Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Voluspa Maison Collections

Early 2010, Voluspa launched 2 new collections: Maison Blanc to replace their old Basic Creme Collection and Maison Noir to replace the old Basic Black Collection. In the summer of 2010, they launched Maison Rouge.

The new Maison Collections include a new 12oz candle with a 100 hour burn time, a 2-wick tin metallo candle and a cosmetic jar candle. The petite diffusers by Voluspa are available at a great price point for just $28 each and the room and body spray packaging is decadent.

Each collection includes 8 fragrances. Most of the fragrances are new but Pomegranate Patchouli, Crisp Champagne, Vervaine Olive Leaf, Golden Cypress Sawara and Saijo Persimmon survived the transition from the old Black and Creme Collections to the new Maison Collections. Not sure what to try? Check out the gorgeous new Maison Gift Sets that include one of each of the new fragrances for each collection.

The Someday Show

It's amazing how much time and money people spend decorating their house. One critical item that most homeowners forget, however, is fragrance. Scent finishes a space and helps create ambiance and warmth.

In the foyer, it's important to select a fragrance that is welcoming and not offensive. Many people are sensitive to florals and vanilla fragrances so it's best to stay away from those in the foyer and common areas. In the fall, we like the Lafco Family Room candle for the foyer. It's fresh Cortland Apple fragrance is light and inviting and the bright red, hand-blown glass container adds a punch of color.

As you move on to the family room, relaxed and casual fragrances work well. In the fall, Nest Pumpkin chai is like a worn pair of jeans that fit perfectly. It's spicy scent is unique and comforting.

The kitchen is a great place for clean and bright fragrances such as Voluspa Mandarino Canella. Juicy orange mixed with a sweet spice under currant works well in the fall. Voluspa offers their Maison fragrances in candles, diffusers and room sprays. Diffusers offer a constant fragrance while room sprays work well when you need and instant burst of scent. Candles in various shapes in sizes allow you to select the one that's just right for you. Candles with lids offer a clean look when not in use.

In the living room a more sophisticated fragrance is nice. We love Belle Fleur Kyara Clove. It's a blend of leather, wood and spices that makes you feel like you're lost in an over sized worn leather chair in a den surrounded by rich wood paneling. It's luxurious and relaxing fragrances is perfect for cooler months.

Bedrooms are a great place for more sensual fragrances such as Tocca Colette. This alluring fragrance is a blend of sandalwood and vanilla - scents highly sought after by both men and women making it perfect for the bedroom. Candles create a romantic environment and this soothing scent will leave you wanting more.

Bathrooms are a fun place to play with fragrance. Since most people aren't in bathrooms for a long amount of time, this is a great time to get creative and try something different. In the fall we really like Votivo Teak in the bathroom. It offers luxurious woody notes but also a clean essence that works well in bathrooms. Votivo offers their Teak fragrance in a diffuser, candle and room spray to vary the intensity of the scent. Room sprays work well in bathrooms when you need instant fragrance. Diffusers are handy since they offer a constant fragrance without having to keep an eye on them. Votivo travel tins work well in the bathroom as the lid keeps hair spray out of the candle wax when not in use. If you have a candle in the bathroom that crackles or pops when you light it, chances are it's hairspray that has settled on the top of the candle.

Fall is a fun time to play with scent. Selecting different fragrances for each room that layer nicely with each other creates an effect your guests will never forget.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sandalwood and Vanilla Goes Together Like Ross and Rachel

I love the combination of sandalwood and vanilla. They balance and compliment each other like yin and yang, masculine and feminine.

Earlier this year Tocca launched Colette - a very sensual, romantic blend of sandalwood and vanilla. Colette is alluring and mysterious. The fragrance leans towards feminine, like the scent a woman leaves on a pillow. Sexy and soft. Colette is like the beginning of a relationship when you can't get enough of each other. It taunts you and tempts you and you want more just as you want more from your new lover - more time, more intimacy. Tocca Colette is a seamless fragrance for when everything is seductive and exhilarating.

As the honeymoon subsides, along come Aquiesse Sandalwood Vanille -a cozy, soothing blend. The balance between masculine/feminine is equal in the blend. As you settle into your routines, things become comfortable and Aquiesse Sandalwood Vanilla is just as relaxed as you. It's like a big, warm blanket to surround you as you spend quiet nights at home. You can cuddle with this fragrance and feel loved as it's earthy sweet blend envelopes you.

Then comes Aura Luscious. This fragrance is like a big bear hug. It grabs you and holds you tight and let's you know that no matter how bad it seems, everything is going to be alright. This warm and exotic blend is the most bold of the three. It leans more towards masculine and has a strong grip to it. When your love lets you down, and they will, Aura Luscious guards and protects you. During rough times, Aura Luscious offers the strength to press on.

Sandalwood and Vanilla go together like Ross and Rachel. Tocca Colette for the romantic, sensual moments when enough is never enough. Aquiesse Sandalwood Vanille the most relaxed and cuddly moments when things are smooth and comfortable and you're the best of friends. Then Aura Luscious for when "We were on a break!" to hold you tight through the rough times.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aura Candles

Aura was founded by Jasmine Parks and Chelsea Wilson of California. They set out to create a high-end candle that was also affordable. This fun and slightly edgy candle line is simple, yet detailed, and always down to earth.

Aura mastered the 4 key elements to a successful product:

  • Product: In this case I'm calling the fragrance the product. The fragrances for Aura are fantastic. Aura candles provide a great cold throw (they smell so great on the shelf you want to buy them) and in warm throw (they smell so great burning you want to buy more).
  • Packaging: The packaging is professional, appropriate and colorful. Packaging needs to be eye catching so you want to pick up the product and give it a sniff and Aura candles come through with color and simplicity. Aura packaging would work well in a variety of stores and definitely draws your eye to investigate. The packaging is also simple enough to not add excessively to the price or be a burden on the environment. Beautiful, excessive packaging might get you to buy initially, but if you aren't happy with the performance, you won't return for more. Aura does not fall into this trap. The Aura candle names are vague but the fragrance notes on the front of the product work well to guide you in the right direction. I'm a sucker for cheat sheets.
  • Price: The price is perfect for the offering. At $24 they are a great value and they are right at a sweet spot in this economy - affordable but not cheap in quality - exactly where you want to be right now.
  • Performance: The candles burn beautifully - cleanly and easily. I'm so impressed with the way Aura candles burn, and so excited about the fragrances, that they will absolutely be a staple in our home. There's nothing like investing in a product that wants you to not only return to get more for yourself, but more for others as a gift to share your new-found love.

Aura offers 9 fragrances including:

Cosmic: limitless; grandiose. A creamy and scrumptious blend of blood orange, vanilla bean, vanilla orchid & amber. Cosmic is a delicious blend and a great place to start with Aura candles.

Clairvoyant: quick, intuitive knowledge of people and things. A tangy citrus scent with a hint of floral including yuzu grapefruit, cassis, orange and rose geranium. Clairvoyant is clean and fresh - great for creating an invigorating environment or clearing the air.

Karma: fate; destiny. A soft and sweet scent with a hint of spice including notes of Tahitian vanilla, pink grapefruit, agave nectar, cardamom, cayenne and sea salt. Karma is a great soothing scent. If you like vanilla, start here with Aura.

Luscious: highly pleasing in taste or smell. A warm and exotic blend of tangerine, vanilla, sandalwood, musk and amber. I'm crazy about Luscious. It's like a big bear hug letting you know everything is ok no matter how bad it seems.

Obscure: vague; inconspicuous. An exotic and botanical spicy blend of black ginger, musk and white pepper. Obscure is a curious floral. It smells peppery to start, but turns floral as it burns. The black ginger is the flower that blooms from the ginger root. If you like unusual florals - this is for you.

Sublime: supreme or outstanding. An earthy and sensual blend of pomegranate, patchouli, pink pepper, plum and Italian bergamot. Sublime is not too fruity or too earthy. It's a perfect blend between pomegranate and patchouli. When burning, the peppery notes really make the fragrance pop and the bergamot keeps everything from getting too heavy.

I love the way Aura candles burn. So clean and easy. While I could never get the wax completely level, it didn't come close to tunneling. It's rare for a candle wax to come so clean off the glass, but these candles do. That's a feat that's tough to accomplish and Aura handles it with ease - as if there's no other way.

Aura 10 oz candles are made with a soy wax blend and cotton wick and last approximately 60 hours.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Aura Clairvoyant

Clairvoyant: quick, intuitive knowledge of people and things.
A tangy citrus scent with a hint of floral including yuzu grapefruit, cassis, orange and rose geranium

Aura Clairvoyant has saved me more than once. There have been a few days recently when my eyes just don't open all the way. That groggy, draggy feeling you have when you just can't get going. I make a hot cup of tea and settle down next to my computer to work with Clairvoyant by my side.

Slowly, the bright fresh citrus scents in Clairvoyant wake me up. Grapefruit and cassis lighten the air. A slight hint of orange brings a smile as it reminds me of my fond addiction to Aura Cosmic. As the fragrance opens up so do my eyes. I'm more alert and eager to accomplish my tasks. The fragrance evolves and unveils the rose geranium that brings a fullness to the scent.

Where Aura Cosmic is my comfort, Aura Clairvoyant is my tool. I use it to invigorate me as well as freshen the air. When the house is stuffy or stale, or after we cook fish for dinner, Clairvoyant makes everything clean and lively. Another Aura candle I can't live without.

Stats: 10 oz, 60 hours, soy wax blend, cotton wick
Burn quality: 4.5/5 Fragrance intensity: 4/5

2010 Holiday Gift Guide

Wondering what to get your fragrance loving friend this holiday? Here's a list of products any candle or fragrance fan will love.

Thymes Frasier Fir candle in Red Pot
Mountain fresh with the aromatic snap of crisp Siberian Fir needles, heartening cedarwood and relaxing sandalwood.
I like the deep red glass and the simplicity of the lid and packaging. This candle also offers almost twice the burn time of the standard size Frasier Fir candle for just $34. 12 oz.

Nest Holiday Candle
The quintessential holiday fragrance with a blend of mandarine orange, cinnamon, pine and eucalyptus.
The Nest Holiday candle is a staple on our gift list. This fragrance best encapsulates the holidays. It's not overly tree or fruity and it's not sweet or gourmand. It's fresh, festive and brings back memories from years gone by. Be sure to buy more than one! If you buy one as a gift, you won't want to give it up. The 3-wick size is gorgeous and can be re-used as a flower vase when the candle is done.
If you want to give the gift of scent without a candle, the petite diffusers by Voluspa are fantastic. The packaging is beautiful and the price is great at $28. With 24 fragrances available, you're sure to find just the right scent. Golden Cypress Sawara is perfect this time of year.

The petite jar candles by Voluspa are great for travel or for trial. The easy screw top lid and sturdy glass makes them handy on the go. At just $6 each, they make fun stocking stuffers. 15 hours each. 24 fragrances.

The Tocca Eau de Parfum gift set couldn't be more adorable and for just $45, it's an incredible value. This gift set includes three 0.5 oz bottles of perfume in Tocca's signature fragrances: Florence, Stella and Cleopatra. You could also break apart this gift set to give 3 separate stocking stuffers, tie into the bow on a gift or use as an add-on to a larger gift. So charming!

The solid perfume by Tocca makes great stocking stuffers. They work well for travel or for discrete touch-up during the day - just toss in your purse and go. Available in most Tocca fragrances including Cleopatra, Stella and Giulietta. $30 each

I am absolutely addicted to Beau Bain bath bombs. Hand made with simple ingredients, these bath bombs are a wonderful, pampering gift. The fragrances are divine and these bath bombs leave your skin moisturized and silk smooth. Available in a 6-pack, 12-pack and individually. $8-$30

Long-stemmed lighters are great for lighting candles, fires and grills. These refillable lighters come with a life-time warranty. Available in 7", 9" leather-wrapped handle and 12" with stand.

Wick Dipper & Snuffer
The only way we extinguish candles at home is with a wick dipper. Simple use the wick dipper to push the burning wick into the melted wax to drown out the flame with out any smoke or soot. At just $5.95, they make a great stocking stuffer for any candle-lover. The tweezer style snuffers will extinguish a taper candle without any smoke or soot.

"A bayberry candle, burned to the socket, puts luck in the home, food in the larder, and gold in the pocket."
Our favorite holiday gift is true bayberry tapers. It's an old New England tradition to burn bayberry tapers to the nub on Christmas Eve or New Years Eve for health and prosperity in the year to come. Available in 6" and 10" pairs.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Aura Cosmic Candle

Aura Cosmic is one of my most favorite fragrances of all time. It is the only scent that has threatened to take the spot of my beloved Voluspa Makassar Ebony & Peach. Gasp. That's hard for me to say. Makassar Ebony & Peach has been my number one since the day we met many years ago. Nothing has come close to hinting at that pedestal until now. I am crazy in love with Cosmic.

Aura managed to take what could be a country-bumpkin scent and made it chic and hip. I love the use of blood orange essential oil- so fresh and pure. The earthy vanilla bean makes it yummy without being overly sweet and compliments the blood orange perfectly. Cosmic has just the right touch of amber to deepen the scent without dominating the fragrance. The hint of vanilla orchid is divine. This candle will definitely be a staple for me.

It's rare for me to give a candle an overall rating of 5 stars but Cosmic easily wins that rating.

Burn quality: 4.5/5 Fragrance intensity: 5

Join us for Aura Euphoria Week!

Aura Euphoria Week

Introductory Offer
Enjoy 10% OFF Aura Candles until 11/21/10 with coupon code AURA.

Aura was founded by Jasmine Parks and Chelsea Wilson of California. They set out to create a high-end candle that was also affordable. These creamy custom blended soy candles are generously scented with the finest fragrance and essential oils. Each evocative blend is designed to burn slow and clean using cotton wicks. This fun and slightly edgy candle line is simple, yet detailed, and always down to earth. Hand poured in the USA.

Click here to see how you can win an Aura Candle!

We'll announce the winners on Sunday, November 21st at www.candlesoffmain.com/weekly-winners.aspx We will ship the prize package to any continental US address. Fragrances vary. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Join Us for a Chance to Win a Voluspa Candle!

Viva Volupsa Week

Fueled by a love for art, fragrance and elegant illumination, Troy and Traci Arnsten created their first scented candle in their kitchen in 1999. A creamy combination of coconut, soy and apricot waxes comprises their proprietary custom wax blend that enhances fragrance throw, glows beautifully, and delights consumers world wide. Finding their niche by creating striking packaging and extraordinary scents, Voluspa home fragrance products are found in prestigious retailers around the world and have become a staple in the homes of Hollywood's elite.

Join us for our LIVE giveaway on Monday, November 15th at 7pm EST.

We'll draw all 3 raffle winners during the live giveaway. You do not need to be present to win, but we will have a bonus Voluspa Maison 12oz candle plus a few Voluspa Petite Jar candle giveaways exclusively for those that attend the live giveaway. Good luck!

We will ship the prize package to any continental US address.

Join us each week as we give away a full sized, luxury candle from one of the following amazing candle lines: Anthousa, Agraria, Aquiesse, Altru, Antica Farmacista, Archipelago Botanicals, Aromatherapy Interventions, Belle Fleur, Bluewick, Capri Blue, D. L. & Co. Candles, DayNa Decker, Godiva, Jonathan Adler, K. Hall, Lafco, Lampe Berger, Le Cherche Midi, Linnea's Lights, Modern Alchemy Candles, MOR, NEST, Paddywax, Red Flower, Rigaud, Seda France, Thymes, Tocca, Trapp, Vera Wang, Vie Luxe, Voluspa or Votivo.

Click here to see all of our weekly winners!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Meet The Maker - Kelly Hall Barr of Simpatico

In just 6 short months, Kelly Hall Barr of K. Hall Designs launched a new luxury home fragrance comapny, Simpatico. Simpatico features 6 core fragrances and a Holiday fragrance. The Simpatico fragrances are more complex than the single-note scents by K. Hall Designs.

Congratulations to Ryan Patrick Kelly of Ohio for winning a beautiful Simpatico candle for submitting your Meet The Maker Question.

Meet the Maker - Daniel Benedict of Daniel Benedict Designs

Last summer we met with Daniel Benedict of Daniel Benedict Designs. Daniel started in home fragrance with Slatkin & Co and from there then went on to create Vie Luxe with Marjorie Gubelmann. He and Marjorie parted ways and Daniel Benedict Designs was born - an eco friendly luxe candle line.

His fragrances include:

Beach House - inspired by a seaside Mediterranean beach house. The essence of bergamot is enhanced with sea air and intoxicating lemon blossom.

Driftwood - the essence of a sun drenched Moroccan Beach has been created by this mystical scent.

Palazzo - white jasmine is masterfully blended with fresh honeysuckle and enhanced with French tuberose.

Park View - infuses regal Casablanca lily with delicate heliotrope and is finished with crisp green notes.

Penthouse - an exotic combination of lush black bamboo entwined with delicate green jasmine and finished with the essence of rare black orchid.

Sand Dune - the essence of white and green tea combined with crisp sea grasses.

He recently changed his packaging to be made of all reclaimed and recyclable materials. Daniel Benedict Design candles are 9 oz and have a 65 hour burn time. They are made with a beeswax blend, natural fragrance oils and cotton wick.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Aquiesse Holiday Candles

When I walked into the shop this morning these Aquiesse Holiday candles instantly caught my eye. Gorgeous! Aquiesse created four fabulous Holiday fragrances:

  • Monterey Pine: pine, balsam and thyme
  • Winter Currant: red currant berries, cassis, citrus and oak
  • Frankincense & Myrrh: frankincense and myrrh
  • Cinnamon Tabac: cinnamon, sweet tobacco, vanilla

The Aquiesse Holiday candles are available in the same beautiful glass as their Portfolio Collection, complete with dust cove/candle base/snuffer lid. They had a 100 hour burn time for just $32 each. LOVE!

Manuela Testolini of Altru Candles

Atru, meaning "unselfishly giving of one's self to others". From the word Altruism. This unique collection was inspired by the beauty and handcrafted artistry of cultures around the world. The inspiration for Altru, by Gamillah, comes from a desire to connect with an enormous universe of consumers who aspire to improve the world in every way possible -- who want tomorrow to be better than today. The proceeds from the Altu Candle Collection support the In a Perfect World Foundation which aims to empower children to become compassionate and socially conscious leaders. "By supporting Altru, you embrace a cause that seeks to give children a stronger voice in making the future more 'perfect' for us all," says Manuela Testolini, the Founder and CEO of Gamillah, Inc.

She considers her greatest masterpiece to be her Integrity candle. The inspiration for the fragrance was Cairo, where her mother grew up. Manuela went through 9 versions of the fragrance to get the Night Blooming Jasmine fragrance just right for her mother.

Thanks to Deb Roberto-Kelly of Ohio for submitting your question.