For some, a scent is simply a nice smell. Something to help them gently inhale a moment of calm at the end of a long day, as they sit back and stretch out on the sofa to unwind.
For others, it’s more. A scent has meaning, it takes us back to times gone by. The act of lighting a fragranced candle can be like unbottling a memory, as you step into your magical portal (a touch smaller than Doctor Who’s tardis, I admit!) and wander back in time.
With our lives being so intrinsically tied to the seasons, it’s only natural that particular memories feel stronger at certain times of the year. Which is exactly why I take such delight in releasing a limited edition scent for each season.
Right now, that scent is Nostalgia. Our winter scent, as we prepare to cosy up at home for mother nature’s coldest months and hibernate.
Nostalgia is the festive fragrance to ignite your most precious of holiday memories. My aim with Nostalgia was to blend Christmas into a candle, bringing all those magical scents that are so poignant to this festive time of year into one place. Creating a comforting aroma that would wrap you up in that feeling of truly traditional holiday magic.
Each candle starts as just a glimmer of an idea in the back of my mind, where I play with different elements and concepts long before it ever becomes a physical reality. Some ideas never make it, they stay there, waiting for the right moment to come to life.
But Nostalgia is a scent that I’m particularly proud of. To capture a true fragrance, you have to blend it just so. It needs the perfect balance of top, middle and base notes, otherwise, you’ll end up with something that’s far too heavy and sickly, or a candle so gentle that you barely even notice it.
I decided that Nostalgia needed a rich smoothness, a good amount of depth but with a sprinkling of celebratory joy too. After all, ‘tis the season for all things merry and bright!
So, I turned to my kitchen for some festive favourites. First came clementines, for that fresh juicy burst of joy and energy. Then, cinnamon, for a feeling of home comforts and a luxurious touch of sweetness. And, finally, nutmeg and cloves to weave through a spicy festive depth.
Once I had the idea sorted, it was time to get to the testing.
Candle making is a beautiful combination of art and science, with the creative inspiration swiftly being followed by the practical testing. One wick might burn beautifully bright with one fragrance blend but then refuse to work with another. So, I tend to blend my fragrances a season or two ahead so that everything’s shiny and ready to launch when the time comes!
And, yes, that means I’m burning Christmas candles all summer long.
It always baffles my family when I start filling our home with festive fragrances whilst they’re all out in the garden sipping on Pimms and monitoring the BBQ. But such is the life of a candle maker! I also have a wonderful sister, parents and a bunch of close friends who act as my (top secret) testing group.
One of the many delights of my job is that each person gets something different from each candle. We all have our own wonderfully unique memories, and different scents will bring back different things. I take great joy in hearing the stories that have been brought back to life through your Let There Be Light candles.
For me, Nostalgia brings up a sentimental longing for simple childhood memories. A single clementine nestled amongst the thoughtful gifts and treats left in my stocking at the end of my bed on Christmas morning.
The fresh aroma of that clementine wafting through the air as I rummaged through those goodies, finding shiny gold chocolate coins, stationary galore and (would you believe it!) a candle making set.
And then there were the cloves decorating my Christingle orange like little jewels clinging to their crown, with Sunday church services hinting at the festivities to come as incense and joy spread through the crisp air of each frosty winter morning.
It is my wish, this year especially, that Nostalgia brings a sense of warmth, comfort and joy to your winter days. I hope that it gives you a few blissful hours of escapism as you soak up those precious memories and find a moment to escape the turmoil that we’ve all experienced over the last 12 months.
However you’re celebrating this holiday season, wherever you are and whoever you’re with, I’m sending you love & light, from my hands to yours.
Treat yourself, or a loved one, to a beautiful hand-poured soy candle to fill your home with festive memories this holiday season. Made in my home studio in Wales, where the mountains meet the sea.