I have a weakness for scented candles, and this summer brings many temptations. L’Artisan Parfumeur recently extended its candle collection (£58 for 250g), offering scents including jasmine (Souffle de Jasmin), wisteria (Sous La Glycine) and Turkish delight (Voyage à Constantinople). The scent of these candles lingers in the air and they burn cleanly, without smoke or soot build-up. This year, I’m lighting Brise de Mimosa whenever I crave the sun. This is redolent of mimosa branches, violet leaves and jasmine; the aroma of mimosa is a distinctive but delicate scent and difficult to capture. Yet, Brise de Mimosa accomplishes this technical task well, and it only takes a few minutes for my room to be filled with the scents of the Côte d’Azur.
If not mimosa, then I’ll choose to festoon my room with garlands of violets by lighting Diptyque’s Violette (£47 for 190g), an airy fragrance reminiscent of fresh flowers, with a hint of rose and raspberry. Unlike many violets, it’s not an overly sweet scent and it diffuses well.
Midi Eternel (€45 for 6.5oz without lid, €85 with lid), created by Sulékó, a Paris-based niche perfume house, is another elegant option. Sulékó draws upon French perfume traditions and the Slavic heritage of its perfumer founder Anastasia Sokolow. Its fragrance collection, for instance, is inspired by her childhood memories of Russian and Slavic fairytales, but this candle is Sokolow’s tribute to the south of France and its heady aromas. Midi Eternel’s main accent is on the green notes, with a touch of myrtle, rosemary and pine needles for brightness. Its salty nuance becomes obvious the longer the candle burns, evoking the scents of driftwood and sea breezes. This is a rejuvenating, crisp fragrance, perfect for those who prefer their candle aromas unsweetened.
Byredo’s Tree House (£54 for 240g) is similarly dry and bracing. The main accord is composed of cedarwood, sandalwood and hay, with spice and myrrh adding darker, warmer layers. Inspired by Japanese treehouse master Takashi Kobayashi and his many creations, the candle fragrance successfully captures the aromas of polished wood. Even after the candle is snuffed out, the peppery, balsamic scent floats in the air, evoking glistening wood shavings in different shades of amber.
And scented candle lovers, take note: to make any candle release its scent evenly, keep it lit for no longer than two hours at a time and trim the wick each time you use it. This way, it will burn cleanly and keep its scent until the last drop of wax.
Victoria Frolova has been writing her perfume blog boisdejasmin.com since 2005. Her explorations of fragrance touch upon all elements that make this subject rich and complex: science, art, literature, history and culture. Frolova is a recipient of three prestigious Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards for Editorial Excellence and, since receiving her professional perfumery training, has also been working as a fragrance consultant and researcher.