Monday 1 April 2024


The Belmondo and Piaf candles from Ma Lumiere
Certain seasons suit certain products, but candles seem to transcend them all. Whether scenting your home, your wedding, or even an outside soirée, the perfect candle can set both the mood and the atmosphere. The candle industry is one that saw a massive boom during the Covid years, with many kitchen-top companies arriving and disappearing with the same speed, but there are a few artisan brands that are still flourishing. In a competitive market, a company needs to offer something unique. That’s exactly what Ma Lumière have done with its Artiste Collection, and the exquisite results are fantastically affordable.

The candle industry can almost be split into two parts - the first creates their own bespoke fragrances while the second buys the fragrance oil from a wholesaler. The difficulty happens when the second group essentially create the simplest candle possible, both packaging and labelling, and then sell it at a price that matches the first group. It’s an unfair advantage. For a company that falls into that second slice to truly succeed, they need to invest in the jars, the boxes, the branding, because it’s the only way that customers will remain loyal when the fragrance is available elsewhere.

The Piaf candle from Ma Lumiere
Ma Lumière
was founded in 2019 by Guillaume Pochon. Originally from Normandy in France, Guillaume moved to the UK fourteen years ago and settled in Manchester. He told me, “I had always loved candles, and one day decided to order a candle making kit and have a go for fun. I absolutely loved it, and decided to explore further the world of home fragrance. This got me even more excited, and so I decided to create my own brand… and launched my business from my kitchen!” The steady success of Ma Lumière has seen the company move to a new industrial space, and its future definitely looks rosy.

Ma Lumière is a candle company that currently purchases its fragrance oils, although there are plans to create some exclusive scents in the pipeline. However, Guillaume knew that his candle brand needed to stand out from the others. So, alongside his classic black range, he introduced the Artiste Collection. It pays tribute to his French heritage by celebrating the sensuality of Bardot, the chivalry of Belmondo, the floral imagination of Monet, and the Parisian lifestyle of Piaf. Each candle comes in an illustrated jar, drawn by Guillaume, which tells the story of the subject and which can be repurposed when the candle is finished. So, which were my favourites?

The Belmondo candle from Ma Lumiere
celebrates the award-wining French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo. A mainstay of thriller movies, he’s realised by a wonderfully smoky and leathery fragrance. Warm tobacco notes mix with a hit of citrus but, as a nod to the darker film themes, a touch of rum hints at a dangerous rendezvous. There’s an edgy dart of clove and lavender in the fragrance as well, perhaps a hint at those vintage colognes, before the earthy and dry combination of moss and patchouli once again brings you back to half-light meetings that usually spell trouble. This candle is ideal for those wanting a fragrance that echoes wooden floors and mystery.

Piaf is a name that is instantly recognisable as the voice of Paris. From La Vie en Rose to Hymne A L'Amour, you’re transported to the perfumed streets with notes of rose, lily and plum - a decadent blend from a decadent time, and one that Piaf would have walked through on the Champs-Elysées. However, as a nod to Piaf’s famous cabaret venues, a clever pairing of dry cedarwood with luxurious sandalwood, and supporting patchouli, displays the journey from street singer to concert hall legend. There are many rose candles, but Piaf from Ma Lumière contains an emotional weight that makes this fragrance a stand-out.

The Artiste Collection is available from the Ma Lumière website at priced at £35 for 280g. There is also a 10% discount with the code WELCOME10. [Samples provided by Ma Lumière]

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