Bath&Body Works's 'Warm Vanilla Sugar'
Bath&Body Works's 'Warm Vanilla Sugar'
This evening, I've been enjoying African Morning Dew from Baobab Collection.
I picked up their collection of votives on clearance at NM after Christmas (what can I say, I'm a sucker for a sampler pack, and I'm a sucker for a sale as well...).
One word of warning about these Baobab votives (I'm talking about the votives, not the full-size candle in the picture): The wicks aren't attached to anything at the base, not even a little metal piece like they usually are even in votives, so if you burn them long enough for the wax to melt, the wicks fall in and the whole candle is ruined if you don't catch it in time and the wick is lost in the hardened wax, which is really shabby quality for candles this expensive. Seriously, it's pretty much a big rip-off. So, I've been burning this carefully, for only a few minutes at a time. As such, I'd never recommend these to anybody, but I bought them, so I might as well report on the smells...
African Morning Dew is based largely on that familiar mix of basenotes that are used in so many current fruity floral designer perfumes. It's kind of ambery, kind of woody, and kind of creamy, but really mostly a synthetic mix of all those elements. If you've smelled Balmain's Amber Gris, it's very much based on this accord. To this, African Morning Dew adds a big slug of peach and takes things out of fruity floral territory with a nice hit of cinnamon. It's pleasant and smells like an expensive current designer perfume, but I'm not sure how that represents the smell of dew. Anyway, it smells good, but the design flaw of the un-secured wick makes it kind of lame.
Earlier today, for a drab afternoon at home, I was burning Rhubarb Grass from L.A.'s Scent Bar.
This one's pretty self-explanatory - a bright, sunny mix of green grass and red rhubarb. Technically, most perfumes use some combination of cassis and coriander to recreate the smell of rhubarb, and this is no exception. There's also a subtle but noticeable vetiver note comtributing to the green grass smell, so Rhubarb Grass is actually more of a sweet grassy vetiver with coriander, which does smell quite nice.
I wouldn't call this a complex piece of art, but it makes the room smell bright and cheerful.
For the evening, I've been burning Dayna Decker Violetta.
For those who haven't seen these Dayna Decker candles, they have a weird thin slice of wood instead of a wick, and instead of wax, they use that gel stuff that was popular in the 90's (remember those silly candles that had sand and shells and stuff in them that were supposed to look like underwater scenes?). This results in the candles making a weird hissing, popping, sizzling noise that's supposed to sound like a fireplace.
As a matter of personal taste, I find the sizzling a little off-putting. This isn't a candle I'd ever trust enough to turn my back on - it shoots out little sparks, too. And I don't care much for the gel wax, either. It burns insanely hot, and I don't personally think it gives off scent as well as regular or soy wax. Plus, it has its own almost petrochemical smell that sits quietly underneath the perfume of the candle, subtle but a bit distracting.
With those caveats out of the way, Violetta is a beautiful scent, a dewy green mix of violets and roses with just a pinch of honey and cassis. This really does smell like a fine niche perfume. Imagine something halfway between Lutens' Sa Majeste La Rose and Diptyque's L'Ombre Dans L'Eau. That being said, I don't think I'd buy another one of these sizzling candles, but I could easily enjoy this scent as a diffuser or a soap or something.
Pure Integrity soy tealights - First Bloom
This evening, I've been using By Kilian Love - Loukhoum de Turque.
This is probably the silliest of the By Kilian candles. Really, compared to their artful oud and patchouli candles (not to mention their epic Back To Black one), Love is kind of whimsical and cheesy. It's basically a sweet gourmand vanilla that bears a striking resemblance to Aquolina's Pink Sugar - all cotton candy and sugar. It's also got a what I think is supposed to be an almond note, but it smells more like creme soda than almonds. It's actually not as sickeningly sweet as this description makes it sound (there's a burnt quality around the edges that keeps it from getting too stupid), but it's still something I'd be too embarrassed to wear as a perfume. But as a candle, I suppose it's fun, though not really my style. This was kind of the loser in their three-pack of miniatures, though I'm sure it has its place...
I've also been burning another member of the Fresh Eat Pray Love trio, Pray.
This is an interesting one. It's mostly an especially animalic suede smell that borders on mushroomy. It's also got a peppery sharpness on top that makes the whole thing smell almost foody, like peppered mushrooms. It's got a thick, creamy denseness to it that implies incense or sandalwood more than actually smelling directly like either of them.
This is definitely the most "niche" of the Eat Pray Love trio, though that wouldn't take much, given Fresh's current focus on sugary candied fruity floral scents. I do wish they'd play things a bit less safe again (their now-discontinued Demitasse candle was a revelation for me - just awesome in its twisting, turning depth) and turn down the sugar for a little while, but Pray is definitely a step in an interesting direction.
Archipelago Botanicals Tuscany
Candle notes: Sweet Basil, Cilantro and Rosemary
Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur
Really beautiful floral leather - just sitting unlit in my office it is enough to scent the space. An hour in the evening and it drifts thru the studio area. This one is a quality rendition of the EDP, IMO - recommended.
This evening, I've been burning the last of the Fresh Eat Pray Love trio, Eat.
Super-sugary lemon candy, like lemon-flavor Starburst or Skittles, with a pinch of marshmallow fluff underneath. Kind of dumb. If you've always secretly wanted Aqualina's Pink Sugar in candle form with artificial lemon in it, Eat may be the candle for you. As for me, not so much...
Yesterday, after my disappointment with Eat, I finished off the evening with a candle I knew I liked, Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille.
Yes, it smells like the perfume. For those unfamiliar with it, it's a fantastic mix of woods and spices and a bunch of clove that somehow magically come together to smell like an old-fashioned pipe tobacco shop. Over deep, boozy vanilla. If you had a father or grandfather who smoked a pipe and you associate that smell with a sort of classic masculinity, you'd probably love this. Yes, they're expensive, but it's a strong candle and mine has lasted me quite a while.
This evening, I've been burning the very last bits of my Diptique Red candle.
I've really enjoyed this one. It's a pretty simple mix of red rooibus tea (which always reminds me of the dark orange tea used to make Thai iced tea, but with a red fruitiness to it, as well as a subtle roasted quality) and vanilla. It's quite sweet, which has struck me as kind of obnoxious on bad days but warm and comforting most of the time. It's a perfect example of how two ingredients can come together into something much deeper than the sum of its parts.
The Red candle is a bit expensive, even for a Diptyque, but it's a fundraiser for African AIDS charities, so I'll justify it that way!
Yankee Candle ~ Cafe au Lait
Today, in the background during the very late February Blind Sniff, I've been burning Bois de Lune by Manuel Canovas.
Apparently, Manuel Canovas is a designer of rather fancy fabrics, who has lines of swimwear and home decor, with a line of home scents and candles to accompany them. I'm mostly curious about him and what he does because Bois de Lune is so good. It has an artistic aesthetic and depth of character that easily matches the best of Malle or Amouage.
It's mostly a mix of that red rooibus tea note (the same Thai iced tea one as in Diptyque's Red), with red fruit to play it up, but paired with cedar and overlaid with a charred, smoky note. Then all of this takes place over a deep creamy base that comes across like a mix of incense and rich sandalwood. And then the whole thing has a leathery quality to it. So the end result is the smell of an old leather hide that's hung next to a fireplace for years in a smoky temple, soaked with deep red tea. Really, it's quite wonderful and would make an amazing niche perfume - if CDG came out with this right now, it would be the best thing they've done in quite a while...
These Canovas candles don't seem to have much distribution in America, but they can be found discounted on Amazon occasionally. I picked mine up at Jaqueline, the legendary little SF perfume shop. The owner there said this candle was the most daring esoteric thing he carries, which is probably saying something.
For the last couple of days, I've been burning Pin Sylvestre by Diptyque.
Pin Sylvestre apparently began life as a limited edition Christmas candle a couple of years ago, but was recently revived as a boutique exclusive mini candle.
I'm a huge fan of Diptyque's woody scents, so I couldn't resist it, but at its heart, Pin Sylvestre is a pine-scented Christmas candle. It's such a time-worn cliche that I even feel kind of silly burning it. That being said, this is Diptyque, so they've included a little tribute to proper perfumery in here by pairing the pine note with a rather nice chypre base of round green galbanum and oakmoss, which does go a long way towards making sure this doesn't simply smell like one of those cheap tree-shaped car fresheners. But it's still a Christmas candle, so I think I'll put it away until the season rolls around again...
Diptyque - Baies
One of my favourites :)
Burning Diptyque Tuberose today.
Yay! Another Diptyque fan!
Back in autumn, I got obsessed with finding a vetiver candle. You'd think they'd be fairly common, but apparently not. I ended up getting the only one I could find, Malin + Goetz Vetiver.
It's a perfectly nice vetiver scent, heavy on the nutmeg and the lemongrass. As such, it very much smells like archetypal vetiver perfumes like Guerlain's or Givenchy's. It has a synthetic, almost plastic quality to it (this weird jab at modernism is a trait of the Malin + Goetz line and an intentional affectation). It also reminds me of that synthetic vetiver chemical in the new Escentric Molecules 03, vetiveryl. If you took vetiveryl and added a bit more lemongrass and some sort of aldehyde to give that subtle creamy plastic quality, you'd basically get this candle.
Of the Malin + Goetz candles I've tried, this is the one I'd be the most likely to re-purchase, but the big news is that the next Diptyque candle to launch this spring will be Vetiver, so it may have some stiff competition coming its way!
Yes, I am a huge Diptyque fan! It's just so hard to find a place that ships internationally otherwise I'd have a whole room full aha.
Edit: I found a place online this afternoon and just bought 4 new Diptyque candles. Whoops :P
Just finished my Baies Noir candle... one of my favorites from Diptyque
I also found out that I still have an unused Jasmin candle on my bookshelf, I think it was given to me by my friend around 2002/2003, I burned it recently and the throw is still fantastic. These candles are just amazing!
Ah, the slippery slope into expensive luxury candles... While this is the kind of talk that can get a man thrown out of Basenotes, sometimes I enjoy a great candle more than a perfume. It fills a space and feels more like living in a scent than just walking around sniffing my arm. While there's a personal satisfaction that comes from a good perfume, a great candle can give a whole sense of fragranced hedonism that's much larger than just my personal space.
Today, I'm afraid I may be getting the very last burn out of my Krigler Juicy Jasmine 30 candle.
For those unfamiliar with Krigler (which is probably just about everybody), they started off in the early 1900's in Russia and then Germany, and eventually Grasse. They stopped for a generation, before a descendent of the founder who had studied perfumes found her family's old recipes. She messed around making perfumes for her rich friends and finally decided to open a boutique in New York's famous old Plaza hotel. At this point, you can only find Krigler at the Plaza, another hotel in Monte Carlo, and a couple of German boutiques. Which is a shame, because their scents are wonderful in an old-fashioned way (side note: if anyone from Luckyscent is reading this, seriously, you should contact the Krigler people - they could use the exposure!)
Juicy Jasmine 30 is a recipe from 1930 (hence the 30 in the name). It's a relatively simple Grasse-style floral, pairing rather indolic jasmine with orange blossom over some of that waxy acacia made famous by Caron and a fruity hit of coriander and a light base of subtle musks. While my taste in candles usually runs towards the woody and dark, Juicy Jasmine 30 perfectly fits my mood when I want a big, bright, floral bombshell. Actually, I bought this candle because I loved the Juicy Jasmine 30 perfume, but I know I'd never actually wear it...
It's been a wonderful souvenir of my last trip to New York and I'll miss it when it's gone!
I'm pretty sure Krigler does sell the candles online, though they're a bit expensive to buy unsniffed. I got a sample of the Established Cognac perfume when I was there. It's really interesting, like a mix of cult-favorite Brandy perfume (natural fruits and spices coming together to smell like vin santo wine mixed with weird herbal grasses) and a big gourmand patchouli like Angel. Interesting stuff. A bit much as a perfume, but I could imagine it making a really great Autumn candle. America One reminded me of a big 80's masculine power-scent, like a big stinky (in a good way) leathery patchouli chypre, but made with noticeably better ingredients. It might be interesting as a uniquely masculine candle. I don't remember the others.
Today, I've been burning my lastest purchase, Bouquet Blanc, one of the scents Le Labo made for Anthropologie.
It's pretty much exactly what the name says, a pretty bouquet of white florals. This white floral accord is a mainstay of classic perfumes, a weird trick that happens when you mix rose, muguet, and ylang where it stops smelling like any of the three ingredients and instead just smells generically like pretty perfumey flowers. If I try really hard, I can recognize a buttery waxy richness that comes from the ylang ylang, as well as the slight green quality you get from the muguet. There's something very slightly bubblegummy in there, too, which could be jasmine, as well as something bordering on banana, which could be either pink jasmine or that ylang again. But all of that is really stretching it. Bouquet Blanc basically just smells like pretty, classic, French, flowery perfume.
Diptyque - Mousses. And it's burned so unevenly grr. I have so much wax unused. Very annoyed with it.
Baies again and drinking fragrant vanilla cinnamon hot chocolate. My apartment smells good :D
I'm getting really redundant here and I'm saying Baies again. I'm having a love affair with it this week. It gets better and better the more I burn it.
Still waiting on my order of Diptyque candles to arrive. I hate the waiting period.
Just got my Diptyque shipment and I'm burning Pomander. So far I'm disappointed -- I can't even smell it :/
Can anyone recommend a candle that smells of pine trees?
Seaofghosts, I remember sniffing the Annick Goutal Christmas candle this year, too, and thinking it smelled quite nice. It's a pity that they put it out at the exact time I'm not shopping for myself... Jo Malone does a nice pine candle at Christmas time, also. And the Diptyque pine candle I reviewed before was fine, too, but it just felt weird burning it out-of-season.
Also, once you've gotten completely obsessed with Baies, try the Diptyque L'Ombre Dan L'Eau soap or lotion (whatever you're into). Or just spring for the perfume if it's something you'd wear. It's quite nice, like Baies but with a big leafy green note on top and citrus hidden underneath.
And give Pomander a chance. It's one of Diptyque's most popular. When sniffed next to super-strong ones like their tuberose, it can come off as weak, but it's popular for a reason...
As a side note, I'm in the process of setting up the San Francisco Basenotes Meet-Up on May 7th. We'll all be meeting at the Diptyque boutique and I'm sure I'll think of you!
Thank you so much. I will look into those ones, especially the Annick Goutal :) I love that true pine smell all year round so hopefully they don't get released only at Christmas. Also finding a place that ships to Australia, that is the other problem. But fingers crossed! :D
Rogalal - I was thinking of getting L'Ombre Dan L'Eau because the smell of Baies is just incredible! I just wasn't sure whether it smelled the same. Thanks :) As for Pomander, I've only burned it twice; it's nice but I can hardly smell it unless it's right next to me which is a shame because orange and cinnamon (and clove) are smells that I adore. I'll keep burning it, maybe it'll become stronger. Winter is also approaching so it'll be beautiful smelling Pomander while rugged up in blankets, drinking a steaming cup of tea.
Aww you are so lucky! :D I hope you all have a lovely time plus you get to smell of their gorgeous scents. SF is one of my favourite places in the world too (Edit: I just noticed you're from Berkeley! That's where I lived on and off for a year and I love and miss it a lot. It was the first place that felt like home to me. You're very lucky to live there!). I wish we had a Diptyque store in Australia. I can only order my Diptyque candles from one store since they're the only ones that ship to Australia. It means the stock is limited but oh well. I keep wanting to try the Cypress candle (do you know what that's like?) but I have to put in a big order to make the shipping cost worthwhile.
Will Aedes de Venustas ship to Australia? If their web store isn't set up for it, I'd suggest just calling them at the store. They're very customer-oriented. They have an amazing selection of top-notch candles (and don't forget to ask for your 7 free perfume samples when you buy a candle!). They've got the L'Artisan candles (the only other line I've find to be as consistently good as Diptyque) and even the new Frederic Malle candles. If you're into smoky woody incense candles (along the line of Feu de Bois), you can't go wrong with the Alexo Rudolph line. Oh, and By Kilian and Cire Troudon, too!
There's a member here named Sorcery Of Scent (he has a blog, too) who I think lives in Australia and works at a store that sells better perfumes. If anyone would know where in Australia to find the good stuff, it would probably be him.
Slatkin ~ Green Tea & White Pear
This evening, I've been finishing off the last bits of my By Kilian Straight To Heaven - Patchouli de Java.
This one is nice. It has a lot of depth to it. It's theoretically mostly a rum scent, but the rum is paired with a smoky woody smell that's a mix of rosewood (that antique wood smell) and frankincense. That incense, along with a big slug of ambroxan, gives the whole thing a creamy, thick woody texture that borders on animalic. I'm not really sure how the patchouli in the name fits in - this doesn't smell like patchouli at all. If anything, it's a very grass-and-dirt kind of patchouli that's probably contributing to the overall boozy woody feel.
I'm not sure I'd buy another one of these. It's not that it's bad, but it just doesn't quite suit me personally. The simultaneous layering of boozy and woody and creamy with that touch of fecundity asks a lot of its owner. It wants to be studied and paid attention to, preferably on a crisp autumn night. And while I certainly appreciate that, it's not really coming together into something I enjoy that much, especially for the price.
Finally, the new Vetyver arrived at the Diptyque boutique! So that's my candle this evening...
I feel kind of lame admitting it, but I've been really looking forward to this candle since they announced around last Christmas. I'm a huge vetiver fan and, up until now, the only vetiver candle I've found was by Malin + Goetz, which was nice but a bit simple. So I really wanted to know what Diptyque would do with the note. So I had to bring one home and burn it first thing!
So what does it smell like? It's kind of hard to describe. There's definitely vetiver, of course, but it's more like leather than vetiver. If you can, imagine an old leather motorcycle jacket owned by a man who wore vetiver cologne every day, so the vetiver smell is sort of aged into the leather. Set that leather jacket next to a big pile of potting soil in a room with a fireplace burning. Then, in the next room, serve up a plate of cinnamon french toast with maple syrup, so that sweet aroma subtly wafts around the dirty earthy leathery smells. Then throw in a lavender sachet.
I know this sounds weird, and it kind of is, truth be told, but it's really interesting.
From a really geeky perspective, a lot of this seems to be done with quinoline, an aromachemical that simultaneously smells leathery and like potting soil. Other than that, I think it's mostly a mix of vetiver and lavender, which mesh together quite well thans to them both having a very bracing quality. Then, throw in just a drop of that immortelle note made famous by Dior's Eau Noire (think curried maple syrup) to give it a subtle sweetness and cut the smoky sharpness and heavy dirtiness.
Oh, and as a side note, I knew I had to buy the Vetyver candle, but Diptyque's other new release, a linden blossom candle (sorry, I've forgotten the official French name) was AMAZING. You know that feeling where you're walking somewhere and, without thinking about it, you pass a bunch of fragrant flower wafting their scent in the breeze and you think "wow - something smells terrific. I love spring!" This is that same heartwarming feeling of ambient flowers on a breeze captured in a candle and it's the new top of my must-buy list...
Today, I've been burning another Diptyque, their big push for spring, 34 Boulevard Saint Germain.
This one's a bit of an odd duck. I honestly doubt I would have purchased one, but they gave us free little votives of this at the Basenotes San Francisco meet-up a few weeks ago, so I can't resist getting to know it.
I didn't care much for the perfume version of 34. The scent is supposed to recreate the smell of a Diptyque boutique itself, so it's got an awful lot going on, not all of which is complementary. It should have been a terrible mess, but they got around it by focusing on the fruitier aspects in the perfume, while the woods and spices swirled around in the background. In contrast, the smell of the candle brings out a lavender note, which is paired almost evenly with a cherry-meets-cassis red fruit note. Don't get me wrong - there's a ton of other things going on in the background, not the least of which is a green but slightly funky tomato leaf note, with an undertone that borders on tropical. There's also a sort of "soot" smell to the whole mix (there's something either brilliant or insane about making a burning candle smell even more like a burning candle...).
All in all, I think 34 works better as a candle than a perfume, and I appreciate that Diptyque is trying something different, but absolutely no one out there does candles built on single notes with as much depth and artistry as they do. And I like them best when they do those. Points for trying, and I'm still a fan, but I'll stick to their other candles...
Heeley Cardinal Scented Candle
Cuir Pleine Fleur by Heeley again today - my office smells great. I actually am looking forward to getting home and digging out the bottle and getting it back into circulation.
I've been burning the Odeur De Lune candle by Cire Trudon since April. http://www.honeykennedy.com/content/...lune-aedes.jpg
When I first smelt it over a year ago I was disgusted. It smelt of dust, herbs and mildew. But every time I passed by the Cire Trudon candles, I had to sniff it one more time; until it grew from disgust to intrigue and then finally to love. Now all I smell is a unique blend of metallic incense and some transparent florals. It reminds me of the stark incense in Avignon and the metallic violets of Stephen Jones.
Apparently, this IS actually the smell of the Moon according to data collected by Nasa! My mom walked in to my room and I told her, "Smell that?" She asked what it was and I said, "The actual smell of the Moon."....
"Well it doesn't smell good..." :embarassed: LOL
That's awesome, Scent.
To add to the conversation, I recently purchased the Gourmand Wood candle from LuckyScent. It's affordable, compared to most of the candles they sell. Having a hard time wrapping my head around the price of luxury candles. :rolleyesold: But also starting to enjoy scent so much more than I used to. I have very little to compare it to, candle-wise. Much better than anything I've gotten in a store before, but also the first time I spent more than, say $10 on a candle.
The Gourmand Wood is heavily sandalwood, nutty and tasty, only mildly sweet. I'm sure there's other notes, but I can't pick it apart like I do with fragrance... I find the scent to be subtle when burned, but rather noticeable even when the candle isn't lit. I often smell it when just walking by. And it's really grown on me. I can see myself replacing it when it's gone, and will probably try one of their other "house candles".
I've totally never replaced a candle before. See what y'all are doing to me? :wink:
Slatkin ~ Juicy Nectarine
Tonight I am burning Malin+Goetz ~ Vetiver
Porto West Indies Patchouli
Frederic Malle Bois D'Orage scented candle given to me by an employee as a gift.
Slatkin ~ Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin. Very nice and good throw.
Astier de Villante - Rue St Honore - smells of old floor boards, wax, libraries. The best candle I have ever had. Sadly, hard to get hold of in the UK.
Roger & Gallet Gigembre here. Unfortunately I think I've kept it too long and there isn't much fragrance left. :(
edit: Ok, about an hour in and it's starting to smell lovely now - yay! :)
Have just this minute lit Cypres from Diptyque, very refreshing for the daytime.
The Parfums de Nicolaļ Maharadjah bougie. This is my second PdN candle and it is quite a wonder, great throw, burns evenly. It smells exactly like their eponymously named fragrance. A bold lavender and cinnamon accord.
Mathias Paris Narguile Candle
A fragrance inspired by the markets of Morocco where exotic spices meld with pipe tobacco.
Slatkin ~ Spiced Apple Toddy
Slatkin ~ Hot Chocolate
I have been burning this year's two Diptyque Christmas Candles at work, just alternating between the 'red' and the 'green' versions.
The green Pine one is great, but I prefer the warmer, more oriental / spiced red one. It is similar to one last year's offerings, maybe a little smoother, but definitely the one I will be buying as a gift for people this year. Diptyque are good, huh - you can get the small ones as well as normal size, too. Nice.
Have been burning the 'mini' Traversee de Bosphore from L'Artisan's 3 x Pack ( L'Ambre, The et Pain d'Epices & TdB). Very gentle fragrant rosey leather vibe, remarkably true to the perfume.
The et Pain d'Epices is beautiful, spicy and tactile - and all from just a little shot sized candle. Packs a punch.
I love your description of the fragrance. I actually like this candle. Totally agree that it's super subtle, though. I wish it were 4x as fragrant. I love the container.
Noclai's Vetiver De Java
Noclai's Dansons La Capucine
Bob's Flower Shop, Trapp's Candles these have great throw and are only about $25