents. From 2015 we see the return of Le Feu Sous la Glace and, in a stroke of genius, they’ve paired it with the award-winning 2017 Allumez-Moi.

Part of the joy of the Fragonard Christmas Candles has always been the seasonal illustrations that adorn the jars. Previous years have seen Patch NYC, Nathalie Lété, and Florence Balducci, but this year’s honour fell to Aurélia Fronty. The collection took the Russian Far North as its inspiration but, cleverly, merged the Fragonard sunshine motif into the designs. With a combination of traditional dress and regional colours, the selection of products are absolutely beautiful. Also featuring their famous Belle de Nuit fragrance along with three brand new soaps, it is surely guaranteed to be yet another bestseller.

Le Feu Sous la Glace
takes the traditional pairing of cinnamon and orange but lays it over a delicately sweetened note of frankincense. You also get a cold crispness that hints at snowy terrain, and it’s this that keeps it on the exciting side of gourmand. That brings us to the return of Allumez-Moi. Originally one of my Top Christmas Candles for 2017, they’ve once again taken the idea of the Christmas tree and weaved it with orange blossom and citrus to provide a sweetened pine. Whether you’re amplifying the scent of a real tree or adding onto an artificial one, this is positively the ultimate Christmas tree candle.

Both 200g candles have now sold out on the Fragonard website although may be available in the French boutiques. UK customers can purchase from Cologne & Cotton at cologneandcotton.com (£32 each using the code XMS20) or worldwide from 50ml at 50-ml.eu for £29. [Both candles were purchased]

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