Updated: Jan 19
Growing up in sunny Provence, I had never suffered from the Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) until I spent my first winter in the UK, it took me years to even realise what SAD was, but now that I'm fully aware of it, I take strong measures every year to nip it in the bud before it can even get to me. I'm at it with early dog walks/jogs in the sunlight, orange juice, vitamin D supplements and the SAD lamp on all-day at my desk (which helps massively by the way).
With the shorter days we need all the help we can get to bring out that feel-good factor, I don't know about you but it takes a lot out of me to embrace the dark evenings, but this year I've decided to try and embrace the dim lighting and turn on a scented candle as part of my evening routine, and boy oh boy what a difference it makes! I often catch myself popping back into the room and smiling as the scent hits me. This made me realise of the potential power of smell on your wellbeing.
Including a candle as part of your morning/evening routine of relaxation, whether that is yoga, meditation (or just binging Netflix lol!) is so relaxing, staring at that little dancing flame while doing a bit of meditation and letting the divine scents soothe your spirits is a great stress release but it can have more benefits than you think. Yoga teacher Janice Champion brought to my attention that smell can have an even more powerful effect, she says "If you use a particular aroma when doing meditation, then every time you smell it your subconscious remembers to relax, it becomes a trigger to bring you back to that state."
Read on for my TOP FIVE round-up of hand-poured scented candles created by passionated makers around the UK.
1. SevenSeventeen, Sussex Coast
First up is power duo Sarah & Naomi aka SevenSeventeen, who loved the idea of ethically-made candles, created in small batches using time-honoured traditions.
Their products are made using a vegan-friendly soy blend wax, which burns slower than Paraffin wax (known to release harmful vapours in to the air). They tell me that hand-pouring the wax enables a more even fragrance distribution so you enjoy the aroma all the way to the bottom of the jar. Also because of the type of wax that they work with there is hardly any soot produced when the candle is burning, so no smoke-tarnished ceiling (win win!).
The name SevenSeventeen comes from that time of day where we clock off from the daily chaos: work done, children in bed and the ritual of lighting a calming candle can begin, reclaiming your space and feeling your sanity levels returning slowly.
Their triple wick candles give an impressive 70hr burn time!
They chose mantras to name each candle jar, as something to meditate on alongside the flickering flame and to encapsulate the mood of each different fragrance, such as "And Breathe" in lavender, "Clarity" in grapefruit & tobacco and "Serenity" in Sandalwood.
They are best know for their 'Hello Calm' candle, which includes Moroccan rose, giving out a warm floral and spicy scent (doesn't that sound divine?) It's also the first candle aroma you will get if you sign up for their fab concept of monthly subscription service...tempting!?
Oh and did I mention that 10% of each sale goes to a mental health charity?
2. The Ridge, Cambrigeshire
The Ridge is born out of one family desire for an affordable product delivering quality and pleasing esthetics. Safe to say they have delivered on all basis.
Mum Kim and daughters Chloe and Elyse have spent years developing their soy wax candles, testing out the most pleasing fragrance blends but also spending time listening to their customers feedback and adapting recipes accordingly.
They lovingly craft candles that will not just do their job of filling the house up in delightful scent but also add a touch of luxury to any room with their rose gold tin.
Their fragrances are divided up in 5 season:
Spring (Wild Strawberry & Parsley)
Summer (Orange, Basil & Mandarin)
Autumn (Maple, Walnut, Nutmeg))
Winter (Whiskey & Leather)
Christmas (Mulled Wine)
Chloe talks me through their making process: "We start by by securing the wick to the base of the tins, weight up the wax for the batch. We source high quality wax. The fragrances we have created are premixed and get added to the hot wax once it has hit the right temperature. Finally the hot wax gets poured evenly into the tin containers"
I'm sure this must be a very delicate operation and I don't know about you but I would love to be in that room to witness and get high on the scent!
Talking of scent, Chloe tells me that to them scents are like stories, they each carry memories destined to transport you back to a time and place. Whether that is a childhood Christmas, a seaside holiday, or a particular person (living or gone).
"Some scents take much longer to develop than others according to the blend of ingredients used."
I bought a couple of their Honey & Amber candles for a recent shoot (see image at the bottom of the post) and once the scent filled up the room, every person on set was asking me where that candle was from, so much so I ended up placing another order so they could all have one!
dm them here, prices start from £10.
This amber & honey candle has filled up my house with the scent of freshly baked buttery biscuits, mmmh!
TOP TIP: Once finished, re-use the pretty copper tin for storing stationary items on your desk!
3. Beach House Botanics, Devon
Talking to founder Lynn, she tells me that apart from smelling great, Beach House Botanics candles help promote focus, relaxation and mindfulness which we could all benefit from at the moment.
For her business Lynn has made a conscious decision to source sustainable soy wax in an effort to minimise the impact on the planet as much as possible.
Beach House Botanics takes its name from their seaside surroundings in beautiful Devon and lots of their products are inspired by their local area. As for the Botanics part, it stems from Lynn's obssession with essential oils, she has become so passionate about these that she is currently in the process of developing her own range! (oh how I would love to be a little fly in her botanics laboratory!)
Eco-Note: Beach House Botanics is also also a plastic free business and their packaging are either recyclable or reusable.
Order them here, 60ml £8.50, 120ml £14
4. Lit Candles Uk, Manchester
Owner Jane tells me that Lit Candles create a seasonally inspired range of luxury soy wax candles brought to life through a selection of berries, fruits, musk and florals to create sumptuous aromas and a beautiful ambiance.
I am particularly drawn to their "cleanse range", which is created with a unique blend of essential oils containing natural properties to detox, relieve anxiety and stress.
This Salt Cleanse Candle features a candle created with a secret blend of pure essential oils that sits in a jar of Himalayan salts said to have air purifying properties when heated.
I'm told it also creates a unique look when the candle is lit and glows through the salts.
The salt can be reused afterwards with either your own tea lights or they sell refills that fit perfectly into the empty jar.
TOP FACT: soy wax burns 40-50% slower than paraffin wax
5. The Recycled Candle Company, Devon
With the ever-increasing costs of commercial and non-commercial waste disposal, Richard and Sargon have come up with this great concept: The Recycled Candle Company offers to collect your scrap candle wax and take it away to be recycled and given new life.
After the wax is collected, it is melted down, cleaned, dyed, and scented - all by them, ready to be made into new candles.
And as if this great ethos wasn't enough they come in lots of exciting geometric shapes each featuring a great colour pop at the base.
Browse their current range here from £15.
Thank you for popping by today lovely!
Here are my final words of "wisdom" for January:
unlike the song, try not to
"live your life like a candle in the wind"
remember to slow-down and breathe.
...and if meditation is not your thing, well there is always the below option :-)
Wine Glasses, Decanter and wine accessories from Le Creuset
Janice Champion, Yoga Teacher (Hypnotherapy, Hypnobirthing)
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