Yankee Candle’s new barbershop collection – the perfect gift for the well-groomed man

YANKEE CANDLE BARBERSHOPFew names in the scented candle business are as recognisable as Yankee Candle.  I personally can’t pass a stockist without spending at least ten minutes having a sniff at what’s new to their burgeoning range. Some scents I’m enthralled by; others totally repel me. A couple have had me running for the door. Which, in a way, is the secret to Yankee Candle’s success because when a brand polarises people (take Marmite for example) it is at least avoiding indifference.

Anyway, Yankee now have a whole range based around male grooming and five familiar smells associated with it: Barbershop (above), Aftershave, Hot Towel, Chrome and Hair Tonic. Squarely aimed at men – and as gifts for men – the candles come in sleek black tumbler jars with brushed metal lids. Barbershop, burning away in my living room as I write this, is a delightfully clean-smelling blend of eucalyptus, lavender and amber and smells fresh and powdery without being overpowering.

Yankee Candles have been almost as long as I have (no mean feat for both) and are famous for the excellent diffusion of their scents so if you’re looking for a sure-fire way to fragrance your pad this particular range might be right up your street.

Yankee Candle’s Barbershop glass tumbler candle costs £12.99

The new Acqua Di Parma Murano Candle is here!

New Acqua di Parma Murano Candle Benzoino (1)The unveiling of a new Acqua di Parma candle is always a bit of an event. This year, their Murano Collection expands with the addition of a Benzoin candle housed in a green handmade glass made in  – the clue is in the name –  Murano. Warm and comforting (just what you want in winter) the candle features a blend of vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla and benzoin – an ingredient used in incense making and one which gives the candle a delicious resinous warmth that enhances the vanilla. Perfect for lighting up those long winter nights.

Available from Harrods from October, priced £95.

Why Dolce & Gabbana’s Velvet Collection candles light my fire

DGFF_Velvet Candle_WOOD_high resWith Christmas just around the corner a lot of men I know (and a fair few women) are already in a slight panic about what to buy their loved ones, so here’s a tip from me: how about a candle from the Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Collection? Scented candles are always a good bet for women (my mum loves them) but an increasing number of men are appreciating what they can bring to the home too. Luxury-with-a-wick, this particular collection features a range of scented candles based around the high-end Dolce & Gabbana  Velvet Collection fragrances. Hence, there’s Velvet Wood, which is warm and resinous, and Velvet Desire – a heady floral number my mum would adore. What impresses most about these particular candles, though, is their attention to detail. Not only is the outer packaging excellent, the jars look fantastic (each also one comes in a silk drawstring bag) and – best of all – there’s a snuffer lid too. Definitely worth putting on your Christmas list.

Available exclusively from Harrods, priced £60

Bella Freud launches Lion candle

lion bellaI love Bella Freud’s scented candles. Apart from smelling great and burning well each is imbued with a delightful sense of fun and the packaging is superb. Just added to the collection (and currently burning away in my hallway) is Lion – a candle which takes its cues from Freud’s reggae album cover inspired jumpers.

Peppery, smoky and sweet it features a raft of notes often found in male fragrance (amber, cedarwood, vetiver, oakmoss and pepper amongst them) to create a room fragrance that’s perfect for men who want their house or flat to smell of something other than last night’s takeaway but don’t want it to smell like a bridal bouquet. The effect is perhaps a little subtler than I might have expected (though, given how many scented candles can be way too overpowering, that that’s not necessarily a bad thing) but overall it’s great – and, hey, it looks the biz too so what’s not to like?

Bella Freud’s Lion candle is available here.

A little bit of fireside magic from Birch & Brook

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Readers of this blog will know how much I like a scented candle. Probably my favourite candle of all time is Diptyque’s delightfully smoky Feu de Bois but I’ve had problems with the ones I’ve used recently in terms of sootiness and uneven burning so this one, Fireside, from British Brand Birch & Brook, has been a Godsend. Similar scent-wise to Feu de Bois it delivers a fantastically masculine, woodsy, smoky aroma, has a good burn time (40hrs) and is free of paraffin and other candle nasties. Cheaper than Diptyque too. Recommended.

For more info go to www.birchandbrook.co.uk

Want to fragrance your pad? Then go hell for leather

Leather Candle_5060270293583If you’re a man, finding a scented candle that doesn’t make your pad smell like a boudoir can be a real challenge so here’s one that makes your search a cinch. Roja Dove’s Roja Parfums Leather Bougie is rich, warm and – as the name suggests – delightfully leathery. It’s also big on one of my favourite fragrance notes, birch tar – an ingredient that has a natural affinity with leather since it’s often used to make it waterproof. How does it smell? Well, imagine slipping into stiff new riding boots, straddling an unforgiving leather saddle and galloping off through a Scottish forest at full pelt and you’re kind of halfway to appreciating its rich, manly fabulousness*.

Available from Harrods

*Think of me what you will but I really enjoyed writing that last sentence. 

Bella Freud makes the Seventies chic with new 1970 scented candle

BELLA FREUD CANDLE 1970Telegraph Men's Style - 21st September 2013 pg 24A while back I wrote a piece for all about men’s increasing interest in scented candles (or ‘mandles’ as they’ve already been dubbed) for last Saturday’s Telegraph Men’s Style supplement. At the the time of writing Bella Freud hadn’t launched this rather cool 1970 Black Musk & Patchouli  candle, which is a shame because had it been around it would have definitely made my selection.

Infused with frankincense, myrrh, oakmoss, musk, sandalwood and vetiver it pretty much contains all my favourite notes and is a delightfully hippy concoction that smells, for all the world, like one of the many mystic shops in Glastonbury which I never seem to be out of.

I love it and its scent diffuses beautifully, fragrancing any room in a matter of minutes. Recommended.

Bella Freud’d 1970 Black Musk & Patchouli candle is available from Space NK and bellafreud.co.uk.

Cire Trvdon’s Bartolomé: an adventure in space and time

Cire Trudon - BartolomeChecking out the new offerings from Cire Tvudon at their boutique in Marylebone yesterday I was struck by the fact that all their scented candles have this wonderful ability to take you to places other than where you actually are. Frankly, lighting one is a bit like stepping into Doctor Who’s Tardis – you never quite know where (or when) you’ll end up.

Their Roi Soleil candle, for example, transports you to the vast wooden floor of Versailles’ Mirrored Gallery while the faintly bonkers La Lune whisks you off to, well, the surface of the moon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATheir latest creation, Bartolomé, doesn’t take you quite so far (its cues come from a Spanish missionary’s trip to the New World island of Hispaniola in the 16th century) but it’s just as exotic. Packed full of woods and spices, with notes of saffron, nutmeg, cypress, carrot seed, liquorice, cedar, vetiver, vanilla and amber, it’s a delightfully sweet, exotic, gourmand scent that’s an absolutely fantastic tonic to the impending cold days and dark nights.

Recommended. Especially for the armchair time traveller.

Available from Cire Trvdon, 36 Chiltern Street, London W1U 7QL. Tel 0207 486 7590

The new Floris Bergamot & Geranium Scented Candle

floris bergamot and geraniumWhen I first heard about this new candle from Floris I was uncharacteristically excited. The reason for this is that its core essential oils are two of my absolute favourites. I’ve loved the smell of geranium since I was a child and bergamot is one of my favourite citrus scents, richer and more rounded than grapefruit, orange or lemon. The combination of the two is lovely.

I always think with luxury products that it’s the little touches that mater the most and this hand-poured candle features both a snuffing lid (possibly the most useful addition to a scented candle, especially for anyone who values their fingertips) and, handily, a little cork mat so it doesn’t leave marks on your favourite coffee table. It comes in a glamorous gold box too so what’s not to love?

The Floris Bergamot & Geranium Scented Candle is available here. There’s a companion room fragrance too.

 

Disclosure Notice: I received a free sample of this product for review purposes

Couldn’t give a fig for scented candles? This one might make you change your mind.

JONATHAN WARD FIG ULTIMATUMAs you’ve probably realised if you’re a regular reader I love a good scented candle. In truth, with two cats and a small house I can’t help but love them. I’m quite fussy about what I take a match to though. I like my candles to be as complex as my fragrances, don’t like anything too intoxicating or overly floral (I prefer my place to smell nice but not like a 17th Century boudoir) and like a clean, soot-free burn.

Like all of Jonathan Ward‘s hand-poured artisan candles his latest, Fig Ultimatum, is certainly complex. Eschewing predictability, as he always does, he’s taken the hugely popular and commercial smell of fig but added much more depth to it with honey, cognac, a warm, wet peatiness and a slightly animalistic amber base. The result is a candle that’s not as sweet and sickly as some fig fragrances can be but something altogether warmer, sexier, creamier and more comforting, so give it a go. And that’s my own ultimatum.

Jonathan Ward’s Fig Ultimatum Artisan Candle is available from 1st March from www.jonathanwardlondon.com priced £35.