eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Monday, January 31, 2011

Candles: The Way To My Heart

I am obsessed with candles, and I have been for a long time. I'm always thinking about or fussing over candles, but with Valentine's Day approaching, I thought I'd write a little about my latest favorites. When somebody gives me a candle as a romantic or a platonic gesture, it is like mainlining pure joy for me. Yes, I love them that much.

My Modern Alchemy Opium Den candle is dwindling down to the end already, and I feel I've only just started to get to know it. It's pure, smoky incense, 70s style. Rich and strong, the scent lingers in the air even when it's not lit. The color and personality is bordeaux red, and this makes it especially appropriate for a Valentine's Day gift, I think. It comes in one size [7.4 oz] for $50, available at Modern Alchemy.

Next is Voluspa Warm Perique Tabac. This was a candle that I initially got a votive size to try out, and I instantly fell in love with it because of its ability to comfort and relax me. Today, I received the two-wick size that I ordered from Candles Off Main, and immediately started to burn it. The scent instantly makes me happy. It gives a persistent warm, dry woody throw and I feel that this scent would be appropriate for any room, occasion or season. It also comes in a room & body spray, diffuser, other sizes and a gift set. The 11 oz. two-wick version is a steal at $16.

I am currently staring down an oncoming blizzard that threatens to shut down the city, so a nice tropical floral scent is exactly what I need. I often gravitate towards these scents in winter to transport myself mentally to a place where I won't freeze my face off if I step outside the door. This is where Diptyque Mimosa comes in. I have a votive size, and frankly am shocked at how quickly this little candle can fill a room with a sweet, gentle fragrance. It is a refreshing, almost ozone-tinged scent, and would warm the heart of anyone you might gift this to. The 6.5 oz size is available at Luscious Cargo for $60.

What I'd like to know is, what are some of your favorite candles? Are they new finds or perennial favorites? What scent would please you most if you received a candle as a gift this Valentine's Day?


  1. these all look amazing i love candles too they are so relaxing give of such romantic lighting and make your house smell good! XD whats not to like

  2. The incense one both looks and sounds wonderful.

  3. That Modern Alchemy Opium Den makes me want to break out some Al Green and just chill out. I'll be looking into that one for sure.

  4. These all sound gorgeous and they look gorgeous too. I bet they provide such comfort on a cold winter night!

    Did you make it through the storm okay? We didn't get hit too hard last night, but more snow is expected later this morning.

    I'm with Barney. I'd like to chill with a candle burning and some Al Green tunes too. Now that's a great way to spend a winter's day!

  5. Ok, that Modern Alchemy candle sounds fabulous! I'm a sucker for packaging (after I know the actual product is top notch of course :)and just looking at it makes me wants!

    As for a candle gift for Valentine's Day? I'd settle for a generic vanilla scented one from Walgreen's at this point! More on that later....

    Thanks Lovely Carrie for the post!

  6. Oh, Joanne, we are among the living and even have power!! My Mom lives in FL and is freaking out, and has the weather channel on 24 hrs a day. Yes, it was bad, but it's almost over. We just have to figure out what to do with all the snow because you can't really drive the streets, let alone the alleyways.

    The Modern Alchemy candle seems to be getting the most attention! I encourage anyone who is interested to check out the other Historical candles available in the line, like Boston Tea Party, Brothel, Ex Libris and Speakeasy.

    Last night Votivo's Black Ginger was a huge comfort to us in our little abode while the storm raged outside. What is next? Belle Fleur's Cacao Tabac is what I've got my sights set on. Chocolatey delicious!

  7. Haha, great minds think alike! Love it!

  8. You'd think I used candles more often, based on how I enjoy a nice review of them. But I don't...so I can't offer any suggestions. I do enjoy last year's Diptyque holiday trio. (The fact that they are still available for burning should say something... ;) )

    So, I comment empty handed...but with thanks for the interesting read. Now to hunt down the Voluspa...sounds like the right combination of scent and budget interest.

  9. I love Diptyque Mimosa! It is one of my favorite mimosa scented candles.
    As for my favorite candle, it must be Mariage Freres The Rouge, amazing scent and excellent quality.

  10. I'll have to try the Diptyque Mimosa. That sounds fabulous and fresh. Diptyque Feu de Bois is one of my absolute favorites. Nothing like the smell of wood burning fire for me in the winter.

    For Modern Alchemy, I love Speak Easy. Rich and soothing. Tincture of Winchester is fabulous but I’d need 2-3 in a room to satisfy my passion for that scent.

    I also love the Voluspa Warm Perique Tabac candle. I even put the diffuser in our bedroom. Anything wood or leather is my friend.

    For Valentine's Day I love Red Flower Moroccan Rose. The petals on the top of the candle can be used in a sachet, scattered across the table for a romantic dinner or added to a love letter. I don't usually like rose candles, but this one is not sicky sweet or cloying like most. I also like Belle Fleur Kyara Clove. There’s something sultry about that one for me. Smokey and mysterious. Dark and sexy. The perfect Valentine’s Night.

  11. Scent Self- I wish I had an ounce of your restraint when it comes to candle-burning (maybe restraint isn't the right word), I just go through them too quickly. And the more expensive they are, the sadder I am to see them go. That's just one more way I can torture myself, so of course, I take advantage of it. :)

    Victoria, I will have to seek out Mariage Freres, I haven't heard of that brand. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Sue- the Mimosa is what Diptyque scent me for being a winner in their holiday Twitter contest. I got lucky! I really want to try Feu de Bois! The last batch of wax samples you guys sent me yielded a lot of winners, my favorite being the Belle Fleur Cocoa Tabac. And how about the rich brown wax? Love that. All of the Votivos were great, too, I'm finding that I really dig their aesthetic, and it's been too long since I've indulged in them. It's all coming back to me now. The Black Ginger is going over very well!

  12. I love Voluspa and Diptyque candles but can rarely make myself splurge on candles. This post is inspiring me, though. You're about to become a candle enabler!

  13. Oh no, a candle enabler! I'll have to add that to the list of things I've become. :)