Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide 2012

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.
Classic, 8 oz, 50 hours $32
Votive, 2.3 oz, 15 hours $14

Voluspa 2-wick Tin Best Hostess Gift: Voluspa Corta Maison Candles
The new corta maison candles by Voluspa are just stunning!  The photos don't do them justice.  Lined with silver vermeil, the candle light sprinkles through while burning to create a festive atmosphere. Voluspa candles offer clean burning coconut wax and 100% cotton wick. Hand-poured in a beautiful glass container with decorative lid. Our favorite fragrance? Branche Vermeil: an icicle crusted branch of winter spruce snapped with hints of citron, balsam and sugar.

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 $30, there is a lamp for every decor and price range. We're loving the limited edition holiday Lampe Berger Lamps.

Antica Petite Diffuser Best Stocking Stuffer: Voluspa Votive Candles
Incredibly charming and well priced at just $9 each, the new votive candles by Voluspa make a perfect stocking stuffer.  Available in all the Voluspa Maison fragrances.  Our pick: Ambre Lumiere - a warm, exotic mixture of light amber, vanilla benzoine & Indonesian patchouli to warm you up on cool winter nights.

Nest 6-Votive Gift Set Best Gadget Gift
The new car diffuser by Lampe Berger makes a perfect gift for the person that loves gadgets.  Lampe Berger tapped into aromatherapy to create essential oil blends to help keep you alert or happy or to keep you from getting car sick or from wanting to smoke. The Lampe Berger Easy Scent car diffuser also removes stuffy and stale car air.  Well priced at $50.

Lafco Diffusers Best Gift to Impress: Lampe Berger Diffusers
We're not sure what is more impressive - the beauty of the unique Lafco diffuser vessel with colorful hand-blown glass and massive size or the amazing fragrances. All this in perfect packaging makes the new Lafco diffusers a gift that would amaze the most hard to please person.  Our favorite fragrance? Master Bedroom (Chamomile Lavender) "The slightest suggestion of fresh washed linens is added to the scent of healing chamomile blossoms and lavender buds to inspire a restful night of deep sleep and sweet dreams."

Simpatico Candles Most Charming Gift: Simpatico Hobnail Candles
These over-sized, 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. Meringue is great this time of year: "Smooth, creamy and sweet, this delectable blend of sugar and cream is nested in a bed of freshly shaved coconut made to comfort and envelope you in layers of bliss."

Lafco Candles Best Luxury Gift: 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? Ski House (Feu de Bois):  "Like the perfect ski vacation, this blend of crisp, crystal mountain air and the unmistakable odor of cedar log fire with just a touch of evergreen fir takes you to your very own luxurious alpine lodge."

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 $4, 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.

Friday, November 16, 2012

2012 Best Off Main Award Winners

Five years ago we created the Best Off Main Awards to honor the finest products available in luxury home fragrance. We nominate the best but the winners are selected solely on a public voting system. Below are the 2012 winners.

Best Candle Line Award: Nest
This is the first year Nest has won the category for the Best Candle Line stealing it from Voluspa who had been the only winner for this category to date.

Best Packaging Award:  Belle Fleur
This is only the 3rd year for this category.  Voluspa had been the only winner to date until this year when Belle Fleur won the award with a slight margin.

Most Fragrant Candle Line Award: Nest Fragrance
Nest won this category by a landslide and it's the second year in a row that Nest has won the award for the most fragrant candles.   

Best Fragrance Award: Nest Fragrances Pumpkin Chai
The award has bounced around from Votivo Red Currant to Voluspa Makassar Ebony & Peach, but Nest Pumpkin Chai was the clear winner this year.

Best New Fragrance Award: Voluspa Moso Bamboo
This was an extremely close vote but the win ended with Voluspa Moso Bamboo.  This fragrance also won our vote for the best new fragrance at the NYIGF in January of 2012.

Best Soy/Vegetable/Coconut Wax Candle Line Award: Voluspa
The category bounces around a bit from Voluspa to Linnea's Lights to Aromatherapy Interventions.  This is the 3rd year that Voluspa has won this award and they won by a large margin.

Best Luxury Candle Line Award: Belle Fleur
This category bounced around in the beginning with Le Cherche Midi and Anthousa, but Belle Fleur has been the consistent winner for the past 3 years in a row. 

Best Diffuser Line Award: Votivo
This category was shared between Voluspa and Agraria for the first four years but Votivo took the win for 2012. 

Best Holiday Tree Fragrance Candle Award: Nest Birchwood Pine
This category was shared between Voluspa Frost Pinecone and Thymes Frasier Fir for the first 4 years but the new Birchwood Pine fragrance by Nest took the win this year.

Best Holiday Fragrance Candle: Nest Fragrances Holiday
The Nest Holiday candle has won this award 4 out of 5 years.  

Nest Fragrances absolutely dominated the Best Off Main Awards this year winning the most categories and every category in which they were nominated. 

Thanks to everyone that participates in the voting process!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

NEST Fragrances Birchwood Pine Candles

NEST Fragrances recently added Birchwood Pine to their holiday offering. This new fragrance features white pine, fir balsam and birchwood over a base of rich musk and amber.

Tree fragrances can range from very woodsy, focusing mainly on the trunk of the tree, to very clean featuring the crisp notes of the bright green needles on the tree.  This scent definitely highlights the lively green notes creating an open atmosphere full of energy. 

I really love this new fragrance by NEST.  It's a perfect way to bring the fresh outdoor air into your home. The fragrance is intense and invigorating and the candle burned beautifully. 

For those of you that love a tree fragrance at the holidays, this is a must try! It is sure to impress and delight with its fragrance and festive packaging.

NEST Birchwood Pine is available in an 8oz candle, 3-wick candle and votive candle.

Fragrance intensity 4.5/5.  Burn quality 4.5/5.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Introducing LAFCO Bar Soap

There’s a LAFCO candle for every room in your house. 
 Now there’s a LAFCO bar soap for every bathroom in your house.

Same luxurious quality.
Same gorgeous fragrances.
Same over-sized value.

Once again, LAFCO creates to impress.
And succeeds.

With 20 years of experience in working with soap (they are the creators of Claus Porto) LAFCO has developed the perfect bar of soap. This exclusive soap is made in Italy with a custom, unique vegetable base. This new bar soap just launched and has already been featured on the TODAY Show! We're sure like many other LAFCO products, it will show up on the O List soon.

All Good:
Pure, 100% vegetable base containing 14% cold-pressed olive oil, refined sweet almond oil and coconut oil.
Quadruple milled so it will not crack or become soft.
Made with a minimum of 92% natural essential oil based fragrances.
Forms a thick lather. No shaving cream necessary with this in the shower.
Packs a punch at 8.5oz. yet ergonomically designed to fit perfectly in your hand.
Exceptionally moisturizing thanks to the almond oil.
Housed in a gift-ready box making it a perfect hostess gift.

No Bad:
Does not contain solvents or acids.
No harsh chemicals or preservatives.
Never tested on animals.
100% biodegradable.
No Tetra Sodium EDTA. No parabens. No BHT.

I had a chance to try the new LAFCO bar soap and I love it!  The shape is perfect to hold - soft and comfortable.  The fragrances are just as amazing as the candles.  The lather was incredible - perfect for shaving.  It left my skin feeling very clean and soft.  I tried Dutchess Peony - a great, soft, feminine fragrance.  I'd like to try the Champagne fragrance next.  It smells divine!  Fresh Cut Gardenia is great if you like florals.  Chamomile Lavender is perfect for gift-giving and guest bathrooms.  Sea and Dune is great anywhere, anytime - a good, clean scent particularly perfect for summer.  Rosemary Eucalyptus is incredibly refreshing and a good eye-opener if you shower early in the morning.  This fragrance would also work well for guys.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thymes Wildwood Collection

Thymes recently refreshed their new Wildwood Collection with warm packaging and two new fragrances. 

The collection still features its best selling fragrance from last year, Bitter Orange & CedarThis fragrance captures the deep enchantment of the forest as it gently smolders with sweet herbs, rare spices and resinous sap.  If you remember the Royal Pomander fragrance from a few years back, you'll find familiarity with this blend.  Bitter Orange & Cedar is great for lovers of dark, earthy fragrances with hints of patchouli.

Our favorite new fragrance in this collection is Brandied Pumpkin & Chestnut.  It is subtle and sumptuous with the warmth of brandied pumpkin, comforting spices, honeyed amber and ancient woods.  One of the base notes really calls out to me.  Maybe sandalwood?  Or vetiver?  This candle reminds me of a good hot toddy - warm and comforting.  It isn't overly pumpkin so can be enjoyed from early September through April. 

Blue Spruce & Elderberry rounds out this collection with it's invigorating freshness of forest air.  The herbs and spices in this blend give it a lovely warmth.  I love woodsy fragrances and the cold throw on this is fantastic.  I'd love for it to translate more while burning.  I'll give it another try when I don't have all the doors and windows open.  Let me know what your experience has been.

I miss the Magnolia, Fig & Vetiver fragrance they had in the collection last year.  Personally, that was my favorite in the bunch.  Hopefully they'll bring back as an even better version of it when they extend the line into spring/summer.   hint.  hint;)

If Thymes does extend the collection into spring/summer, what fragrances would you love for them to include?

Monday, September 17, 2012

What's New in Luxury Home Fragrance - Summer 2012

Here's a sampling of what's new in the world of luxury home fragrance as of the Summer of 2012.

Thymes launched a new collection, Lotus Santal, featuring sultry floral notes of cocoa orchid and red lotus with layers of exotic plum wood, patchouli, and spicy touches of clove bud. The Thymes Wildwood Collection was renewed with new packaging and 2 new fragrances: Blue Spruce & Edelberry and Brandied Pumpkin & Chesnut.  They also updated their Frasier Fir collection with new packaging design and a few limited edition candles and diffuser.

DayNa Decker launched the new Atelier Collection featuring 6 fragrances in diffusers, candles and bar soap. 

Tocca launched a new travel perfume kit and new votive candles. 

LAFCO launched new bar soap and large diffusers in hand-blown glass decanters. 

AQUIESSE launched the new Black and White Collections featuring 6 fragrances each in candles and diffusers. 

NEST Fragrances launched new 3-wick tin candles, body wash and lotion and Body & Soul spray in the core fragrances in their Everyday Collection. They also launched a new fragrance, Birchwood Pine, as part of their holiday line-up. In October the After Midnight Collection will join their offering.

Rigaud created a new fragrance, Vesuve, with beautiful orange wax and a warm fragrance. The new, grande diffuser will be available mid-October in select fragrances.

Voluspa launched the new Vermeil Collection featuring 6 fragrances in candles and diffusers. This collection includes Makassar Ebony & Peach, French Bourbon Vanille, Clove Pomander, Vermeil Blanche, Champagne Rose and Chestnut & Vetiver.

Votivo launched a new fragrance, Dulce Caramelo, as part of their Holiday Collection. Dulce Caramelo is a rich blend of caramelized sugar droplets, maple syrup, smooth cocoa butter,  smokey cedarwood and sticky caramel.

Most of these products will be available by mid-October at www.CandlesOffMain.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Do Diffusers Work?

We get this question a lot: "Do you have any diffusers that work? I've tried several brands and I can never smell them." 

Diffusers are a great tool in home fragrance to provide a constant scent.  You don't have to light them or keep and eye on them, as you do a candle, so they are a perfect match for powder rooms, foyers and guest bedrooms where you always want it to smell fabulous but can't always keep a candle burning.  Imagine it smelling great when you walk in the home or when unexpected guests arrive.  Diffusers also compliment candles to provide a layering effect to enhance a candle fragrance.

The first thing to consider is the size of the diffuser. Diffusers are the same as candles - the larger the space, the larger the candle/diffuser. Keep smaller candles and diffusers to smaller spaces.  Don't expect a $20-something diffuser that's smaller than your remote controller to fill your family room with fragrance. 

The second thing to consider is the brand. Some brands are more fragrant than others. VOTIVO diffusers are very fragrant and efficient due to their rapid release reed technology (fancy for - they work.) They are also a great value at just $39.

DayNa Decker is another brand that is very fragrant and the large size works well to fill wide open spaces.  The front part of our house is open to the upstairs and I could smell the large diffuser throughout the house.  The price tag is higher, at $87, but these last well over a year.

The last thing to consider is the location.  Place the diffuser in an area that is well traveled.  A diffuser stuck in the corner will stay in the corner.  If you place your diffuser on a table that runs along a long hallway, or in the center of the room on an end table you will notice it more often.  I enjoy having a diffuser on my kitchen window sill.  When a soft breeze flows in I'm surrounded with a scent that makes washing dishes an enjoyable chore.  (Note that diffusers in a window may evaporate faster due to the breeze. Try to keep them out of direct sunlight or the oil may change color or go rancid.)

For brands that aren't as fragrant as VOTIVO and DayNa Decker, think of the diffuser more of a bouquet of flowers.  You may not notice a bouquet of flowers in the corner of a room, but when you walk by you pick up their natural essence.  The same is true for diffusers.  The scent will probably not smack you across the face when you walk in the room but the scent will enchant you as you pass by.  The brand we have most in our home is Antica Farmacista.  I love their fragrances and they way they enhance, but don't dominate, the space so I can have one in every room and not get nauseous walking through the house. 

If you have a diffuser that isn't quite up to snuff, try flipping the reeds.  You can flip a few reeds every few days for a steady scent or all the reeds everyday for a more intense fragrance. Note that the more reeds you flip and the more often you flip them, the faster you'll go through the fragrance oil.  Be sure to remove the diffuser from your table top and wipe down the sides before you place the diffuser back down.  You don't want the oil to drip down the side of the vase and ruin your counter top.  (Been there.)

Also keep in mind that while the fragrance oil might last for years, the fragrance (most likely) will not.  If you've had your diffuser for over a year or longer and it doesn't smell anymore don't take it out on the diffuser.  It's run it's course and it's time to move on.  I've had diffusers last 2 years and even though there is still some scent and oil left - I'm ready to move on.  Ditch the old oil and recycle or reuse the vase. 

Diffuser maintenance tip: If your your diffuser runs out and you decide to get refill oil be sure to empty the vase with any remaining stale oil and wash it out well with soap and water (or put it in the dishwasher if your vase can handle that).  Let the vase (diffuser container) dry completely before adding fresh diffuser refill oil.  Also be sure to use a new set of reeds.  This is extremely important!  Most people reuse their reeds which is one reason they can't smell it anymore.  Over time, diffuser reeds become dusty and clogged from oil and stop working efficiently.  You'd be surprised how much better a diffuser works when you use new reeds. I like the diffuser refill reeds by K. Hall Designs.  Not all brands offer diffuser refills, but K. Hall, DayNa Decker, Trapp and Archipelago Botanicals offer diffuser refill oil.  You can also find diffuser refill oil for Thymes Frasier Fir.

Diffuser trick: Many customers are afraid to bring diffusers into their home because they have kids and/or pets that might have too much fun playing with this new "toy".  You can get an inexpensive diffuser hook to hang most diffusers up on a wall away from any curious hands/paws.  K. Hall, Antica Farmastica, Archipelago Botanicals Excursion, NEST Fragrances and VOTIVO diffusers work well with the diffuser hook. I find this very useful in our powder room where there isn't any shelf space for a diffuser.  I hung it right next to the doorway so as you walk in the bathroom it smells amazing. 

Please do me a favor and don't buy a cheap brand at a discount store or  home decor store. In most cases those are the brands that disappoint customers and turn them away from the product when really it's the brand and not the concept.  Discount and home decor stores don't specialize in home fragrance, and I assure you, the cheap price tag is from cheap ingredients.  Premium ingredients can cost up to thousands of dollars an ounce!  If you want your home to smell beautiful, invest in a beautiful diffuser from a reputable home fragrance brand.  You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Crazy for Coconut Candles

It never fails. The weather heats up and everyone starts clamoring for coconut candles.  A tropical oasis to the rescue you from the obliterating heat. Here are our favorite coconut candles:

Archipelago Botanicals Fiji - Fresh
Photo from
 If you are looking for something more along the lines of suntan lotion - this is it.  It's not as over-the-top and obvious as that, though.  It's more refined and sophisticated - like delicate cookies.  Take real coconut meat and shred it so the essence is amplified.  Stir in some real cane sugar to sweeten in just a tad and top with a quick squirt of lemon juice and a bit of lemon zest for freshness.  Perfection!

Simpatico Meringue - Creamy
Photo from
If Seda Citron du Sud is fruity and Archipelago Fiji is fresh, Simaptico Meringue is creamy.  The name for this one is perfect.  Think of a decadent coconut cream pie that makes you feel so good inside.  Creamy milk, a touch of sugar, fresh coconut and a meringue top that is perfectly toasted.  Bonus for this one - a beautiful hobnail glass holder that you will want to reuse for years to come with pens, makeup brushes, flowers, candles....

Photo from
 Voluspa Bella Sucre - Floral
You just walked into the atrium of a luxurious hotel in Hawaii.  They immediately decorate you with a Hawaiian Lei and offer you a tropical drink served in a coconut.  The smell of the taire flowers around your neck mingle with the creamy coconut drink refreshing you... ahhhh!  Voluspa Bella Sucre is decadently sweet with demerara sugar and soothing with coconut milk.  The touch of taire flower whisks you away to your favorite tropical vacation spot.  A necessary and well deserved indulgence.  Available in a scalloped candle, 3-wick tin, large jar and mini diffuser

Seda Citron du Sud - Fruity
Imagine a fresh summer fruit salad.  The bowl brimming with juicy pineapple and bright apricot.  On top there's a generous sprinkling of clean coconut shavings.  That is Seda Citron du Sud.  Slightly fruity. Intensely summer.

What's your favorite coconut fragrance to soothe the summer heat?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Aquiesse Sunflower Candle

The Aquiesse Sunflower candle is summertime in a jar.  It's bursting with French chamomile, golden sunflowers and orange mimosa. 

The vibrant floral bouquet reminds me of a high end suntan lotion you'd find in a luxury hotel.  It's one of those fragrances that make you warm and happy inside as memories of sunny vacations and summer breaks rush to mind.

The Sunflower candle by Aquiesse has done an amazing job of featuring orange mimosa.  It's well complimented by the chamomile and sunflowers.  A beautiful blend.  This is by far my favorite mimosa blend that immediately transports me to a lush estate in Florida on a warm sunny day.

Fragrance intensity: 4/5.  Burn quality 4.5/5.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hervé Gambs Herbe Intese (Intense Grass) Candle

It's been a hot, steamy summer. Today, we finally had a little bit of a break and I'm craving something fresh. I don't normally gravitate towards grass scented candles, but the Hervé Gambs Herbe Intese (Intense Grass) Candle seem just right.  And it was!

"Vivifying nature through which the freshly cut grass reveals the plant purity of the tree."

It's one of those fragrances that you don't notice right away in the room, but when you step out and come back in your taken aback by its beauty.  Clear and serene but also invigorating.  It makes you feel good inside and smile on the outside.  

This fragrance immediately hit my list of scents that most impressed me.  It is so well balanced and refined.  Rarely do I call a fragrance a masterpiece, but Herve Gambs Intense Grass is exactly that. 

The first thing that comes to mind is super soft grass that feels like velvet when you run your fingers up it.  Break it in half and smell the inside.  Fresh and pure.  Natural. There's also something slightly soapy about this scent that gives a clean appeal.  The Herve Gambs Intense Grass candle is perfect for afternoon company or anytime you want to brighten your space or your mood.  

I love the simple white vessel for this fragrance.  It's the perfect elegant and chic touch to this sophisticated scent.  The Herbe Intense candle by Herve Gambs would make a fantastic gift.  Clean and fresh

Fragrance intensity 3.5/5.  Burn quality 4/5.  

Hervé Gambs candles offer an intimate and personal olfactory experience of the nature world fragrances. Poured in a gloss white container with creamy white wax. Entirely made in France. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jonathan Adler Pop Sugar Candle

Before we got into home fragrance I was a baker. At one point I worked at a gourmet catering company in the bakery department.  One of the signature deserts was creme brulee cheesecake with brittle topping.  We would make caramelized sugar, let it harden on a sheet pan, and then break it into brittle for a dramatic display on top of the cheesecake.

After making 60 or so of those cheesecakes, I really got to know the smell of caramelized sugar.  There is a point just before it burns when the fragrance gets really deep and the color turns golden.  Wait a few seconds too long and the whole this turns black, smells bitter and burns.  But catch it at it's peak and it's heaven! That is what the Jonathan Adler Sugar candle smells like to me.  Perfectly caramelized sugar.  Warm and comforting.

I'm a sugar addict, so I could layer this candle with just about anything, like:
What would you layer Sugar with?

Burn quality 4/5. Fragrance intensity 4.5/5.

Voluspa Tuberosa di Notte

Voluspa Tuberosa di Notte is a blend of night blooming tuberose and exotic agave nectar.  I'm not sure if it's coincidence or research, but tuberose (Polianthes Tuberosa) flowers are related to the agave plant. Whatever the inspiration, the blend is genius!  I love the simple sweetness the agave nectar adds to this floral fragrance.  

Tuberosa di Notte is a beautiful, clean floral and clearly represents the essence of the tuberose flower.  I appreciate that this fragrance isn't heady at all, which is hard to manage with such a dominant floral.  There is something almost zesty or soapy clean about it.  It's as if the actual flowers are in the room with their simple beauty and scent.

The agave nectar is barely noticeable but so enjoyable.  I actually liked it so much that I lit a Jonathan Adler Sugar candle in the same room to amplify and deepen the sweet note with it's caramelized sugar fragrance.  If I added a Voluspa French Bourbon Vanille candle at the same time it would create an even better version of the popular Voluspa Fleurs de Fete fragrance.  

Voluspa Tuberosa di Notte is available in a ceramic candle, jar candle, 2-wick tin, diffuser and room spray.

Burn quality 4/5.  Fragrance intensity 3/5. 

Carrière Frères Gardenia Tahitensis (Tiare Gardenia) Candle

The Carrière Frères Gardenia Tahitensis candle features the Polynesian tiare - the national flower of Tahiti. Tiare is amongst the most famous gardenias with a scent reminiscent of tuberose.
In true Carriere Freres form, they created a most elegant tiare gardenia fragrance.  It's somewhat powdering and exceedingly feminine.  It reminds me of an exquisite bathroom in a 5 star hotel.  Opulent, indulgent and shimmering with fine touches - overly plush clean towels, an abundance of mirrors and luxurious hand and body cream.  The pièce de résistance?  A powder puff so full, soft, and insanely girly.  

(As an aside - when I was a kid I used to love to play with my Mom's powder puff.  One day I covered my face with dusting powder trying to emulate the white-as-snow look during the Madonna era.  When she caught me she critiqued that powder is for your body - not your face.  I knew that.  Didn't she know Madonna?)  

Back to the bathroom - on the counter is a crystal vase overflowing with gardenias.  Breath deep and you're surrounded by the velvet soft and clean feel of the crisp white petals.  Ahhhhh....  Sometimes the hotel is the best part of a vacation. 

Burn quality 4/5.  Fragrance intensity 1/5. 

Linnea's Lights Tuberose Candle

The Linnea's Lights Tuberose candle celebrates the heart of the tuberose flower - it's complex and slightly sweet floral essence.  Tuberose is a night blooming flower that is frequently used in wedding ceremonies and to make Hawaiian leis.    It's an intense floral that can easily get unruly and overwhelming - becoming too complicated and heady in a heart beat. 

Linnea's Lights did a nice job to keep this floral under control creating an enjoyable floral worthy of company.  Where most tuberose candles lean towards sweet or spicy, this fragrance (if it leans in any direction) would be slightly angled towards a soft, natural earthiness.  Perhaps the base uses moss or neutral wood notes.  Kudos to Laura Cler for creating a Tuberose that is completely in sync with the brand - simple and natural.

Burn quality 4/5.  Fragrance intensity 3.5/5

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Linnea's Lights Rose Candle

The Linnea's Lights Rose candle is a nostalgic and romantic blend of red rose, geranium and tea rose.  It's slightly powdery with a soapy feel.

It brings to mind an image of a magical guest room in a romantic inn at a New England seaport.  The windows are open and the sunny and ocean air stream in.  The decor is chabby chic with hints of pink.  Elegant and a bit whimsical, the room is comfortable and inviting where the mornings are lazy and the evenings relaxed.  

Photo from Brunch at Saks on Flickr

The Linnea's Ligthts Rose candle would make a great gift for any woman or as a hostess gift when you spend the weekend with friends.  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. Linnea's Lights uses packaging made with recycled content and soy-based ink.

Burn quality 4/5.  Fragrance intensity 4/5. 

Facebook Top Fan May 2012 - Bonnie Jacobs

Guest Post by Bonnie Jacobs
May 2012 Facebook Top Fan

Barbecues, hammocks, and candle lanterns spring has arrived oh yes! There is nothing better than lying underneath the stars on a hammock surrounded by candles. I am one of those people that crave everything associated with tranquility and comfort and am always on the lookout for candles which evoke this type of mood.

Lafco Candles
I absolutely adore these candles. They are made with thick chunky glass and the fragrances are very soothing. I love to layer fragrances and Foyer, Ski House, and Bedroom go beautifully together.

Nest Tahiti Vanille
I just love this candle! Vanilla blended with white chocolate and a touch of rum and caramel. Yummo!

Aquiesse Boardwalk
I just love this candle as it is really fun to burn. This candle reminds me of being by the beach with the smell of waffle cones in the air.

DayNa Decker Bardou Chandel

The DayNa Decker Bardou chandel is a blend of pink peppercorn, fresh greens, wild rose, pink peony, cardamom and redwood. 

The wild rose and pink peony compliment each other beautifully in this fragrance offering a delicate and feminine quality - like an elegant grandmother.  This soft side is in direct contrast to the jumpy pink peppercorn and cardamom that make the scent very lively and peppy - like grand-kids that can't settle down. I love the redwood base offering a masculine side.  Like a stout grandfather that offers a quiet, solid support but doesn't interfere with the activities.

Here's my image map of this fragrance:

This is a very stimulating rose scent. Not overly floral and definitely not heady.   If you're looking for something vibrant and slightly peppery/pungent - this is it.  DayNa Decker Bardou is available in a candle and diffuser.

Burn quality 3/5. Fragrance intensity 2/5.

DayNa Decker Botanika candles are made with a creamy wax and organic Eco Wood wick. DayNa Decker candles used the influence of fresh botanicals to celebrate the beauty of nature as a true inspiration. Through the use of a woodwick, the DayNa Decker chandel (candle) can be enjoyed through sight, sound and scent for a multisensory experience.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Belle Fleur Rose Immortelle Candle

This modern juicy rose evokes the freshness of a plump rose in full bloom, just plucked from its bed - inclusive of stem, leaves, root and earth. It is a sensual but vivid floral accord with a light wood angle and anchored by the rare and dazzling fragrance oil from the petals of the centifolia rose. Rose Immortelle is a full-bodied diva that will sing you a beautiful aria, one that will have you replaying the sublime melody in your mind, over and over again.

Belle Fleur describes Rose Immortelle as fresh, vivid and bold and it is exactly that.  A fresh rose bud surrounded by red current.  Ripe, slightly tart, and clean with a touch of lemon and mint. This is a great rose scented candle if you are looking for a lively fragrance.  Of all the fragrances in the Rose Collection by Belle Fleur, this one has the most direct translation accurately reflecting the heart and soul of a rose bud.

Top Notes: Lemon, Red Currant, Mint
Middle Notes: Rose Centifolia Absolute, Jasmine, Hyacinth
Base Notes: Orris, Amber, Galbanum, Cedarwood

Burn quality 4/5.  Fragrance intensity 3/5. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Belle Fleur Imperial Oudh

If Imperial Oudh were a man, he’d be tall, dark and handsome, but totally in touch with his feminine side. A study in contrast, it is inspired by the gentleman's private library. The exotic wood paneling, the scent of a crackling fireplace, row upon row of leather-bound books, the worn Chesterfield leather sofa, the hint of pipe tobacco in the air...and in the midst of all this masculinity, a sumptuous bouquet of delicate roses, adding balance and just the right touch of femininity to make it a perfect world.

Belle Fleur describes this scent as elegant and mysterious.  I love those labels for this scent and I adore the description they provide.  It isn't as much of a leather bound library/wood paneled den for me as their Kyara Clove fragrance, but it is definitely masculine and curious.

Imperial Oudh is more of a incense fragrance - the type when customers declare "Smells like church!".  It doesn't have the sweetness of Opium Den, but the incense, smoke and spices remind me of it.  Cire Trudon Spiritus Sancti, Tobi Tobin Signature and many of the Alexa Rodulfo fragrances fall into this category.  Worn wood, incense and a cold quality of dark empty halls in a damp castle.

What the Belle Fleur Imperial Oudh candle brings to the table is a feminine touch that the others don't.  Notes of rose, violet and amber bring a softness to the scent.  There are curtains on the walls and pillows on the couch but the fireplace is still unlit. 

Top Notes: Violet, Tobacco Leaf
Middle Notes: Moroccan Rose Absolute, Oudh, Tolu
Base Notes: Spice, Amber, Smoke, Leather, Labdanum

Burn quality 4/5.  Fragrance intensity 3/5. 

Belle Fleur Petals d'Amour Candle

A radiant and enlivening fragrance inspired by the ethereal nature of The Garden of Eden. Belle Fleur set out to capture the sublime nuances of assorted blossoms with the sensuality of luscious fruit. With fresh apple, crushed rose petals, a mix of luscious berries and tender fig, the fresh fruity floral notes and the silkiness of sandalwood will remind you of how beautiful it is to fall in love. A sinful but guiltless pleasure that takes you beyond the here and now. 

Belle Fleur describes this scent as radiant and ethereal.  It is definitely radiant!  Belle Fleur Petals d'Amour reminds me a little bit of Voluspa Coeur de Cassis with it's playful and pungent fruity notes resting on an earthy base - intense without being heavy.  The black currant comes through strong but the Bulgarian rose is loud and clear.  I love the slight hint of fig that offers a green note to neutralize the floral and fruity notes.  This is a lovely scent if you like a youthful, lively rose.

    Fragrance Notes:
  • Top Notes: Bergamot, Black Currant, Raspberry 
  • Middle Notes: Green Apple, Bulgarian Rose Absolute, Jasmine 
  • Base Notes: Fig, Vanilla, Sandalwood 

Pair this candle with the Juliette has a Gun Lady Vengeance perfume for they ultimate gift to woo the woman you love.
Burn quality 4/5.  Fragrance intensity 4/5.