Candles: Making The House Smell Good

Hey Posse, Jin is sick. It’s just a cold but a pretty severe one. On Sunday he had the most unbelievable temperature yet was shivering, was talking deliriously and having trouble understanding English and was coughing, sneezing and weak. I filled him with a Korean tea infusion:

Put this mixture put into the blender

Large knob Ginger sliced
Juice of two Lemons
Two tablespoons Honey
Large sliced Nashi Pear with skin
1/8 cup Water (Orange Juice if you have it) to help the whole thing get blended

Make a pot of your favourite tea, add Two Tablespoons of this mixture. Put rest in fridge, lasts a month. Keep this up for the whole time they’re sick.

Then we went to the doctor who gave him strong antibiotics, pain relief, a gargle and some soothing gel for his nose. Here he is in his couch cocoon. Snacks, drinks, drugs, tissues and tea all over our coffee table.

Candles: Making The House Smell Good

Here’s the downside of living with a sick guy. They freaking STINK! Add that to the smell of our dogs that will get their bath tomorrow after a long hiatus because our dog washer changed professions. This house smells like sick old man and dirty dogs. BLEAUGH!

So I’ve been burning candles. Not 100% of the time but about 20% of the time. I burn them till the whole top of the candle is melted and then we get another hour or so of fragrance as the was cools down. I can’t burn incense because it makes poor little Jin cough.

I just finished a Laduree candle. I’m not sure of the name because I don’t have the box anymore but the porcelain was pale yellow with a white badge. It smelled like smoky tea and woods with some flowers haunting the periphery. Those containers are so gorgeous too, like Wedgwood jasperware (?). Mine’s currently in the dishwasher and will be reincarnated as a pencil, pen and scissors holder for my desk.

Also I have one of the Cult of Scent Reveur candles that casts its rosy glow over the house. The insanely gorgeous bottle it comes in is a bit of a winner too.

L’Artisan has some lovely candles Amber is my favourite but the next in line is the Mimosa. Also the Cire Trudon seasonal candles joyfully pronounce every day a holiday. Circa House is the upmarket range from Glasshouse, Gascoigne & King do beautiful, hand made candles and send to the world very reasonably. Carrière Frères candles are single note and quietly give the room a just cleaned smell, perfect for dinner parties and entry halls.

You can see my Cult Of Scent and Signature: Pink Grapefruit are almost done.

Currently in the bathroom I have Gascoigne & King Heart of Glass burning with its refreshing freesia and lily of the valley scent that makes even the sickest boggy times beautiful.

So what are some of your favourite room refreshers? Candles, mists, melts, sticks or incenses, anything that you use to scent your rooms.

Portia xx




Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies

  • Diana says:

    I burn lots of different candles–Yankee Sage and Citrus is an all time favorite. I also love incense and frequently use Satya Sai Baba’s Nag Champa and another from Song of India called “India Temple Incense”. All of these have a powdery component that makes my home feel cuddly.

  • empliau says:

    I hope Jin is better. I always am convinced that I’m going to die with a cold, between the sore nose from blowing and the explosion of pain at every swallow. Bless you for taking care of him, and in that state he can’t smell the dogs, so candles are for you! I don’t have any scented candles, but I have taken to burning incense for mindfulness practice. I presently have Lotus scented – it’s inexpensive but very nice. I even bought a lovely censer so I can burn it more safely!

  • Tara says:

    Hey Portia,

    Nice to see a post about room fragrances.

    I have a Gooseberry candle in the hall from Cloon Keen which is nice but I really want some Santa Maria Novella pot pouri.
    I had my Fornasetti Otto candle in the living room but it’s so gorgeous I moved it to the bedroom. The scent is extremely rich so I don’t burn it for long.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Tara,
      I love ambient scent nearly as much as personal. There’s quite a collection around here. My personal favourite way to scent a room is incense, then candles. With Jin sick though candles don’t make him cough.
      Portia xx

  • Tatiana says:

    Hope Jin is feeling well soon. He’s lucky to have you looking after him with such care.
    I just burn candles. Curious about the Aera, but am reluctant to plunk down the money for it.
    My favorite candles are Cire Trudon. I usually like at least one of the holiday candles they put out every year. I also like Diptyque candles. Again, I really like the holiday scents. Although holiday 2018 didn’t thrill me and I didn’t purchase any. My go to candle from them despite it’s uneven burn is Le Redouté. I have one candle from Jovoy, Datcha, that I bought in Paris over two years ago. This candle is so intense I can barely burn it all the way across before I want to move it outside. It screams winter holiday to me.

    • Portia says:

      Hi there Tatiana,
      So good to see you.
      Cire Trudon are a funny brand, eh? They have the best scents, packaging is unbelievable but they never burn quite right. Also the Diptyque, both brands seem to burn almost all the way to the edges but not quite, even after an hour or so.
      OOOH! Jovoy do candles, I didn’t know.
      Portia xx

      • Tatiana says:

        I didn’t know Jovoy did candles until I walked into their Paris shop with Dear Daughter and was greeted by a wall of them near the door. The size I bought came with a bell jar to place over it after you’re done burning. Packaging was huge and a total pain to bring home. But the lovely SA provided me with enough bubble wrap to do the candle, the perfume we bought and the wine Dear Daughter just had to bring home. I’ve taken to making a collar of aluminum foil to wrap around my Diptyque and Cire Trudon candles to force them to melt to the edge. I understand that the photophores Diptyque sells helps their candles burn to the edge. Unfortunately, the oblong shape of Le Redouté candle prevents it from fitting inside any of the ones they sell.

  • Dina C. says:

    I’m a fan of Thymes Fraser Fir, Nest Bamboo, and Nest Birchwood Pine (not quite as good as the FF). Your homemade elixir sounds very healing. Hope Jin recovers quickly!

  • SamanthaL says:

    When I’m sick my husband says, How are you? Love you! ” from across the room and stays far far away because he is afraid to have dealings with the infected…lol!! My favorite candles are Opopanax or Benjoin from Diptyque. They smell very similar but Opoponax smells more like plastic doll parts or something…which I like. I also love the Palo Santo one from Le Labo. I hope Jin is well again very soon!

    • Portia says:

      HA HA HA HA HA! SamanthaL he sounds extremely pragmatic.
      Diptyque candles are gorgeous. I had the 34 Saint Germaine one and loved it sick.
      Thanks, he’s on the mend.
      Portia xx

  • Musette says:

    Holy snakes and cabbage! It ate my LONG comment.

    okay: 1. Love to Lucky Jin. Lucky because he has YOU to take care of him.
    2. Trapp sprays, candles and diffusers are my JAM!
    3. Love my Aera, too!
    4. Agraria is my first (and always) love – the room spray, the diffusers, the foofy little scented tassels. Divine. Been with them since the 70s!


    • Portia says:

      Hey Musette,
      SO annoying when WordPress gobbles up the good stuff.
      HA! Sometimes he thinks it’s BAD LUCKy Jin.
      Trapp? I don’t think we get those in Oz but I’ll keep my eyes peeled for those three brands.
      Portia xx

  • matty1649 says:

    I prefer to use melts instead of large candles. At least you can test the smell first.
    My local gift shop sells melts, home made by a young woman. They are rather nice for a very reasonable price. The Lemongrass and ginger is a favourite of mine.
    My local garden centre has stopped selling Yankee . They told me that they were not pleased with the quality or the throw of their candles.
    I’ve got a gift set of a Mini Guerlain Mon Guelain candle and 5ml of perfume. I haven’t lit the candle, I just keep sniffing it !!

    • Portia says:

      Hey there Matty,
      I have a L’Artisan Pour des Prunes mini candle that I never light but often open the box to sniff. It’s heavenly.
      Melts have become a thing, eh?
      Portia x

      • matty1649 says:

        I probably should have said tarts instead of melts.All the big companies do them. I have 2 electric tart burners. They are a mosiac design, I think from Village candles.

  • Kathleen says:

    I use an Aera Home Fragrance diffuser. It’s a programmable diffuser with an app. There are many different fragrance blend cartridges, made by perfumers.
    I occasionally burn candles too. I’m not loyal to any particular brand or scent but try to buy the clean burning candles made with beeswax.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Kathleen,
      Those diffusers are so popular. It’s what I see in most of my friends homes. So much safer than candles and they fill the room with scent.
      OOOH! Beeswax! Are they good?
      Portia xx

  • Kathleen says:

    Poor Jin! My reaction to colds is also extreme. My go to room scents are the Papier d’Armenie. I like the rose, especially. I’ve hoarded annick goutal amber fetiche and the other candles from her Les Orientalistes. Amouage Love is a favourite. Diptyque Maquis, Benjoin and Choisya. Oh, and Tauer’s L’air du Desert. That’s quite good but I think burns a bit dirty. I’m always looking for suggestions, so thanks for the above. I’m on the hunt now, and best wishes to Jin.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Kathleen,
      I love those Papier d’Armenie too. I’m using one called triple, it’s so powdery and the room feels totally refreshed.
      Annick Goutal makes fabulous candles. I’ve had a couple of sets of the smaller ones in Hadrian. Beautiful.
      Portia xx

  • MMKinPA says:

    We just finished up a set of mini Diptyque candles – they lasted longer than I expected. I also have a couple of cheapies from Aldi that are dupes for Jo Malone – the pomegranate noir dupe smells quite good and does a good job of covering up dog smell! I have finally trained my family to not light a candle unless it has time to melt the entire top level. The candles I really want to try right now are Andy Tauer’s!

    • Portia says:

      OOOH I love Mini Candles! How many came in the Diptyque set? Were they pricey?
      Andy Tauer is making candles?! Woo Hoo!
      Portia xx

  • Patty White says:

    Ok. That worked. Nit using that many candles anymore, just a lot of diffuser solutions. My fave wa this stupidly expensive one from Christian tortu, Foret. Way better than the thymes Fraser fir, though I like that too. Voluspa and aquiesse have nice ones too. I just mix a little of iit in with water in those diffusers made for essential oils, and let them blow. Scents the room so fast.

  • Patty White says:

    Omg, I am so mad, I had this long comment about what I use, hit send, and it blew up. Going to make sure I can comment before I retype!

    • Portia says:

      Hey Patty,
      yeah the comments have become more and more rubbish across a lot of WordPress recently. Even logging in to comment can be a drama.
      Portia xx