Jo Loves : Shot Candle Collection

Jo Loves Shot Candle (TM) Studio is the first, of I’m sure to be of many, studios owned by Jo Malone where customers can go, and create their very own, candle, with help from the wonderful staff who have all be trained personally by Jo. They may even be lucky enough to meet Actual Jo, who spends a lot of her time there.

When I visited the Elizabeth Street store it had only been open for 4 days, and already was stirring up a storm – items going out of stock, a hen party, and a constant flow of customers. The story that goes alongside it, makes it all the more magical – Jo’s first ever job in a florist was in the very same building that is now her studio… 50 years later, on her birthday, her husband presented her with the keys, and it was then that she became a ‘shopkeeper’ – and a bloody good shop it is too!
The whole of the Jo Loves range can be found at the front of the shop, as well as a customer experience of ‘Fragrance Tapas‘ which I am definitely going back to try… then the room to the back is where the Shot Candles are created.
After seeing people customising their own Pop Tarts in New York, Jo was inspired and decided to make a customisable candle – giving you the choice of how you want something to smell, without taking away any quality – resulting in a product unique to you. The Shot Candle is made up of two parts – a base, which sits in the bottom and up the edges of the glass jar… then the shot which is the shape of a (rather large!) shot glass. You choose your fragrance of each, and they burn and meld at different rates so your candle will always smell different. Sometimes it’ll smell of the Shot fragrance, sometimes of the Base, sometimes of the both – and other times one will be stronger than the other.
Jo described how, to her, scents are like memories – so each scent will trigger off a memory for her – Tahitian Gardenia, for instance (which is one of the base smells), takes her back to a distinct memory walking down a beach. Her philosophy is that memories should be created from fragrance – like a photo album… and I love that.
The other base scents to choose from are Charcoalled Lemons, which is what I went for – a sweet, carameley, fresh citrus smell which is honestly, so good I wanted to lick it. Mint Mojito which smells deliciously summery, and Fig Trees which was a definite second favourite for me – such a rich, beautiful fragrance.
The shots. Ohhhhhh the shots! Wow. Yum.
Salted Caramel. Do I need to say any more!? She managed to get it just right – just like salted caramel, but without the sicklyness that sometimes comes from sweet scents. Mango – just like the best, ripest, juiciest mango you have ever picked. Lemongrass – reminiscent of lemon sherbet, so clean and fresh and good enough to eat. Petitgrain – a clean, floral, citrus, summery smell (and also, one of the most popular among customers). I had a really tough time choosing my shot – but in the end I went with Mango. I don’t even like mangos particularly, but I have never smelt a mango better than this in my life.

The top of the base is then warmed up with a mini blow torch, the shot is popped on top, and you, personally, walk your fingers around the top to mould the two pieces together. The gorgeous white jar is then placed in a white box along with Jo Loves matches and a card reminding you of your fragrances, then sealed with a red bow. The thought gone into each part of the creation process is amazing. Once your box is bagged and ribboned up, you ‘paint’ your fragrance onto a piece of Jo Loves card (which you and your Jo Malone consultant both sign) – so you can smell what you’ve created all the way home. 

London transport has never smelt the same as it did that night. Every now and then I would get a whiff of my creation, and I couldn’t wait to get home and delve in.
Thank you Pop Tarts.

This is the beginning of a wonderful story. In the pipeline are more fragrances to choose from, and more ideas, which Jo is full of. I’m so excited by this new idea, and what is to come from Jo Loves.

A Shot Candle costs £75 for a 260g candle (60 hours burn time) and includes a one-on-one consultation. Available exclusively at Jo Loves Shot Candle Studio. For more info, check out www.joloves.com 

Neom Scents of Christmas Candles

Once again, Neom have pulled it out of the bag. They are the name behind some of my favourite candles, and the Scents of Christmas Travel Candle Collection (£42) doesn’t disappoint.

Inside are three travel-sized versions of their festive scented candles, each in a beautiful glass jar – and with 20 hours burn time each.

The candles, which are also all available as full sized 3-wicked badboys, or individually as travel-sized are in Christmas Wish (gold glass), Harmonise (silver glass) and Comforting (rose gold glass).

My favourite of the trio, and I’m sad to say, now all burned, is definitely Comforting. It’s the first time I’d smelled this one, but definitely won’t be the last time as I’m now putting the large size on my Christmas list. If my house could smell like this forever, I would be a very happy girl. Although it does fit within the festive theme, I wouldn’t restrict it to that alone, as it’s a gorgeous, sweet and woody smell which really does leave the room smelling cosy and delicious. The scents in all the candles are made from pure natural extracts and aromatherapy oils with nothing synthetic about them, which results in a really clean smooth, pure smell. The scents in Comforting are Cedarwood, Vetiver and Star Anise. It’s a caramelley, smokey, citrusey, manly, gorgeous aroma.

Harmonise’s scents are Pine, Eucalyptus and Cedarwood which are definitely apparent when burning this candle. It’s a really fresh smell, with the pine definitely coming through. It’s the perfect fit to christmas, and if you have an artificial tree this would help bringing the smell of real Christmas trees to your home.

Christmas Wish, I could nearly eat. It reminds me of Lebkuchen – every time I have this candle burning I want to eat Lebkuchen arghhhh! It’s scents are Mandarin, Cinnamon and Tonka Bean. It is full of Christmasseyness and the one I’m saving the last few hours of to accompany my Christmas day.

These are available from www.NeomOrganics.com

Neom ‘Harmonise’ Candle

The latest addition to my Neom collection is the Harmonise candle – a gorgeous, three-wicked beauty which smells of pine, cedarwood and eucalyptus.

Although it’s sold all year round and is not a Christmas candle, it’s hard for it not to help conjure up festive thoughts when it’s burning next to a Christmas tree with presents nestled beneath it. As I have an artificial tree, it’s helped the Christmas spirit along no end!

The aromas are very woody and menthol – you can smell them as soon as you open the packaging but not so much so that it is overpowering. It’s quite an adult scent, so I was surprised when my 15 year old sister came over while I was burning it and declared how lovely she thought it was! The smell stays around long after the candle has gone out which is one of my favourite things about the candle. I can enjoy it burning while I’m at home, put it out while I’m out of the house, and the smell is still there to welcome me when I return!

The packaging is gorgeous too – the actual candle is housed in a chunky large round glass, then that is inside a thick presentation box with one flap that flaps down saying “Out of clutter, find simplicity”…. even the leaflet inside quotes Anne Frank with “Whoever is happy will make others happy too” – it’s the little touches like that that bring this all together to make a wonderful, feel-good, luxurious candle.

The 3 wick candles are priced at £39.50 on the Neom Organics website with 55 hours burn time.

Timothy Dunn Arabian Fig Candle

Timothy Dunn was originally a florist – tending to celebrities and big brands, who then used his knowledge of floral scents and experiences of worldly travels to create his own collection of candles which has now become the best selling range in Liberty!

His latest release is a limited edition candle, for Christmas, Arabaian Fig.

Even the packaging feels luxurious – it’s very strong and sturdy and has a leather effect to it – the writing and the inner part of the casing is gorgeous matt gold, which compliments the purple perfectly.
Inside, the candle is quite weighty – it is housed in a hand blown glass container, and comes with a silver lid embossed with the Timothy Dunn logo.
Arabian Fig is “a complex blend of wild fig, basil and clove, enhanced by frankincense, cassis, Moroccan rose, and jasmine, intertwined with radiant notes of sandalwood, cedar wood and musk”. That seems like a lot of smells going on – yet when it’s burning, it works. 

The primary smell is of fig, but a spicy kind of fig – which adds to the Christmassey element of the candle. It’s not that classic, pine, Christmas smell, but a different twist on Christmas – a warming, original fragrance which I think is gorgeous not just for Christmas, but a very autumnal and wintery candle.
The wax he uses is a special blend which took years to create which ensures a lasting fragrance and even burn which is a great idea – I hate finishing a candle and there being loads of wax wasted at the sides. The smell is strong but not overpowering – I just hope with the amount I’m burning it, it lasts until Christmas!
Timothy Dunn candles are available at Liberty, Fenwick, Bond Street and www.timothydunnlondon.com.

Christmas Gifts from L’Occitane

L’Occitane have brought out a range of limited edition gifts, which would be perfect for those last minute Christmas presents. I was sent a selection from the Délice des Fruits and Délice des Fleurs collections, of which I’m going to tell you about today!

Whenever I get new bath and body stuff, the first thing I do is have a little sniff…. OMG, this time I was in Heaven! The Citron & Clémentine range from the Délice des Fruits collection is absolutely divine. As the name would suggest, it is lemon and clementine, but not any old lemon and clementine. This is candied lemon and clementine, which evidently makes all the difference.

Although it’s not a Christmas smell, the candle reminds me of walking through a Christmas market and past a sweet stall. It’s the most amazing smell ever – I would happily burn this candle every day for the rest of my life, the smell is that good!

The rest of the products from the Délice des Fruits collection still have that amazing smell, but are slightly more citrusey than boiled sweets. I’m a big fan of citrus smells so these have been great for me too. The little tin of lip balm is dangerous – I want to eat it every time it goes near my lips! It contains almond oil so it’s good at moisturising, and it leaves the lips with a sexy sheen.

I usually use liquid hand soap, so there has been something quite decadent about using a bar of soap! It is perfumed but not overpowering, and doesn’t leave my hands feeling dry.

The Body Cream is gorgeous – it is nice and light, and while it has that nice smell, I like that fact that the smell isn’t lingering for the entire day – I like people to be able to smell my perfume! It has a slight balmy consistency and sinks in to the skin fairly quickly.

The Délice des Fleurs collection is a different smell all together. Still sweet, but in a different way. Nothing how I’d expect ‘Rose & Violette’ to smell – none of that classic ‘rose’ scent… but more like the very sweet aroma of berries. Apparently it is candied rose and violet petals. The fragrance is a little too sweet for me, but I can imagine my teenage sister being a fan.

The perfume comes in a 75ml glass bottle which is so pretty and elegant. The soft purple colour of the fragrance adds to the gorgeousness of it, it would look fab on display in a bathroom. There is also a little tin of solid perfume which is an ideal size to carry in your handbag to freshen up with during the day or a night out.

I used the shower jelly on a bath pouf, and while it wasn’t extremely bubbly there was enough lather there to wash my body with, and again, it looks great on display.

If you like sweet smells – like Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, I think you’d really like the Rose & Violette range.

The lip glosses from this collection, I will definitely use. I’d say they were more lip tints or balms than glosses as my lips weren’t left overly shiny after using them. They come in a little tin perfect for the handbag – Rose is pinky, like a just-bitten lip, and Violette is dark purple, which reminds me of a softer version of MAC’s Rebel lipstick. They both leave the lips feeling very soft, like they’re doing some good while looking good! I think it would be advisable to use a brush to apply them for more of an even look. I used my fingers for the photos below – so it’s not like you have to use one, but it would look more polished.

The products are available from the L’Occitane website, while you’re there have a go at decorating a Christmas tree and you’ll get a complimentary 75ml Fleur Cherie body lotion.

L’Occitane is also available in stores – have a look here to see where your local one is, or in selected department stores.