Home Fragrance: Scented candles to transport you
It’s a fact: few things are as transporting as scent. Known as The Proustian Effect - after Marcel Proust, who wrote of being whisked back to childhood by a whiff of warm madeleines in his novel À La Recherche Du Temps Perdu - fragrance is scientifically proven to trigger both memories and moods.
In a year when we’ve been largely confined to barracks, it’s little wonder we’re craving scents which take us to another time and place. Here are four home fragrances guaranteed to carry you away. . .
D.S. & Durga Big Sur After Rain, £60, e-scents.co.uk
Founded on the belief that ‘perfume is armchair travel’, every fragrance from Brooklyn brand D.S. & Durga evokes a different destination, from Germany (Breakfast, Leipzig) to the Orkneys (Tomb of the Eagles). Our current destination of choice? The rugged coastline of California, where the Santa Lucia Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean. With key notes including magnolia, eucalyptus, seaspray and wet wood, Big Sur After Rain is bright and fresh yet warm and enveloping; everything we want just now. You won’t find a candle which burns more beautifully, either.
Boy Smells Cameo Candle, £36, Space NK, Trinity Street, Cambridge and spacenk.com
Inspired by Andy Warhol’s portrait of Dolly Parton and named after the shell-pink Wedgwood jewellery, the Boy Smells Cameo candle has achieved cult status for its full-bodied floral scent which is both super-feminine and super-cool. Evoking a sun-warmed rose garden in full summer bloom - in the south of France, say - it layers rose, tuberose, white woods, vanilla, ginger and musk to heady and delicious effect. The combination of (cruelty-free) bees- and coconut wax with a cotton wick results in a smooth, utterly smut-free burn.
Absolut Elyx No.1921 Scented Candle, £35, eu.absolutelyxboutique.com
Part of Absolut Vodka’s lifestyle collection, which spans everything from bar sets to silk pyjamas, Elyx No.1921 is a passport to a Swedish lakeside cabin. Taking its name from Absolut’s 1921 copper distillation column - where every batch of the vodka is made, using soft winter wheat from a single estate in Åhus, Sweden - the candle’s scent is warm and woody (sandalwood, amber, vetiver) with just a touch of spice (fresh citrus, star anise). The damask print jar makes a lovely votive after the candle’s burned.
Urban Apothecary Blue Sage Kilner Candle, £30, urbanapothecarylondon.com
Evoking the pine tree-lined Mediterranean coast, Urban Apothecary’s Blue Sage combines its herby headliner with a zingy mix of eucalyptus, mandarin and green fig, rounded out by cedarwood, orange blossom and musk. The result is a scent which truly brings the freshness of the outdoors in; the candle equivalent of a cooling summer’s day breeze. Hand-poured in the UK, the candle’s soy wax base gives a good, clean burn and the fragrance is room-filling without being intrusive.
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More by this authorAlice Ryan