Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, cinnamon buns and the heady notes of frankincense and sandalwood. These and other heartwarming fragrances can only mean one thing – it’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas! When it comes to igniting the senses, Bond Street’s luxury stores offer an array of enchanting home fragrances and scented candles. And who better to ask for advice on how best to spruce up the home this winter and ensure it looks and smells divine throughout than our resident florists and perfumers?
Linda Jayne Pilkington, founder of the Ormonde Jayne fine fragrance house, has spent the last ten years perfecting wintery top notes in her coveted seasonal candle collection. The celebrated Bond Street perfumer who once created candles for Chanel and Burberry, recommends lighting candles early in the day especially with so many of us confined to the home this winter.
“Once breakfast is out of the way, I make a point of lighting my scented candles, firstly for the ambiance – the candlelight makes everyone feel peaceful - and secondly because they make the whole kitchen smell wonderful”
As with all Ormonde Jayne candles, each one is made and hand-poured in the UK and contains a high percentage of natural oils. Special attention is also given to wick size to ensure that the scent “lifts upwards and sings.” The new Christmas collection features three heavenly scents: ‘Mystere’ fused with bergamot and lime, ‘Etoile’ with spicy notes of cardamom and cinnamon and with ‘Nocturne’, think smoky cedar and sandalwood. Incidentally, the latter is a great substitute for a real fire if you haven’t got one and has a generous burn time of 60 hours.
For the perfect Christmas setting, Linda recommends placing your scented candle at the foot of a staircase to allow the fragrance to waft upwards into the upper floors. She also suggests keeping a window slightly ajar in rooms where the candle is burning, as circulating air will carry the scent even further around the house.
Reed diffusers are another great way to provide scent 24/7. Along with candles and room sprays, they form part of Loewe’s new home fragrance collection. Each delectable scent - juniper berry, cypress and beetroot - takes inspiration from creative director, Jonathan Anderson’s London vegetable garden.
As well as smelling good, Loewe’s candles look good too. Made from 100 percent vegetable wax they are presented in a choice of glazed terracotta earthenware holders and a contemporary colour palette. You might even do a double take when you see the single wax candle and holder, all of which is designed to burn right down to the candlestick base.
Elsewhere, Nordic candle brand, Skandinavisk, which is stocked at Fenwick Bond Street, has a new range of ‘Next Generation’ diffusers. The production of each comforting winter scent is fully sustainable while cosy names such as ‘Skog’, ‘Koto’ and ‘Hygge’ are guaranteed to spark a warm fuzzy feeling. For those planning a Christmas party or dinner, simply turn the reeds upside down two hours before guests arrive. This causes the oil to travel up the reeds and create a welcoming fragrance as well as one that will linger for hours on end after everyone has gone.
You could, of course, create your own leafy displays this season. Brown’s Hotel is running two wreath-making masterclasses next month (Dec 5 and 12), with leading London florist, Ellie Hartley. Lasting three hours, each class is accompanied by a tasting of English sparkling wine by Hambledon, the Hampshire-based wine maker and also includes afternoon tea. And while floristry classes at McQueens’ new International Floristry school, Mayfair, won’t officially start until January 2021, head of events and retail, Gina Hardy offers some sage advice on how to get a head start.
"Christmas this year is all about family and home – with an emphasis on keeping things natural and joyful,” says Gina who recommends filling the home with oversized garlands, wreaths and table arrangements made of abundant natural green spruce or pine. McQueens’ festive flower sets feature other woodland delights such as white hydrangeas, amaryllis and hellebores, complemented with ruby red berries and oversized ribbons.
Meanwhile, the balsam fir, perhaps the most fragrant of all Christmas trees, features both as an emblem on candleholders and as a top note in Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s new ‘Mon beau Sapin’ scented candles and limited edition candlesticks. This deliciously infused collection is also sold at Fenwick, Bond Street.
The last word on candle-infused festivities goes to Linda Pilkington.
“On Christmas morning, start the day with a glass of champagne and smoked salmon pate for breakfast, light the candles and dress the table with everything that makes you feel opulent and wonderful, then you can’t go wrong.”
Cheers to that!
Ormonde Jayne, 12 The Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street, London W1S 4SL
Loewe, 41-42 New Bond Street, London W1S 2SQ
Fenwick 63 New Bond Street Mayfair, London W1S 1RQ
Brown’s Hotel, 33 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BP