When things don’t work

Last week was Storm Noa here. Wednesday was a complete madness of high winds and heavy rain (Tuesday and Thursday were ‘just’ wind and rain). I wish a picture could be gotten of the eucalyptus dipping and swaying and looking like it could end up in my garden. But, doesn’t work. Really hoping this is the last storm of the season. I’ve seriously had enough.

Continuing from my post about candles that I finished, I managed to do another recently that wasn’t a blind buy but just didn’t smell that good to me in the end.

I went on the candle binge when I had quite a bit of disposable income and inflation wasn’t 10%. The times now require somewhat more discernment.

Buying a candle isn’t like buying perfume in that you test it on skin and go, ‘oh, that’s wonderful – I will have it’. Instead, you smell the candle itself and go, ‘oh, that’s wonderful – I will have it’. Meaning you have no excuse for not loving it because it’s very likely to smell like what you smelled. No chemistry excuses. No ‘I bought it blind for the notes which are favourites’. One’s own fault.

I found that with a candle I bought on a visit to Amsterdam six years ago. I’d researched the shop, visited, smelled what it offered and bought something called Objets d’Amsterdam (why the name was not in Dutch is something I didn’t ask about at the time; first pic is a china canal house my son gave to me; second, clearly, is a finished candle).

The notes for this are green tea, citrus and sage. I know I must have liked it at the time because I bought it, but it doesn’t smell like Amsterdam to me in the same way my Literie Hot Roasted Nut Cart candle really does smell like an aspect of New York City.

I guess if asked what Amsterdam smells like to me I’d say the swathes of hyacinth planted in the triangle near the round pancake house, the dampness of the canals, the hot metal of the tram tracks, hot chips and mayo from kiosks. I have no idea how you’d translate that to a decent candle.

In any case, I’m not sad to see this candle go and I plan for whatever I buy next (whenever I buy it) to be much more beloved.

So, really, what I’m getting at here is it remains a mystery to me why I bought something that didn’t smell really good. There’s no rhyme or reason.

I’m doing well at working my way through candles I don’t love with the plan of then savouring the ones I have that I adore and plugging holes with things I will really enjoy. No more blind buying of candles but of course there will still be a list of interests – I’m just not allowed to buy any of them unsniffed.

I’m currently working my way through the Druid leather and cardamon candle. I like this – it’s not love – so I’ll be pleased with myself once its container ends up in recycling.

What will that leave that I feel sort of indifferent about? Just the Geodesis Black Tea candle. Why is it so hard to find a true to smell, really strong black tea candle? Suggestions please.

Pics are Pexels and mine

  • Claudia says:

    I have one of those canal houses from KLM airlines! I think it has liquor in it

  • Tom says:

    Talking about when things don’t work- this comment should have gone up last night but kept getting marked as “spam” Grrrr….

    Can’t help you on the quest but I feel you on the “scent named after a city” thing (I get the roasted nut/NYC thing)

    IDK what I’d expect in an LA scent since the city is so big. Corn dogs and ocean breezes? Car exhaust and night-blooming jasmine? Silicone and desperation? Too many choices, and openings for snark..

  • Musette says:

    glad you didn’t sustain damage in the storm – we’re having…weather…and while it beats the 80F (hard on the bulbs) we had last week, 35F and gale-force winds seems a bit excessive.

    I got nothin’ on the tea candle. I love the smell of tea but couldn’t tell you one from another, save Constant Comment.


  • March says:

    I’m glad the storm wasn’t worse, and I hope you have nicer weather headed your way. I wonder if the Amsterdam candle just smelled … different while you were there? I also don’t know why it’s so hard to find a tea candle, you’d think (or at least I’d think) they’d be a dime a dozen. After all, we smell tea through the steam, in the air, it doesn’t need to be applied to skin. The closest I’ve gotten is Aquiesse’s The Mandarin which (unsurprisingly) has a bit of sweet citrus, it’s a favorite around here. I think Diptyque makes a tea-scented candle but I think it’s smoky, more like a lapsang souchong maybe.

  • AnnnieA says:

    Maybe the candle smelled different IN Amsterdam? Also while I like to souvenir shop for scented items as much as the next person here sometimes it just doesn’t work out as well at home.

  • alityke says:

    Storm Noa missed us completely. On the weather forecast it looked as if we were in a hole of quietish weather whilst all around were being battered. I think sometimes we get protected being just the Lee side of the Pennines. I hope the eucalyptus & other trees survived.
    Sorry I can’t help with a candle suggestion for black tea. I wonder if black tea is really difficult for perfumers to recreate as a solinote?