Updated: Feb 27, 2020
The holidays are upon us and for many of us that means basking in the smells of the season - pine, cinnamon, orange and cloves, a warm fireplace, the list goes on. As we all know the sense of smell is inextricably connected to memory and Christmas is often a time for resurrecting old traditions and reminiscing about years passed.
I’m super psyched to add Altelier Oblique’s Saint candle to my collection this year. I first came across this Berlin-based brand in the new fragrance hall at Liberty, where the department store showcases a brilliantly-curated selection of emerging candle and fragrance brands. A bright note of bergamot adds a freshness to this otherwise musky-leathery scent inspired by festive nights of flirting and dancing, with a particular nod to glamourous Parisian parties of the 1920’s. Paris in the 20’s is pretty much the ultimate for nostalgic longings - I would’ve loved to live during that era!
Some of the other fragrances/candles on my list are ones you may recognise from posts of years past but they are so good that I find myself reaching for them year after year as soon as the holiday season strikes.
Lola James Harper’s Everything Will Come Together is one that makes both my winter and my summer list. It’s a vetiver-based fragrance that I’m absolutely obsessed with despite the fact that I’m not a huge vetiver fan (I know - controversial pinion - I just find it a bit too sharp sometimes). It’s a dry-woody fragrance with a warm, earthy labdanum and oakmoss base. I try to switch up my perfumes daily since I have so many in my collection, but I find it difficult to resist reaching for this one each morning - it’s like a hot cup of coffee - so comforting and delicious.
Bål by Skandinavisk is all about those glowy fireside vibes. It’s inspired by the morning after a campfire, sleeping under the stars, and whiffs of the last burning embers. Naturally, I’d like to bathe in the melted wax of this smoky, scrumptious candle.
Elizabeth and James’ Nirvana Bourbon rollerball is my go-to for any type of travelling this time of year. Woody and vanilla-bourbony, the scent is sweet and seductive, rich and woody. Everytime I put it on, visions of bourbon and cosy blankets and worn leather chairs dance in my head.
The Billiard-Room of Jean-Jacques is one of several woody candles I own by Lola James Harper. This one is particularly lovely to light on a cold winter’s night - with notes of rum and warm woods, the cosy AF scent will cuddle your nostrils into the wee hours.
By The Fireplace in Maison Margiela’s Replica range is a forever festive favourite for me. Its chestnuts-roasting-on-an-open-fire scent is just the perfect amount of sweet (from prominent vanilla notes), spicy (from top notes of cloves and pink pepper), and smoky (from guaiacwood and cade). I've said it before and I’ll say it again - this is my comfort blanket scent.
1969 by Histoires de Parfums is a nostalgic trip down memory lane for a year that has come to symbolise freedom and sexual revolution. A rich, gourmand, spicy, earthy scent, this fragrance is complex and alluring - perfect for adding a bit of mystique to an otherwise bleak winter’s night.
And last but not least, Wood Cabin by Keap is the ultimate fireside candle. A strong and permeating scent of beautiful smoky and woody notes. I highly recommend this candle to anyone and everyone looking to recreate the aroma of a wood-burning fireplace - it is an uncanny replica. You really get your money’s worth with the size and throw - not to mention the sturdy packaging, dust cover and matches that come in the box. A true gem.
These are my picks for the 2019 holiday season - I’d love to hear your favourite festive fragrances and candles in the comments below or head over to my Instagram and send me a DM! Wishing everyone a happy and fragrant holiday season!