Bam! What budget? (Patty)

Thanks for everyone’s thoughts on my appliances. I feel better somehow knowing many of you have the same suspicion I have – our appliances CAN hear us and know when to revive themselves and when to die and snicker in their grave.

Turns out, my defrosting thingimabob is broken, so $300 should get it going again. Good thing, considering what I spent on those Frederic Malle candles.

Yes, I bought two of them so you don’t have to. Except, well, you might have to, depending on how much you love Dominique Ropion and Gardenia.

I blame that stupid fall overpriced sample event Barney’s has.  Every year, I swear I don’t care about it, and I’m not spending whatever amount of money they want just to get a bunch of samples that I probably don’t want either.  Some years that works. This year, as I perused their site, I saw – candles!  Malle candles.  How on earth did I miss that?  I didn’t even Google to find out that I hadn’t, they were brand spankin’ new and exclusive to Barney’s. I just saw that Un Gardenia La Nuit and had a call in to Tyler in a second and just closed my eyes on the price tag of $140.   Then threw in the Russian Nights candle for good measure, even though the coffee one is still crying for me too.

Honestly? I had very little hope these would be worth it. I’ve got a couple of the Cire Trudon candles, and I love the scents – interesting and quirky – but they have too little throw to go into my category of worth over $20.

The Malle candles arrive, I open them and see Dominque Ropion’s name on the Gardenia one and Sophia Grojsman on the Russian Nights – information the Barney’s site wasn’t clear on.  Oh, hell.  Sniffed them in the jar and swooned.

Put a lighter to the wick and went to find something else to do in another part of the house for 20 minutes for my “throw test.”  Walked back into my living room and practically fell over to the gorgeously delicate scent of Gardenia everywhere. Not overblown or rank, just lilting and lovely.  Worth $140? I need to calculate out how many fresh gardenias I’d need to perfume my room on a regular basis to match the one candle I can burn for 30 minutes a day that should last a couple three months.  I don’t know.  I’m the same person that will order 50 tuberose stems and grows Tuberose bulbs (one is blooming right now!) because I love that smell. So if someone can stick that in a candle and save me some effort?  I’ll pay.

What has always just chapped me about candles is the many candle companies that charge a fortune, make a great scent to put in a candle, and then the damn thing doesn’t smell unless you put your nose right next to it when it is unlit. What exactly is the point of making a candle that doesn’t smell when you burn it?

Russian Nights is from Sophia Grojsman, and it has notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, iris and sandalwood.  Yum.  It’s more delicate than the gardenia because, well, gardenia is just that.  Heavier on the sandalwood than the nutmeg and cinnamon, smoky.  I have no idea if it smells like a Russian night, but if it does, it smells like a lovely way to spend a cold winter evenint.

So we’re going to visit Barney’s when we’re in NYC this weekend so I can sniff the rest.  There’s a lily one that could help me out so I don’t have to get a fresh bouquet of lilies every ten days for my bedroom.

We’ve talked candles before, and this may not be a subject y’all have much more to say, but do peruse the Barney’s site and see the Malle candles and tell me which one you wish someone would put under your pillow.  I was going to get around to my new L’Artisan Vetiver sample today that I got in the Barney’s sample bag with my candles, but, yikes, I’m just pooped out!

44 Comments

  1. I have a thing about candles. Maybe I was scared by “Rebecca” but I live in an older wood-frame building in a fire zone. Plus they set off my smoke detectors. I prefer potpourri.

  2. T, has a point. Candles used to terrify me, and sometimes still do. But I found my perfect candle from Volupsa, and it’s Black Chanterelle and Cardamom. I love cardamom!

    So, looking at the list, I would have to go for the Santal Cardamome one from the collection. Of course it would be almost as pricey as the Gardenia one, but I bet it smells beautiful. I really do loves me some cardamom.

    And, speaking of cardamom, the L’Artisan Vetiver has that with some yummy spices in it that make me swoon. I love it, and can’t wait to hear what you think.

    Hugs, and have a blast in NYC!

    • I’ve got a sampler pack of the Voluspas, which I like a lot. I did get a Vie Luxe one that is called Istanbul that has everyone in the house swooning, too. I need to try that cardamom one, I know that’s the note that sends me over the edge too. it’s in the new Amouage women’s scent. I’ll let you know how the cardamome one is from Malle, I suspect it will be in my suitcase on the way home.

  3. Malle candles?? So far, I’ve been able to resist… but it hasn’t been easy. Mind you, I’ve got a couple of baby sized L’Artisan ones.

  4. I’m so happy the Malle candles are doing it for you! I need to try these! I have to tell you about a candle that everyone here needs to try. In New Orleans at the Ritz Carlton, these candles adorn pretty much every corner of the main floor and it’s the most intoxicatingly beautiful gardenia (read: tuberose, actually) scent. This is the only Ritz in the world that uses the candles and they can be bought at, and are supplied to the hotel by, Amy’s Country Candles (no affiliation) in New Orleans. A small mason jar which goes for around $26 including shipping scents a room big or small for two months. She uses triple the normal amount of fragrance oil in them, according to the site, and it shows. I hope someone tries this Gardenia candle here. It’s really incredible.

    • Whee!!! I found the website and have a gardenia one in the basket. If i can get the same smell of gardenia for 1/5 of the price, I’m all over that! Have you smelled her Vanilla Sugar one?

      You know I’ll try them!

      • nope, just the gardenia :) I believe they sell little $3 ones so you can try them before you commit to bigger ones :) If I light the candle for two hours one day, I can usually still smell it for a couple days after without lighting it. I hope you like it! Let me know, seriously! :) How can we do this? Maybe you could send me a message on facebook? Anthony Carlson there :) we’re friends… I want to know even if you don’t like it… :)

  5. I absolutely loved Gardenia la nuit. :x
    So much that I wrote les editions FM if they could release a personal fragrance inspired by the scent!

    If I were a candle person, I would have shelled out the $$$ – but I am not: I only burn SMN carta d’armenia from time to time, any other burn-to-scent stuff seems to shut my throat down…. :(

    • I think they should definitely do that. Somehow I’d feel better spraying that much money on me personally.

  6. I’m surprised to read about your disappointing experience with Cire Trudon. Does one scent my entire house? No. Do they do a great job of scenting the room they’re burning in? Yes. I did find one of the Diptyque candles fairly useless; I forget the scent. but it was only a votive, and it was free in a goodie bag, So no loss. Sorry I’ll miss you this weekend and hope you’ll have a great time.

    • I have three of them, and maybe it was the scents I chose, but what I got was pretty weak. I got some smell, but not nearly at the level I expect for paying $80, they should have a ton of fragrance in them.

      Diptyque has a roasted chestnuts candle they did for Christmas last year, and that was the best, best throwing candle they’ve ever done. I’ve found most of theirs to be fairly weak on throw, but that one was a keeper, so I got a few of them just in case they didn’t re-issue it again for this Christmas.

      We’ll miss you too!

  7. So far, I’ve avoided candles. I think it’s the Yankee Candle phenomenon. Whenever I pass by a shop, I want to scream and run. Horrible. I know, I know. Yankee candles are not MALLES!!! Or Diptyques. Or L’Artisans! Those prices, though. Ouch!

    I am, however, very intrigued by reed diffusers. Had never even heard of them til we stayed at the Camden Harbour Inn, and they had one in our room – HEAVEN!!! I spent the next week trying to locate the scent and company online. Actually found it, but it was discontinued or something or other. Bummer. Then I discovered Antica Farmacista in a small jeweler’s shop in Northeast Harbor. Did I purchase some? No. Price tag still has me waffling. Would love a discussion on these things, though. Which do people love? Which do they recommend?

    • I’ve done reed diffusers, but I have cats. Cats avoid flame, but tip over smelly oils when they’re chasing each other or torturing the dogs.

      i’d love to hear what people like, though. I’ve had a couple. the one I will get around the holidays is the Thymes Fraser Fir. Great waft, and it smells so darn close to a real tree.

      • Amen, Patty!! Great post! I, too, get highly aggravated when I’ve shelled out for a candle and I have to practically singe my nosehairs to get the tiniest whiff of it. Man, oh man, those Malles do sound tempting.
        I have a Kai candle and it does pretty well and, sorry, although I know this is a dirty word around these parts, but Bond No. 9’s candles have excellent throw. I have Andy Warhol Silver Factory, the Little Italy and the New Haarlem (those last two smell just heavenly when burned together, as do their sprayed fragrance counterparts on skin).
        As for diffusers, I love that Thymes Fraser Fir as well (very true to Christmas tree smell) and also enjoy Antica Farmacista’s Champagne one. Nordstrom has a smallish one in that scent for around $20, which is a great size for a powder room and also makes for a good “emergency” gift as well. Whoa, sorry to have rambled there … :”>

        • If I weren’t so annoyed with Bond all the time, I’d try them. i do love some of their scents, New haarlem is one of them.

          Oh that champagne thing sounds interesting, thanks!!!

      • Your cats avoid flames? Mine go right for it, till their whiskers singe. I only burn candles when I can sit next to them and monitor.

      • I’m a fan of the Thymes Fraser Fir votive candles. I burn them in my kitchen in the winter, and they have great throw. I’ve got a few more of theirs as well: one has bergamot, another has cardamom. The bottles of the candle votives aren’t labeled, so I can’t give you their names. But they are excellent, high-quality scents for a very reasonable price. They are worlds away from the horror of Yankee Candles. Karin, I totally relate to your dread of those shops. I suffer from rare asthmatic wheezing, really rare, but nothing brings it on like those god-awful candles.

  8. I keep looking at these but yet to pull the trigger mostly because I like the sound of Russian Nights best but I doesn’t seem to be available in UK yet. Of course, Coffee Society and Santal Cardamome sound gorgeous too *sigh*. I might finally crack and get some for Christmas although it might be tricky to justify a candle over something like those new sizes of Les Exclisifs, for example. Decisions, decisions….

    Last year I bought that limited edition Diptyque Benzoin which I adored and it was perfect over the festive period. I wish they made it part of their permanent lineup, it really was beautiful.

    • Tough, I know. It would have been easier to walk by them if the hadn’t thrown so much fragrance in the candle. The Coffee one and the Cardmome and the lily rubrum are at the top of my list.

      I had the Benzoin, and I did like that one. Did you get the Roasted Chestnuts one? that one just made me giddy.

      • I liked the roasted chestnuts one too but I never bought it. I’m not sure why, I think it might have sold out by the time I decided to order them.

        NARS do good candles too. Also expensive but they are large and possibly the strongest smelling candles I’ve ever encountered so they last for ever. One in particular is called Acapulco (chocolatey, cinnamony) and fills a room even when unlit.

  9. Wow. I’m not a candle person I guess. I have a hard time even shelling out money for Yankee Candles, and these are waaay beyond that. But the scents sound gorgeous, and I love gardenia, so I’d have to go with that. Reed diffusers intrigue me too, I have kids, and leaving candles out, even unlit ones, makes me a wee bit nervous.

    • anthony’s suggestion about the Amy’s Country Candles may be a good option. If the Ritz is using her gardenia candle, it must be good. I’ll order one, though, and see, and the $$ is a lot, lot, lot less.

      I used the melter thingies while my kids were young, you just put your candle on them, and it melted and put off scent, no flame involved. Really nice. I prefer fire just as a personal esthetic, but I also burn a ton of incense that I get from Shoyeido, so having a candle or two that I really lilke is a nice switch from a lot of woody incense.

  10. I have a hard time shelling out the money for Trapp candles, and even then I use a melter because every time I put a match to it I think, “I am about to burn up five dollars.” Dood. I need that money for shoes. That being said, I lovelovetylove the Trapp Sexy Cinnamon (horrible name) candle. Rich spice, not red hots.

    • Ps – I understand about the shoes. I’m eyeing this great pair of alexander McQueen booties that are just ridiculous and totally not worth the money, but is it wrong that I want them anyway and they are dancing in my head?

      • God knows it’s not wrong to want them — McQueen’s shoes are some of the most fantastic-looking things in the universe. However, I have never tried on a pair (even the flats!) that I didn’t know immediately were going to be the cruelest of Cruel Shoes. Painful just to stand around in at the store, and I have mighty tough feet. Daphne Guinness must inject her feet with lidocaine on a daily basis. So just make sure you try them on or can return them.

  11. Russian Nights would be my choice but we have a cat who does NOT avoid flames so candles only burn if one of us is going to be in that room for a while.

    Do these upper end candles leave soot? A few years ago I received a candle as a gift which was something fallish and spicy. I used it during October and November only to find layers of soot on the glass of our picture frames, mirror AND the walls. Everything had to be wiped (or scrubbed) down and I’d prefer not to repeat that!

    • You know, not so much. Most of the candles are soy now, and I’m blaming some of the lack of throw on that, though I have no good reason why except it seems like candles got less smelly once they all switched to soy. Soy doesn’t leave the black that the old candles did. You can avoid the soot entirely if you use a melter, though.

  12. Russian Nights under my pillow… Henri Bendel NY candles are long lasting, can be had for a song at Bath & Body Works-they smell beautiful. I picked up a load of them for around 6$ each on a clearance. Haven’t bought any in a while so not sure what the scent offerings are. I’ll check out Thymes Fraser Fir-thanx, Ann N. I could inhale fir all day.

    Patty, thanks for the nod to Shoyeido. I’m going to check them out for some sage. I usually buy the big smudgers, but the bottom always unravels and there’s no way to finish them off. I’d like to have sage burning throughout my home that reminds of hiking in Taos.

    • I love Shoyeido, they are just lovely people with a fantastic selection of incense, nothing heavy. right now I’m firmly attached to their Horin sticks in all flavors. I have a box in every room of my house.

      Sage, I’m trying to remember the guy’s name, he does the big bunches of resin on a stick. Smells lovely, and I think sage is one of them. I know I’ve posted about his stuff before.

      • Resin on a stick – as in popsicle sage? Oh, if the name comes wafting into your
        pretty little head, please let me know! I’m out of sage. There is a site,
        EssenceoftheAges.com which looks pretty good, but I like wom. Can you guess?
        Word of Mouth!
        That scarf wrapped ’round your neck in pic is divine-I’d love a blankie like that.

      • Have you ever tried the body incense? I’m curious, but I’d like to know if there’s a difference between the $5.00 and the $20.00.

        Except for price, of course:d

      • Are you referring to Fred Soll in New Mexico? He has a very prodigious line, all made with natural resins and spices and herbs. The sticks burn smoky and sometimes go out half way through a burn, but the smells are fabulous. He makes cones, too, but I have never tried them.

        And essenceoftheages.com is one of my downfall sites. I also recommend a fabulous incense blog-Olfactory Rescue Service. It has caused me to drop LOTS of money-not unlike my long long ago MUA days.

  13. I snurfed that Santal Cardamome a couple of weeks ago, and believe me– I am saving my pennies, it is so gorgeous! I think Ropion did that one, too.

    I was skeptical about candles until I got PdN Maharadjah. I only have to burn it for a half hour or so and it fills up a whole room and the scent lasts for hours. Maharadjah is a little sweet-vanilla for me, but it’s tempered with orange and frankincense and still really beautiful– totally worth 50 bucks. And I still have the one I got last year, they last a long time.

    The next one I want to try is the Papier d’Armenie candle– it’s about $30 and I love those little papers. And big ups for the Shoyeido incense– clean-burning and smelling, simple and beautiful. And cheap!

    • Oh, crap, did NOT need to get my expectations so high with that endorsement. Where did you get the PdN candles at? I know they have them in Paris,and I don’t know that I’ve looked for them other places, though!

      • Beautyhabit. So you can getcha yer free samples, too! Bwah hah hah!

  14. I love candles, and my husband (He Who Dislikes Perfume) actually likes them too, so we have quite a few. I have a red diffuser in my office (not much throw there, and cats do tend to tip, nibble, and nudge them, so I don’t use them in the house). I have toruble justifying paying big $$$ for candles when inexpensive options abound (and I’ll be checking out Amy’s, thank you Anthony)

    • I had to do a lot of reasoning to justify my first over $50 candle. I don’t remember how I got there. Pretty sure I regretted it. They really have to be fabulous and last and have superior throw for them to be worth it. Modern Alchemy did a Day of the Day candle that I loved, and it had decent throw on first burn, then I could never get that much throw out of it again. Really irritating.

      I have big hopes for Amy, too! I have a Gardenia coming and some small candles of Vanilla sugar, beignet and something else.

  15. I bought a mini Annick Goutal candle for a friend at a very expensive store’s semi-annual sale for a very tiny price. She found it did scent the whole room and it made her feel quite pampered, which was the entire point.

    • That reminds me–did people like the Annick Goutal Noel candle last holiday season?? It sounded lovely.

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