There are many people who enjoy nothing better than watching their money burn and go up in smoke.
They are prepared to spend a lot of money so that their house can smell the Congo Basin. Harrod’s of London sells The Belgian Baobob Collection Rainforest Maruma candle (35cms) for £600. No home is now without its fragrance lamps, perfume genies, scent hubs, well-being pods, and electronic, ultra-sonic and reed diffusers. D’Orsay sells a Catalytic Totem Diffuser for £375. We have become a nation of home scents.
The business of delivering “exceptional aromatherapy experiences” is highly competitive. Affluence is aromatic, but there are some candlemakers against which Diptyque, Voluspa, Aesop, Urban Apothecary, The White Company, D.S & Durga, Molton Brown and Etro simply can’t hold a flame, like Lladro and Formasetto.
Three Spanish brothers, Juan, José and Vicente Lladró founded a porcelain business in 1953 in the village of Almàssera, making plates, vases and ceramic figurines inspired by the works of the great European manufacturers of Meissen, Sèvres and Capodimonte. Lladró opened its first store in Valencia. Its porcelain candleholders are inspired by the work of the French artist Henri Rousseau
LLADRO Paradise Candle Gardens of Valencia costs around £$900 as does its sought-after parrot candles.
Fornasetti, an atelier internationally recognized for the design and decoration of furniture and accessories was founded in Milan in the 1940s by Piero Fornasetti.
Barnaba Fornasetti, Artistic Director and guardian of his father Piero’s legacy, has led the brand to become a maker and purveyor of some of the world’s most pleasant and expensive smells.
“The Fornasetti dream remains unchanged,” he says. “To endow everyday objects with a cultural value and, through their decoration, an artistic message. Everything is still made strictly by hand in the Milanese Atelier, in limited annual editions.
Its candelabra “Sul Tardi”, “Peccato Originale” is priced at 1.900 € (2.240$US).
Turn heads and noses with some chic Trampe l’oeil effects. Two sides of the face of Lina Cavalieri half princess, half pirate check you out. She was an opera singer and “most beautiful face in the world” who was obsessed with sculptor, graphic artist and interior designer Piero Fornasetti. The Meditteranean herb-forward scent is by Olivier Polge.
Fornasetti Profumi is a new line of home fragrances – “creations intended to magnify time into unique moments” designed “to merge and generate an immersive sensory experience”, “created to expand the temporal dimension,” For Fornasetti, every candle is a statement. The ritual of lighting the candles and the intensity of their flame transforms minutes into moments of quality.
“It all began on a winter’s evening, during a candlelit dinner in the hall of a crumbling Tuscan castle. That evening became the symbol of a newfound atmosphere of conviviality and simplicity that inspired and guided me in these uncertain times. I wanted this to be the message of this new line: an essential and tangible pleasure that lasts over time, explains Barnaba, Artistic Director of the Milanese atelier. “The idea of being able to crystallize time through the light and scent of a candle was the key to defining the essence of Fornasetti Profumi.” The range includes Sul Tardi (Late), Nel Mentre (Meanwhile), Al Buio (In the Dark), Poco Dopo (Shortly After), Se Poi (If Then), and Talvolta (Sometimes).
The new Fornasetti Profumi range consists of:
The Peccato Originale (Original Sin) collection/ The stars of the decoration are Fornasetti’s muse, the late nineteenth-century opera singer Lina Cavalieri, and another of the Atelier’s favourite subjects, the snake, symbol of original sin and temptation, a theme also explored in the seductive notes of jasmine paired with the citrus tang of bergamot that composes the fragrance Frutto Proibito (Forbidden Fruit).
The Architettura collection forms a triptych of distinct porcelain candles. The fragrance is Immaginazionecombining woody cedar and sandalwood notes with spices. Harrods sells the candle for £430.
The Farfalle e Balaustra (Butterflies and Balustrade) collection comprises a triptych, a scented candle and a spray that celebrates the Atelier’s passion for the natural world. The fragrance is Giardino Segreto (Secret Garden), distinguished by the scents of blackcurrant and wild blackberry combined with notes of petitgrain and geranium.
The candles of Fornasetti Profumi are “designed to live multiple lives and invite those who own them to ignite their imagination and set it free. The lighting of a candle marks a unique moment of wellbeing, not only for those who enjoy its light and scent but also for the environment.”
The Belgian company, The Baobob Collection, uses glass blown in Poland, Egyptian cotton wicks, Italian leather and the scent-making expertise of Grasse in the south of France. Its 10kg Gentleman has an 800-hour burn time which works out at only about $2 per ounce. You should expect to pay more for the best candles and containers. Harrods offers its luxuriously Rainforest Amazonia candle for £600 and its largest Borgia Cesar reed diffuser for only £734.
At around £500 Mottahedeh Tobacco Leaf Herluminare Fu Dog Vessel is one of the dearest home fragrances you can buy. “When the fragrance is a memory, the vessel is a treasure”. Vila Hermanos and Mottahedeh have joined hands to produce an exclusive range of home fragrances in keepsake porcelain-covered jars produced in Portugal. Seven fragrances span 14 porcelain styles. Each decoration has its own scent. The wax is 100 percent vegetable wax with no palm oil to produce a smoke-free burn.
With aromatic extracts and essential oils presented in rose-printed white Richard Ginori porcelain with a matching lid featuring a curled detail, the scent, Mehen – named an Egyptian deity- combines Persian blue salt, seaweed, and water moss with liquorice, capturing the essence of a water snake. It has a 60-hour burn time.
Gucci’s Star Eye XXL candle ($350) is presented in blue Richard Ginori porcelain featuring the Star Eye print—a mystical motif that pays homage to the House’s connection with space and the eye. The scent, Inventum, infuses your space with Taif’s ancient Damask rose. It has 130 hours of burn time. Do the math for value per burn. Balmain X come in at £600. Which is over 120 per wick.
Abele El Kader (approx. $550) is made by Cire Trudon. Established in 1643, Trudon was the provider of Louis XIV’s royal court and most of the great churches of France. The spearmint scent of Cire Trudon’s comes in an and-blown green glass vessel, hand-crafted in Tuscany. Their shape is inspired by champagne buckets
Florence’s Dr Vranjes Firenze is another status-enhancing label and elite house odour. Its flagship Rosso Nobile comes in at £404, 5l of Rosa Tabacco £677 (£165 for 250ml) and 5l of Masarati for £848.
Jo Malone’s 2.1g English Pear and Freesia candle is yours for £350. An Ormonde Jayne reed diffusers cost up to £250 while a 600g candle costs around £180. A Senti orchid diffuser is about the same.
Alessandro Agrati’s Culti Milano Nova retails at around 1022 euros. Sometimes the vessel is worth more than the contents. And even the status-enhancing, look-at-me Harrods bag.
Byredo and Tom Ford eat your heart out. Stun your guests visually and olfactorily with your taste.
Everyone needs a multi-purpose candelabra in their life. It’s so much better than a plug-in.