Friday, February 27, 2009

The Main Event Episode 20 Le Cherche Midi

Le Cherche Midi started over 20 years ago on the left bank of Paris on the Rue du Cherche Midi. The inspiration for the company was to create fragrances that help you discover your "found moments". In 2006, Nathan Motylinski and Alex Mehfar met the original founders of Le Cherche Midi in Takashimaya, in NYC. The two were so taken by the company that they left their jobs in finance to recreate and re-brand Le Cherche Midi.

Nathan & Alex set out to create fragrances that could be used for the home or the body. They distributed 50 color samples to world-renowned perfumers to create a fragrance using just the color as their inspiration. From the 50 submissions, the selected their 6 favorite scents (including the original fragrance) to create the new Le Cherche Midi collection. Since Le Cherche Midi wants the customer to decide what the fragrance means to them, each fragrances is only named by the number that was associated with the color for the selected fragrance.

01 is the signature scent and has notes of lemon, bergamot, lavender and night blooming jasmine. 05 is a summery scent with notes of of fresh cut grass, sun struck pine and clean laundry. 09 is a nice cozy scent with notes of soft amber, vanilla absolute and musk. 14 is a refreshing scent with notes of Mandarin blossoms and leaves, black currant and rose buds. 20 has earthy woods (cedar and sandalwood) combined with black pepper and vetiver. 21 is a nice December scent with notes of saffron flower, cardamom, and rich leather. Each candle has a "lid" that is covered in silk in the chosen color and is packaged in a wood box that is lined with the same silk.

Le Cherche Midi also partnered with fashion team Costello Tagliapietra to create a limited edition candle. CT01 has notes of notes of balsam fir, sueded wood, vetyver and crushed sage and is one of my favorite tree fragrances in our whole store. The box and lid is lined with Costello Tagliapietra's signature brown jersey cotton.

Le Cherche Midi recently launched a scent cube where the wooden top soaks up the fragrance to diffuse the scent without spilling or the need for reeds. The fragrances are also available in a fragrance mist that can be used as a room or body spray. All of the Le Cherche Midi scents are comprised of top, middle and base notes for complex fragrances that work well for both home and body.

Le Cherche Midi was a finalist for the 2008 Fifi Awards for Interior Scent and won the 2008 Best Off Main Awards for Most Luxurious Candle Line and Best Gift over $50.

Question of the Day: Have you ever been to Paris, and if so, did it rain?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Main Event Episode 19 Votivo

In this episode we give a brief overview on Votivo candles, diffusers, incense, hand soap and hand lotion. We also announce three new fragrances from Votivo: Fresh Tomato Leaf, Tuberosa and Rosemary Grapefruit.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite Votivo fragrance? Also, if there are any Votivo products or scents that you can not find on our website that you are interested in, please let us know!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Main Event Episode 18 NEST Fragrances

In August of 2008 Laura Slatkin launched her own candle line, Nest Fragrances. She didn't want the line to be know for just one scent, she wanted all of the fragrances in the collection to be a success:

"Typically, home fragrance collections have one superior scent. I have spent three years creating twelve outstanding fragrances. I want to be known for all twelve, not just one." -Laura Slatkin

The collection includes 12 fantastic fragrances as well as the famed Slatkin Holiday candle. The Classic Collection includes Bamboo, Moroccan Amber, Periwinkle Hyacinth, Mahogany, Pink Jasmine, Grapefruit, Orange Blossom, Wasabi Pear, Beeswax & Whipped Cream, Freesia Kiwi, Wild Oats & Bourbon and Moss & Mint. Each candle is a generous 8.1oz and lasts approximately 50 hours. The Holiday Votive Gift Set includes a .95oz votive in each of the fragrances plus the holiday fragrance for 13 votives in total.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Main Event Episode 17 Trapp Diffusers

Trapp recently launched new fragrance diffusers. We currently have the Trapp Orange/Vanilla, Wild Currant and Bob's Flower Shoppe diffusers in stock. The following fragrances by Trapp are now available in reed diffusers: Fresh Cut Tuberose, Lemongrass Verbena, Mediterranean Fig, Water, Lavender de Provence, Sexy Cinnamon and Jasmine Gardenia. If you are interested in any other fragrances that we do not currently stock, please email or call us at 1-866-786-1043 and we'd be happy to order it for you. The diffuser kit includes a frosted vase, 8oz bottle of fragrnace oil and reeds for $43.

The new Trapp diffusers last approximately 6 months and refills with reeds are available for $35 each.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Main Event Episode 16 Red Flower

Today we received a beautiful sample pack from Red Flower. Red Flower products are based on rituals. With their candles, Red Flower encourages you to take time, sit down, relax, light a candle, sip some tea and just breathe. Enjoy the moment. The Red Flower Japan body line is based on a Japanese cleansing regimen that has been perfect by centuries of attention to the sensual and thorough art of caring for the body. "Founded on the principle of stimulating blood flow through the body by blending layers of exceptional ingredients and pure scents deeply into the skin. Inspired by the sensual and thorough art of caring for the body developed and perfected in Japan. Created to release the flow of vital energy in the body."

There are 6 key steps in the ritual and a product to go along with each phase.
1. Begin by washing with the Yuzu Mimosa Sea Algea Wash to purify and hydrate.
2. Gently scrub with the Ohana Gingergrass Bamboo Scrub to stimulate blood flow, energize and firm.
3. Softly buff with the Wild Cherry Blossom Rice buff to nourish and soften.
4. Generously mist with Rose Camellia Plum Soft-Water Mist to anti-oxidize, revive, replenish and reduce the effects of harsh water.
5. Warm the body with Kinmoxei Wild Lime Silk Oil to increase blood flow, create glow and deeply scent.
6. Soften with Plum Blossom Silk Cream to seal and scent.

Occasionally soak in the Hinoki Mint Mineral Bath Soak to draw water's energy into the skin.

Every ingredient used in Red Flower products are hand selected for the healing and nurturing elements. In their Japan bath and body line, they use eleven flower oils, fruit essences and earth-rich elements to give each product enhanced therapeutic effects and fragrance.

Red Flower also sent a gorgeous organic Cherry Blossom Diffuser. The decanter is beautiful and is made of Spanish recycled glass. The palm wood stems diffuse the blend of wild cherry blossom, Bulgarian rose buds and ripe cherries. The scent is light and lively but not timid. It's very fresh and perfect for spring.

We'll try these products over the weekend and report back. If you've ever used any of the Red Flower products, please let us know. We'd love to hear your feedback.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Main Event Episode 15 DayNa Decker Botanika Collection

DayNa Decker is dedicated to creating the highest quality, toxic free, sustainable, fashion forward products available. The Botanika chandels use a wax blend of various natural resins and oils. These candles contain 10-15% pure essential oils and complex fragrance essences. Each chandel has a wide, EcoWood wick that creates a crackling effect when burning.

The Botanika Collection offers the following fragrances:

Leila (our best selling): grapefruit, bergamot, dewberry, lemon flower, amber musk

Yasmin: night blooming jasmine, lotus, rose, White woods, sheer musk

Zelia: white lotus, cypress, incense, sweet jasmine, musk, bourbon vanilla

Bacara: fig leaf, freesia, black rose, currant, vetiver, vanilla musk

Manzanita: grapefruit, pink pepper, geranium leaves, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver

Bardou: pink peppercorn, fresh greens, wild rose, pink peony, cardamom, redwood

The 6oz chandel lasts approximately 45-50 hours and retails for $54. The 3oz chandel lasts approximately 25 hours and retails for $32.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Main Event Episode 14 Belle Fleur

In this episode we open a mystery box from Belle Fleur. In 2006, mother & daughter team, Meredith & Marilyn, launched their sumptuous collection of floral inspired home fragrance products. Combining Meredith's love for texture, color and composition through her studies in fashion at Parsons, and Marilyn's 13 years of experience in the flower business, the two created a line that is both refined and romantic.

The Belle Fleur Home fragrance line is comprised of two main collections, the Exotic Garden Collection and the Exotic Wood Collection. While Meredith & Marylin have an affinity for everything floral, they have been able to create a collection based on wood scents that rivals many. The floral collection includes Mayan Tuberose (their signature scent), Orange Blossom Pomegranate, White Orchid Tea and Jasmine Verbena. The wood collection includes Cacao Tabaq, Bergamot Cedar, Kyara Clove, Figue Noir and Neroli Pine.

Belle Fleur candles are made with highly refined paraffin wax and they last 45 hours. The packaging is beautiful and comes complete with a pack of matches for a retail price of $48. Belle Fleur also creates room sprays and gift sets. We conducted an initial burn test in our store the day we opened the package. We'll conduct a second burn test at home and report back with the results.

If you have ever tried a Belle Fleur candle or have any feedback, please provide your comments below. We'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Main Event Episode 13 k. hall Overview

k. hall is one of our favorite lines. Imagine a gorgeous farm house, in the middle of the country, with clear blue skies, sunshine, slight breeze, clothes drying on the line and babies running around in diapers - that is how pure and wholesome k. hall is. (They actually just adopted twins in need of a good home - doesn't get more wholesome than that.)

k. hall products are based in essential oils so the scents are simple, pure and natural. Milk is their best selling scent, but they are all fantastic. The diffusers last approximately 6 months and are the strongest scented diffusers that we currently sell. The candles are 100% vegetable wax and they last approximately 60 hours. k. hall makes very large, triple-milled bar soap that is made with shea butter and olive oil. It's very moisturizing but washes off clean with no filmy residue. The sisal soap bag fits the bar soap perfectly and works well to exfoliate without being scratchy. k. hall just launched a new soap that is egg-shaped with flecks of coffee grounds which makes is slightly exfoliating. The sea sponges are real, from the sea, and they get very soft and soggy with water in the bath or shower.

We're hoping to get their hand soap and lotion, as well as their new Cotton line, in stock soon. Please let us know if you have a favorite k. hall product or scent!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Main Event Episode 12 Mystery Box Black & White Co.

In this episode we open a mystery box from Black & White Co. Please welcome our special guest host, our daughter, Isabella.

Black & White Co. has been making hand-poured candles in Saint Louis, Missouri since 2005. The candles are made with a refined paraffin blended with soy wax and each candle lasts approximately 70 hours. The candles are scented with a blend of essential oils and fragrance oils. They offer over 30 different scents to choose from such as Martini, which has lemon, lime, olive leaves and verbena. The packaging is attractive and the candles are poured in very fine quality glass. It looks like the candles use a wick with a zinc core for stability.

While the candle is nice, we felt that the candle, the scent and the packaging didn't all mesh well together. The packaging is refined but the scents are more fun. We also felt that the candle would get lost in our large selection as there wasn't any one thing, or an overall presence, that really stood out for us.

For more information on Black & White Co. candles, and to find a retailer near you, please visit

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Main Event Episode 11 elizabeth W

This is another Mystery Box episode where we open a package from elizabeth W. Sorry, the video cuts out in the last couple of seconds.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Main Event Episode 10 Anthousa de Gournay Diffuser

Anthousa just launched a new diffuser fragrance, Jardinieres & Citrus Trees. The scent was inspired by the hand painted wallpaper by de Gourney of London. Touched by the elegance of one particular piece of original art, Jardinieres and Citrus Trees, Anthousa created this Limited Edition signature fragrance.

Jardinieres & Citrus Trees is a blend of Italian Mandarin, Sicilian Tangerine and Valencia Orange with subtle hints of Mountain Fir, Petitgrain, Peppermint and Lemon Leaves. The fragrance is grounded with dry notes of Cedarwood, Woodland Moss and White Musk. The result is an earthy and graceful citrus blend.

This is a limited editon fragrance.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Main Event Episode 9 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Valentine's Day is just a couple of days away, so time is running out to order something special for your special someone. Here are just a couple of great ideas:

Voluspa Japanese Plum Bloom candles are available in three sizes: the 80hr 3-wick tin, a 45hr 5oz jar and an 85hr 10oz candlepot. This fabulous blend of plum blossom and ripe plum fruit is also available in a diffuser that lasts approximately 6 months. The wax color is gorgeous and Voluspa always creates stunning packaging.

Aromatherapy Interventions has a wonderful candle available for Valentine's Day called "Arousal". According to the packaging, "Essence of jasmine is a proven aphrodisiac, inducing (and seducing) sensuality and sexuality for centuries. Even the romantically challenged will have trouble screwing up the mood."

DayNa Decker launched their new Bardou fragrance last fall. Bardou combines pink peppercorm, fresh greens, wild rose, pink peony, cardamom and redwood. This candle has a strong rose fragrance, but it's not overly sweet.

Red Flower is one of our favorite lines for a true flower fragrance. Their Moroccan Rose is a natural, slightly spicy rose, and it's not perfumy at all. Red Flower mainly use essential oils for their fragrances which makes the room smell like a real bouquet of flowers.

Riguad's Santifolia candle is a classic rose fragrance with luxurious, pink wax.

The Me So Thorny candle by A Scent of Scandal is one of our favorite fun gifts in the store. This candle is made with 100% soy wax and has a very strong rose scent.

As always, please call us at 1-866-786-1043 if you need assistance in choosing the right gift. We're also available during the day at our Cyber Store to show you products and answer your questions.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Main Event Episode 8 Mystery Box

In this episode we open a mystery box from Bougie Therapy. Yonka Paris was contracted to create the fragrances and partner with this new candle line. The candles are 100% natural soy wax with 100% organic essential oils. The three fragrances are Rose-Lavender-Rosemary, Ylang Ylang-Grapefruit-Thyme and Blue Chamomile-Neroli-Petigrain. The candles have a 75 hour burn time.

We did a burn test on the Rose-Lavender-Rosemary candle in the shop. It burned nicely, but slightly tunneled, which is surprising for soy wax since it is such a soft wax and typically liquefies quickly. We burned the candle for about 8 hours in the shop and didn't need to trim the wick to prevent soot or smoke, which was impressive. There was a soft scent, not strong enough to compete with everything going on in our shop, so we'll try it again at home in a more natural environment. The container does not seem to illuminate, but we'll be able to see that better at home.

The Ylang Ylang-Grapefruit-Thyme candle had a scent reminiscent of Keds sneaker soles. Perhaps that's the Ylang Ylang coming though. The grapefruit and thyme weren't strong enough to pick up, which is unfortunate, since those are such fantastic scents. We'll have to try this one at home to see how the scent evolves as it burns.

The Blue Chamomile-Neroli-Petigrain also had an unusual fragrance. We'll try this one at home as well.

Of the three fragrances, we think the Rose-Lavender-Rosemary has the most "marketable" scent with the best appeal to the everyday consumer. The other scents might be better suited to a more discerning customer that has a penchant for essential oils.

The packaging is nice and sturdy and there are matches included in the box. We're a little concerned about the candle melting during shipping in the hot summer months since it lays on its side in the box and soy wax is such a soft wax with a low melting point. The name, Bougie Therapy, lead us to believe the essential oil blends were hand selected to heal a certain ailment, yet there was no indication on the packaging regarding the healing intentions of the fragrance. Our last "concern" is that the candles are not labeled with the name Bougie Therapy or the specific fragrance. Once the candle is removed from the box it would be difficult to remember what candle and fragrance it is for subsequent purchase.

We'll be back with more feedback after we conduct burn tests at home. If you've ever tried these candles, please let us know what you think. If you have any feedback on Yonka bath & body products, we'd love to hear that as well.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Main Event Episode 7 Aromatherapy Interventions

In this episode we give a brief overview of the Aromatherapy Interventions candle line. Aromatherapy Interventions hand-selects the fragrances for each candle based on Aromacology - the science of scent applied to the modern mind. The candles are a soy and coconut wax blend with fragrant and rare essential oils.

The side of each candle box lists the fragrances used to elicit the effect created by the candle. One of my favorites is Birthday Panic. "You have yet to save the planet, surf an endless summer or party like a rock star. Essences of Indonesian takrai and frankincense lessen restless anxiety." I also like the Co-Dependant candle because it has 2 wicks (you have to light both wicks at the same time for the full effect since they're co-dependent).

These candles make a great, fun gift for about $19 each. The packaging is colorful and well done and the candles last approximately 50 hours. They burn beautifully and they are moderately fragrant.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Main Event Episode 6 Mystery Box

In this episode we open a mystery box that contains a soy wax candle from Linnea's Lights. The packaging and candle quality are nice and the candle burns beautifully at the shop. We didn't even need to bring the candle home to test the fragrance in a regular space since we could smell it sufficiently at the shop.

Linnea's Lights offers 100% natural soy wax candles scented with fine fragrance oils. They have approximately 13 fragrances available and they sell for $28.

Have you ever tried a candle from Linnea's Lights? What is your favorite 100% soy wax candle? We want to hear from you! Please let us know what you like.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Main Event Episode 5 Candle Wax

There are many different types of waxes available for candle-making. The type of wax effects the way the candle burns and the amount of fragrance it provides.

Soy wax burns at a low temperature so it liquefies quickly which makes it easy to burn evenly. Since soy wax is cool to the touch when it is liquid, the liquid wax of some soy wax candles can be rubbed into the skin as a moisturizer to help heal dry skin. Soy wax is a friendly candle wax since it is a renewable resource. When a soy wax candle re-solidifies after burning, it has a "bumply" surface. There is nothing wrong with that and it doesn't affect subsequent burns, it's just somewhat unsightly. Soy wax does not typically provide as much fragrance as paraffin wax, so in a natural soy wax candle, the fragrance can be subtle. Some candlemakers use fillers or artificial fragrances to compensate for the inadequate scent throw of soy wax. Some soy wax candle makers state that soy wax burns slower that paraffin, but we haven't found that to be true. We actually find it to burn quicker. (Our longest lasting candle line is Voluspa and they don't use any soywax.) It's misleading when candles say "Soy Wax" on the packaging. To be called a "Soy Wax" candle, it needs to have at least 50% soy wax, but it may be blended with other waxes, including paraffin, so beware. Aromatherapy Interventions, Archipelago Botanicals and Paddywax are Soy Wax candles. A Scent of Scandal is made with 100% soy wax and it states that on the label. Also, it is a myth that soywax candles burn cleaner than other types of candles since soot and smoke have to do with the wick, not the wax. (Sometimes the fragrance oils affect smoking). For tips on how to burn candles cleanly, please check our blog at

Vegetable wax candles typically include soy wax and other natural waxes such as palm wax. They are typically paraffin free (such as k. hall and Anthousa). Red Flower is a vegetable and soy wax candle but they do use a touch of paraffin wax. Vegetable wax candles burn beautifully and the container can be washed out with soap and water when finished and reused or recycled (the same is true for soy wax candles).

Beeswax is one of my favorite waxes for it's natural properties and it burns beautifully. It isn't commonly used in scented candles as it doesn't provide fantastic scent throw and it's extremely expensive. We have 100% unscented beeswax pillars and taper candles in our shop, but nothing that is scented at this moment. Palm wax is another natural wax that isn't commonly used but does have beautiful natural properties, especially the way it crystallizes when it hardens. Santuario di Bellezza is a very extravagant 100% palm wax candle.

Paraffin wax is the most widely used wax for candle-making. There are various grades of paraffin wax available. Paraffin wax can be refined so purely that it is used in lip gloss and chocolates. Voluspa candles use this type of food and cosmetic grade paraffin wax. They burn very cleanly and easily and they are our longest lasting candle line. Paraffin wax is commonly used for scented candles because of its ability to provide fantastic scent throw. The most fragrant candle lines in our shop (Votivo, Seda, Tocca, Trapp, Nest Fragrances, Jonathan Adler) use fine grade paraffin wax. Le Cherche Midi, Rigaud and D. L. & Co. use European grade paraffin wax. The wax of a Rigaud candle re-solidifies to the same gorgeous, smooth, shimmery finish that it has when it is new. We've never seen any other candle with that same effect.

DayNa Decker Botanika candles use a resin wax in their translucent candles. They burn cleanly and beautifully.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Grand Opening of our Cyber Store!

Our Cyber Store is now open! While our shop in historic downtown Annapolis, Maryland is open, we will stream live onto our website. We can show you products, answer questions and help in any way. Click here to go to our live page.

Audio is mute during our broadcast for privacy and security. Call us at 866-786-1043 for assistance.

As always, please post any comments below or email us at

Thank you!
Dave & Sue Adams