Instead of a Christmas gift guide this year, I’m switching out my regular Candy Crush posts for just as regular Christmas Crushes instead. In these posts over the coming weeks you’ll find some wonderfully scented gifts just in time for the holiday season, with products that I am crushing on. So get ready for some marvellous Christmas gift inspiration!
Gosh, I’ve been reviewing so many candles recently you might as well call me ‘The Candle Perfume Boy’ (hold for applause). OK, terrible puns aside, I very much enjoy a scented candle so it was imperative that I brought you a selection for one of my Christmas Crush gift guides – nay, not a selection, an extravaganza! So that’s exactly what this is, a round-up of some beautiful scented candles that make lovely Christmas gifts for those languishing on your ‘to buy’ list (hurry up folks, because you don’t have many shopping days left). Some are evocative of the festive season and some aren’t, but all smell fabulous, making perfect gifts for the house proud or those that simply love a scented candle like me!
Gingerbread Candle by Parks
The thought of a gingerbread candle sends Yankee-candle scented shivers down my spine. So often these types of candles are sickly, sticky, biscuit things that have a hugely radiant burned sugar note that epitomises everything I do not want my house to smell of. But not Parks’ Gingerbread Candle. This beautifully soft candle has a fresh, zingy quality to it (a vibrant ginger vibe) that ensures that it has enough lightness to avoid sickly territory. Rather than brittle biscuits with toasted sugar, this is a beautifully soft dough plumped up by a perfectly smooth sandalwood note. It’s a gingerbread candle that one would happily burn all year round (which is the sign of a VERY good candle). Consider it the perfect gift for someone who likes their home to smell of sweet treats at Christmas – heck, why not all year round too, eh?!
Parks Gingerbread Candle – £30/235g
Les Tamaris Scented Candle by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
“Houses have a soul, a story” says perfumer Francis Kurkdjian and it’s this theme of where we live, or shall I say, where he lives, that has inspired Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s ‘Homes Sweet Homes’ candle collection. The collection consists of five candles created in homage to five homes that Kurkdjian has lived in. Each one comes housed in a white, bisque porcelain jar with a colour-coded inside. The standout for me is Les Tamaris (the yellow one of the bunch), an ode to Kurkdjian’s coastal home, his “corner of paradise on the Atlantic coast” as he puts it. It’s a warm, golden fragrance that evokes endless, sunbaked sands interspersed with dry blooms of acacia and immortelle. It teeters on the gourmand with its maple, spice notes, but is brought back to the coast by a fresh mineral quality that feels like a summer’s breeze. It’s the perfect gift for someone who is missing summer, which is probably most of us, no?
Les Tamaris Candle by Maison Francis Kurkdjian – £70/280g. Burn time is 55 hours.
Tsarina Candle by Ormonde Jayne
It snowed last week and all I wanted to do was step outside in an excess of furs (faux, obv.) and live a Dr Zhivago fantasy. I really don’t ask for much, Dear Reader, I really don’t. Anyway, the Tsarina candle from Ormonde Jayne (which matches the perfume of the same name from The Four Corners Collection) offers pretty much that, but in candle form. It’s a warm, slightly animalic floral that feels as if it was forged from rich furs. With its double wicks, the Tsarina candle is the cosiest thing on Earth, sending forth gentle plumes of leather, flowers, fur and musk. It’s heaven, I tell you, fluffy heaven, and it makes the perfect gift for that person in your life who only deserves the very best.
Ormonde Jayne Tsarina Candle – £84.95/290g
Étoile by Cire Trudon
I love Cire Trudon candles because they are cut from an entirely different type of cloth (or should that be wax?) Their inspirations are subversive and instead of making candles that simply portray one note or style, they take inspirations from such unusual places as the Dadaist art movement and Carmelite convents. The scents themselves are always exceptionally beautiful too and are never what one expects, which is exactly why the Étoile Christmas candle is so wonderful – it’s not what one expects. Inspired by Japanese incense, Étoile presents a plethora of wood, with cedar wood and hinoki melting softly into cinnamon spice and incense to create an exotic take on Christmas. To my nose it evokes mulled wine, wood panels, incense and logs dusted with cinnamon. It’s absolutely beautiful in every way and it makes the perfect gift for anyone who likes their home to smell anything but conventional.
Cire Trudon Étoile Candle £78/270g
Armatura Candle by Fornasetti
Finally lets end on some visual beauty as well as some olfactory gorgeousness. I think Fornasetti candles are the most covetable of all the candles because they make such a statement. Their striking ceramic jars depict an iconic Fornasetti image (his muse, Opera singer, Lina Cavalieri) in a new guise, normally one that is quite cheeky. The Armatura Candle sees Cavalieri’s face adorned with a rather ‘Game of Thrones-esque’ suit of armour – placing her firmly into battle where she is ready to conquer your home with beautiful scent (spoiler alert: she wins). The candle features Fornaestti’s signature ‘Otto’ fragrance (created by Olivier Polge) which is a herbaceous amber inspired by the mediterranean herbs found in and around Fornaestti’s Milanese home. It’s a warm and inviting scent with spice, earth, herbs and sweetness in perfect harmony. The best thing though? Those Fornasetti jars are perfect for repurposing into vases, pencil pots and more. I’d say that it’s the perfect gift for someone who appreciates an objet d’art as much as they do a scented candle!
Fornasetti Armatura Candle – £150/300g
Samples via Parks, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Ormonde Jayne, Cire Trudo and Fornasetti. Images are my own.