It’s December the 4th, and thanks to a punishing work schedule, my only nod to Christmas thus far has been enormous quantities of champers quaffed out of golden coupes with friends yesterday, four Esthechoc-shaped holes in my ‘beauty chocolate’ calendar, and a naked fir tree nestled into the corner of my sitting room, kindly delivered by a man from Marylebone who seemed perfectly at ease with my myriad questions about the needle placement, thickness of arms, bushiness of base, and the company’s replanting policy.
December descended, Christmas well underway, and only those puny efforts made in an attempt to feel festive, I’m now on a mission to usher the spirit into my house, pronto, and have as per usual turned to scent to direct my mood.
This time, I’m not burning incense (the only reeds I have are distinctly summery of scent), nor am I baking Christmas kuchen (that’s mum’s domain), but am instead burning candles – a strategy that seems to be serving the purpose very well indeed; as the Charles Farris 3-wick flickers next to my screen, it’s wafting out the smell of spicy cloves tempered by mint, making me feel more in the spirit of the season – and more regal. Yes, Charles Farris is the chandler to the queen, so the very same aroma meeting my nose may well be currently filling her Majesty’s nostrils with scent too. This makes me feel very grand, which regular readers may recognise as one of my preferred feelings.
Here are others I rate from this year’s Christmas candle crop //
The Bright Ones / Neither Sassy by Amouage nor Hope & Joy by Miller Harris smell traditionally Christmassy – and this is a strength of theirs. If you like to light up in the bathroom or bedroom, chances are you want something that looks joyous with festive note, but something that is slightly lighter in character. These are the ones – the Amouage number is a floral scent grounded in wintery smoke and warming vanilla that would be a delight burned next to the bath, while the fresh and figgy Miller Harris has green pine and fir rounding out the base, making it perfect for the bedroom.
The Sets / I suggest these as much as gift ideas (as I wrote last year, I believe candles to be perfect gifts) as for scattering about the house. Plenty of glorious sets are on the market this year, but two stand out of the crowd: Rathbornes Luxury Travel Gift Set, that contains three different scents that are each moreish, and Molton Brown Festive Adorned Candle Set, each of which vied for a spot on my dressing table (the frankincense one won).
The Traditional Ones / Want to go for full on Christmas? Get Espa’s Winter Pine Candle for a shot of pine mingled with a blend of spices reminiscent of baking – I smell cinnamon fizzing off the top of this one – or Jo Malone Incense and Embers if you long to sit by the fireplace around this time of year but – like me – have a home that is woefully bereft of one.
The Ultimate / If you’re after a treat, I’d get the Charles Farris British Expedition Signature Three Wick Candle. It smells festive, sure, but it’s also enormously uplifting, comes in a pleasingly hygge (yes, I’m all aboard the hygge zeitgeist) textured glass, and – as previously mentioned – may make you feel a little more royal.