Lemon Bar

There is no mail delivery to my building for 3 weeks now, so you can imagine my delight when I went to the main post office yesterday to pick up the mail (usually there are only bills there) - and found out that two packages I was long expecting finally arrived and I was able to pick and unpack both on the same day.

One packages was from Gabriel's Aunt in Seattle, containing a new batch of White Potion candles as well as several of her candles that I was dying to try for quite some time*. Nikki is so talented with her candle ideas, it's only a matter of time for her to be discovered and considered the big name in natural home-fragrance. Her candles don't only smell great from their tin or jar, they smell great when they burn. Whoever told you that you can't make a naturally scented candle that has a throw or smell interesting simply don't know what they are doing.

Well, Nikki surely knows how to make a candle work without the aid of any aromachemicals or pre-blended candle fragrances that come from a cookie-cutter fragrance factroy. Her scent ideas are fun and original, and her candles burn clean and steady for hours and hours on end, releasing the unique aroma that was given to them before they were poured and moulded. It's so different to smell the real essences in a candle as opposed to an imitation of everyday olfactory pleasures. In Nikki's candles, when you smell chocolate, you know it came from a real cacao bean, and you can really feel that difference. There is a reason why I chose to work with her on my own candle collection, and the results are nothing short of stunning.

I alway check to see what's new at Garbriel's Aunt, as Nikki always manages to surprise with her Just For Fun candle collection. I was particularly eager to try her Lemon Bar scent. I love lemon pastries so much it's a mystery I don't ever wear lemony scents. I find these scents fun to smell as body care or home fragrance but become easily bored with them as a personal perfume. Just a couple of weeks I made a coconut-lime scent that although I liked very much, I thought would be better as a body oil than an acutal perfume (at least for me personally).

With essential oils of lemon, lime and butter CO2, I knew Lemon Bar candle will smell heavenly. And it does. It smells exactly like how my entire house smells like when I bake lemon-lime wafers, and the scorched butter and sugar take over the space and carry along the citrusy zest of lemon and lime. A particularly fun candle to burn in the summer, when baking is out of the question but you want to be in a cloud of lime zest. The butter, I find, adds an almost coconutty nuance, which could be just my own association, but nevertheless makes the candle feel a little tropical.

* I will tell you about the contents of the other package on Monday.

Tulum's Massage Candle in Lemon

The simplest ingredients make this unique 3 in 1 candle: Soya wax, soya oil, olive oil and shea butter, and it is scented with essential oils.
Secrets of Tulum is a Vancouver based body-care company (they make shampoos, conditioners and several skin care products, all said to be inspired by Aztec body care traditions). Their Himlight Wax Factory division creates this line of aromatherapy massage candles: light them, and the room fills up with a subtle, simple scent (in this case lemon - but they also have other fragrance). Wait for 30 mintues, and the pool of melted edible wax is ready to dip a finger and massage on your body.
Now, I am not so keen on massaging my body with melted wax (and the term "body wax" is a bit out of whack in this context: for most people it is associated with the rather painful waxing ritual, but I can let this slide). The thing is, that once the wax settles on your massaged skin, it creates that, well, waxy film. Not my favourite. I think I will stick with the 2 in 1 concept of a candle that diffuses a warm light and a subtle scent. Perhaps I expect too little of life, but I feel perfectly happy with that! And for less than $9 CAD at my local health food store (Choices) this is a perfect price for a candle, so I can buy multiples of these and get every room in the house refreshingly scented from time to time (without getting any wax spills or smoky aftermath once the candle is put off, that is, because these come in their own frosted glass cup and with a lid).

The lemon candles smell utterly natural and fresh, like lemon verbena, which is a personal favourite of mine. I believe it is made of Litsea Cubeba for the most part - the berries of a tropical tree which have a longer lasting lemon aroma (a heart note, while lemon essential oil is a top note). There are other scents, which are mostly simple yet utterly enjoyable. If you love lemon verbena, this would be an excellent natural choice. And let me tell you, it is even more difficult to find a well made naturally scented candle than it is to find well made natural perfume.
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