By now, most of us have spent at least a month in lockdown, so it’s understandable to feel anxious, tired or just fed up with the state of the world. Many are turning to relaxation methods such as meditation or yoga, but did you know that you can also use scents as a great way of calming your mind?
Think about it; we all have our own associations with smells and these can affect our brain in a positive way. Research supports this; a study from 2016 reveals that aromas ‘plays an important role in the physiological effects of mood, stress, and working capacity’, adding that components from natural products have been used for mental, spiritual and physical healing’ since the dawn of time.
Basically, scent matters. It’s so successful in improving our mood that it’s used by retailers who spritz scents in their stores to encourage you to shop, while estate agents are rumoured to make property sales with the help of baked goods (as these smell homely to prospective buyers and make them more inclined to make an offer).
With the power of scent in mind, we’ve put together a list of luxury candles to treat yourself to during this time, which will hopefully soothe your stressed-out mind.
We even tried them out for ourselves, so that we could find out if they are as fragrant and fantastic as advertised. But remember, scent is personal – so if you don’t fancy these particular notes, have a gander on each brand’s site, as there are more options to choose from.
Clement & Claude, £20
The best part about this candle, is that it lasts pretty much forever (not really, but it’s been weeks now and we’ve barely made a dent in the (soy) wax. It’s a stylish product, but the wick does break off so it’s somewhat difficult to light once you’ve used it a while.
As for the aroma power, the White Wood scent, with notes of amber, musk and bergamot, is lush but doesn’t fill the room.
Find more here: https://www.clementandclaude.com/
OK, we’ll admit – this is a pretty hefty price tag for a candle, but it’s worth the splurge. The organic wax is hand-poured into a mouth-blown amber glass, and the candle will burn for 45 hours.
You can’t travel to Scandinavia in lockdown, but the fragrant aroma from LA Bruket’s Black Oak candle will make you feel as if you’re already there, sitting in a forest cabin with the log fire burning.
The contemporary design is also every hipster’s wet (candle) dream.
Find more here: https://www.labruket.com/
Laboratory Perfumes, £45
If you’re after a quirky candle, this is the optimal choice. The wax is poured into a glass jug with the name of the candle emblazoned across, and each scent has an Eau de Toilette spray equivalent.
So not only can you smell it in your home, but you can spritz it all over yourself. If it was just up to design – it’s sleek and modern – we’d give this candle top marks, but the aroma of the Samphire, with its spicy juniper berries, citrus oil and lavender, wasn’t strong enough to fully win us over.
Find more here: https://www.laboratoryperfumes.com/
Booze & Burn, £18
What we like most about Booze & Burn (apart from the price) is that the products are made with recycling in mind. Each candle holder is made from a discarded glass bottle or can that previously had alcohol in it.
They are collected from local bars in Manchester, de-labelled, cut and sanded, and then filled with eco wax (which are better for the environment, compared to paraffin candles). Basically, it’s the candle Greta Thunberg would choose from our list.
We went for Dark Honey & Tobacco, which smells divine but didn’t reach our nostrils unless we were very close to it. For that, and that alone, we took off a few points. Otherwise an excellent choice.
Find more here: https://www.boozeandburn.com/
Ted Baker, £28
Had enough with the dark and heavy fragrances, here’s something a bit more refreshing and spring-like. The Ted Baker candle has a modern, grey finish on its glass holder and would suit well on any side table.
As for the fragrance, we tried the Fig and Olive Blossom scent, featuring top notes of bergamot and fig, blended with geranium, and olive and orange blossom and base notes of red cedar, musk and amber.
Stick your nose in it before you light the match, it’s a heady combination – but unfortunately this is the only way to get the full effect of the fragrance and for that reason, we’ve marked it down.
Garnering the highest score on our list, WXY is known for its candles, and it lives up the reputation. We lit the Velvet Woods + Amber scent, which is so popular that it’s currently sold out on the brand’s own website.
Light the wood wick, then settle into your favourite armchair, close your eyes and let your mind unwind as you try to distinguish the notes of fresh wood, musk, moss and amber. Each candle is hand-poured in the UK and delivered in a cotton bag.
The scent remains long after the candle has stopped burning – we are big fans.
Find more here: https://www.wxycandles.com/shop/big-amber-velvet-woods