Sunday, May 22, 2011

Voluspa Santiago Huckelberry

We had the Voluspa Santiago Huckleberry candle in our shop for many years before I finally broke down and tried it. Year after year I continuously heard everyone rave about it. Even though Santiago Huckleberry is on of Voluspa's best-selling fragrances, I was reluctant to try it. To me, the cold throw on it came across as a jam smorgishborg that only Joey from Friends could enjoy. The thought of jam-overload scared me.

Finally, I had to try it. As the candle warmed, the fragrance opened up and revealed the most wonderful, warm scent. Notes of vanilla provided comfort and relaxation. The description doesn't list amber, but the scent was so warm and deep it comes across like warm, sweet amber. Truly lovely.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Champagne Candles


Champagne is a great fragrance to turn any day into a celebration. Whether your partying, snuggling or prepping for a romantic evening, this effervescent scent will instantly get you in the mood for wherever the night takes you.

Voluspa Crisp Champagne is the first champagne scent that comes to mind. Voluspa blends sparkling champagne with vanilla for a touch of sweetness which makes it a popular option. The oak helps ground the scent to make it comforting and relaxing. With it's neutral and crowd-pleasing appeal, this scent blends with just about anything else. Try it with Figue de Bordeaux, Santiago Huckleberry or any other favorite Volupsa scent to create your personal mix. Crisp Champagne is available in a variety of candle sizes as well as room spray and petite diffuser.

Voluspa also offers their Vintage fragrance as part of the James Boyce Collection. They removed the vanilla note and added more oak. Imagine sipping champagne in the barrel room of a fine winery. Heaven. This candle is packaged in an attractive wooden box with wax seal similar to a wine cask. So pretty!

The most zesty champagne candle is by Lafco. Their Penthouse candle features a champagne scent blended with grapefruit for a fresh and lively fragrance. This bubbly scent also has hints of ginger and raspberry. Mouthwatering. Lafco candles are poured in a hand-blown glass vessel that will become a keepsake for generations. This over-sized soy wax candle lasts 100 hours.

Another amazing champagne candle is by Belle Fleur. The Celebration candle is a blend of fresh muguet and a hint of candied ginger. The cold throw on this candle comes across like the most decedent champagne fruit punch. When lit, the bubbly effervescence comes alive and it's as if you are sipping sparkling champagne right out of the glass as the bubbles tickle your nose. It doesn't get better than that.

Pick a night. Any night. And celebrate with a champagne candle. The more the merrier!

Tobi Tobin Candles


Tobi Tobin has made a name with top notch celebrities for her stylish work in interior design. Her aesthetic blends timeless style with bohemian chic for an elegant and organic design. Two years ago she launched her own brand, Tobi Tobin, and opened two stores in Los Angeles and New York City. She now has 10 lines including linens, furniture, jewelry and candles.

She has 9 core fragrances and 1 signature blend in her candle line. Each candle is a massive 16oz made with soy, palm and coconut wax. She uses 3 wicks for maximum scent throw. The stunning candles are packaged in a glossy black glass vessel and crocodile box for a regal look.

Her fragrances include:

Monastery
A
 mandarin
 and
 orange
 complex
 opens
 this
 fragrance
 with
 fresh
 aldehydic
 notes
 and
 supporting
 notes
 of
 petitgrain.
 
 The
 body
 of
 this
 essence
 combines
 citrus
 notes
 with
 a
 broad
 Sandalwood
 accord.
 
 The
 scent
 is
 dominated 
by 
woody 
notes 
and 
accented
 with 
a 
mossy, 
musky 
complex. 

Sprinkled 
throughout 
the 
fragrance 
are
 light
 Jasmine
 highlights 
that
 add
 overall
 sparkle.

This is one of those fragrances that is so blended and complex it's tough to know your smelling. The orange comes across first but the sandalwood, musk and moss muddle it so much it ends up becoming more earthy. Then the aldehydes and jasmine come in to balance the scent to keep it from getting too heavy. Somehow it ends up clean and musky at the same time.

Temple
Top
 notes
 of
 Tea
 Leaves
 and
 Lemon
 introduce
 this
 floral
 creation.
 
 The
 body
 of
 the
 fragrance
 is
 a
 bold
 blend
 of
 Jasmine,
Gardenia,
Ylang
 and
 Lily.
 
The
 complete
 floral 
composition 
is 
supported
 by 
a 
musky
 foundation.

This fragrance comes across mostly as tea. Fresh brewed tea with a slice of lemon. I like how the floral notes play with the tea leaves adding a flirtiness to the scent without being domineering. This fragrance would work well to cool on a hot steamy day or to warm on a cold, rainy day to lift your spirits.

Baroque
This
 robust
 woody
 and
 amber
 fragrance
 is
 a
 blend
 of
 Oudh
 and
 Agar
 wood
 oils
 from
 northern
 India.
 
 The
 complete
 woody
 symphony
 is
 supported
 by
 exotic
 Patchouli,
 Amyris,
 Cedar
wood
 and
 Vetivert.
 
 All
 highlighted
 with
 a
 base
 of
 Vanilla
 and 
Musk.

This is an intense fragrance. Deep and complex. Slightly sharp from the oud. European in feel. Nothing soft about this one in the cold throw. Perhaps burning the vanilla and musk offer a soft base to land on.

Romanesque
This
 fragrance
 was
 designed
 to
 connote
 the
 tropical
 woodiness
 of
 an
 ebony
 forest.
 
 The
 fruity,
 green
 top
 notes
 enhance
 and
 accentuate
 the
 overall
 tropical
 setting.
 
 The
 woody
 body
 combines
 luxurious
 Sandalwood
 and
 mysterious
 Amber 
notes.

This is the only scent where either the description of the balance is off. It's far more gooey fruity than tropical and it's more of a jam garden than an ebony forest. Burning this scent could be amazing, likening it to the Santiago Huckleberry fragrance by Voluspa.

Orangerie
True
 to 
its 
name, 
this
 beautiful 
fragrance 
is 
a 
masterful 
blend 
of 
Blood
 Orange 
and 
Goji
 Berries
 that 
work 
together
 to
 provide
 an 
entire 
range 
of 
fruity,
 citrus 
characteristics. 

The
 citrus 
and
 berry
 notes 
are 
combined
 with
 a
 strong
 accord 
of 
sweet 
Vanilla
 that 
gives 
this 
fragrance
 its 
long‐lasting
 aura.

Orangerie is a fun and fruity blend. Simplistic in scent. Perfect for the kitchen or to energize a powder room.

Folly
This
 invigorating
 scent 
opens 
with
 a 
splash 
of 
Ruby 
Red
 Grapefruit 
combined 
with 
a 
hint
 of 
Green 
Leaf, 
leading
 to
 heart
 of 
Yuzu
 peel
 and
 sheer 
White 
Flower,
 flowing 
to 
a 
base
 of 
White 
Musk 
and 
Moss.

The cold throw on Folly is a zesty grapefruit subdued with musk and moss. It has a touch of floral notes. I would love to see how this fragrance opens up when burning.

Rococo
This 
sensual 
fruity
 scent 
opens 
with 
a 
burst 
of 
Mandarin,
 Pomegranate 
and 
Persimmon. 

The 
core 
is 
a 
blend 
of
 fresh 
green
 notes 
with 
hints 
of 
Black 
Orchid, 
Lotus
 Blossom
 and 
Champaca 
flower. 

The 
base 
is 
a
 subtle
 accord
 of 
Amber, 
Mahogany 
Wood
and 
Black 
Violet.

This is an interesting scent because it doesn't lie easily in any one area. It isn't a strong fruity, floral or wood. It blends all three aspects together yet I can distinguish the pomegranate, orchid amber and violet. It's slightly sweet and somewhat deep. A feminine, fruity floral.

Bibliotheque
This
 delectable
 scent
 opens
 with
 creamy
 Vanilla
 and
 Sugar,
 leading
 to
 a
 center
 of
 sticky
 Caramel
 and
 subtle
 spices. 

It 
all 
finishes 
with 
a 
beautiful 
and 
sensual 
fragrance 
enhanced 
by 
a 
warm
 base 
of 
Musk
 and
 Tonka.

Yum! Comfort scent to the rescue. This fragrance is like a fine chocolate shop. Decedent and luxurious. Perfect for a romantic evening or anytime you need some lovin'.

Signature
This 
sophisticated
 and 
engaging 
scent 
boasts 
a 
bold
 infusion 
of 
crisp 
Aldehydes,
 Black 
Pepper 
and 
Cedar 
Leaf 
to
 introduce 
the
scent. 

Heart 
notes 
of 
Eucalyptus 
Blossom
 and
 Hyacinth 
lend
 depth
 and 
intrigue 
while 
background
 notes
of 
Cashmere
 Wood,
 Patchouli, 
Birch 
Wood 
and 
Incense
 add
 warmth
 and 
opulence.

We love this complex, musty blend. Definitely an intriguing and opulent blend. It reminds us of antique wooden floors you'd find in Europe that have soaked up years of history.

Georgian
This 
intoxicating 
fragrance 
exudes 
a 
luxurious 
aura 
as 
Mango
 and 
Green 
Leaf 
introduce
 a 
rich 
floral 
bouquet
 of
 Gardenia,
Tuberose
 and 
Orange 
Flower. 

Background 
notes 
of 
Sandalwood
 and 
Vanilla 
lend
 depth
 and 
harmony
 to
 this 
luminous 
and
alluring
 scent.

This is the floral in the collection and it packs 3 heavy hitters: gardenia, tuberose and orange flower. The sweetness from the mango comes through and there is a faint hint of sandalwood and vanilla to ground this heady floral.

What I like most about Tobi Tobin fragrances is that they are all very well balanced and distinct. The line offers tremendous variety - almost to the point of split personality. Some of the scents, like the Signature scent and Baroque, come across as very complex and European with intense depth while scents like Orangerie come across so simplistic more like US made fragrances. The benefit is there's something for everyone and a scent for every day and any type of weather.

The 3-wicks provide a beautiful ambiance and obliterate the possibility of tunneling. The downside is the glass gets intensely hot, so be careful to touch after the candle has been burning for a while. The packaging is elegant and fits the Tobi Tobin elite design image perfectly.

Overall, Tobi Tobin has created a candle line that is unmatched in the US. A welcome and unique addition!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Juliette Has a Gun Candles


Juliette Has a Gun was launched in 2006 by Romano Ricci. The Gun is a metaphor for the perfume – a weapon of seduction or simple accessory of bluff – and symbolizes the liberation of women towards men. Sometimes with a taste for revenge… But the concept is also influenced by romanticism. A modern version where reinventing couples and femininity is a constant quest.

Juliette Has a Gun is best known for their perfumes Lady Vengeance and Miss Charming, but they recently launched a new candle line with 3 fragrances:

Lucifer is a bonfire scent. Where Votivo Smoke on the Water focuses on the damp ashes from a fire and Lafco Feu de Bois brings out the wood in a fire, Lucifer is the smoke that billows from a great outdoor bonfire. Simple and pure this one, like the others, is true and unadulterated.

Did you know that Lucifer means “Light-Bringer” in Latin? Interesting…. If there’s a Jesus, how could there not be a Lucifer? How could White exist without its opposite Black? Aren’t we all made out of dark matter? Of course we are… and that’s exactly what makes us human. The essential incoherence of the soul. As for this candle, Romano Ricci wanted it to smell like a familiar future place.

Marilyn is femininity at its best - all cosmetic and lipstick in fragrance. It's youthful and clean without being aged or powdery.
She wanted to be loved by you… and she was. Marilyn Monroe personified Glamour with her alluring beauty and voluptuous curves. But Marilyn was more that a ‘50’s sex goddess. She dominated the age of movie stars to become, without question, the most famous woman of the 20th century. With it’s powdery lipstick note, this candle is dedicated to her, so that she can live with us a little longer.

Mary Jane is pure hash. Another simple, on-point fragrance. Where Jonathan Adler Hashish is slightly sweet and Modern Alchemy Opium Den is somewhat tobacco oriented, the Juliette Has a Gun Mary Jane candle is hashish in its most raw form.

What a lovely name for such a malicious substance… Also called hashish, or hash, the resin composed of compressed marijuana has been used by men for five thousand years. When inhaled, one is supposed to be suddenly gifted with a certain happiness, to be feeling more artistic, more just, more noble. So, marijuana at the heart of men’s imagination? According to French writer Charles Baudelaire, it might even be responsible for our taste for Infinity.

All of the Juliette Has a Gun candles are poured in a silver container with the story of the fragrance embellished on the side. Each candle lasts approximately 50 hours for $58.

Wedding Gift Ideas


Wedding season is quickly approaching and luckily, there are so many fabulous wedding gifts available in a wide range of prices.

Volupsa Maison Gift Sets always work well when your not sure what fragrance the recipient enjoys. Each gift set contains 8 different fragrances - one of each in the particular Maison Collection. I really like the Voluspa Maison Blanc Gift Set with its crisp white box and glittery gold detail. Each votive candle in the gift set includes a screw top lid making the candle easy to use when traveling (perfect for the honeymoon). The 8 different fragrances allow the new couple to find scents they both enjoy.

The Voluspa Fleurs de Fete fragrance has been around for a while and is always a huge it. This buttery floral scent blends Calla Lily, creme roses, white narcissus, tuberose absolute and butter creme cake. This fragrance is available in a 5oz candle, 10oz candle with velvet box, 3-wick tin and diffuser. All these options make gift giving a breeze because it can work in any price range. The whole collection in a gift basket is a perfect wedding present while the 3-wick tin can be great for any small pre-event celebrations.

Lafco makes a great Penthouse candle with a Champagne fragrance leaning towards zesty grapefruit/citrus. This lively blend last 100 hours and is poured in an over-sized, hand-blown glass vessel that will be a keepsake for generations to come. The black and white detail would make a great compliment to any black and white themed wedding.

We love the Belle Fleur Celebration candle. This fragrance blends sparkling champagne, fresh muguet and a hint of candied ginger. The cold throw comes across as champagne fruit punch with berries jumping about. Fun and festive. Burning the fragrance is divine! Like fine champagne with a berry garnish on the rim. It's a stunning fragrance that burns beautifully with 2 dancing wicks like Bride and Groom. This candle makes a great gift in its shiny patent leather box with simple bow.

Jonathan Alder's career began with pottery so it's no wonder he is known for his gorgeous and unique porcelain products. The Jonathan Adler Muse Blanc candle is poured in a stunning porcelain vase that will be enjoyed for years after the candle is done. Muse Blanc is a watery flower and the 2-wicks provide a mesmerizing glow through the porcelain while burning.

The Muse Votive Gift Set has 1 small Muse Blanc candle and 1 small Muse Noir candle, both in porcelain. I love Muse Noir with it's intense blend of bergamot and black plum mingled with amber and vetiver. The gift set provides one feminine/floral scent and one deep/masculine scent to compliment each other and the newlyweds.

What's your favorite wedding gift to give?

Anthousa Violet & Black Currant


Earlier this year, Anthousa launched a new fragrance - Violet & Black Currant. It's a fruity floral blend of red raspberries, Valencia oranges, tart black currant, Macintosh apples and peach nectar grounded with pink jasmine, red geranium and purple violet. Violet can tend to be very heavy and sweet, but the addition of all the fresh, fruity notes really help lift and energize the scent.
This limited addition fragrance is available in a candle and diffuser. The Anthousa Violet & Black Currant candle wax has a soft violet accent and the packaging is stunning with a bright, bold pattern. Anthousa candles are made with 100% vegetable wax lasts approximately 60 hours. The beautiful, frosted, Italian glass tumbler washes out easily with soap and water and can be reused as a bud vase or votive candle holder.

Anthousa diffusers last approximately 6-9 months and provide fragrance the same as walking past a bouquet of flowers. It's a nice uplifting surprise as you walk by and they don't tend to overwhelm a room. To freshen the scent, flip a few or all of the reeds as often as you like. The fragrance oil in the Anthousa Violet & Black Currant diffuser has a juicy violet accent.

Enjoy this fragrance while it is available. Anthousa limited edition fragrances tend to stay around for one or two years.