Thursday 25 February 2021

KISS IN RIO by Jonathan Ward

One of the challenges that I always face when writing for this website is keeping a varied selection of products and fragrances. It would be very easy to just feature everything that drops through the letterbox, and there are many reviewers that do, but I will only ever recommend what I like. I’m never paid to promote anything and certainly never “encouraged” to post on social media. The reason that I’m saying this is because today’s review is for a brand that I’ve featured many times, and I don’t want that fact to detract from this outstanding creation. I’m talking about Kiss in Rio from Jonathan Ward Candles.

The past twelve months have seen the public dig deep into their pockets to support a myriad of worthy charities and causes. It’s shown that when there is a need for assistance we can still put aside our differences and pull together. However, it’s also a fact that people have now become “charity saturated”. This has meant that a different approach has been needed to encourage the continuing support of these organisations. One of the simplest, but notoriously opaque, routes is to tie the donation into the purchase of a product, and this is what Jonathan Ward has so generously done.

Jonathan is no stranger to the candle industry but, surprisingly, is still a relatively secret obsession rather than the widespread celebrity. He started his self-titled brand in 2007, stepped away from the industry in 2014, and triumphantly returned in 2018. However, whilst customer tastes had altered in those four years, the demand for his incredible fragrances had not. He was welcomed back by loyal fans, embraced by new converts, and proved once more that he is one of the finest candle makers in the United Kingdom. If you’ve never tried a Jonathan Ward candle then you’ve never experienced a true “bougie pour la maison.”

One of the best sellers from Jonathan’s original range back in 2011 was called Kiss in Rio, and he decided to revive it as a charity candle. As a result of the pandemic many causes had fallen from the public’s consciousness, so Kiss in Rio became a fundraiser for Black Lives Matter and Female Equality Charities around the world. By literally shinning a light on these organisations, he gave candle lovers the chance to support them whilst also personally reflecting on the wider issues as the flame burns down. With the “kiss” also representing his thanks to all of our key workers, this really is a very special release.

Kiss in Rio celebrates stolen moments amongst tropical humidity, and it really is a story in two parts. The highly fragranced unlit candle immediately gives you a gloriously resinous hot leather accord that seamlessly mixes with an intoxicating jasmine, but magic happens once it’s lit. It brightens to reveal peppered citrus and dry cedarwood, which help to open the scent, and truly gives the impression of playfulness amongst the heat. Within the fragrance you also get touches of earth scorched oakmoss before the anticipated whisper of cherry pie heliotrope gives you that final hint of lipstick. Kiss in Rio truly is an exquisite story through scent.

Kiss in Rio is available from the Jonathan Ward website at priced at £52 for 165g. This is a limited edition with ALL profits going to charity. [Candle was originally gifted although I subsequently donated to the campaign.]

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