Thursday, March 21, 2013

Voluspa Candles - The Vermeil Collection

Last fall Voluspa candles wowed us with the launch of the new Vermeil Collection.  In case you're wondering what the name means, vermeil (gilded silver) relates to the silver detail on the Corta and Petite Maison containers.  The packaging is just stunning, in true Voluspa style, and we love all the fragrances.  This new collection replaces the old Seasons Collection.

Some of the fragrances remained the same such as Makassar Ebony & Peach and French Bourbon Vanille (two of my favorites!).   Voluspa Makassar Ebony & Peach is a dark, peach fragrance and is one of Voluspa's best selling scents.  It's sexy and appeals to both men and women that like peach fragrances.

French Bourbon Vanille is also a top seller for Voluspa and is one of my absolute favorites.  I use this fragrance on a regular basis at home and covet the room sprays I have left that have been discontinued (Traci - please bring them back!). 

Voluspa resurrected the Clove Pomander fragrance that was discontinued a few years back.  We're so happy for that as Clove Pomander had a strong following and is a great scent for those that enjoy clove or spicy fragrances.  The Voluspa Clove Pomander Corta Maison candle was a huge hit at the holidays with the beautiful red jar.

Frost Pinecone has a new name - it's now Branche Vermeil.  I'm not sure if the fragrance is exactly the same or if it has been tweaked, but I absolutely adore it!  I enjoyed this fragrance more than any other through the winter.  It's a warm, slightly woodsy scent that can be enjoyed year-round.  The packaging for Branche Vermeil is gorgeous!  The lid on the Branche Vermeil Corta Maison candle sparkles and looks beautiful when not in use.

Champagne Rose is a new fragrance for Voluspa and a very welcome addition.  If you love rose and/or champagne fragrances be sure to try this one.  It's just lovely.  If you're not a huge fan of rose fragrances, don't fear this one.  It's not a heavy or overwhelming rose but rather light and bubbly from the champagne.  It's very youthful so get Grandma out of your head.  I love the color on this one as well.

Voluspa Chestnut & Vetiver is another new fragrance.  This one is warm and cozy and a delicious gourmand blend.  I love the color of the Petite Maison and Corta Maison when burning - it glows with an inviting amber hue.

The Voluspa diffusers in this collection are taller and more slender than in the past.  They offer better fragrance throw with a new diffuser oil blend and longer reeds.   The glass is tinted in the same color palette by fragrance but only the Branche Vermeil fragrance has the vermeil detail. I love the little bow that was added - such a nice touch of elegance.

I adore the Petite Maison and Corta Maison styles in this collection as they feature the vermeil detail (they don't show nearly as beautiful in photos as they do in person).  As the candle burns, the light shines through the vermeil offering a sparkly, festive look.  I particularly love the Voluspa Corta Maison candle style as it comes with a lid that can be used as a base when the candle is burning and lid when not in use to keep the fragrance in and dust out.  The lids has an intricate star design embossed on the top and old-world apothecary jar detail on the side.  Though the Corta Maison candle does not come in a box, this is still my favorite style to gift for this collection.

The Vermeil Collection continued the tradition of the Voluspa 3-wick tin candle but added the same intricate embossed star detail on the lid.

Now it's your turn!  Tell us what you think about this new Voluspa collection: 
What's your favorite product style?
What's your favorite Voluspa Vermeil fragrance? 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Candle Safety - Center Your Wick

How many times have you glazed over the warnings on a candle numb with boredom unable to let any of it register? Probably every time if you've even read them at all. You're not alone. I'm guilty of reading all the warnings with a "duh, of course" mindset. It wasn't until I started to see that consequences that they started to sink in have meaning to me. Here's one warning you probably won't even find on the packaging:

Keep the wick in the center

You're probably thinking this isn't your responsibility. Surely a good candle manufacturer would craft a candle with a perfectly centered wick from top to bottom. Well, of course that's the goal, but during the pouring process the wick can get pushed to the side. The wick is still centered on the bottom where the base was glued to the bottom, and they are sure to center it on the top before the wax sets, but what happens in between is a guessing game many times.

A good candle maker will adhere to all the safety precautions during the manufacturing process, using the correct materials and standards, but when the candle is burning, the responsibility is on the owner to make sure they provide the right environment and monitor the conditions. (This is where the "Never burn a candle out of sight" warning comes from.) If things to awry, it's up to you to make the necessary adjustments.

If you see the wick "creeping" to the side (it isn't actually moving or creeping, it's just hardened in the wax with a slight bend to it) this creates a pour burn quality and, more importantly, becomes a safety issue. With the wick off-center, the candle will burn unevenly and likely form soot on the side of the glass where the flame is too close. This is unsightly and you won't get all the hours out of your candle.  It may stop burning at all as it drowns itself from too much wax melting down on top of it. Bad, but not the end of the world.

What happens if this is left unadjusted, however, is quite bad. The glass can get too hot and can crack. The usual response is "My candle exploded!!". Wax can spill out everywhere causing a mess and an uncontrolled fire can create a significant hazard.

So what to do?  It's quite easy.  When you see the wick start to get off-center:
  1. Extinguish the candle immediately.
  2. Use a wick dipper or wick tweezer to re-center the wick.  Sink the wick dipper or tweezer down into the melted wax about 1/2" and use it to GENTLY push the wick towards the center.  You never want to pull on the wick as you could end up pulling the wick completely out of the candle, and that doesn't take Popeye strength to do.  
  3. Let the wax harden before you relight.  When you relight the candle, the wick will start in the center and burn correctly.  If it starts to creep again after a while, repeat the process above as many times as necessary.  

Again, the consequences of not keep in things in check just aren't worth it!!   A little candle maintenance goes a long way.

This is a public service announcement brought to you from Safety Sue.

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Luxury Candles 2013 Spring/Summer Edition

Approximately twice a year luxury candle brands such as Nest Fragrances, Votivo, Thymes, Tocca and Voluspa launch new fragrances and products. Here's what's new for the 2013 spring/summer seasons:

Votivo launched 2 new fragrances for their Aromatics Collection: Jasmine Neroli and Azure Garden. Votivo Jasmine Neroli is a floral blend of mandarin, guava, angelica, jasmine, tuberose,  white musk, vanilla and soft woods.  This is a great take on jasmine and I highly recommend giving it a try.  Votivo Azure Garden is a  blend of grape hyacinth, blueberry, prairie grass, red leaf rose, red hunter, tulip, teakwood and vetiver.  This fruity floral fragrance is perfect for spring/summer.

Jonathan Adler added a fun fragrance to his Pop Collection: Bubblegum.  This smells exactly like hard bazooka bubble gum that has the powdering white coating.  If you're looking for something sugary this will hit the spot.

Thymes launched three new fragrance for their Wildwood Collection: Woodland Violet & Mint, Fiddlehead Fern & Crabapple and Linden Blossom & Nectar.  These spring/summer fragrances are offered in a light green vessel and light brown box to corralate with the brighter seasons.  The Thymes fall/winter Wildwood fragrances are offered in a brown vessel and darker brown box.  They will return in August.

Trapp created 4 new fragrances: Mandarin Goji, Teak & Oud, Fig & Mimosa and Fine Linen.  These new scents are available in the 11oz Trapp candle, room spray and votive candle.  Mandarin Goji is a pungent and sweet fruity fragrance.  Teak & Oud is a unisex scent that comes across like soft woods.  Fig & Mimosa is a fruity floral, not overly fig or sweet.  Fine Linen is a fresh scent reminiscent of Votivo Clean Crisp White or K. Hall Designs Washed Cotton

Tocca added to their fine fragrance collection with the new Liliana perfume.  Tocca Liliana is an intoxicating bouquet of muguet, gardenia and peony.  There is also a strong peach note making this perfume a youthful fruity/floral.

K. Hall Designs added a diffuser to their Barr-Co collection.  This original scent is a blend of  creamy milk, oatmeal, vanilla, and vetiver.  There is also a new apothecary jar candle for this fragrance that will be available soon.

Nest Fragrances is going to launch a new candle just in time for Mother's Day.  White Narcisse offers the modern clean floral fragrance that Nest does so well.  This new fragrance is offered in a white, sculpted vessel in packaging made perfect for gift giving.

Voluspa repackaged their Maison diffusers in a larger, taller, clear vessel with slim-line box.  The reed color corresponds to the particular Voluspa Maison collection: Rouge (red), Noir (black) and Blanc (natural reeds).   

Voluspa also created the new L'Florem Collection featuring 5 floral-based fragrances.  This new collection offers 6 products: 3 candles sizes, room spray, roll-on perfume and luxurious hand cream.  (You must try the hand cream!)  My favorite new fragrance in this collection is Temple Grove.  It has the peach notes Voluspa does so well with like in their Makassar Ebony & Peach and Creme de Peche fragrances.  This new collection will be in very soon!  Look for it here.

What new luxury candles are you most excited about?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thymes Wildwood Collection - Spring & Summer

Last year Thymes updated their Wildwood Collection with new fragrances, packaging and containers for a cohesive look to compliment the woodland inspired fragrances.  This spring, Thymes introduced three new fragrances for spring and summer.

Thymes Linden Blossom & Nectar opens with ravishing floral notes of honeyed linden flower to intoxicate the air. Lemon verbena shimmers, while damp soil and yellow violet lend an earthy sweetness. Juicy notes of lilac nectar and dewberry burst with ripening fruit to round out the fragrance.  If you like Thymes Blue Lotus or Voluspa Elysian Garden you might want to give this one a try.

Thymes Fiddlehead Fern & Crabapple brings airy, tender notes of crabapple blossom, meadow buttercup and delicate lily of the valley in a sweet breeze. Fiddlehead fern fronds, moist and verdant, unfurl to engender a cooling, dewy undernote.  It's not as mossy as it sounds or a delicate as described.  The Fiddlehead Fern & Crabapple candle has a pungent edge to it making its presence known.  This fragrance reminds me a lot of the Simpatico Fern hobnail candle by K. Hall. 

Thymes Woodland Violet & Mint brings subtle, velvety undertones of woodland violet, purple clover, fresh mint and wild geranium. Wood rosebud hovers gently, releasing a sweet, romantic top note.  This is a lovely, bright floral.  Rose and mint come across strong in the cold throw.  If you're looking for a  vibrant floral this would be a good one to try.
Have you tried the Woodland Collection by Thymes yet?  Do you prefer the spring/summer blends or the fall/winter blends?

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Rose is a Rose - Not

I put together a collection of my favorite rose candles to prepare for The Bachelor season finale tonight. Rose is a great floral but many shy away thinking it will make their house smell like their grandmother.  Things have come a long way since those days, and make no mistake, there is no Granny in this bunch.  These candles are vibrant and youthful.

Lafco Music Room (Fleurs de Baies) CandleDiptyque is know for their Baies candle any many try to duplicate this successful blend of currant and rose.  It’s bright and slightly pungent.  My favorite fragrance most similar to Diptyque Baies is the LAFCO Music Room (Fleurs de Baies) candle.  It has the same fun and uplifting fragrance.  I love the reusable hand-blown vessel for the LAFCO candle.  Unfortunately, I don't have one at home tonight or it surely would have been in this picture!

One of my favorite rose candles is by Red FlowerMoroccan Rose was my first introduction to a rose fragrance that didn't make me feel like an old lady.  It's strong and slightly spicy, a welcome offering as many rose fragrance can become slightly sweet.

Experts in floral fragrances, Belle Fleur dedicated an entire collection to the rose.  Each candle highlights in a different rose absolute.  Velvet Santal features Turkish Rose absolute while Petals D'Amore focuses on Bulgarian rose absolute.  Belle Fleur candles come packaged ready for gift giving and I love the aubergine color of the vessels in this collection.  

The Le Cherche Midi 14 candle lists many notes in the description but the one that comes across the most to me when burning is rose bud.  I love this clean, from the garden rose.  In the back is also an Archipelago Stem candle.  This fragrance is like bubble gum with a juicy center that explodes when you bite into it.  This is the most youthful fragrance in the collection.

There are so many rose fragrances available, these are just some highlights.  What is your favorite rose candle?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Windows Wide Open

It's one of those beautiful, early spring days when the first thing you want to do is open all the windows to let the fresh air in and let the stale, winter air out.  I put together a bright and lively fragrance blend for this unusually warm day: Aquiesse French Oak Currant, DayNaDecker Amara and Voluspa Coeur de Cassis.  This pungent blend is invigorating and refreshing.

What fragrances do you use to breathe new life into your home?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Night Lights

I love layering fragrances!  This blend is festive and relaxing - perfect for a night at home with a good movie.  The LAFCO Penthouse candle has a champagne fragrance - bubbly and playful.  Aura Merry helps ground the blend with Siberian Fir while adding some fun with golden raspberries.  Finally, Voluspa Atelier Provence Lavande adds the relaxing note to balance the scent for an easy evening. 

What fragrances do you like to layer?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Lafco Daffodil Candle - A Burst of Sunshine

If you love strong florals, the LAFCO Daffodil candle is your new BFF. If you don't like florals, stay far away. There's no wavering or filter here. Daffodils, daisies, orange blossom and honeysuckle are exploding out of this vessel. It's clean, bright and bursting with fragrance.  Perfect for dreary days or anytime you need a little sunshine in your home.

The vessel is beautiful!!! I love the yellow glow.  The color alone makes me smile.  The fragrance makes me long for spring to come quickly.

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