Monday, October 6, 2014

3 of the BEST... White Flower Candles

I am a candle lover, which means that while they're not strictly skincare relevant (ok, so not at all) I'm going to have to sneak a bit of candle-ing onto my blog, especially as they've been doing overtime this week, in my attempts to combat too much time in bed.

I think I've already mentioned my weird dislike of food-y scents in non-edible items. Basically, I don't like products that smell too much like food. Vanilla is borderline for me, and if there's chocolate, cookie or doughnut in the title of a bath or body product, I'm heading for the door.

So, I've amassed a great collection of candles which fall into one of two categories: dark spicy and woody, or crisp and floral. On any given day, my bedroom will either smell like your father's library, or your grandmother's greenhouse.

Now that springtime is peeping around the corner, I'm favouring the latter, and nothing does it for me quite like a crisp 'white flower' candle. Be it Gardenia, Magnolia Champaca, Tuberose or Neroli, I'm a fan of a good white flower. Don't be surprised if you see me lingering in a florists, or sniffing something over your fence, flowers are my love and hayfever is my kryptonite.

But alas! I digress! Given that I love the flowers themselves, I can be very harsh on people who try to recreate those moments in candle form, but I've found some winners, which I absolutely adore.

1. Voluspa Japonica Champaca Bloom & Fern

This is my current favourite. I love Voluspa candles because they don't smell like anything else on the market. Often I get candle fatigue in stores, because every single brand is doing the same four or five scents or claiming to do different scents but they all somehow smell like coconut.

Voluspa do great things. I love their Baltic Amber and Santiago Huckleberry, and now my obsession has continued to the Champaca Bloom & Fern candle, doesn't smell like any other candle on the market. Strong and very, very floral with a powdery finish.

I also love the Voluspa packaging. The embossed glass of their smaller candles is beautiful, and very different to a typical glass cylinder, which I really like. I'd never had a Voluspa candle in a tin before, and I've had mixed observations. Really like the cute patterned tin and the low profile, with the lid on it sits very inconspicuously which is brilliant if space on your desk is at a premium, you can just wack it in a drawer no problems.

Interestingly my boyfriend doesn't like this candle, as once it's burning, it quickly becomes a tin full of hot liquid, which terrifies him. Poor little thing. However, as the owner of the candle, I like the tin idea- the three wicks give a very even burn, and in liquified form it distributes scent beautifully.

Beware this is a strong floral scent, so try before you buy, and a safety watch when its liquified, things could get nasty if it topples over.

This candle and I go back a long way. I was housesitting a friend's house, and fell in love with it, not just the scent, but the classy frosted glass, and wide vessel. Then I went out and bought one for myself, in the large size, which I just adored. Track forward to my birthday, the same friend bought me the small one, which was brilliant timing, as my large one was nearly finished!

Long story short, I loved the big one so much it's sadly all finished (and now a very cute house for my whiteboard markers) so this skinny one is making do in the interim. 

This is no doubt a crowdpleaser scent, the vanilla is soft and gentle, while the neroli adds some spice. It's different without being arresting, and sweet without being sickly. Whenever I've burnt it, people have walked into my home and noticed it instantly, and wanted one themselves.

I love the nice thick frosted glass packaging here, it doesn't overheat, and feels the safest of all my candles. Also, the solid wooden-looking lid, which I conveniently left out of the photo, makes a great stand for your candle, which will prevent any marking from the bottom of the candle. I love a well designed packaging feature like that. 

These are a very decent price for a candle as well, around $29 for the big ones. To be honest, I don't love all the scents from Circa Home, and find some of them stray into the sickly sweet or overly coconutty, but this one is an absolute winner. 

First and foremost, let me tell you, if you're looking for a candle that smells exactly like a real gardenia, you're going to struggle. The real peppery-sharpness of a gardenia is almost impossible to mimic, or to my knowledge anyway (feel free to chime in with good gardenia candles).

However, I think this candle stands alone as a beautiful scent. It's a softer edge than a real gardenia, with an almost coconutty undertone. These candles spread a scent gorgeously, and I can often smell the gentle gardenia scent from a few rooms away.

Packaging wise, it's your typical glass candle. Simple, beautiful label and packaging, not going to clash with anything in your room, plus they come with a lovely white box of matches which looks far classier than the scraggly box of Redheads I keep in the drawer. 

If you're looking for an ecologically minded, Australian based candle company, Palm Beach Collection delivers. They don't do a huge range of scents, but each one is well crafted, and smells beautiful, a lovely gift or a great bedside-table candle for yourself! 

That's all from me folks, I think I've written far too much already, even though I could go on and on- love a good candle! What are your current favourites? And has anyone found the perfect gardenia yet? 

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