It’s December.  Happy getting towards winter? Our tree (small but plump this year) went up today (see pic).

For the time being the weather here has switched to dry, cold and bright which is a really pleasant change from wet, grey and milder. We need some frost and a snowy holiday period would be nice. The nasturtium are still growing madly and blooming, thought, which is just wrong.

My sleeping and waking are very aligned with the amount of light/dark we get. So, right now, in the descent to the winter solstice, I still wake early but have no desire to emerge from under the duvet (and now extra blanket). Sometimes my neighbour, who works in the health service, is up very early and I hear her. But even so I tend to wake first go-round at 5 AM. Mostly I go back to sleep till 6:15, at which point I just lie there with my eyes closed for anywhere between a half hour and an hour and a half. I treasure being able to stay in bed and doze/contemplate/plan. It’s a true antidote to having had to get up at 6:15 for years to get child to bus stop. No more school bus run also means that when the car is covered in frost, by the time I get outside now most of it has at least softened. I have terrible memories of freezing hands from scraping cars in the cold and dark.

So, that’s part of my late autumn into winter behaviour: mild hibernation. But oddly, I now find myself wanting to do my solo (as opposed to with dog) daily walk after dark. I take the flashlight around 7 and walk the lanes. It’s exercise, quiet time, etc. A good close to whatever the busyness of the day has been. And somehow – perhaps because I don’t tend to meet other people – it also feels like a sort of hibernation cocooned in darkness – proper dark as we don’t get a lot of ambient light here.

Further on hibernation. This is my serious candle burning season and I’ve been looking at stuff plus sniffing a lot at the farm shop. Candles so enhance hibernation.

Some things that will get a lot of use this year and a few things I’m coveting but am unlikely to add unless I just can’t help myself.

The newest addition to the winter rotation came from a US-based company called Literie. Some of their candles are NYC-smell focused and my son brought back, from his trip to NYC earlier this year, the Hot Roasted Nut Cart one (security at JFK actually made him take it out of the box and show it to them and the woman smelled it – I wonder if she then went and bought one). It smells like the name (ie, hot caramelised nuts and vanilla) and is so winter luscious. I wish I had asked him to bring two – as well as the one called the Christmas Tree Guy. The names of Literie’s candles are great (eg, Late Fees at the Library, Beers at the Ballpark).

Diptyque’s Feu de Bois is an annual favourite. I only buy the small size though at this point and that lasts a year at least for me.

I’ll pull out an almost done orange and clove candle that came in one of the hampers the guy I work for sent one year for the holidays. Very on point.

I’ll likely finish last year’s Diptyque special, Biscuit, and, finally, the Tauer LDDM candle always gets some use. I wish he’d reissue this.

As to things I’ve sort of coveting, I’m curious about DS&Durga’s candles. None of their perfumes have worked well on me but maybe a candle would do the job. Some that I’m curious about include Portable Xmas Tree, Breakfast Highlands and just because of the name the LE Lightable Latkes (unsurprisingly the notes sound a bit horrific: potato, oil, etc).

The other company I’m curious about just dropped at the farm shop. Most of what the shop stocks is fairly pedestrian, but these are very good. The Mewstone Candle Company’s Spiced Orange, Honey and Tobacco and Christmas Tree will certainly get another look. And they aren’t pricey (£18 for a decent sized candle). So, I’ll see how I go.

How about you? Are you hibernating? If yes, how does that play out? Anything home fragrance that comes out consistently this time of year? Anything you’re coveting?

pics: mine and pexels

  • Zazie says:

    I love burning candles, especially in the wintertime. This year I’ve been obsessing over Cire Trudon’s Spella. Cozy perfection and the gilded vessel is stunning.
    But they also have a rose and a jasmine candle that have a scent of such beauty and throw and complexity… a real treat for all perfume lovers.
    I agree that the price is up there, but I find Cire Trudon much less overpriced than other luxury candles, such as Dyptique if you get what I mean – though Dyptique’s designs are really lovely, there is no comparison in my book.

    Bummed that Fornasetti “revamped” their candle line – and changed their iconic scent. They have less offerings, though the scents are still quite appealing.
    If I were rich I would buy their snake rug, and some of their heftier interior designs… alas their candles are as far as I can afford and wish to go…

    • cinnamon says:

      A while ago I was in Harrods’ home section with my son who decided he wanted Fornasetti plates. They are just so gorgeous. I’m planning a Cire Trudon purchase next year.

  • Tom says:

    I love your tree!

    I used to do Christmas with my BFF and godchild, but the godchild is now 30 and the BFF moved back to NYC years ago so it’s been a while.

    Your comment on the car reminded me why I moved to LA (one of the reasons anyway.) I used to hate dealing with the car parked after a snowstorm. I didn’t want to drive unless it was completely clear- no blowing show off my roof onto other cars. I’d be pea-green with envy looking at people with pristine cars, knowing they had garages. I also couldn’t understand why (then) nobody had thought of heated steering wheels- American cars come from Dee-Troit, Dammit, and they have real winter there. I did have a Cadillac with heated seats and it was delicious..

    • cinnamon says:

      It is a wonderful tree. Curvaceous and buxom. I park in an open lot nearby. Anything precip and I have to deal with it. Yup, garage envy.

  • Dina C. says:

    I always trot out Thymes Frasier Fir all winter long. Love that Christmas tree scent. Yesterday was cold here, and I was definitely in hibernation mode. Bundled up in sweaters, fuzzy boots, fingerless gloves, and a blanket. Meanwhile my husband and son walk around wearing just a shirt, trousers, and slippers! I even checked my temp to make sure I didn’t have a temp: nope. I’m busy getting ready for Christmas buying & wrapping gifts, sending cards, decorating the tree, going to choir rehearsal, plus a bunch of funerals (not Christmas-y obviously). Love your adorable Holiday Tree, Cinnamon. I’m totally with you on being endlessly glad that the years of getting up with kiddos at dawn for the bus or carpool are over and done with. Yes!

    • cinnamon says:

      I’m with you: fleece, fingerless gloves (couldn’t work without them), pile lined boots. sometimes you see people here in shorts and t shirts. makes me even more shivery.

  • Amber says:

    I love candles and burn them all year long. In the winter I also use an electronic incense burner with whole resins. Frankincense resin is especially helpful in freshening and cleansing stale indoor air. It’s supposed to have some anti-viral properties so also good for cold germs. Smells good and good for you, win, win.

    • cinnamon says:

      I have a sort of summer garden candles and a great tomato leaf one which are summer staples. anti-viral properties sounds worth looking into.

  • March says:

    I love your night-time walks in the dark! And that is the cutest tree ever. I miss having one a little bit, but honestly after decades of putting up/taking down with kids, I’m not sorry to have passed the torch. The decorating is pretty minimal here. I used to burn candles almost year-round because the house was shut up in summer too with the A/C on … now it’s a winter thing. I love that little cheering light from a candle. Recently it’s been that old stand-by Frasier Fir by Thymes, which doesn’t give me a headache (some of those tree-type candles do), or Aquiesse The Mandarine which smells like tea obviously. My recent candle purchase was from a TJ-Maxx-like store with those zillion in-house candles, it was cheap and called something dumb and vague like “Winter Skies” but I sniffed and then bought it because it smells like a wonderful high-end bakery? Spicy and sweet and not heavy. I should go look and see if they have another one of those!

    • cinnamon says:

      it is a strangely lovely tree — probably the nicest I’ve had in all the years of tree-ing. the only thing that gets decorated here is the tree — plus there’s the menorah to light. but I don’t have wreaths even though I think some are beautiful. oddly, there are almost no xmas bulbs here this year.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    I adore candles and when I am home, I always have one going. I just did my Bath and Body Works candle day run to stock up on some favorites.

  • Musette says:

    I’m still working through that pinched nerve which requires exercise to release, so I’ve been out and about: gym 6x week and walking 2-3x day. Plus we’re getting some really sunny weather and I’m not about to waste that staying indoors!

    I wonder if the Latke candle smells like the Frites perfume….

    Adorable tree!

    • Musette says:

      Oh…and I do wax melts in lieu of candles…I put them in silicone cupcake holders so I can switch them out without a lot of drama. My faves are from Trapp and Camille Lee’s Prairie Aromatics up in Mason City Iowa.
      When I do light candles it’s the Big Drama Mamas like Amouage Jub25 . There’s also a No5 candle but I figured ‘why bother?’ since the whole house usually smells like No5 on the daily.

    • cinnamon says:

      I thought of that regarding the Frites perfume but the price of the candle vs the fragrance makes it a bit prohibitive. If I still lived in Brooklyn I’d seek it out. hope the nerve decides to feel better soon.

  • Kathleen says:

    I love a beautifully fragrance home and have enjoyed candles over the years. My favorites are from a home design shop in Dallas that are no longer available, I’m glad I stocked up. I’ve recently discovered Pura Smart Fragrance diffuser, I have two in my house. Plug in, program and schedule diffuses clean fragrance. There are so many beautiful fragrance cartridge offers.

    • cinnamon says:

      the new candles company I saw at the farm shop has melts as well as candles and I might venture in that direction. The Literie candle I have is very good but the fragrances are not really classical.

  • Portia says:

    LOVE candles Cinnamon, every Monday while I clean the house there is a candle burning. Unlike you I burn till it’s done and then move onto the next one. Currently it’s a Rose et Marius candle fragrance ’13 desserts de Noël’ in one of their spectacular bone china vessels. It fits the season but has been the candle in the living room from our winter till now. It smells so luxurious even now as I burn it. It also gets a burn when the place smells a bit like old men and old dog.
    My bathroom, which is the apartments main bathroom has a small Bibliothèque candle by Byredo. I only ever burn this when we have guests so it has lasted nearly a year.

    Summer is my time for hibernation. Apart from sunshiny dog walks to get my Vitamin D levels up I prefer to stay out of our ferocious sun.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      I have Bibliotheque in the small size. Makes perfect sense that summer would be your hibernation time. if we end up with another summer like this past one hibernation may become a twice a year thing here, ie, winter and summer. Will look up Rose et Marius.

      • cinnamon says:

        Rose et Marius appears to have all kinds of wonderful candles — and in a small size as well. 29 euros. hmmm…

  • Maggiecat says:

    Candles are a cold weather staple for me. Pine scented ones (once the artificial tree is up and I can pretend its real) and cinnamon/vanilla/spice ones are currently burning. I’d but that Sliced Orange, Honey and Tobacco one in a heartbeat too!

    • cinnamon says:

      this tree (which a friend called buxom) is very scented, far more than anything I’ve had before. the honey and tobacco was gorgeous but it didn’t feel either seasonal or holiday-ish. still, I might not be able to contain myself …

      • Maggiecat says:

        Oh please don’t contain yourself! There’s a good bit of winter after Christmas and you’ll want it for then.

        • cinnamon says:

          Well, the issue is due to Portia’s comment I’m also looking at Rose et Marius candles. The small ones are a bit (only a bit) more expensive than the farm shop ones and there are a couple I’m really tempted by.

  • rosarita says:

    I don’t hit true hibernation until January and February because those months are a snowy deep freeze in the US Midwest. But this year I’m trying to embrace hygge with warm blankets and possibly a candle or two. I have avoided candles for years because of our curious cat but he’s older and more mellow now. I have a L’Artisan amber ball from years ago that still smells wonderful and I’m looking into incense but the warmth of candles is very special.

    • cinnamon says:

      we don’t get much snow. I actually think our winter would be a bit more bearable if we did. instead, last year it flooded right around xmas time. l’Artisan used to offer a lot more candles. It’s too bad they’ve cut back.

  • alityke says:

    I rarely fragrance my house but on Christmas Eve I do choose a single candle to burn for a month. I bought Pia & Nicks Boojee Bougies on release & I’m working through those. Gilt I finished in a single season. Last year was Queen Jam & plan to finish it this year if DH can tolerate it.

    • cinnamon says:

      oooh, will look up. I hope the fragrance doesn’t bother DH. are these all heavy duty scents?

      • alityke says:

        Some are fairly winteresque & perfect for dark nights. Gilt & Cuir Culture. Others are lighter & brighter but with just a touch of otherness. Hellflower & Succulent.
        Then there is Queen Jam, Pia’s memory of Finnish fruit preserve. Luscious autumnal dark fruit.
        Available here https://boujeebougies.com/

  • Tara C says:

    I love Diptyque Feu de Bois and Narguilé, they get heavy use along with Pomander and Opoponx. I loved the Cire Trudon Bayonne candle I splurged on last year but $150 for a candle seems over the top. I burn palo santo wood and Shoyeido incense too.

    • cinnamon says:

      it is such a wonderful seasonal fragrance. I have yet to buy a Cire Trudon but am looking at one of the little ones as a maybe… the mint one.