Tuesday, 18 November 2014


My favourite thing about Christmas and the winter months is burning scented candles in our house. I find them relaxing and quite therapeutic actually. Also, I've noticed that when you are using high quality candles made with pure essential oils, the smell lingers in the room much longer compared to home diffusers.

In the last few years we have tested many brands, from supermarket ones to luxury candles, and there are few out there that I keep going back to year after year. I like my festive candles to smell fresh and sophisticated that linger in the room but don't overpower the space you are using them in. I have to say that I have yet to find good, cheap candles. All the ones I seem to like are on the expensive side. But, I am open for suggestions :). I decided to try out some new candles this year just to see if they can compete with our old favourites.

I love scented candles but they also need to be aesthetically pleasing. I use candles as an accessory and they have to complement our house decor which is mainly black and white with hints of grey. Therefore, I try to choose more neutral and classic candle styles that don't draw too much attention to them.

1. Jo Malone - Pine & Eucalyptus (200 gr) £40

This is, without a doubt, my favourite Christmas candle. It is so popular over here that close to Christmas it is often sold out. It is especially ideal if you have an artificial Christmas tree as the lovely pine smell will make you feel like you have the real thing. You only need to burn it for a few hours and the gorgeous smell lingers in the room for quite some time. I always trim the wick after using it (I cut it with scissors) and burn it long enough for the entire surface to turn into liquid. It usually takes a few hours but this way the candle lasts longer. You are suppose to get 45 hours of burning time with this candle and for us it usually lasts just over a month (we use it multiple times a week).

I love the luxurious packaging. I almost feel bad opening it! Even though this candle is expensive, I think it is worth it in terms of the quality of the scent. Plus, I love how sophisticated and elegant this candle looks. It oozes understated sophistication and is very simple. It's a great candle to burn on Christmas day if you want to get rid of the cooking smells or buy it just to pamper yourself. By the way, my husband is equally obsessed with this candle so it's definitely very versatile and everyone's favourite in our house.

Jo Malone is now owned by cosmetics giant Estée Lauder but the British entrepreneur who started this amazingly successful company has now launched her new company called Jo Loves. I haven't tried these candles yet but I would love to get my hands on them!

Score: 10/10


2. Neom (180gr x 2) £49

Neom is a new contender this year. One of my favourite online stores Achica sells Neom candles often at discounted prices which is where I stumbled across this brand. I ordered their gift set from their online store which includes two scented candles. I love the packaging and how the candles look. They are contemporary and elegant at the same time. I could even smell the scent before opening the packaging which was very promising in deed.

Christmas Wish

This candle is my favourite of the two and it is also their signature Christmas fragrance. It has notes of mandarine, cinnamon and tonka bean and according to their website it smells like Christmas cake. I actually find the cinnamon quite strong and therefore this candle reminds me of home baked ginger bread which I absolutely love. The scent is a little spicy and ideal to enjoy on a cold winter day with some mulled wine. I can really smell the therapeutic essential oils when I burn this candle and it does have the power of lifting your mood. The candle burns evenly although I do make sure to burn it at least for 2-3 hours for the first time to avoid tunneling. I find the gold design beautiful and unusual looking.

Perfect Peace

This candle is very different and the scent is not quite as strong. It reminds me of the Jo Malone Pine and Eucalyptus candle but I cannot really smell the scent unless I am very close to the candle. I find that Neom candles smell more like the kind of candles they use in luxury spas, where as Jo Malone candles have a more perfume type of smell. It's difficult to explain but I hope that makes sense?!

This gift set is probably the best value I have seen in a long time but if you were to get just one of the candles, get the Christmas Wish. You won't be disappointed. I have to say that I am very impressed with Neom fragrances and would definitely use this company again. I find their customer service fantastic as initially I had a problem using their online shop and they emailed me and even called me back to solve the problem. You earn points with every purchase you make and you can use them in your next order. You even earn points when you review a product you've bought on the website. How fantastic is that!

Score: 9/10


3. White Company Winter (140 gr) £20

This used to be my favourite candle but I decided not to get it this year (mainly because there were few new ones I wanted to try in stead). It has a spicy warm scent but I have to admit the packaging appeals to me more than the fragrance. I would rather get the Neom Christmas Wish candle which smells more luxurious. White company travel size candles are great though and they even come in tea lights which is fantastic.

Score: 8/10


4. Rituals Hammam Secret (290 gr) £19.5

I have been using this candle throughout the winter months, although I do think it is perfect for Christmas as well. It has a lovely smell of eucalyptus that I find very refreshing. It has a very cosy and warm frangrance that fills up the room pretty quickly. I used to love this candle but these days I am finding it a little bit too strong. Especially, if you are using it in a small room. Even though I was trying to burn this candle evenly, it kept tunneling which was difficult to fix. I also think the smell is not as pure and elegant as some of the luxury brands but it's definitely good value considering the size of the candle.

Score: 7/10


5. Wax Lyrical Tea Lights (pack of 9) £5

I have been a fan of Wax Lyrical candles for quite some time as many supermarkets sell them over here. I have been using their Orange Blossom tea lights throughout the autumn which I thought were great quality. I decided to try out their Winter Garden tea lights but unfortunately I was disappointed. You can hardly smell the scent which is very strange as the Orange Blossom tea lights had a quite a strong scent. I haven't tested their larger candles but I doubt it will make a big difference.

Also, I am not too keen on the packaging of the candles which is why I usually get the tea lights. They remind me of the Yankee candles which look a bit too traditional for my liking. I do think Wax Lyrical candles are pretty good value although I wouldn't recommend their Winter Garden range based on my experience.

Score: 6/10www.wax-lyrical.com

If you decide to get a luxury candle, it is worth making sure that the candle lasts as long as possible. You can find some good tips on Candles Love to Know. Some people even prefer to make their own candles but due to lack of time I haven't attempted this yet. Perhaps I will give it a try next year :).

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