Monday 12 June 2023

LEMON by Tessa Williams

A picture of Tessa Williams' Lemon candle
Simplicity is a word that seems to be rarely used in the world of fragrance, and is almost seen as a negative concept that should be avoided at all costs. Perfumes and aromas need to be complex, they need to have a structure that fascinates and astounds the wearer, but is it starting to become exhausting? Fragrances have always been experimental, but more and more they’re becoming an assault on the senses. Thankfully, in amongst the explosions, there’s someone that continues to strip back their scents and present the beauty of simplicity. I’m talking about Tessa Williams, and specifically her Lemon Candle.

New followers of fragrance may not have heard of Tessa Williams, but she originally made her name as a journalist and, in 2013, published her bestselling Cult Perfumes: The World’s Most Exclusive Perfumeries. Released by Merrill Publishers in 2013, it looked at twenty-five companies ranging from Floris to Frédéric Malle, and tapped into the public’s blossoming interest in perfumery. You have to remember that the industry was seen as a bit “stuffy”, but Tessa’s book combined 192 pages of interviews, history and imagery which one reviewer described as, “a history book, a reference guide, and a catalogue of what to buy next.”

Following the success of the book, Tessa released a collection of home scents that were inspired by the elements. Air, Water, Fire and Earth launched as room sprays and candles but, such was their popularity, cologne versions followed. The range then expanded again with a new trio of fragrances, Faith, Hope, and Love, and then the pandemic arrived. This saw Tessa take the decision to adapt her fragrances into affordable Hand Sanitisers so, as well as protecting, you also smelled fantastic. There was, quite rightly, a pause at the end of this two year period, but Tessa soon had a new project to unveil.

A picture of Tessa Williams' Lemon candle
Tessa Williams loves to travel, as you’ll often see from her Instagram, and so it seemed the perfect time to offer some scented armchair journeying courtesy of The Travel Collection. First to be released was the Lemon fragrance which celebrated the French Riviera, and his was followed by Marrakech with the orange blossom being used as the inspiration. The third fragrance in the collection, and the newest, is Cadaques. This one is darker with its notes of honeyed tobacco and leather. However, we’re going to go back to the beginning of the collection and discover the delicious simplicity of the Lemon Candle.

The candle is, quite simply, a celebration of the scent of lemon. So, the fragrance opens with the aroma of freshly squeezed lemons, slightly acidic and juicy, but you’re also treated to the sherbety tang that you get from the skins. What's interesting about this fragrance is that it then reveals traces of thyme and, in the background, the merest hint of green pine needles. However, these always remain secondary to the star ingredient. As the wax warms you get a touch of neroli, with its sunlight-like brightness, before there's a final reveal of the faint aroma of frankincense. The blend may sound simple but, believe me, the result is refreshingly honest.

The Lemon Candle is available from the Tessa Williams website at priced at £35, and is also available as a cologne. [Sample provided by Tessa Williams]

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