Monday, November 28, 2011

Tabak or Not Tabac. Tabaq.


Most customer's initial reaction to hearing "tobacco" in a fragrance description is "ew". Images of cigarette buts and smokey bars come to mind. Tobacco, however, lends a rich and masculine appeal to a home fragrance to make it incredibly comforting and relaxing. Think oversized leather chair in a dark den surrounded by wood paneling. I could stay all day.

Our first introduction to tobacco was in the legendary Archipelago Botanicals Havana candle which blends bergamot, tobacco leaf and ylang ylang. Men and women are both drawn to this exotic fragrance that whisks you away to an exotic island with rum drinks, bold shirts and cigars. I, too, was skeptical of tobacco in home fragrance but after experiencing this scent I became a believer.


Belle Fleur created a unique twist on tobacco by blending it with cocoa in the Cocao Tabaq candle.  To hear Belle Fleur creator, Meredith, describe this fragrance is a scene out of When Harry Met Sally. Her eyes roll back and half shut as she walks you through how deep cocoa, tobacco leaf and ebony wood come together with a touch of roasted espresso for warmth. You'll want to scream "I'll have what she's having!" and run home and devour the delectable scent.

Then came Voluspa Warm Perique Tabac.  At first sniff, most customers turn away from the almost bitter note from this candle.  Light it, though, and it opens up to reveal the most warm and inviting fragrance.  Worn, wooden floors appear beneath your feet and you're surrounded by leather bound books.  It's the most robust and distinguished of all the tobacco fragrances we've encountered.  It's not for the faint at heart but can become a healthy addiction for true tobacco aficionados.

Aura did a great job at creating a sensual tobacco fragrance with their new Muse candle blending tobacco flower with vanilla orchid and amber. If you're looking for a new "bedroom" candle - this warm and intimate blend is it.  Aura mastered the art of balancing yin and yang with this fragrance- the masculine tobacco is perfectly complimented by just the right amount of supple, more feminine vanilla.

Tobacco has even made it's way into holiday fragrances with Aquiesse Cinnamon Tabac and the new Tocca Marrakesh candle.

"Gifts of golden cinnamon gently dusted over warm vanilla, with hints of sweet aged tobacco, summoning memories of the glow from a stone fireplace."

Aquiesse Cinnamon Tabac is mostly a spicy blend offering warm cinnamon and soft vanilla. The tobacco in this blend gives the overall fragrance nice depth but doesn't overwhelm.  If you're looking for a good fall/winter scent that has a unisex appeal, this one is for you.  I love the uber thick smokey glass with Aquiesse candles.  Added bonus - these come with a lid that can be used as a snuffer, base when the candle is in use, and as a cover when the candle is not in use for a clean, dust-free look.

One of my favorite new holiday fragrances this year is by Tocca.  Their new Marrakesh candle offers sweet tobacco blended with creamy vanilla.  The tobacco in this blend is so sweet it comes across almost like incredibly rich caramel.  If Voluspa Warm Perique Tabac leans towards this bitter side of tobacco, this is on the extreme other side of the spectrum with it's velvety appeal.  This slightly oversized candle is super fragrant with 3-wicks and a brass base for a dramatic ambiance.

If you've never tried a candle with tobacco - fear not - for it can add depth and character like no other fragrance note.  Pick a crisp dark night.  Dim the lights.  Light a luxuriously scented tobacco candle and stretch out on a plush rug in front of a roaring fire.  You'll want to stay all night.

Linnea's Lights Winter

The description for the Linnea's Light Winter candle lists of evergreen, mint and berry, but there is something incredibly delicious about this scent. It's almost like there is vanilla hiding in there making everything so yummy and delightful. This fragrance reminds me a little of Voluspa Frost Pinecone that also seems to have a hint of sweetness about it.

This fragrance reminds me of Pecan Snowball cookies where the inside is natural and delicate and the outside has the slightest dusting of powdered sugar to soften the taste without being overly sweet.  I could eat these cookies all day long and not get a belly ache.  Linnea's Lights Winter has the same long-lasting appeal.

Linnea's Lights candles are hand-poured with pure, all natural soy wax and fine fragrances. They use lead-free cotton wicks and come complete with a pack of matches. These 9oz highly aromatic soy candles last approximately 60 hours. Linnea's Lights uses packaging made with recycled content and soy-based ink.

If you were to make a "Winter" fragrance, what would it smell like?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Linnea's Lights Fireside Candle

A smoldering blend of tobacco, clove, pine and sensual woods.

The description for the Linnea's Lights Fireside candle is perfect! Smoldering and sensual are spot on. I love this blend. It reminds me of Aquiesse Cinnamon Tabac, but instead of going heavy into spices, it takes an almost fresh turn with notes of crisp pine needs. I love the base of sensual woods to ground the fragrance and bring an earthy feel but not overwhelm. This is a great, unique blend that would work well in the cooler winter months from November to February.

Linnea's Lights candles are hand-poured with pure, all natural soy wax and fine fragrances. They use lead-free cotton wicks and come complete with a pack of matches. These 9oz highly aromatic soy candles last approximately 60 hours. Linnea's Lights uses packaging made with recycled content and soy-based ink.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2011 Holiday Gift Guide

Nest Holiday Best No-Brainer Gift: 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.
Classic, 8 oz, 50 hours $32
Votive, 2.3 oz, 15 hours $14
Mini votive 6-pack, 2-3 hours each $32
Diffuser, 5.9 oz, approx 4 months, $34



Voluspa 2-wick Tin Best Hostess Gift: Voluspa 2-wick Metallo Candles
The 2-wick metallo candles by Voluspa are our #1 best-selling hostess gift. Customers go crazy over these beautiful tins. Voluspa candles offer clean burning coconut wax and 100% cotton wick. At just $16 each for approx 50 hours of burn time, these adorable tins can't be beat. Our favorite fragrance? The new Coeur de Cassis fragrance in the Maison D'or Collection.



Lampe Berger Best Mission Impossible Gift: Lampe Berger Lamp
Looking for something for the person that has everything? The lamp only needs to be lit for 2 minutes, then provides luxurious fragrance while removing odors (think kitchen and pets) without any soot or smoke. Starting at just $43, there is a lamp for every decor and price range.



Antica Petite Diffuser Best Stocking Stuffer: Antica Petite Diffusers
The petite diffusers by Antica make great stocking stuffers! At just 100ml each, they are also great for air travel to make any stale hotel room smell like home. Our favorite fragrance for the winter months? Sandalwood Amber with rich notes of sandalwood, soft amber, musk and vanilla bean.



Nest 6-Votive Gift Set Best Office Gift: Nest 6-Votive Gift Set
The new Nest 6-votive gift set is an instant charmer! We fell in love at first site. Featuring the six best-selling Nest Fragrances (Bamboo, Wasabi Pear, Moroccan Amber, Orange Blossom, Moss & Mint and Grapefruit), this attractive gift set is perfect for your co-worker or Mom. Well priced at $40.



Herve Gambs Candles Best Luxury Gift: Hervé Gambs Candle
It isn't often we're floored by a candle line, but Herve Gambs had us at first sniff. Every fragrance is divine and unique. Our favorite? Noir de Cassis with delicious notes of blackcurrant seeds infused with vanilla and amber santal.



Simpatico Candles Most Charming Gift: Simpatico Hobnail Candles
These oversized, vintage, hobnail candles will charm any gift recipient. Filled with 100% vegetable wax, these candles last approximately 100 hours and can be easily washed out with soap and water and reused as a flower vase, makeup holder or pen/pencil holder. If you have a tea lover, the #2 Tea fragrance is warming and relaxing with notes of camellia leaf, and oils of bergamot, orange, and myrrh.



Lafco Candles Best Gift to Impress: Lafco Candles
Weighing in at well over a pound, these extra large candles are sure to impress. Each candle is poured in a 4” x 4” hand-blown glass vessel that will become a keepsake for generations to come. Each vessel is unique and offers a mesmerizing glow when it’s burning. Our favorite this time of year? Foyer (Amber Vanilla) with notes of black vanilla and warm amber and patchouli.



Candle Snuffer Best Tool: Wick Snuffer/Tweezer
The only way we extinguish candles at home is with a candle tweezer/snuffer. Simple pinch the wick dipper to extinguish the flame with out any smoke or soot. At just $3.75, they make a great stocking stuffer for any candle-lover.



Bayberry Candles Most Thoughtful Gift: Bayberry Tapers
"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. Everyone loves this thoughtful, scent free gift.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's Beginning to Smell a lot like Christmas

Imagine a walk through the woods on a crisp winter day. Bright blue sky overhead and clean air filling your lungs. You're on a journey to find the perfect Christmas tree. You stop and pull a small strand from a Frasier Fir and snap the needles between your fingers. The cool and invigorating scent of pure evergreen refreshes you. Snow crunches beneath your feet. You continue on your journey anxiously awaiting the burst of fragrance from a newly cut fir tree to fill your home with the scent of Christmas.

Want to bring that fresh fragrance into your home without the tree? Try a Thymes Frasier Fir, Linnea's Light Forest Fir, K. Hall Siberian Fir or Trapp White Fir candle. All of these candles off the clean, bright fragrance of a fresh fir tree. Of these fir fragrance options, Thymes Frasier fir is the most bright, opening scent while K. Hall Siberian Fir offers a more relaxed scent bringing in the heart/trunk/woody notes of the tree to balance the energizing green needles.

Thymes Frasier Fir and K. Hall Siberian Fir fragrances are also available in a diffuser to provide a constant fragrance. Place next to your real or artificial tree to fill your home with the smell of Christmas.

Thymes Frasier Fir also offers a room spray and sachet as additional ways to spread the scent. Hang the sachet on your tree, in your closet, in your car or use as a tag on a holiday present to spread holiday cheer.


Forest photo from http://fr.123rf.com/photo_352464_hiver-sapin-recouvert-de-neige-fra-che-sur-le-fond-le-ciel-bleu-vif.html

Monday, November 21, 2011

Living It Up with Linnea's Lights

Linnea's Lights was founded by a mother/daughter team, Lynn Manley and her daughter Laura Cler. In tribute to their Swedish family lineage, the name Linnea’s Lights comes from the Swedish word Linnea (the national flower of Sweden) from which Lynn’s name originated. Lynn and Laura’s resourceful outlook towards nature remains an integral & important part of their business, and Linnea’s Lights will forever be an environmentally mindful company. Linnea’s Lights candles combine natural soy wax, lead-free cotton candlewicks, pure essences and fine fragrances to create clean burning, perfectly scented and highly aromatic candles.





Linnea's Lights Blog Contest!

Join us for a chance to win 1 of 2 prize packs featuring candles 3 Linnea's Lights candles. One prize pack will feature French Pear, Pumpkin and Pomander. The other prize pack will feature Forest Fir, Winter and Fireside. (Retail value $90 per prize pack.)

To enter, simply submit a blog post (text only) to Contest@CandlesOffMain.com by Thursday, December 1, 2011. The blog post must have a fragrance theme. For bonus points, the blog post should have some reference to your mother and/or a fragrance experience you've had with your mother. For additional bonus points, the blog should reference one or more products or brands on our website, CandlesOffMain.com. If you would like to submit personal photos simply attached them to the email with your blog post.

We reserve the right to post your blog entry at any time during the contest and keep it on our blog indefinitely. (We, of course, will give you credit on the post as a guest blogger). We also reserve the right to not post your blog entry if we don't feel it is the right fit for our blog.

We will select 2 winning blog posts on Friday, December 2, 2011 and announce the winners on Facebook, Twitter and here. We'll ship the prize pack to any address in the continental US.

Good luck!

12/4: Congratulations to Ryan Patrick Kelley and Caitlin Feener for winning the Linnea's Lights blog contest.  I'll post the winning posts soon.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Aquiesse Embers Candle

New to the Aquiesse Portfolio Collection is the new Embers fragrance. It's a blend of blend of saffron, cardamom, English leather, tobacco, olibanum, and musk. If you like spicy, masculine fragrances - this one is for you.

The saffron and cardamom come across very strong initially, but what I like about this fragrance is exactly what Aquiesse excels at - the ability to balance a fragrance so it doesn't lean to heavily in any one direction.

The bold and strong spicy notes are comforted by a soft foundation of olibanum and musk. The leather and tobacco add to the masculine feel and provide rich character. This fragrance is warming and relaxing. It would be perfect for a den, office or bachelor pad.

If I were to give this fragrance a:

Color - Medium brown like a milk chocolate bar
Age - 48 (for the fragrance, not the purchaser)
Celebrity - Clint Eastwood
Name - Moroccan Leather
Place - the Middle East
Room - Den
Time of Day - Anytime
Weather - Gray Skies, 50 degrees


Given the description, when would you use this fragrance?

If you've tried this fragrance, do you agree or disagree with my description?


Photo from Celebrity9.com.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gift Ideas for Moms & Moms-in-law

Moms and holidays are stressful enough on their own, but holiday shopping for any Mom or Mother-in-law can be downright torturous. Here's a head-up when home fragrance shopping for your Mom. They typically look for one of three types of fragrances: Clean (because, yes, kids do smell), Cozy/homey (because they don't always have time to throw cookies in the oven) or Feminine ( every woman has a girly side).

If there's one thing I know about Moms (as someone that has one and is one), you don't want to mess with them. Given this, I've picked some fail-safe scents that make great gifts for your Mom or Mother-in-law.

For clean fragrances I would go with top sellers Nest Bamboo or Votivo Red Currant. These are both fresh scents without screaming lemon. Nest Bamboo is based on the famed Slatkin Bamboo & Jasmine candle and we know you can't go wrong with that. Women love the classic jasmine fragrance and the green bamboo notes make this scent more fresh than floral.

Votivo Red Currant is also iconic with the same cult following. We like safety in numbers when it comes to picking gifts for Moms, but the clincher for me? My Mom actually likes this one. My Mom doesn't like much when it comes to scented candles. I see the wounded warriors all around her home that have sacrificed their lives to try and appease her to be left unloved and dusty. It's a tragic seen. Votivo Red Currant, however, is the only candle that has been invited back. Nuff said.

For cozy fragrances that make a house smell like a home I love Trapp Orange Clove. Also based on a cult classic (Trapp Orange Vanilla) this candle makes you feel loved even if you aren't and makes your Mom look like Mrs. Cleaver even if she isn't.

The other cozy fragrance for the more sophisticated Mom would be Nest Pumpkin Chai. Or Nest Tahiti Vanille. Or, ok you got me - we love Nest, Wild Oats & Bourbon. Laura Slatkin is an incredible chef in addition to being a fabulous home fragrance maven. Her gourmand fragrances emulate her amazing cooking skills and I don't know anyone that wouldn't want their home to smell like Laura Slatkin's.

For florals, if you want the smell you get when you walk into the cooler at your local florist, go with Trapp Bob's Flower Shoppe. Bob Trapp owned a flower shoppe and created the candle to simulate that same amazing environment. Looks like it turned out alright...

The other floral goes to Tocca Grace. This candle will fill her home with the scent of real lilies. Ok, you got me again. I have to be honest and say I'm not going with safety in numbers on this one. As stated earlier, I am a Mom, which as you well know, means I can change my mind, rules and preferences at any given moment without explanation or logic. I just happen to adore this floral. It's the only one that doesn't make me gag. There, I said it. If I were going to go with another strong seller for florals it would be Trapp Fresh Cut Tuberose.

If you want to go with a holiday fragrance I recommend Nest Holiday or Thymes Frasier Fir. These are no-brainers. Nest Holiday is everything holiday wrapped up in candle form. It doesn't get more holiday than this and if it doesn't make you feel like Elf singing in the department store then there's nothing I can do for you. Except recommend Thymes Frasier Fir. Stick a ginormous Christmas tree in a blender and you have Frasier Fir. Both of these fragrances are available in furry red boxes - perfect for gift giving.

If she isn't into fragrances and she's sentimental (or you're engaged to her son and you're trying to impress and/or please) go with a pair of Bayberry tapers. You'll gain massive points on the thought alone. It's an old New England tradition to burn bayberry tapers on Christmas Eve (or any special occasion, just make something up and go with it) to bring health and prosperity in the year to come.

Hopefully this has helped take the stress out of shopping for your Mother or Mother-in-law. When all else fails - wine. And lots of it... for you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What's in a Name - Aquiesse Alpine Meadow

This fragrance falls perfectly into my "What's in a Name?" category. Naming is everything. Nest Mahogany (RIP) is an example of a fragrance death by name. It was a great fragrance that smelled like caramel praline. Customers looking for a rich, woody (ie - Mahogany) scent were disappointed with it's gooey sweetness. Customers looking for rich caramel would never know to try it. Sadly, the fragrance wasn't able to make it into the hands of customers that would truly appreciate it and it's was "retired".

The Aquiesse Alpine Meadow candle is near the cliff but not quite ready to jump off. From the name and description, I was expecting a spring-like scent the smells of fresh cut grass, blue skies and wild flowers. Instead, I was transported to a ski lodge in the mountains. Out of the shower comes a freshly washed, very sexy man, still smelling of soap from the shower and newly applied cologne. It's a musky scent with lots of spicy pepper and fir notes from the deep woods.


Don't let the name fool you from trying it. This is a great fall/winter scent. If you are looking for a "boyfriend" candle (making your home smell like you have a boyfriend when you don't), this is your ticket.

Aquiesse uses lead-free, cotton-based wicks are used for optimal burn time and clean, even burn performance. The reusable, ultra-thick smoke-brown glass is stunning and looks beautiful in every home. Custom heat-resistant candle cover is designed to serve as a pedestal for the candle to rest on while burning, to extinguish candle, and also to keep the wax dust free when not in use. Packaged in a reusable keepsake box.

Fragrance intensity 3/5. Burn quality 5/5. Photo from skiinstructorblog.com.

Herve Gambs Essence de Figuier Candle

I love to spend lazy afternoons wandering aimlessly through our local garden center. Acres of trees, flowers and plants scattered around like the most beautiful eye candy. Warm sun, fresh air and a soft breeze caressing me as I drink it in slowly, in quiet peace.

This past summer I remember passing by the fig trees. I didn't realized what they were at first. Their natural scent called out to me before I even saw them. I recognized that fresh, green scent and went in search to see what had my sense of smell perked. I looked over at the awkward trees. Stalks barley thicker than my thumb. Gigantic, floppy leaves like elephant ears overwhelming the stick-like structure. I was surprised that a leaf could crate such a clean and strong fragrance.

The Herve Gambs Essence de Figuier fragrance is that day in candle form. Fresh nature exuding a delicious scent. Clean, pure and relaxing. It's a big green scent, as big as the leaves on the tiny fig trees. I love the way Herve Gambs candles burn. The wax liquefies to create the most clear wax pool softly glowing though the milky white glass. This is a great background fragrance.

Do you have fig trees in your yard? Does the fragrance change when the tree bares fruit? I almost bought the trees so I could have this amazing scent in my yard.

Monday, November 7, 2011

All About Aquiesse

Aquiesse Giveaway!


Join us for a 2-week long celebration of Aquiesse candles.

Enter for a chance to win 1 of 2 prize packs featuring candles from the Aquiesse Holiday Collection. One prize pack will feature Aquiesse Cinnamon Tabac and Aquiesse Frankincense & Myrrh. The other prize pack will feature Aquiesse Monterey Pine and Aquiesse Winter Currant. (Retail value $64 per prize pack.)


To win in our Store/Website Raffle:
  • Earn 1 raffle entry for each Aquiesse candle or diffuser purchase between 11/7 and 11/17/11.

  • Earn 1 raffle entry when you stop by the store and tell us your favorite Aquiesse fragrance by 11/17/11.

  • Earn 1 raffle entry for every Aquiesse review you post on our website between 11/7 and 11/17/11.

To win in our Social Media Raffle (entries valid between 11/7 and 11/17/11):
  • Subscribe to our YouTube channel and earn 1 raffle entry for every comment you post.

  • Follow our blog (if possible) and earn 1 raffle entry for every comment you post.

  • 'Like' us on Facebook and earn 1 raffle entry for posting your favorite Aquiesse fragrance on our Facebook page.

  • Earn 1 raffle entry when you Tweet about an Aquiesse candle and link to that candle on our website. (Include the hashtag #AQUIESSE so we can track your tweets.) Limit 1 tweet per day.

We'll select random 2 winners on Friday, November 18, 2011 and announce the winners on Facebook, Twitter and here. We'll ship the prize pack to any address in the continental US.

Good luck!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Carrière Frères Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Candle

"Sandalwoods are wild fragrant trees with tenacious leaves that grow in India’s Mysore state. Its wood was often used in building temples that to this day have kept its penetrating scent. Sandalwood oil has been used as a remedy for ailments for over four thousand years, and is a common fixative in perfumery. In Chinese medicine, sandalwood increases longevity, and builds confidence and determination." - Carrière Frères Industrie

Sandalwood is a popular scent in home fragrance, typically used as a base note to compliment the key player. It's a neutral fragrance, bordering on boring. Many times, on it's own, it comes across as being almost watery and useless. The Carrière Frères interpretation of sandalwood, however, is anything but boring.

It reminds me of the Stephen Swift Furniture Studio in Nantucket. Stark white walls and warm wood floors filled solely with sleek, hand crafted, solid wood furniture. The wood is sanded to such a fine finish it feels almost like velvet. Soft curves made for comfort. Stylish tapered legs. Polished with simple oils to bring out the color and personality, each piece is a work of art. Nature made even more glorious. Anything else in the room would just add distraction. All that is needed is simple pieces of exquisite furniture for the most stunning statement.

The Carrière Frères Sandalwood candle is the same way. White frosted glass and creamy white wax liquefying cleanly and glowing softly as it burns. The fragrance is nothing like the raw, sawdust scent you get some from single note wood candles. It's refined and distinguished. Full of character and elegance. Carrière Frères managed to create an almost feminine and delicate scent from such a masculine product - wood so strong and durable the scent lasts for decades.

Anyone that knows my fragrance preferences enough is well aware of my affinity for trees. I enjoy the strong, heart of the tree even more than it's leafy, showy side. The Carrière Frères Santalum Album candle is a welcome addition to my collection. Now I am even more anxious to see what they've done with cedar...

October Top Fan Caitlin Feener's 3 Favorite Candles

Caitlin Feener's Favorite Products at Candles Off Main

Nest Wild Oats & BourbonNEST Wild Oats & Bourbon There is something about this blend that warms me in a way unlike any other fragrance I’ve encountered. It’s by far the most unique candle I’ve ever smelled. Upon first sniff, the ginger is prominent and entices you into wanting more. However once you light it, the oats and bourbon come into play and create an incredible atmosphere of old-fashioned class and sophistication. This candle is vintage elegance—a timeless blend that is layered so perfectly and simply cannot be replicated. Wild Oats & Bourbon stands alone as one of the most original fragrances on the market. It boasts the enormous talents of Laura Slatkin and her ability to create the most phenomenal blends.

Voluspa Ambre LumiereVoluspa Ambre Lumiere I have been a Voluspa fan for many, many years and it’s hard for me to pick just one of my favorites. However if I had to pick one to burn for the rest of my life, it would be Ambre Lumiere. This blend is just magical to me. It’s oh-so sweet yet musky at the same time. I typically adore most amber blends, but the vanilla and patchouli work with this fragrance to create a gorgeous maple-like masterpiece. It’s sophisticated and gourmand, and you can’t go wrong with the dark packaging of the Maison Noir line.

Tocca Grace CandleTocca Grace This third pick is very difficult for me, but I decided to branch away from my typical dark, gourmand palette and pick a classic. I’ve loved Tocca Grace for almost 12 years—it was the fragrance that actually introduced me to the wonderful world of luxury candles. One word for this blend—goddess. Grace is a Casablanca lily fragrance. The throw on this candle will literally blow you away. It engulfs you in it’s beautiful world of femininity and floral decadence, and I promise it smells unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Tocca also just recently announced their Grace inspired perfume: Graciella. I’m sure it will be as beautiful as it’s candle counterpart.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Holiday… It Should Smell so Nice!

Guest Post by our October Facebook Fan, Caitlin Feener

As my mother always says —An ice cream sundae without nuts is like a day without sunshine. And the same goes for the holiday season and fragrance. Can you even imagine a Thanksgiving without the warm notes of pumpkin and the smell of leaves circling in the crisp, autumn wind? Could you spend the Christmas season without the elegance of pine drifting through the house and the ashy warmth of the fireplace? I’m not even sure that New Year’s Eve could properly exist without the wet winter air and champagne (or sparkling cider) bubbles tickling at your nose. I’d rather spend my days in the pitch-black dark eating ice cream sundaes without any nuts, thank you very much.

The holidays truly are defined by fragrance. When you sit back and recall spending Christmas with your family as a child, you might distinctly remember the sweet tobacco wafting from your grandfather’s pipe, or those delicious cookies that your mom always baked. These are the unique scents of our lives—the comforts all around us that can instantly transform us into a special place in time.

Here are some wonderful notes found in some of my favorite holiday candles that are simply perfect for this time of year. Whether they remind you of scents from the past or become a brand new staple in your holiday décor, these fragrances will take your holiday season to a whole new level of comfort.

Pumpkin
Sweet and gourmand, pumpkin is a palette pleaser for many months out of the year. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice lattes, even pumpkin hummus is found in on many tables during the fall and winter seasons. If you truly want to maximize the pumpkin experience, then I highly suggest making NEST Pumpkin Chai a part of your holiday routine. This candle takes pumpkin to a sweet and sophisticated level that, in my humble opinion, cannot be matched by any other pumpkin fragrance on the market. If you want the dreamy smell of a warm, gooey, spicy pumpkin delicacy permanently baking in the oven, then don’t wait any longer—the solution is here, and it’s NEST. You won’t even believe how quickly this candle can fill a space with its irresistible delight, within minutes of lighting. This candle encompasses all that is autumn. As a matter of fact, I have trouble even recalling those long-lost PPCTs (Pre-Pumpkin Chai Thanksgivings).

Vanilla
This warm note completes practically everything nostalgic, from sugar cookies to vintage tobacco. I adore vanilla because it can completely transform something plain and simple into something comforting—vanilla is the hug within every candle. Don’t like to bake? Great news—you don’t have to! Let the warm sweet scent of these candles fill the air for the complete gourmand experience. If you are looking for the warm-baked cookie ambiance, then Voluspa Macaron is for you. This candle could warm up a home in Antarctica. Just like the French delicacies for which it is named, Macaron is sweet, colorful, and comforting. If Buddy the Elf were real, I know he would give Macaron two thumbs up.

Another take on vanilla that I enjoy during the holiday seasons is Karma by Aura. This blend of vanilla with sophisticated spices such as cardamom, cayenne, and sea salt is as comforting as a glass of classic eggnog, but sassy enough to resemble an eggnog martini with extra spice.

And finally, to top off the gourmand vanilla blends, NEST Tahiti Vanille is as pure as they come. With subtle hints of white chocolate, caramel, and rum, Tahiti Vanille is decadent and can be burned alone, or layered with just about any other blend. It’s very hard to find a candle that plays so well with others—Tahiti Vanille is the secret ingredient to your holiday candle cocktail.

Pine
Of course, the beautiful scent of a fresh Christmas tree in your living room is certainly pleasant. However, not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy a real tree in their home, nor do you have to. Tree-inspired fragrances both complement and/or replace the essence of pine, fir, eucalyptus, and more. My personal favorite is NEST Holiday. This gem combines pine and eucalyptus with a twist of citrus and cinnamon. In other words, it is the mack-daddy of all holiday candles. If I were to bottle up Christmas and put it in a beautiful red and gold package, it would smell exactly like NEST Holiday. It’s truly perfect, and I highly recommend it for anyone and everyone during the holidays.


Another fun take on pine is the Icy Blue Pine candle by Votivo. This candle is cool and fresh, a gorgeous accent piece for a cold rainy or snowy day. To be honest, Icy Blue Pine is one of the most unique takes on a tree inspired blend I’ve come across. It’s a pure white snowflake on the tip of a pine tree—almost haunting in a good way.

Berries and Champagne
You don’t have to consume alcohol in order to appreciate the beauty of a champagne or wine blend. When the holidays are coming to a close, drive off that post-holiday depression with an uplifting celebratory candle. One of my new favorite blends to hit the market is Bubbly by Aura. Reminiscent of a tall sparkling glass of elegant European ice wine, Bubbly is both a crowd-pleaser and perfect for a quiet night in. I love the grape essence in this candle–it’s really hard to find a blend that replicates the sophistication and layers of a glass of wine, and Bubbly pretty much nails it.

I also adore the Celebration candle by Belle Fleur. This blend is a bit more dry and spicy, with a gorgeous ginger edge. Light these candles, get intoxicated by the scent, and dance around your house barefoot—I promise I won’t tell anyone.

Another fantastic new berry-inspired blend is Winter Cranberry by Votivo. A different take on the holiday blend, cranberry and raspberry blends fantastically with vanilla and tree notes. This candle was very surprising to me—if you aren’t a huge fan of the traditional pine holiday candles, try Winter Cranberry and see if its more your style.

I implore you to try one of these blends and maximize your holiday season. Just like the pumpkin seeds roasting in the oven and the peppermint mocha constantly in my hand, my holidays just wouldn’t be the same without these gorgeous candles. It’s never too late to start making those comforting holiday memories and traditions.

Please, share some of your favorite holiday candles in the comments section down below! Or if you have tried any of these candles, what are your thoughts?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Want to know what Caitlin's 3 favorite products are on the CandlesOffMain.com website? Click here to find out!