the big january freeze is actually one of my favourite times of the year. perhaps because i’m a winter baby, i don’t despair as much as some at the long dark nights and brisk frosty mornings, but instead prefer to embrace what we now might describe as ‘hygge’, but can be very adequately be simply described as “the perfect opportunity to snuggle up on the sofa, under a pile of heavy blankets, and bask in the soft scented glow of candlelight.”
there is something so therapeutic about candlelight, don’t you think? never mind the fact that we all instantly look better in the soft glow of a flickering flame, there is something that is naturally restorative about turning down the harshness of an artificial bulb and letting a more natural light source illuminate our surroundings.
in my desire to slow down and create more meaningful focus in my life this year, i’m keen to explore the tranquil and restorative properties of candlelight by actually burning the vast collection of candles i’ve accumulated over the years, instead of having them gather dust on shelves, merely serving as ornamental props.
i’ve begun by lighting a neom organics candle on my desk while i work, and have found it surprisingly effective to spend a few minutes focusing on its flame whenever i’m in need a mini-break or seeking inspiration when writer’s block strikes.
the fresh woody scent of neom’s focus the mind provides the perfect accompaniment for the frosty landscape outside my window, and the three central scents of pine, cedarwood and eucalyptus are described as being known for helping to promote mental clarity, instil a sense of inner peace and boost the immune system.
i enjoy nothing more than curling up on the sofa chain-watching the latest netflix original series (seriously, stranger things, unfortunate events and the o.a. are insanely good!) and having the gentle flicker of a candle burning nearby really adds to the sense of escapism into the evocative worlds of these shows.
my current accompaniment is the woody fragrance of & other stories kungsholmstorg – a christmas gift from my sister – which has a wonderfully delicate top note of nutmeg that adds a wistful wintery scent to my home.
another thing i’ve been trying to indulge in more recently is a nice long warm bath, and the addition of calming candlelight instead of the overhead glare of a bulb helps deliver a double dose of relaxation to this weekly ritual. the soft glow and gentle flicker of a candle is the perfect thing to focus on while trying to relax the mind, and choosing the right scent to induce a sense of calm tranquility adds to the effect.
& other stories la cour jardin is my scent of the moment in the bathroom: a white floral scent of lotus flower tempered in its freshness by the gentle spiciness of cardamon.
they say the best way to unwind and mentally prepare yourself for sleep is with a good book. a relaxing reading ritual before bed helps your mind to separate your sleep time from the stresses of the day and can actually help you to fall asleep faster and enjoy a better quality of sleep throughout the night.
i’ve found burning a candle while i escape into the pages of a novel adds an extra calming dimension to the routine. byredo’s bibliothèque is my go-to, with the heady scent of plum, patchouli and leather serving as the perfect accompaniment for my nightly journey into the wonderful world of haruki murakami, jonas jonasson or antoine laurain.
what are your favourite candle scents, and how do you like to enjoy them?