We all love a ‘smelly’, but home fragrance has become rather more sophisticated than just that in recent years. Everywhere from 5-star hotels to flagship stores pay as much attention to their signature scent as they do their décor. At home we have turned our attention from cushions to candles, with the scents from diffusers, sprays, votives and reeds transporting us from our living rooms to Tahitian islands or Autumnal forests.

Enhancing the aroma of your surroundings, however, is nothing new. Legend has it that the most famous beauty of all, Cleopatra, had the sails of her boat slicked with fragrant oils before setting out to sea, so that Mark Antony would catch scent of her arrival before laying eyes on her face. In 17th-century France, where Louis XIV’s court was known as “la cour parfumée”, the king demanded a different fragrance for every single day.

75 percent of our emotions are triggered by smell and for many, fragrance conjures up memories of special holidays to far off places. Norbert Hiblot, the founder of French fragrance house Geodesis built her company on her desire to capture the scents of childhood holidays. Her range now includes scents from the fig trees of the Greek Islands to the clove-trees of Zanzibar.  

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Here in the UK, we have a long tradition of candle making dating from the 1800s and the church candle makers such as Charles Farris. A more recent candle making company is Suffolk-based Illumens, a family business that uses traditional techniques and natural fragrances to create tapers and scented candles with such intriguing names as ‘Where Lily worked’, ‘Horses Neck’ and ‘Teacup’.

The passion for home fragrance has also caught on with male homemakers, with the ‘mandle’, a male friendly candle, now available in scents from sandalwood to freshly mown grass. Try the Charles Farris fragrance Grand Cascade. This brand, who built their reputation on the highest quality church candles, now offers a beautiful scented range including glass votives, candle tins and diffusers, our favourite - ‘Grand Cascade’.


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1. When you first light your candle, ensure it burns long enough so that the top layer of wax completely melts. This will take roughly 1-2 hours and will help your wax to burn evenly for the rest of its 'life'. If you've ever encountered a rim of unused candle, then this is why.

2. Trim Your Wick. If you leave the wick long as the wax burns, it will cause excess soot and dirty the wax.

3. Maximum Burn Time. Keep burning time to 3 – 4 hours to prevent overheating of containers and maintain fragrance.

4. Use the same fragrance throughout the house or it becomes confusing - lime and ginger are popular in kitchens; lavender, rose or camomile in bedrooms; wood and winter spice – perfect for Christmas.


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