Sunday, June 19, 2011

A love affair: me and my scented candles

It’s a stormy, cold day as I type, but the addition of a Cire Trudon candle – Ernesto, to be exact – burning in lounge makes a long Sunday afternoon indoors that much brighter. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I have a veritable fetish for scented candles, and they are the perfect accompaniment to winter days and nights spent indoors. I have a “wardrobe” of candles that I like to choose from, dependant on mood and time of day, and am constantly on the hunt for new additions when I’m walking Ponsonby Road.
WORLDbeauty stocks one of my absolute favourite ranges, the aforementioned Cire Trudon collection. France’s oldest manufacturer of candles – they were burned by Napoleon and Marie Antoinette – Cire Trudon candles are crafted using the highest quality vegetable wax poured into beautiful handmade glass, making them biodegradable, allergen free and free of pesticides as far back as 1643! They also have an incredible 80-hour burn time, and come in a variety of alluring scents. I’ve been a raving fan of their ‘Ernesto’ candle for some time now, inspired by the famous Cuban revolutionary of the same name. According to the accompanying paraphernalia (which is gorgeous too, by the way) it’s inspired by the following scene: “…In a hotel of Havana, sizzling under the stubborn sun of the Revolution, fierce overtones of leather and tobacco meddle with resolution the waxy silence of wood. Breaking out of the cool dimness, sly grimaces emerge, framed by the smoke of cigars and the barrels of guns….” In a word: DELICIOUS.
Down the road at Superette you can pick up Archipelago soy candles, with top sellers like Sweet Pea, Peony, Paper White and Jasmine just begging to be lit in a room near you. The newest addition to the range is the delicate Honeysuckle, which is perfect for any time of the year if you’re a fan of florals.
Mecca Cosmetica is where you’ll find the internationally celebrated Diptyque range from Paris, another HUGE favourite of mine. Diptyque candles have become amongst the most coveted in the world, whilst their fragrances are modern-day cult classics. Each fragrance expresses a moment, an exquisite place: a field in Provence in summer, a warm evening with the family at home, a garden in full bloom … there is definitely a scent for everyone. Mecca also have US company Anthousa’s candles in store - an in-house essential of the famous and the fashionable, from Hollywood to the Hamptons – and a selection from Malibu’s Kai, which was inspired by childhood holidays in Hawaii.
Last up you can’t go past the line up of beautiful candles from Ecoya at Redcurrent, which are affordable, eco luxe at its finest. My favourite is Vanilla Bean – warm, dense and almost good enough to eat! Vanilla is constantly at the top of the list when it comes to the world’s most popular fragrances with good reason. In 1991, the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York tested the effects of five fragrances on 85 patients undergoing an MRI scan. Of the fragrances tested, a vanilla-like aroma, heliotropin, was rated the most relaxing. Patients exposed to the heliotropin reported 63 per cent less anxiety and claustrophobia than those were not exposed to fragrance. The study prompted Sloan-Kettering to include vanilla fragrances as a standard part of an MRI!

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