Monday, January 27, 2014

2014 Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Flowers, wine, chocolate and candles. It doesn't get much better than that for Valentine's Day! Roses are by far the most popular flower for Valentine's Day, so we picked two of our favorite rose candles for our 2014 Valentine's Day Gift Guide. We also selected a more unisex and super sexy scent as well as a gift set if you're looking to give something larger.
Voluspa Champagne Rose Candle
I love the new Champagne Rose fragrance by Voluspa. It's feminine, youthful and effervescent with a blend of chilled Brut rose champagne poured over cassis berries and edible white rose petals. I adore the Volupsa Vermeil Collection candles in the Corta Maison size. The light shines through the holes in the vermeil giving it a festive, magical look when burning. When the candle is done, you can wash the vessel out with mild soap and water and reuse it as a stash jar.
Lafco Fleurs de Baies Candle
If you're familiar with the best-selling Diptyque Baies candle you love Lafco Fleurs de Baies. This blend of bayberry leaves, wild roses, black currants and touches of raspberry will excite and romance you. Lafco candles are poured in a hand-blown vessel that will become a keepsake for years to come. Lafco candles are long lasting offering a burn time of almost 100 hours.
Voluspa Moso Bamboo Candle
If you're looking for a sexy fragrance be sure to try Voluspa Moso Bamboo. This blend of moso bamboo, black musc and Japanese cypress is clean and slightly masculine. The tin candle offers nice ambiance with 3 wicks to offer just the right amount of illumination for your romantic evening.
Voluspa Vermeil Gift Set
No one makes gifts sets quite like Voluspa and the Vermeil Collection Gift Set is no exception. This candle gift set includes 6 votive candles in an array of colors. The fragrances include
French Bourbon Vanille, Ponderosa, Chestnut & Vetiver, Clove Pomander, Branche Vermeil and Champagne Rose. Scatter the votive candles around your home to spread light and fragrance. When the candles are done the vessel can be washed out with mild soap and water and reused as a votive candle holder.

Also great for Valentine's Day:
Votivo Pink Mimosa Candle
I love the fun and fruity fragrance in the Votivo Pink Mimosa candle. Relax as you breathe in the sweet aroma of strawberries mixed with Mimosa and Vanilla Rum.  This fragrance is very warm and inviting and will make for a memorable Valentine's Day.
Red Flower Moroccan Rose Candle
Moroccan Rose is more of a spicy rose than the typical powdery or sweet rose. Slow, wet, and velvety. Created with the deeply-perfumed oils extracted from the petals of the Moroccan rose blossoms under the electric blue African sky. Remove the petals on top before you light the candle. The petals can be scattered around the room, in the tub, tucked into your Valentine's Day card, pressed for remembrance...

Let us know what you'd love to get this Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014 Holiday Wish List 

One of the nice things about selling a variety of the finest luxury candle brands in the United States is that we have a completely objective view of the offering. Each brand has it's own area of excellence making them a perfect fit for some scents but not others.

We also hear what fragrances customers are constantly asking for that we either don't have or don't have exactly what they are seeking. It's always amazing that even with hundreds of different fragrances available (we have over 10 different lavender candles!) that some key notes are completely missing that are requested over and over again.

If we could wave a magic wand and have highly requested fragrances created by specific brands, here's what we'd request:

Votivo Candles
The Votivo Holiday Collection was revitalized a few years ago and really gained momentum. What a difference a little packaging upgrade makes! We'd love Votivo to make their retired Gingersnap fragrance a permanent part of their core holiday collection. They brought it back briefly this past holiday and it was well received. Votivo Gingersnap is a great, warm, comforting and slightly spicy blend that is hard to find at the holidays. It's surprising how few gourmand fragrances there are during the holidays and this one is great.

The Votivo Paperwhite Narcissus candle in the French Collection is also a big hit and we'd love to it see duplicated in the Holiday Collection. Paperwhite Narcissus is a relevant floral at the holidays and there are so few floral fragrances available in holiday packaging that it adds nice variety.

photo from wikipedia
Trapp Candles
Trapp also committed to their Holiday Collection a few years ago by updating packaging and expanding the selection. The strategy worked just as well for Trapp as it did for Votivo, if not a little bit better. One of the most highly requested fragrances at the holidays is Frankincense and/or Frankincense and Myrrh yet no one offers it! Aquiesse had a Frankincense and Myrrh candle in previous years but discontinued it. Fortunately, Trapp nailed frankincense years ago with their Frankincense and Rain fragrance that customers have been pining for since it was discontinued. We'd love to see them bring it back for the Holiday Collection, perhaps tweaking the name and/or fragrance to be perfect for the holidays.

Aquiesse Candles
Aquiesse does a nice job with woody notes so we'd love to see them create a wood burning fire fragrance similar to Diptyque and Lafco Feu de Bois or the old Tocca Cortina fragrance. It's tough to get a good wood burning fire fragrance for under $60 and Aquiesse could do something really lovely with this in their unisex packaging.

Nest Candles
Nest nails it for creating the most commercial and commonly-accepted products and fragrances at the holidays. From packaging to fragrance to price they just no how to put it all together with enough flair to be interesting but not so much to turn off potential buyers. One thing we'd love to see from Nest is for them to bring back the best selling chocolate fragrance from the Godiva Collection and put it in distinct everyday packaging similar to Pumpkin Chai so that it can remain year round. We get so many requests for a chocolate candle and no one makes one. The Godiva candles from Nest were absolutely mouthwatering, dead-on, amazing. We loved the deep, dark brown vessel and wax with the glitzy box. Again, perfection.

Voluspa Candles
While Voluspa doesn't have a dedicated holiday collection, they also don't cannibalise their everyday sales and continue to do well with their incredibly gift-worthy packaging and pricing.  What I've never seen Voluspa do, however, is create a limited edition holiday collection to make them more special and timely. Typically their holiday fragrances live in their Seasons Collection (now the Vermeil Collection). It makes the products inconspicuous at the holidays.

I'd love to see them bring back the still-craved Vanilla Ginger Clove fragrance that was discontinued several years ago. It's tough to find a good, warm, spicy scent at the holidays and everyone loved that one. I'd also love to see Traci create the most delectable scent - reminiscent of sugar cookies. She does such an amazing job with Macaron and French Bourbon Vanille that I know a holiday gourmand fragrance from her would be stunning. Voluspa customers love her sugary scents so taking Macaron and turning up the volume just slightly would be amazing. The third fragrance I'd love to see in her holiday collection is something fresh. Clean scents are also hard to find and Snowflake from the old Seasons Collection was perfection. Everyone loved it. The warm, spicy Vanilla Ginger Clove fragrance, a sweet Sugar Cookie and clean Snowflake fragrance would make a lovely, well-balance offering while avoiding the over-done, common fragrances she likes to avoid.

What really matters is what YOU think! What fragrances and products would you love to see next year? Post your answer in the comments below. We love to hear from you!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Strong Scented Candles

We hear this question all the time: "What are the strongest scented candles?" or "I'm looking for strong scented candles. What do you recommend?" This is, in fact, the most common request we get year round.

Many brands have some fragrances that are very strong while others can be more subtle providing a nice background fragrance.  Aquiesse is a great example of this. Sandalwood Vanille surrounds me with the most intoxicating and comforting scent while Timber (now discontinued) left me wanting more of it's rich cedar scent.

While it's nice to have variety in fragrance intensity, it's also nice to know when you can really rely on a brand to come through with a strong throw time after time regardless of the scent.

If you're looking for highly scented candles that you can count on to come through every time, we recommend these brands:

NEST Candles
Regardless of the scent, you'll know when you're burning a Nest candle. Even the clean scents are clearly detectable and the votive candles pack a powerful punch. Nest also offers great value at just $34 each for these luxury scented candles. As an added bonus, the creamy wax and neutral vessel works well with any decor. Nest offers a nice variety of fragrances which is why we tend to suggest Nest first to customers looking for the most fragrant candles. If you need to take up up a notch, they even offer a jumbo, 3-wick candle that works well in larger spaces.

LAFCO Candles
Lafco definitely offers some of the most fragrant candles on the market. The scents are luxurious and yet not overly complicated. Lafco candles are a little pricier, at $60 each, but they offer twice the burn time as most candles (100 hours compared to 50-60) and they are poured in hand-blown glass vessels that become a keepsake for years to come.

Capri Blue Candles
The Volcano and Aloha Orchid fragrances absolutely knock me out of a room. Even the small tin in an extremely large, 2-story room was overwhelming for me, so if you like strong scents, these can be your new best friend. If you've ever walked into an Anthropologie store, typically the first thing you smell is the Capri Blue Volcano candle. It fills even that oversized store!

Trapp Candles
I've never tried a Trapp Candles fragrance that didn't overwhelm me in our family room. The fragrances are intense but still very beautiful. The packaging is lovely making these a great gift for any fragrance lover.

When paying higher prices for the best scented candles on the market, it's completely understandable to want to smell it without having to ask the person next to you, "Can you smell anything?".  Rest assured, NEST, LAFCO, Trapp and Capri Blue will not let you down. If you can't smell them, you either have a terrible sense of smell (very common) or you're getting a cold.