There’s no denying that since we began the Concrete & Wax adventure our home has smelled divine. My studio (situated on the side of our cottage) is not only where I make the candles, but also where we keep our stock, so the scent when you enter is a heady mix of all our candle fragrances combined.
I’m often asked if I can add new fragrances, especially at this time of year for Christmas, but the truth is I’m no fan of the smell of mulled wine, or chocolate, I find cinnamon and clove overpowering and any pine forest smells just make me think of cleaning bathrooms, so it’s a tricky thing for me to do. Especially as test burning is such a key part of candle making - and many tests burns are conducted in the evenings in our home, so I’ve kind of got to feel comfortable by the fragrance that surrounds me.
It’s for this reason that I have always only developed the fragrances that I love - starting with Lime, Basil & Mandarin - my lifelong favourite perfume and a reminder of relaxing holidays of my past, where citrus and herbal aromas float in the breeze across the beach. Tobacco & Oak, a fresh, yet subtle, woody fragrance loved by my husband (and therefore loved equally by me). I find Sandalwood & Black Pepper entoxicating and relaxing and Amber Noir brings a soothing sweetness that warms me from the inside out.
Earlier this year, I added Cherished Leather and Curious Rose to our collection because I fell in love with both and each brought a very different dimension to our existing fragrance family. The leather because of its earthy honesty (and power to seemingly transport me to an Italian leather market) and the rose for its subtle floral notes that sit alongside oud, creating a sensual, uplifting feeling like you’ve just had the most magical head massage and everything feels realigned.
What I hadn’t bargained on during their development though was just how beautiful the fragrances are when both candles are burnt together. You see that’s the remarkable thing, because quite often it’s not purely about the way one fragrance smells in a candle or diffuser and how this fills a room, it’s about layering the smell of different fragrances together in an area of the house. Or creating different fragrance zones, so you walk though one into the next yet somewhere in between there is a beautiful area where the fragrances mingle, creating something completely different and new.
Of course there are many scientific studies into the benefits or disadvantages of specific fragrances and how they can effect mood. But the science of smell is actually much more personal than a description on a perfume bottle or candle might lead you to believe. The nose is just a channel, because the perception of fragrance is almost wholly conducted in the brain, with certain smells linked to memories or emotional triggers, so although I can tell you how I think my fragrances smell and where they transport me, it’s really more about where your brain takes you when you smell them.
How wonderfully intriguing is that?