Festive Fragrance

Debra Brock reviews the best home fragrances this Christmas

I don’t have my tree up (it’s not double digit December yet, let’s not get carried away), but my house smells pretty Christmassy anyway due to judicious placement of festive candles and diffusers. Christmas scents are really hard to get right; a quick walk down any supermarket home fragrance aisle will assault your senses with a torrent of artificial berry and minicab-grade pine air freshener. I’ve stalked the aisles, sniffed, burnt and reed-turned to find the candles and diffusers that left me with a feeling of joy, not a stinking headache.

UK200016137_DIPTYQUEDiptyque (from £28) are always a very safe bet for a gorgeous Christmas candle, and again this year they’ve brought out a trio of festive scents in beautiful jewel jars that look great as the candle burns down. My favourite is Sapin, a gorgeous blend of pine and mandarin, but if you prefer something spicier there’s Oliban which is frankincense based, or the resinous Liquidambar.

or_0MXK01_300Origins have a lovely pine and orange scented Feel good candle this year in a recycled glass jar. This is part of their Give and Give Back campaign, and they’ll plant a tree for every candle sold. Currently out of stock on site, but due back in before Christmas. £35.

contbell00050754798nocolourIf your idea of a cool Christmas is a set of votives lined up neatly on the mantlepiece, then this Bella Freud collection in her trademark black and white design (£70) is for you. Four votives in the fragrances 1970, Je t’aime Jane, Ginsberg is God and the Bella Freud signature scent will give you the most stylish living room in town.

401-2001479-CTODHIVCOF15TRU_MVery firmly at the luxe end of the market, Cire Trudon have released this set of three 100g candles called Odeurs d’hiver. Priced at £160 they’re a gift for someone very special (self-gifting completely acceptable here). Melchior is spice and rose, Gabriel is cedar and chestnut and Gaspar is fruits, jasmine and sandalwood. Hide them under the tree and burn them when everyone’s gone home.

1FES_LilyflameFestiveCheerIf you’re more after something you can bung in the trolley with some mince pies and a chocolate orange as you battle your way through the supermarket, I’m very fond of the candles from Lily-Flame (£8.95). Stocked in Waitrose or online here, there’s several Christmas varieties to choose from. Perfect stocking fillers / emergency gifts / something to burn while you wrap presents and watch repeats of The Two Ronnies.

christmas-R4-415x277I’m still a huge fan of Melt candles and often buy them as gifts. I’m currently burning their spicy Christmas scented candle on my desk and it’s making me want to go and mull some wine or roast some chestnuts. A nice variety of sizes and prices starting at £8.95 and a wide choice of scents.

701-10020-PRODL35A01_MFinally, if you’re after a beautifully scented house all day long, a diffuser is the answer. They are notoriously tricky to get right, but my two favourites of the season are Jo Malone’s classic Pine and Eucalyptus (£54) and Marmalade’s Cassis and White Cedar (£19.99), both of which have great throw. Pop the Jo Malone by the tree and and the Marmalade in the hall, and await compliments.

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  • Sue

    I adore candles Diptyque and Melt are my favourites.

    • Debra Brock

      I am a candle obsessive – both are great brands.

  • Bekahbea

    These all sound lush. I like Neom’s Christmas Wish, too.

    • Debra Brock

      Good shout. Always brilliant candles from Neom.

  • Alkistis

    Marmalade are such an underrated brand. I LOVE their candles.

    • Debra Brock

      I’ve not tried the candles but I love the diffuser. Will def be buying more from them.

  • Amy K

    The Sapin candle is slowly winging its way towards me and I am impatiently waiting for it!

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