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.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Monique Lhuillier Pink Peony Candle

photo by Judy Stalus
The Monique Lhuillier Pink Peony candle innocently captivates with its unforgettable sweet smell.  Velvet peach is charmingly stirred in a love potion of rose petals, mandarin, sheer sandalwood and embraced by the natural beauty of amber.

This is definitely one of my favorite peony scented candles - full and fruity it delights the soul.  Pink Peony is fun with it's sweet peach notes and flirty rose tickling the senses.  It's well balanced and smooth.    

This fragrance is flexible - working well any time of day in any weather.  It also works anywhere from a casual home to a very elegant estate.  The packaging makes it easy to give a high-impact gift.

Monique Lhuillier created her home fragrance collection to create an environment that captures the beauty of life.  Her candles are refined and elegant - from the delicately etched glass that reflects the intricate details from her fashion collection to the linen box complete with a opulent grosgrain bow.

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

Belle Fleur Velvet Santal Candle

If you’ve ever taken a rose petal and rubbed it between your fingers or gently stroked the back of your hand with it, its soft velvety texture is beyond luxurious. Inspired by the sensuality of the rose petal itself, we’ve translated this sultriness into an ultra-smooth, alluring rose sandalwood fragrance. Expect Velvet Santal to sing in that sexy, satiny voice - the one that will make you wish the night would never end. 

Belle Fleur describes their Velvet Santal candle as sultry, sensual and exotic.  For me it is more spicy, stimulating and curious.  I know exactly what they are talking about when they describe the velvety feel of a rose petal, but this fragrance is not that smooth.  It has a sharp, almost pungent, angle as cardamom is the first thing that jumps out.  Some people really love cardamom, but for me, it's like tickling.  Fun at first but then very annoying, very quickly, and it can't stop fast enough.  Here's list of the fragrance notes:
  • Top Notes: Broom, Cardamom, Plum 
  • Middle Notes: Turkish Rose Absolute, Magnolia, Peony
  • Base Notes: Agarwood, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Vanilla, Vetiver
I wish this fragrance was stronger in sandalwood as customers love sandalwood. There's nothing better than a sexy sandalwood scent and they are so hard to find.  If you like cardamom and spicy scents, this one is for you.  For me I'd remove the cardamom, swap vanilla orchid for the vanilla, add a second rose note, swap kyara wood for the vetiver, add a touch of caramel and crank up the volume on the sandalwood.  But that's just me.  What would you change, if anything?

This candle burned beautifully and was highly fragrant.  The wax is silky smooth and the packaging on the Belle Fleur Rose Collection is stunning.  These candles make a beautiful gift for any rose lover.

Burn quality 4.9/5  Fragrance intensity 4.5/5

Monday, June 4, 2012

Votivo Pink Mimosa

Votivo recently launched a new fragrance - Pink Mimosa.

When it’s time to unwind, relax as you breathe in the sweet aroma of strawberries mixed with Mimosa and Vanilla Rum.

This fragrance is definitely relaxing.  Notes of vanilla rum sandalwood add warmth while lively notes from mandardin and strawberry tickle the senses.  The cold throw on this candle reminds me of strawberry scented products from my youth.  This is not a positive reaction, for me, as those things turned my stomach. 

As such, it took me many months to build up the courage to try this scent.  I'm so glad I finally did.  Within minutes of lighting the vanilla rum creates such a warmth and depth that I'm instantly in love.  The slightest hints of gardenia, honeysuckle and mimosa add a nice grown-up touch and  any abysmal thoughts from childhood are instantly banished. 

If you like Voluspa Santiago Huckleberry then this fragrance is a must try scent for you.  I was hesitant to try that scent as well as the overly jammy cold throw scared me off.  However, Voluspa Santiago Huckleberry (like Votivo Pink Mimosa) has such a soothing quality.  They both come across like a gentle hug.  Perfection!

Votivo Pink Mimosa is available in a candle, diffuser, room spray and travel tin.  The travel tin candle would be perfect for a sexy weekend getaway...  just sayin'.