I’ve blogged about Jo Malone’s wonderful gardens before, their charity initiative that encourages marginalised communities to build and maintain beautiful, scented gardens.  The brand collaborate with dedicated charities to harness the power of gardening in an effort to improve the lives of those living in vulnerable situations; normally due to the isolation that comes with mental ill health, addiction, poverty or disability.

The initiative also encourages brand involvement with volunteers from Jo Malone themselves, be it head office staff or boutique stylists, many of whom who are more than happy to swap skills and lend a hand to get the gardens up to scratch!

Following on from the successes of the original Old English Garden in London and the Gil Hodges Community Garden in New York, the brand are due to open two more green spaces in Liverpool and Edinburgh on the 1st July and a further garden in Bristol next year.

Silk-Blossom-Charity-Candle

To help support this initiative, all proceeds from the new Limited Edition Silk Blossom Home Candle – a fragrance described as Apricot-fresh with a touch of spice – will go to supporting the charity gardens nationwide.

If you needed an excuse to indulge in some home-scenting, the new Jo Malone London Limited Edition Silk Blossom Candle (and Cologne) is available to buy online now, priced at £42.00

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Yankee Candle celebrates a social media milestone!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 22 - 2013

A ride on the bullet train, a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, and a tour of the ancient city of Petra (whilst whistling the Indiana Jones theme in my head) are all up there at the top of my bucket list.

Want to know what else would make the grade? A browse around the Yankee Candle factory in Massachusetts. Can you imagine? It would be like the best. school. trip. ever.

The Yankee Candle Village is a veritable mecca for candle fans across the world, housing every scent your nose could desire and a huge range of accessories and decorations to go with them. Well, one very lucky US-residing Yankee Candle Facebook fan is going to win a trip to the home of the company in New England for some extra-special VIP treatment!

If you’re eligible, do hop on over to the brand’s Facebook page before the competition closes this Friday and hit the Like button for your chance to scoop the prize!

Yankee Candle celebrates a social media milestone!

In addition to this, the brand are also celebrating this impressive social media milestone with the launch of a limited edition candle.

The much-loved Vanilla Cupcake has had a bit of a makeover to proudly announce “1 Million Fans & Glowing!” and with its rich, buttery scent… everyone but the most hardened of gourmand-haters will salivate at the creamy aroma it emits.

Yankee Candle celebrates a social media milestone!

The limited-edition commemorative candle is priced at £19.99/$27.99 and is available to buy via the brand’s facebook page or online at yankeecandle.com

UK readers can also enter to win a similar prize by entering via the web form online at yankeecandle.co.uk

What’s your favourite Yankee Candle scent?

Anyone for a Man Candle?

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 14 - 2013

As you gently sashay through the sweet-smelling wafts of Lemon Lavender, Midsummers Night, and White Gardenia in your home… do you ever ponder upon what your fella is missing out on?

Well, wonder no more because Yankee Candle have brought back their much-talked about Man Candles with a Man Candle II collection.  But what new scents have they introduced that could possibly entice our men-folk into splashing the cash on home-fragrance, I mean… let’s face it, it’s not on the top of their list of priorities is it?

yankee man candle bacon

Genius.

Who doesn’t like bacon?  (Apart from the bazillion vegetarians around the world OBVIOUSLY).  I’m seriously hoping that the Movie Night candle smells nothing like the movie-nights we have chez Lipglossiping because I almost always burn the popcorn and trust me, there is no worse smell on Earth than seriously charred kernels.  Heck, I’d need a dozen Bacon candles to mask the smells created by my kamikaze microwave.

And just in-case they’re not willing to lay down the pennies on a full-size jar, these man-scents are also available as in-car fragrancers.  A wave of processed-pork under your nostrils each time you jump in the passenger seat?  Oh, you ladykiller you!  Possibly, quite literally.

I can only see these on the U.S. pages for now, but keep an eye on the UK Yankee Candle website where they should be turning up to join the other Man Candles available.

Revive your spirits with NEOM’s Inspiration Candle

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 7 - 2013

When it comes to feelings of discouragement, there’s no better place to look for inspiration than within your own shell. The only problem is that this is one of those wretched “easy to say, harder to achieve” scenarios.

Inspiration is a slippery customer, often working hand-in-hand with another sought-after commodity, motivation. I believe that most of can usually only achieve one of these at a time but when we’re firing on all cylinders, it can be a joy to behold.

British brand NEOM have been doing a little bit of inspiring recently via their Twitter feed… the upcoming release of their limited edition Enchantment candle has filled their feed with images and chatter about one of Britain’s most delightful wildflower, the bluebell.  But before we all go crazy for a new fragrance, let me tell you a little bit about a NEOM classic, their Inspiration home candle.

NEOM Inspiration Candle Review_01

NEOM Inspiration Candle Review_03

I’m going to start this post – particularly as I’ve reviewed a number of NEOM scents in the past – by categorically stating that the Inspiration Candle* is my favourite thus far.  It probably helps that I adore the scent of violets, especially when paired with a blend of roses or grounded in a sultry, woody-base.

In the case of Inspiration, the violet has been beautifully fused with the spicy, resinous notes of cedarwood and it is this in particular that gives the candle a heady throw that can be enjoyed throughout the entire flat when it has been lit.  For some, candles can be “too strong”… to which I simply say, “open a window”.  If you’re concerned about purchasing a candle that delivers value for money, this one delivers more than enough scent for your buck.  It’s a beautiful little perfumed powerhouse.

NEOM Inspiration Candle Review_02

NEOM Inspiration Candle Review_04

The packaging is emblazoned with an inspirational quote, but I won’t hold that against them (haha).  No… I don’t mind the odd inspirational quote and the one they’ve chosen for the interior of the box (which you see as you take the candle out of the packaging) is a particularly nice one:

Life is about choices, even when it doesn’t feel that way.  Attitude is a choice.

Well, quite.

Whether or not this scent actually delivers any bonafide inspiration… well, that would be telling… but I’d describe the feelings evoked from the fragrance as both uplifting and calming.  This isn’t an invigorating type fragrance, it’s not one to put a spring in your step but instead, a soothing and deeply aromatic cwtch.  And that’s something that’s always welcome in my home.

NEOM Luxury Organics Inspiration Candle is priced from £15 (for the travel size) and is available instore at John Lewis (selected stores) and online from neomorganics.com

* press sample

DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 2 - 2013

If, like me, you enjoy scenting your home with candles… you probably feel a pang of guilt every time you head toward the bin with the empty receptacle.

But who the heck has time to wash out those things? All that scrubbing and scraping does neither your nails nor your dishcloths any good. As Half Man Half Biscuit once said, “There is surely nothing worse than washing sieves”. Well, they obviously hadn’t ever tried to wash out an empty votive.

Well, this is an old trick that I used to use on my oil burners after exhausting those Yankee Candle tarts of their scent… I’m sure a few of you are already familiar with the process, but incase you’re not… it goes something like this…

DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!

DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!

Take one manky candle holder…

DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!

DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!

…and nestle it safely in the freezer for a few hours, I usually completely forget about mine and retrieve them a couple of weeks later.

While the wax is still “frozen”, carefully prise the remnants away from the container with a knife.  Most of it will come off in chunks.  For any leftover bits, fill the jar with super-hot water and leave on the side to cool.  The remnants will melt, float to the surface and then re-harden, allowing you to scoop them out with ease.

DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!

Ta-da!

It’s an almost effortless way to secure yourself some pretty, new brush-holders.  Upcycle your votives and give them a new life on your dressing table.  Those large Yankee jars are particularly brilliant for re-using in the bathroom as cotton-wool holders.

Do you recycle your candle holders?  What do you use them for?

This month, eco-conscious brand Aveda are supporting Earth Month 2013 with the launch of a limited edition Light the Way Candle.  The brand will be donating 100% of the retail price (less VAT) to Global Greengrants Fund (GGF), a non-profit organisation that channels high-impact grants to grassroots groups working to solve pressing environmental problems.

Terry Odendahl, Global Greengrants Fund Executive Director says…

“Aveda’s support makes an enormous difference to Global Greengrants Fund and our goal of creating a sustainable world. Partnering with local communities, we have protected over 700 watersheds, lakes and rivers, and have supported over 20,000 women working for clean water in their communities. All of this is made possible by the sale of Light the Way Candles, and the salon owners who participate. We are grateful to the Aveda community for their visionary support!”

These clean-water projects can make a real difference to the lives of real people around the world.  In Morocco, just one candle donation can support the purchase of eight metres of piping to transport drinking water!

aveda-light-the-way-candle-earth-month-2013

The 2013 Light the Way Candle (held in 100% reclaimed glass beverage bottles) features a new Madagascar-inspired aroma and has been blended with essential oils, including: vanilla, cinnamon, and ylang-ylang, all sourced from Madagascar.  The carton (made from 70% post-consumer-recycled paperboard) has been decorated with artwork made by students of the Association School in Ampasimanjeva, Madagascar, a village that has received two Global Greengrants Fund grants for water projects.

It’s plain to see that a lot of real thought, and energy has gone into the production of these candles.  Almost every aspect of the finished product can be linked in some way to the very good cause that the brand are helping to promote.

The Aveda Light The Way candle is priced at £16, and available to buy online from www.aveda.co.uk

Bella Freud’s Candle Collection at SpaceNK

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 8 - 2013

British Fashion Designer, Bella Freud has taken a tentative step into the world of beauty with the launch of three candles, currently being sold exclusively at SpaceNK.  You may know of Bella’s work, via her army of celebrity fans who adore her playful slogans and signature caricatures or via her many collaborations with brands such as Christian Louboutin, Miss Selfridge and Biba.

The three candles in the collection marry Bella’s love of fashion with this new venture into the world of fragrancing by continuing her theme of working with simplistic, eye-catching designs.

One features the iconic “Ginsberg is God” slogan, the second is adorned with her “Je t’aime Jane” reference to Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg’s love affair, and the third and final candle displays her celebrated brand logo, complete with one very waggy tongue!

Bella Freud Incense Wood & Oud Candle

Bella Freud Incense Wood & Oud Candle

For this collection, I was pleased to hear that Bella Freud had teamed up with parfumeur Azzi Glasser of Agent Provocateur and Illamasqua fame.  If anyone could help guide a novice into crafting a great, individual smell – she’s the lady for the job.

I’ve been enjoying the rich, sensual, and downright exotic fragrance of her Incense Wood & Oud Candle, inspired by Bella’s first memories of a childhood in Morocco.  The scent offers a gentle incarnation of smoked incense, cedar wood, resinous amber, and myrrh.  It’s a little spicy but never peppery, calming and extremely well-rounded with a dry, smoky warmth and velvety aroma.

Incense Wood & Oud Candle* is available to buy online or instore at SpaceNK, priced at £38.00

* press sample

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 28 - 2012

We live in a 2-bed flat… on the second floor, there’ll be no log fires ablaze this Winter and the only smoky smells will be drifting out of the toaster when I burn my muffins in the morning (not a euphemism).  But I’m cool with that, I hate roasted chestnuts and to be fair, wood-smoke plays havoc with my sinuses… still, it’s not very Christmassy is it?

To make up for this lack of festivity, I plumped for a new Winter candle this weekend: Diptyque’s Feu de Bois.  I was introduced to it just last week – massively behind the times of course – at an event I attended.  It’s not so much that it’s a great rendition of a roaring log fire, but that it reminds me completely and utterly of my parent’s house in La Vendee… a place I have a huge love/hate relationship with.  The house was a wreck in 1987 when my parent’s bought it and I had to spend every school holiday sitting in the ruins of this 500-yr old farmhouse while my friends holidayed on the beaches of Benidorm.  I know, first world problems and all that and I probably got off lightly, really… but still… it kinda sucked for a 12yr old to spend all. bloody. summer. so far away from real civilisation.

Some days, I only had the scare-o-pods to keep me company (don’t click that link, I mean it).

Winter Candle

So anyway, Feu de Bois in all it’s unashamed smokiness (are you over that link yet?) has the most incredible, guttural quality of a good rip-roaring fire.  Not the sedate kind that posh people have in their petite chimineas… we’re talking full-blown inglenook with a pyromaniac 15yr-old (me) chucking on the spitting horse-chestnut logs while everyone else in the room kippers.  Delicious.  And when I’ve got the pennies, I’m going back in for the biggest size they do.  Although, having said that… Baies also made me go a little weak at the knees when I sniffed it… Houston bank manager, we have a problem.

Whilst I’m on the subject of Diptyque, a quick mention for their Christmas “Holiday Collection” which features a beautifully ornate trio of Arabian Nights-inspired candles that capture the festive spirit wonderfully.  I lucked out on the goody bag and took home a mini-version of the one that appealed to me the most on the evening: Sapin Doré – an artful representation of, what is basically, a freshly dug Christmas tree (without the foisty decorations).  It’s so beautifully green, with warming resinous qualities that neither detract from nor soften the freshness – usually, I’d actually want them to, but in the case of Sapin Doré, it needs that prickling camphor to bolster the absolute authenticity that I take from this scent.

Winter Candle

The Holiday Collection, from left to right: Oliban, Amber Oud, Sapin Doré (priced from £25.00, available online)

The other candle that I’ve been burning like a heretic on a stake (and the award for most tasteless simile goes to…) is an outstanding creation from one of my favourite niche brands: Ancienne Ambiance.  Their Phoenicia (cedar) candle bears all the hallmarks of a scented masterpiece.  Funnily enough, my favourite tree (everyone has a favourite tree right?) is the candle’s inspiration, the Cedar of Lebanon, with it’s sprawling umbrella-like branches that used to protect me from the rain as I waited at the school gates for my friends to arrive.  If you don’t know it by name, google it… you’ll be like “ohhhh thoooose trees, yeah – they’re cool!”

Winter Candle

Anyway, back to the candle… Phoenicia is a more aromatic take on the woody genre, less pine and more resin… the kind that you inhale deeply in an attempt to warm your soul as well as your nostrils.  Tempering the richness is a light herbal quality that injects a medicinal characteristic in the manner of an old apothecary.  Phoenicia is the ultimate “I’m warm and cosy in here… while outside, it’s shit” scent and whenever I light it, I come to the conclusion that Winter is no bad thing afterall.  Priced at £36, there’s also a rather striking Limited Edition black glass version currently available for a little more.

p.s. – incase you’re curious – the full lineup of wintery candles on display in the above images are: Ancienne Ambiance Romana, OCCO Raiya No6, Diptyque Feu de Bois, Ancienne Ambiance Phoenicia*, Annick Goutal La Rose, Diptyque Sapin Doré*

* press sample

Save the sad candle!

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 7 - 2012

Remember when Clintons was all like “OH NOES, WE’RE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!”.

Talk about crying wolf… (I’m joking!!!)

But anyway, they marked down loads of goodies and I bought enough wrapping paper to NOT BE ABLE TO FIND ANYWHERE TO STORE IT.  And I bought a large Yankee Candle Jar in a super-lemony scent for a nice price.

It smells amazing, zingy and edible – uplifting and warming.  Lush.  But then I put the candle in the loft, because we were moving house and all… and completely forgot about it and left it there.

All summer.  And now it looks like this….

Obviously I *had* to store it on its side, because that’s a totally sensible thing to do isn’t it?

The wick is hidden in there somewhere… I want it back!  I’ve thought about blasting it with a hairdryer in an attempt to uncover the wick but is that dumb?

Have you got any tips or ideas on how I might save my sorry-for-itself candle?

Lucy Annabella Organics Spearmint & Lemongrass Candle

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 25 - 2012

Jekyll and Hyde, Torvill and Dean, egg and chips (my thoughts are never far from food).

Some things are just meant to be together.

Whether it’s a really obvious pairing or something a little more obscure, that moment you hit upon the right combination, you know it immediately.

I wasn’t sure when I first read about the Lucy Annabella Spearmint and Lemongrass candle combination.  I anticipated that both scents intertwined would create something too fresh, too tingly and perhaps a touch too medicinal for a home fragrance.  Oh, how wrong was I?

I can only imagine how tricky it must be to get the balance just right when it comes to fragrance, whether it’s in perfume, bath oils or candles – one addition too many and the entire concept goes down the pan.  There are a million tried and tested home fragrance combinations out there, featuring some of the most popular scents around and this one instantly appeals for not taking the path of least resistance.

Spearmint and Lemongrass, you shall go down in history as the Bonnie and Clyde of fragrance combinations. You’re badass.

The styling and packaging of the Lucy Annabella Organics Candle, however, is not badass.  It’s perfectly presentable – beautifully wrapped in tissue paper and ribbons, housed in a delicately patterned tumbler which will sit demurely wherever you place it.

The 100% soy candle burns cleanly and will last for up to 50 hours, the scent is invigorating but not too refreshing, neither is it ‘kitcheny’ – I light this in my hallway while I’m getting Leila ready for nursery and it perfumes the whole flat (ok, so it’s not a mansion!) within the thirty minutes it takes to get us out the door.

I can still smell it upon my return, even though the flame has obviously been long extinguished.

Candles are one of those frivolous purchases that in today’s tough times, we can frankly do without.  They’re a luxury, not a necessity and I have a couple of brands that operate at a lower price point to the ‘luxe’ big names that I will happily buy for a big treat for myself or a present for others.  Neom for wedding gifts (they look so posh!), Ancienne Ambiance for myself when I’m being naughty (scent divine), and with the exquisite packaging on these (and sub £30 price point) – I’ve found a new general-but-special gift, you know…. mother-in-laws, nans and the special ladies in our lives!

Lucy Annabella Organics Spearmint & Lemongrass Candle is priced at £25 and available to buy online from lucyannabella.com

What is your favourite home scent combination?

La Bougie Candles: Rockrose & Oudh, divine!

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 30 - 2012

Never judge a book by its cover, or so they say…

Which tends to make one automatically assume that ugly things shall all be amaze and beauty-to-behold type things, the opposite.  Well, I’m writing this post today to put the record straight and declare that beauty can be found both within and err… without?  Wait, that’s not the expression I was looking for was it…

Poor phrasing aside, I received a La Bougie Candle* sample last month and although I’m still struggling with the fact that bougie (French for candle) looks a bit like bogey, I’ve decided that at the age of 30, I should be well past that kind of childishness, and so I’ll overlook it.  But not without putting it in your heads first (sorry La Bougie Candle company).

The candle arrived beautifully gift wrapped, which makes all the difference to my shallow-ass soul and I could immediately smell the scent contained within (not without this time) and I have to say, I didn’t like it.

The company kindly gave me the choice of which scent I thought I might prefer and I chose the Rockrose & Oudh because I freakin’ love the woodsy, aromatic resin in all its different incarnations.  But this didn’t really have that signature oudh scent, I could detect floral, floral and a bit more floral.  Until I lit it, and then all bets were off because it’s bloody divine.

It turns out that it wasn’t actually the candle I didn’t like the smell of, it was the scented tissue paper that it was wrapped in! Doh!

Just like wearing an oudh-based perfume on the skin, the accord brings an impressive amount of depth and sensuality to what is otherwise, a rather gentle floral.

It’s absolutely perfect for lighting in the bedroom or anywhere that you want to take the time to relax.  I light it every evening, just as I start my “getting ready for bed routine” and as I’m picking up the toys that have been scattered by my daughter, darting in and out of the bathroom, and making that final cup of tea before bed, the Rockrose & Oudh candle works its magic, transforming my room from toddler telly-paradise to proper boudoir palace.

The Rockrose & Oudh Scented Salon Candle offers approximately 50 hours of burn-time and each La Bougie scent is developed and produced in the company’s own perfumery.  The glass holders are carved, painted and polished before being hand-poured in La Bougie’s chandlery, located in West Cork, Ireland.

Lovely candles and at £29.50 for the Salon-size (room-sized) ones… not outrageously expensive either!

Rockrose & Oudh, Sweet Pea & Pear or Cox & Carnation – which scent would you choose?

* press sample

NEOM Luxury Organics spreads a little… Happiness

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 16 - 2012

NEOM’s latest fragrance to join their impressive lineup of natural-wax candles is simply called Happiness* and strives to create an atmosphere of calm and contentment wherever it’s placed.  The North Yorkshire-based brand is stocked in hotels and spas nationwide and prides itself stripping products back, cutting out the chemicals and re-imagining the notions behind truly natural and organic brands.

Too many times, ‘natural’ means that we have to compromise on the things that make products so instantly appealable.  We sacrifice the wow-factor for the knowledge that we’re using products that are kinder to the Earth.  Rustic packaging is all well and good until you want to gift it, natural scents can often be uninspiring without a little help from the lab, and the overall impression leaves you wishing you could have your cake and eat it too.

This is where NEOM excels, it doesn’t overlook all the little things that allow a natural brand to feel as luxurious as your usual high-end alternatives.  Infact, I’ve just bought my mother-in-law’s Mother’s Day gift from them, so it’s just as well!

This three-wicked candle offers up to 55hrs of burn time, the wax melts evenly across the surface and burns cleanly, creating no soot to darken the heavy-glass container (or indeed your ceiling!)

The scent is a little hard to describe.  It’s a fresh, floral scent which ultimately gives an impression of space.  White space, open airiness with a touch of sweetness.  Like standing in a gallery that’s had its windows opened for the morning, letting the freshness breathe through without actually being out there, in it.  This clean scent is bolstered with a hint of lemon, sweet – not tart.  I sometimes struggle with white flower scents, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of jasmine and yet when done right, it can barely be beaten.

The scent lingers impressively… walking back into a room, I noticed it staunchly clinging to the ether a good couple of hours after extinguishing the flames.

This would make a wonderful house-warming gift for a loved one, it’s perfect for communal areas and entrance halls to lighten the atmosphere and give a home that freshly-aired feeling.

NEOM Luxury Organics Happiness Home Candle is priced at £37.50 (single-wick 75g versions – £13.00) and available to buy online from neomorganics.com

What are you scenting your home with at the moment?

* press sample

RANDOM

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