Noth­ing says Christ­mas like a scented can­dle, but are there ways to make yours work harder?

Good Housekeeping (UK) - - Contents -

Set the scene with scented candles

What will your scented can­dle tally be this Christ­mas? Given, re­ceived, maybe even burnt? If you’re any­thing like us, not in­con­sid­er­able. But here’s the thing – how does your home ac­tu­ally smell? If sales of fra­granced wax are on the up (John Lewis & Part­ners alone re­ports a surge in de­mand over the past year, es­pe­cially for lux­ury brands) and the of­fer­ings ever more en­tic­ing (Com­mod­ity at Space NK and Mai­son Chris­tian Dior are chic new launches we’ve loved in 2018), we should all float through the year in a de­li­cious cloud of fig and san­dal­wood.

How­ever, while scent­ing the odd cor­ner of a room is one thing, fill­ing your en­tire home with fra­grance – and mak­ing it last – is an­other. So what’s the se­cret?

‘Fra­grance rises, so place your candles lower down and you’ll smell them sooner – es­pe­cially in large rooms with high ceil­ings, which can be hard to fill with scent,’ says can­dle guru Jo Malone, founder of Jo Loves. ‘Try the bot­tom of an un­lit grate or fire­place, to trap the fra­grance and stop it from waft­ing away.’

To in­fuse a whole house with scent, place large candles at the foot of a stair­case with glass can­dle cylin­ders over the top to throw fra­grance even higher (we like LSA In­ter­na­tional Oak Can­dle Holder and Glass Shade, £65). Un­der­per­form­ing candles work best in the small­est room of the house – usu­ally the loo – where they’ll fill the space. ‘If you’re ex­pect­ing guests, light candles an hour be­fore they ar­rive, but put them out af­ter a cou­ple of hours to pre­vent the wick flop­ping to one side,’ says Jo. Also let sur­faces melt out to the sides of the jar be­fore blowing them out to en­sure they burn evenly the next time you light them, and trim wicks to around 5mm be­tween burns to pre­vent smok­ing (ded­i­cated trim­mers are eas­ier to use than scis­sors – try The White Com­pany Wick Trim­mer, £15). Fi­nally, keep the

Am­ber, woods and rich blooms linger for longer

in­side of their jars look­ing pretty with kitchen towel and a dab of wash­ing-up liquid, says Jo.

As for the scents them­selves, heav­ier notes linger for longer – think am­ber, woods and rich blooms, such as jas­mine and tuberose. ‘Cit­rus and lighter flo­ral notes need more warmth in the air to bring them out, so save those for spring,’ says Jo.

To seal the deal, sup­ple­ment candles with room sprays (mist cur­tains, cush­ions and bed­li­nen) and reed dif­fusers (Ur­ban Apothe­cary Reed Dif­fusers, £35, smell out of this world – try Oudh Gera­nium or Ori­en­tal Noir). Keep their scent cir­cu­lat­ing by plac­ing them in open spa­ces rather than in cor­ners, and turn a few sticks ev­ery day – never the whole bunch at once, or the liquid will evap­o­rate too quickly.

Of course, a va­ri­ety of candles is best for so­cial oc­ca­sions. ‘Cre­ate, change, keep it lively,’ says Lau­rent De­la­fon, CEO of United Per­fumes. For an in­ti­mate win­ter gath­er­ing, try candles with smoky or woody notes. Flo­ral Street Fire­place Can­dle, £28, is the per­fect dupe for a log fire, while JOGB Liv­ing Mojo Sen­sual Can­dle, £65, is rich with in­cense. For a sparkling party, use lots of flo­ral scents to mimic cut blooms (No 22 Cen­tre­piece Scented Can­dle, £40, is all lush white petals and freshly snapped stems). But to soothe sore heads the next day, it’s back to the log fires or some­thing soft – Rachel Vosper 1 Wick Can­dle in French Laven­der, £30, is com­fort­ing, and the jar’s beau­ti­ful.

Meal­times re­quire a par­tic­u­larly sen­si­tive ap­proach. ‘Sub­tle herbal or spicy scents work well with most foods, but any­thing too strong will dis­tract the nose from the meal, so light your candles ear­lier in the evening and put them out just be­fore your guests ar­rive,’ says Lau­rent. Once blown out, re­place with un­scented ta­pers and tea lights for at­mos­phere, then do as Jo Malone does and bring in a few minia­ture scented candles with pud­ding to re­fresh the mood and to get rid of foodie odours.

But how­ever you use your candles, make sure you do ac­tu­ally use them. With an im­pend­ing Christ­mas set to boost your tally, there’s no rea­son to save for never.

Rachel Vosper 1 Wick Can­dle, £30. Comes in an ar­ray of sooth­ing fra­grances and el­e­gant jars JOGB Liv­ing MOJO Sen­sual Can­dle, £65. A rich and wel­com­ing blend No 22 Cen­tre­piece Scented Can­dle, £40. An arm­ful of freshly cut white blooms

Molton Brown Mud­dled Plum Sin­gle Wick Can­dle, £42. A fes­tive punchin­spired blend of plum, rum and honey Dip­tyque Limited Edi­tion Amande Exquise Can­dle, £53. Marzi­pan notes of al­mond and tonka bean Flo­ral Street Fire­place Can­dle, £28. Warm­ing birch and Tus­can leather bright­ened with rasp­berry

John Lewis & Part­ners Win­ter Spice Am­ber Can­dle, £18. The store’s best­selling Christ­mas scent, this year in glowing am­ber liv­ery

Rit­u­als The Rit­ual Of Yalda Can­dle, £19.50. In­spired by fes­tiv­i­ties in an­cient Per­sia, with pome­gran­ate and wa­ter­melon

Crab­tree & Evelyn Noël Poured Can­dle, £42. Fir, cit­rus peel and mulled wine spices say in­stant Christ­mas

Crab­tree & Evelyn Sup­per Club Can­dle, £42. Light herbal notes make this an ideal din­ner com­pan­ion

Neom Limited Edi­tion Pre­cious Mo­ment 3 Wick Can­dle, £45. Up­lift­ing ginger, cit­rus and ve­tiver help to counter the post-lunch slump Cire Trudon Odeurs d’egypte Amon Clas­sic Can­dle, £78. A hyp­notic fra­grance com­bin­ing in­cense and cedar­wood

Elemis Joy­ful Glow Can­dle, £27.50. Soft and com­fort­ing vanilla, orange and cin­na­mon

Jo Loves Christ­mas A Lay­ered Can­dle, £80. A trio of lay­ers takes you from pine nee­dles to log fires via fruit and spice

Cow­shed Win­ter Can­dle, £38. A flo­ral take on fes­tive, with rose, ylang ylang, cin­na­mon and clove

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