ILLUMINUM | MOROCCAN TUBEROSE

 
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This week’s review features a candle called Moroccan Tuberose, manufactured by Illuminum, a fragrance company based in London. This unique candle comes in a cube-shaped vessel and is made of black wax - something we don’t see very often. Unfortunately, since the purchase of this candle, we believe it has been phased out of production, so it’s quite difficult to find these days. But don’t fret - the company manufactures some divine fragrances, so if you like this candle review, we recommend you visit Barneys New York and check out their line.

Illuminum was founded by Michael Boadi, a famous British hair stylist-turned-perfumer. As a hairstylist, he worked with many high-end fashion brands and has been featured in magazines like Vogue and W. He launched Illuminum in 2011, where he began making perfumes and candles; however, he now focuses solely on creating perfumes. According to Boadi, Illuminum scents are “for those days when you are in the mood for something exquisitely simple and stylish,” which explains why Kate Middleton chose to wear an Illuminum perfume to her royal wedding!

The scent profile is incredibly rich and layered. It has floral top and middle notes, with mixtures of Turkish Rose, Moroccan Tuberose, and a little Ylang Ylang. On the base, it’s earthy and warm, with notes of Cedar wood. It’s a feminine scent, and though you may equate the heavy rose aroma with your grandma’s perfume, this one is modern and youthful. If Illuminum’s perfumes are as deep and complex as this aromatic candle, you’re bound to find your perfect scent.

While we can appreciate the unique vessel shape, we have learned that, no matter the shape of the candle’s vessel, it’ll always burn down in a circular pattern. As the candle burned down, we were left with a round tunnel in a square vessel, which caused the wax to crack and pull away from the edges. Needless to say, it’s not the prettiest looking candle, but it sure does smell good!

If you’re interested in experiencing some of Illuminum’s other scents, you can check out their website. Dimensions: 3”W square x 3”H.

FRAGONARD | YLANG YLANG

 
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The candle lighting up our week is one with a lovely heavy floral scent - Ylang, Ylang, by Fragonard Parfumeur. Manufactured in Grasse, France, it is part of their “candle with pouch” line, and comes in a beautiful white porcelain vessel, which is then placed in an embroidered blue and white fabric pouch, ready for gifting. Our “candle with pouch” also came in a cute paper Fragonard bag, adorned with a toile-like pattern featuring illustrations of candles, matches, and women’s fashion items.

Parfumerie Fragonard was opened in 1926, by an entrepreneur, Eugène Fuchs, and named after Grasse-born painter, Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Fuchs chose to name his company after Fragonard in honor of the city of Grasse and the refinement of 18th-century arts. The company was eventually passed down to Fuchs’ son-in-law, Jean-François Costa, who was responsible for expanding and modernizing the company. Today, Jean-François Costa’s daughters, Agnès and François are at the helm - it truly is a family affair!

The candle itself has a very complex combination of scents. On the top, it’s light and floral, with hints of ylang ylang, bergamot, and vanilla. On the base, it’s thick and warm, smelling of gardenia and musk. Its multi-layered profile gives it a mixture of both masculine and feminine scents, making it a candle that’s easy to burn for long periods of time. Traditionally, the ylang ylang fragrance is used to sharpen the senses, balance hormones, and alleviate fatigue and depression. So, light your Ylang Ylang candle, draw yourself a bubble bath, and relax!

The first burn was clean, as were subsequent burns. No tunneling occurred, and very little wax residue was left behind on the sides of the vessel. We did notice, however, that some soot accumulated around the top of the vessel, which is to be expected (tip: you can minimize soot by trimming the wick to about ⅛”).

You can purchase your own 7 oz. Ylang Ylang candle for $42 here. Dimensions: 3-⅛” W x 3-⅛”H. Or, if you find yourself in Grasse, France, you can stop by the Fragonard factory and take a tour!

TRUE GRACE | AMBER NO. 31

Welcome to Project Candle - a blog where we review luxury candles, meet makers, and share what we find with you! Whether it’s the packaging, scent, or brand that draws us in, something will compel us to “buy and try” these candles. As interior designers - we set out to create spaces that are perfect for our clients, and fragrance is a powerful tool in that mission. We are KIND OF OBSESSED with candles and scents, and are always burning them at the office, and in our own homes as well. When you can feel a big day coming on, the simple act of striking a match and lighting a scented candle has an instant soothing effect.

 
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This week, we are reviewing a candle by True Grace, a company hailing from the UK. The scent out of the box is sumptuous and rich - feels like a cold day kind of candle - which, in San Francisco, is a lot of days. The first thing you smell is Bergamot and Jasmine, and the end of your big breath in gives a rich but slightly sweet scent of Vanilla and Musk (Amber and Myrrh are also there, but less prominent). The packaging is handsome - a sturdy black box with an orange accent label. The container is a smoked glass and contains a creamy colored wax. We let the candle burn for three hours, and the wax melted quite evenly and nicely - perfect for a first burn. After a couple more burns, the scent continued to be pretty fragrant. Mid-way through the candle, the wax burned a little off center, but that's pretty normal. Although mostly a clean burn, it did leave a little residue along the sides (you can see this in last photo below). Overall, this candle is great for a cozy feeling - super warm with the amber and musk base, plus the more floral “top” fragrance.

Click HERE to purchase your own!

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