A V Honolulu

‘Candles,’ said the BFF. ‘Why are you doing candles? It’s spring.’ Which was an interesting response, as scented candles have become so much a part of my life that I burn them all year round – though admittedly, usually when it’s darker. There’s barely a fragrance house that hasn’t put translated a few of its scent into wax form – and it makes sense. Why wouldn’t someone want their favourite smell around them as they read on the sofa or check emails during the evening? A new season is a time for change and renewal so put aside woody, musky tones that have dominated winter for scents that look forward to summer: florals, leaves, gardens and aquatics, that make you dream of the ocean …

ASTIER DE VILLATTE HONOLULU SCENTED CANDLE: Ok, ok, the main reason I love this candle is because I want to go to Honolulu – or at least, the Honolulu as expressed through this candle. But since I can’t, I’m going to be breathing in the luxurious fragrance of white gardenia, tangy Californian lemon and heady ylang-ylang, underpinned by sweet vanilla, as translated through the unique French lifestyle brand. £60, www.liberty.co.uk

 

Bella Freud Ginsberg is God

BELLA FREUD GINSBERG IS GOD CANDLE: Wouldn’t you know it? I get a ‘Ginsberg is God’ jumper as the Christmas present to end all Christmas presents – and then Kate Moss re-wears hers to greet birthday guests at her Cotswolds hideaway. What a ligger. Let me turn instead to the candle interpretation of this iconic fashion piece; green and fresh, combining fig leaf, fresh tomatoes and vine leaves. Not sure why how this relates to Ginsberg but I’m sold. £38, www.liberty.co.uk

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MILLER HARRIS LA PLUIE: Having interviewed Lyn Harris, I began to realise the different forms that genius can take. Trained in Gras, Lyn admitted that she lived her life through scent – and it shows. Her fragrances, and by default, her candles, are magnificent – and La Pluie, inspired by tropical showers in Mauritius is no exception. Top notes of tangerine and lavender refresh a heart of cassis and wet white flowers – ylang ylang and jasmine – on a seat of vetiver and vanilla bourbon from the Island of Reunion. £40, www.millerharris.com

Mila-ISLA

MILA ISLA CANDLE: One of the scene’s youngest scent companies is making a mark with this cool, clean scent. Isla is an encounter with the crystalline cold, a steely tang carried on a crisp ozonic breeze to invigorate the mind. The clean, glacial top notes cut through subtle accords of green seaweed, musk and amber, rendering an energising blend. Mila fuses modernistic designs with a rich fragrance heritage and fresh unusual scents and a modernistic approach. £38, www.milafragrance.com

True Grace Seashore

TRUE GRACE SEASHORE CLASSIC CANDLE: There’s four things I love about True Grace. 1) The candles are made in a Wiltshire workshop, using 100 per cent natural plant wax and organically grown wheat alcohol 2) The range is unbelievably wide, providing a veritable encyclopeodia of scents and memories 3) I can afford them. My current favourite is Seashore: geraniu, neroli, cedar wood and moss blended to evoke that English summer of a cliff top walk and being by the sea in a strong wind .… £25, www.johnlewis.com

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CIRE TRUDON LA MARQUISE: It’s not hard to see why the Maison Cire Trudon is widely regarded as the haute in in candle-making. A constant search for innovation is unfettered by literally centuries of history (the house was founded in 1643); its wax, made with with 100 per cent natural ingredients allows the perfect dissemination of scent, encased in Italian glass. We love La Marquise, which using verbena, lemon white flowers and rose to create the light, clever, sensual scent of French boudoir. £60, www.delyss.com

Roja Dove Lilas Biartz

ROJA DOVE LILAS DE BIARRTZ: I learned about the power and potential of fragrance from Roja Dove, sitting over a cup of coffee in Harrods, the store with whom the master perfumeur has a key relationship. Candles was an evolvement for him and they are, as you’d expect, completely wonderful, rich, heady and complex. Many of the oils, points out Dove, are scarcely used in perfumery, let alone candle-making. Our current favourite? Lilas de Biarrtz, the ‘harbinger of spring’, is a mix of lilac and fresh florals.  £75, www.harrods.com

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RIGAUD GARDENIA CANDLE: It’s not simply the ribbon and silver snuffer cap with every candle that makes La Maison Rigaud. Founded in Paris in 1852, the house is now of the one of the oldest perfumeries in the world and specialises in scents that are as elaborate as body perfumes. Gardenia is no exception, blending white flowers with the green fresh notes of Provence rose – the very stuff of spring. £60, www.delyss.com