Must Have Monday: The scent of the holidays.

Well, it’s that time of year again.  Snow on the ground, ice on the roads, winter coats required, frozen noses a usual occurrence on the trek from the car to the next nearest heated space {home, shopping mall, theatre…etc}.  And you see, every year around this time I go on a candle binge.  For some unknown reason I end up nearly constantly burning a candle in my room while I’m getting ready, or in the house generally.

Now you see, I’ve noticed that are a number of other people who also get into the candle mood over this season.  This year, however, I’ve noticed that the vast majority of “Smell This!” recommendations that I’ve gotten from friends or the interwebs are one of the two following things:  Leaves from Bath & Body Works {which I’m guilty of buying two of…}, or these sickeningly sweet fresh baked cookies or heavily sugared scents.  The later category makes me nauseaus…any time of the year…when it’s not in it’s real form {ie. I love the smell of fresh baked cookies…when it’s actually the result of fresh baked cookies!}.  Clearly now, I feel obliged to send my various readers off in the direction of candles that are not one of the above two.  Disclaimer though, I did love the Leaves candle when I first bought it, and still really quite enjoy it.  The issue I’ve currently got with it now is how intense I find the scent if it’s burned for too long…and the fact that it lingers well past the time it’s blown out.

…now on to the recommendations…


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Part of what I love about burning candles is the fact that it reminds me of a wood-burning fireplace and evokes the memories under blankets, coming in from the snow, hands wrapped around a mug of cider or tea, listening to holiday music in front of the fire.  It’s not really surprising then why I love the Woodwick line of candles.  Instead of a traditional wick, Woodwicks have a very thin piece of wood that burns down in the centre of the candle and provides one with that crackling sound that is so reminiscent of a fireplace.  While they have a number of great fragrances year-round, I have to draw attention to my favourite of their holiday lineup: Mistletoe Magic.  This somehow manages to evoke the smell of freshly cut Christmas tree, mistletoe, and just the slightest hint of winter berry.  The officially description is evergreen, vanilla {of which I smell none}, and mulled spices.  Considering we don’t have a real tree in my house {I blame my cat and her attempts to climb it at a young age…}, I gravitate towards fragrances for the winter that replace it.  This is a lovely balance to many of the other cranberry-type scents that normally occupy the winter holidays, and disperses a lovely light scent perfect for any part of the house.  {Available at Chapters for $29.95}


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For my second pick, I send you the way of Mulled Wine by Illume.  I found this just as I was starting to get a little overwhelmed by Leaves, and it has quickly become one of my favourite scents.  Warm mulling spices of cinnamon and cloves, the deep rich scent of red wine, the slightest hint of winter berries, and even an almost orange tone make cause this candle to fill a room with the perfect warm smell of a holiday party.  The official notes are oakwood, red wine, and mulling spices…and Illume has done a fantastic job of blending them into subtle perfection.  {Available at Chapters for $35.00}


{Image from Google Images}

Now you get two picks from Crabtree and Evelyn.  Yes, a classic traditional brand and a store I would guarantee half of you have never set foot in.  I promise you, their product line-up is addictive regardless of their candles…so I recommend first off that you stop being trendy and young and get thineself into a location stat to stock up on Goat’s Milk soaps, Lavender creams, and if nothing else their Pomegranate Body Wash for the holidays.  The two candles I will send you the way of though are Noel {the red holiday line}, and Windsor Forest {the green holiday line}.  C&E describes Noel as filling the air with the festive scents of allspice, clove, and nutmeg, apple, mulling spices, with fresh evergreen, cranberries, and orange.  I would have to say that the latter half of that descriptor is most apt, with evergreen being the dominant scent.  I say this

{Image from Google Images}

almost in contrast to Windsor Forest.  This candle is a mix of Fraser Fir, Spruce, and Pine…intertwined with English Holly.  Very woodsy…but somehow there’s an almost sweet tone that first radiates off of this candle.  If I had to pick between this and the Mistletoe Magic, I’d probably say the latter.  But for those of you who like a little warmth and sweet magic with your evergreens…take a trip to Windsor Forest.  {Both available from Crabtree & Evelyn, Windsor Forest in a classic jar for $22.40, and Noel in a novelty case for $32.00}.


{Image from Google Images}

Last but not least, my holiday candle collection just wouldn’t be complete without the Kiehl’s Cranberry candle.  It’s just the right combination of tart and sweet cranberries, with an almost creamy softness to the fragrance.  On some level it almost smells like melting a cranberry scented Kiehl’s hand lotion.  I know that sounds rather bizarre…but there’s a delicious coziness that allows it to fill the room with a crisp winter fragrance.  The candles are currently not listed on the Kiehl’s website…but I’ll keep you posted if they re-release them this year.  Let’s just say that if you can get your hands on one of these…do!

…and with that I bid you all a wonderful start to your holiday seasons…


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