Saturday, October 30, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
To try and prevent a candle from tunneling burn it for a long period of time the on the first burn. For a candle in a container, you want to try and get the entire top of the candle liquid wax. For a pillar candle, burn until the liquid wax it to 1/4" of the edge.
The first burn sets the stage for the life of the candle. The opening of the candle will almost never get larger than the size of the initial wax pool. On a standard size jar candle, if you only burn the candle for an hour on the first burn and create a 1" wax pool, you'll be left with a significant amount of hard, dry wax around the edge of the jar that will likely never melt. It generally takes 1 hour per inch in diameter. Try to burn the candle for long periods of time as often as you can after the initial burn to keep the candle from tunneling later.
Creating a candle that doesn't tunnel is a combination of many things. The quality and type of wax is one component. Some waxes melt easier and quicker than others but may not necessarily be the one that works best with the fragrance or that provides the best fragrance throw. Many candle lines use a blend of different waxes to get the right combination.
A significant factor in preventing tunneling is selecting the proper wick for the wax, fragrance and container. Votivo uses the same wax for every candle but adjusts the wick and the fragrance for the proper burn. The trick is to find the wick that provides a large enough flame to melt the wax without overpowering it or the container. A well crafted poured candle will burn level within 1 1/2 to 3 hours after lighting. The larger the container, the larger the challenge. Some candle lines are trickier than others. Rigaud is the easiest.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for the candle. They know their wick, wax and container best. If the instructions list to only burn for 3 or 4 hours at a time - there is a reason. Best to follow their specific instructions.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I've never met such an angry candle as Votivo Amberwood. It seems like it's going to come out of the gate fighting. I'll admit, from the cold throw, I was a little intimidated to try it. I was afraid it was going to beat me up. Maybe it was the ginger growling at me. Or the dianthus coming at me like hair raised on the back of a dog with it's spicy daggers. Luckily for me, it warmed up and mellowed as it burned. The bark on this candle is definitely bigger than it's bite. It goes from Doberman to Beethoven pretty quickly.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Champaca is a fragrance that is spun so many different ways in home fragrance that it can be tough to identify. Tocca takes a tropical twist with champaca flowers in their Bali candle and tries to create an image of swaying palm trees and sandy beaches. Voluspa Champaca Bloom & Fern is a heady floral coming across mostly as gardenia. The fragrance of the Votivo Champaca candle seems, to me, to be them most true representation of the champaca flower.
The cold throw on this candle comes across very much like the Nag Champa by K. Hall. Very natural, grungy and earthy. I feared of being swallowed up in an gritty, spicy blend. A few hours after burning, however, I realized that wasn't the case at all. I was surrounded by an exotic, soft floral fragrance that is almost elegant. While the spicy aspect remained, the scent was very warm and rich.
There's a sweetness in the fragrance as well. If I stand very close to it, there's an almost caramelized brown sugar scent. It reminds me of toasted marshmallows by a campfire. The sweetness is lost in the room, but the smokiness from the fire remains.
Votivo Champaca is a very soothing, curious scent. While the Votivo Gingersnap candle we tried the other night was very jeans and t-shirt, Votivo Champaca is very hippie chic. Alternative, edgy, unique and happy.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
We recently tried Votivo Gingersnap for the first time and we all fell in love. We had pumpkin whoopie pies for dessert and enjoyed this candle late into the night. A perfect way to welcome Fall weather.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I love the slightly sweet and exotic blend in the Tocca Havana candle. Again, I admire Tocca for creating a fragrance that isn't feminine. This is a fun unisex scent. The sweetness of the sugar cane blends with rum to create an intoxicating and alluring fragrance. Tocca Havana is a scent I can enjoy year round - in the summer it's fun and festive. In the winter is seductive and soothing. I enjoy this fragrance particularly late in the afternoon and evening when it's time to wind-down and relax.
This time of year, when the weather is cool, the Tocca Havana candle pairs well with my favorite drink, Winter Rum. We found it at The London Bar in NYC, owned by my #1 idol, Chef Gordon Ramsey. It's a blend of:
- Montecristo Rum
- Liquor 43
- Fresh squeezed orange juice
- Real Maple syrup
- Lime juice
- splash of Black Seal Rum on top
- I add a whole clove. Dave likes to top it off with a whole star anise.
The drink is very similar to the candle - a slightly sweet blend of sugar and rum. Yum!Fragrance intensity: 3/5. Burn quality 3.5/5.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
In 1994 three friends got together to create an affordable clothing line that still had all the fashion and detail of designer clothing. They named the business TOCCA, after the Italian word for "touch" referring the the embellishments on the clothing.
Tocca fragrances are inspired by classic movie icons and exotic locals. If you were to create a home fragrance line, what would be the theme of your fragrance collection?
The winner will receive a 10.6oz Tocca candle (retail value $36) in a fragrance of our choice. We'll ship the winning candle to any address in the continental US. Good luck!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The weather is just getting cool so I'm gravitating more and more towards cozy, nurturing fragrances. Sandalwood and vanille work well for me so when I saw Colette I was drawn in from the start.
The eau de parfum has the following fragrance notes:
- Top Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Lemon, Juniper Berry, Pink Peppercorn
- Middle Notes: Jasmine, Violet, Cyclamen, Pine Needles
- Bottom Notes: Incense, Musk, Sandalwood, Amber, Vanilla, Cedarwood
I tried Colette last night to start to get to know her. We were off to a good start but still warming up to each other. I tried Tocca Colette again all day while I was working and we started to connect. Tonight she is by my side again. I've never gone through a Tocca candle so quickly. I'm in heaven. We're BFFs.
The candle is exactly as it says -"Warm, spicy and sweet, Colette is the perfect fragrance for the sensual woman in us all." It isn't your typical sandalwood/vanille combination. It isn't heavy or too sweet. It does has a feminine quality to is. It's sensual, intriguing and curious. Is it the playful top notes of juniper berry and pink peppercorn that tease me? Maybe it's the pine needles leveraging my love for woody notes to make me weak in the knees. Just like a temptress, Colette draws me in, wanting more.
Most sandalwood/vanille candles comfort me, wrapping me in a warm blanket. Sometimes they smother me. Colette, however, is tantalizing and seductive. Like a luxurious cashmere sweater. Soft, chic and elegant. She's surrounds me but lighter. More of a whisper. Sometimes she teases me and I have to find her. In the stairwell. Upstairs in the bedrooms. She's mysterious and I need more Colette candles to surround me in her sultry scent.
I highly recommend buying more than one of these candles or she'll leave you wanting more too. And I definitely need to get the perfume!
Fragrance intensity 3/5. Burn quality 3.5/5 - keep the wick trimmed.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
The Thymes Indigenous Collection features rare and original fragrances rooted in diverse cultures and exotic locales from around the world.
The Anjou Vert fragrance was inspired by the French countryside. It blends Anjou pears, rosebud petals, lilac and cyclamen blossoms with ginger, cinnamon and clove. The floral accents and spices compliment the pear. This is a very strong pear, sweet, fruity fragrance.
Thymes Blue Lotus is a very watery fragrance, great for gift-giving or for a fresh, easy-breezy scent. The inspiration for Blue Lotus comes from the Nile where arid land is transformed into a lush landscape. This fragrance blends blue lotus and water lily with amber and sheer, white musk. It is a light, simple scent that easily pleases.
I did a whole blog post on Thymes Malagasy Vanille - I love the scent so much. Malagasy Vanille is a great soothing scent. It blends Madagascar vanilla, creamy sandalwood, cinnamon bark, golden amber, bergamot, ylang and velvet musk. It warms me inside like a nice, hot toddy.
Tamarind Lychee blends white grapefruit, tamarind, lychee blossom and yuzu with ginger and smooth, creamy coconut milk. This is the most zesty fragrance in the group with yuzu and grapefruit coming across the most.
Neroli Blossom is a floral blend of neroli, gardenia and jasmine blossoms touched with vanilla. This is the most floral fragrance in the Thymes Indigenous Collection.
White Persimmon is a very fruity blend of white nectarine, pears, peaches, guava and sweet persimmons with a touch of vanilla. This is the most sweet/fruity candle in the Thymes Indigenous Collection.
Verbena Bamboo is a blend of tangelos, verbena, pamplemousse, peony and blue freesia against a backdrop of rare woods. The strongest scent in this candle is the verbena - coming across like a grassy lemon - very fresh and perfect for the kitchen.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Thymes has many bath & body collections that feature one fragrance. In each collection, they tailor the packaging and products to the fragrance. For example, Kimono Rose and Moonflower have rollerball perfumes to attract a younger audience while the Goldleaf perfume is in a feminine, traditional perfume bottle. The soap for Eucalyptus is glycerin and translucent for the shower while the soap for Kimono Rose and Goldleaf are packaged as a 2-bar gift box in a more dainty size for a powder room.
TheThymes Goldleaf Collection is designed for a more mature audience with an old-fashionedfloral fragrance. Goldleaf has been in the Thymes offering for several decades. It has a loyal fan base and the packaging is lovely. The perfume bottle for Goldleaf is very feminine and the 2-bar soap set makes a perfect hostess gift.
Kimono Rose was created to attract a younger generation of floral fans. It's a flirty and fun floral and the rollerball perfume is great for young girls just getting into perfume or anyone that is looking for a playful scent. While light-hearted, Kimono Rose is highly fragrant in all products including the candle and body creme. I love how the packaging resembles origami.
Ambersweet Orange is a great gift-giving scent with it's nondescript, natural and light (and yet highly fragrant) scent. The bar soap and the candle have a beautiful pattern that are a perfect compliment to the fragrance - delicate and natural.
Orange is always tricky because most people immediately assume juicy orange or zesty orange. Orange blossom, however, is very floral. What I like about this candle is that it isn't overly floral. The creaminess of the almond milk and and sweetness from the vanilla come through to soften and mellow the floral from the orange. The spices are so subtle but add a little character to the scent. Sandalwood adds a nice earthiness to the candle to ground it without getting to heavy.
The Thymes Ambersweet Orange fragrance is a very nice, summertime fragrance. Neutral and soft. The fragrance works well in a lotion for a lighthearted, natural scent and the bar soap would be perfect in guest bath or as a hostess gift.
I love the pattern on the glass and on the soap. It is a perfect compliment to the fragrance - natural, feminine and delicate. While this fragrance doesn't stand up and take center stage, it does create a beautiful backdrop.
Fragrance intensity 4/5. Burn quality 4/5
Friday, October 1, 2010
Finally, we have a nice, cool, Fall night. Perfect weather for the Thymes Malagasy Vanille candle. It's a yummy blend - soothing and relaxing. The vanilla, amber and musk blend seamlessly and come across like a nice hot toddy, warming me inside. The cinnamon bark adds a hint of spice bringing character to the fragrance and making it dramatically different than your common vanilla or amber candle but in the most subtle way. The bergamot and ylang are quiet but compliment the warmer scents nicely, creating a delicate balance and keeping the whole fragrance from becoming too heavy.
I could live with this scent for hours without growing tired or overwhelmed. It's like my dog, Lucy, at my side. Comforting me but not bothering me. It's just nice to know she's there, keeping me at ease.
Agave Nectar is my favorite spring/summer/bright/energizing scent from Thymes. This is definitely my favorite calming/soothing/fall/winter scent from Thymes. The individual ingredients are so common and yet come together in such a unique, comforting and delicious way.
Malagasy Vanille is part of the Indigenous Collection by Thymes. The Indigenous Collection features fragrances and cultures from around the world. When you can't afford to travel or don't have the time to get away, try and escape with an Indigenous candle by Thymes.
Fragrance intensity 4/5. Burn quality 4/5.