Happy Winter Solstice!

Winter Solstice

8hrs 6min 59sec of daylight in Vancouver today. And after that, the days will gradually increase - a few seconds at a time at first, gradually improving.

I'm celebrating with candles, eggnog and a winter solstice bath scented with refreshing yuzu to welcome the return of the sun after the longest night of the year (the eggnog knocked me down early so I didn't get around to it till the morning hehe).

Scented candle of the day: Hugs & Kisses by Gabriel's Aunt. Classic combination of cloves, cinnamon and orange with a bit of cardamom for a little exotic twist. Nothing like spices to warm you up on a cold winter day :-)

Happy Winter Solstice!


Candle of the Day: ArbitRary

Today was my friend's housewarming party and guess what? She burnt my ArbitRary candle!
I can't think of anything more touching than my own friends enjoying and admiring my scents. Such a wonderful feeling...
As I come back home late at night and this place smells like stale latkes from yesterday, I think this is exactly what I should be doing here: burn some ArtbiRary candle to chase out the fried scent with some nice freshly crushed basil eaves and squeezed lime...
It smells like summer, which is sometimes exactly what I want to be reminded of in the middle of the winter.

Second Candle

Happy 2nd night of Hanukkah!
Today I was burning another Gabriel's Aunt soywax candles - Hugs n' Kisses. Spicy with cloves, cinnamon and orange and very much like what you'd expect a pomander or mulled wine to be - but with a twist thanks to a touch of cardamom. This candle is warming, a little woodsy and dry because of the high content of clove oil. It's nice that it's not overly sweet, but I somehow wish it was a little sweeter, with a note like honey. Perhaps it's just my current mood. It has a soft, gentle throw that you can only expect from a naturally scented candle.
For tomorrow, I need to find a candle that will clear out the scent of fried latkes from my home. Opening the window did not help much - the neighbours downstairs were barbqueing (!) of all things. Just when I thought that no one could surpass our stench of burnt oil...

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah to you and yours!
May the holiday be filled with light, warmth and lovely latkes.

The next coming 8 days I'm going to try to mention (can't promise daily full blog posts during market season) scented candles that I enjoy. Today my place smells like Gabriel's Aunt Bohem. And not because the candle is lit, but because it was placed too close to the heater, and when I noticed that, I opened the travel tin to see just at what stage of melting it was... Pretty advanced, I discovered as I spilled a good portion of it on my carpet! That was a very silly idea of a curious mind...
But my living room smells like a pack of fresh tobacco awaiting rolling and it's very lovely even if a little naughty and not particularly Hanukkah-appropriate.
It's a beautiful candle and if you are into quirky, leathery tobacco scents you must try this. It rocks!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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.
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