Christmas enters my subconscious via the nose. I bet big shops wish it were otherwise, that twinkly lights and signs telling us Black Friday is almost upon us will perform an act of alchemy, throwing a veil of Christmas across murky November and magically making everything festive, but it doesn’t. Not really. Christmas starts with scent: it is the first sprinkling of cinnamon on a cappuccino. It is wafts of lemon and ginger and marzipan. It is frankincense, and incense. It is cloves stuffed into oranges and the pine of a Christmas tree (it is for this reason that I continue in my quite frankly abhorrent purchasing of real Christmas trees; the smell, it is my family sitting around the fire flushed with warmth and full of food).
So, no, Bond Street. You didn’t make me feel Christmassy – these guys did. Deploy them if you’re not quite feeling in the spirit yet, preferably with a side of Last Christmas; Christmas songs are second only to Christmas scents…
ROJA DOVE CHRISTMAS CANDLE / My Austrian mother sniffed this yesterday and exclaimed ‘that smells exactly like the church I used to go to when we were younger at Christmas!’ Having visited the yellow church in the snow, I’m with her on this – the first thing you pick up when you smell Roja’s candle is ecclesiastical favourite frankincense. But keep smelling, and other traditionally seasonal scents will start to reveal themselves: toffee, gingerbread, fir needles, pine and leather all dance around under the first hit of scent. I’d also like to add my hearty appreciation of the beautiful festive – though not gaudy in the slightest – candle jar.
Willow & Honey Spiced Orange Soy Wax Candle / A lighter affair, this one is, despite the orange being underpinned with Christmas favourites clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. Were I to assign candles to rooms, I’d say Roja’s is a communal candle that’ll cosy up a sitting room, while this Willow & Honey effort would be ideal next to a bed or in an office (where I burn mine). Willow & Honey have also patented a wooden wick, which omits a satisfying crackle as it burns – as a fireplace-less city dweller, this brought immense joy.
Philosophy Vanilla Bean & Nutmeg Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath / A cheaper thrill that will nonetheless recall Christmas, this really is sugar and spice and all things nice.
Tisserand Winter Warming Vaporising Oil / A lazy Christmas-ers dream, just sprinkle this around your house to fill the air with eucalyptus, clove and rosemary.
Tisserand Seasonal Joy Scented Candle / Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and orange make this a favourite over here. The tin in which it comes which makes it perfect for travel or to add to a stocking.