TATINE | NORWEGIAN WOOD

 
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Click HERE for a glossary of scoring criteria

It may be Spring, but it’s still pretty chilly in San Francisco! Lately, we’ve been burning Tatine’s Norwegian Wood, a candle that’s meant to have a warm, hearty scent. It’s from their Garden + Forest Infusions line, which comes in a very cool wood grain embossed box. The Norwegian Wood scent is no longer available online, but they have a scent called Woodsmoke, which has the same woody notes.

Founded in 2001, self-taught candle maker Margo Breznik first started experimenting with candle making in her apartment in Chicago. After years of honing her craft, she took a leap of faith, quit her day job, and opened a brick-and-mortar store to showcase her candles. She eventually transitioned into wholesale, landing a large account with Anthropologie (where she created approximately 50,000 candles by herself!), and has continued to build products and collaborations with other brands.

The Norwegian Wood candle wax has a very natural, earthy scent. With hints of moss and twigs, it reminds us of a long hike in the woods after a heavy rain. It’s poured in a heavyweight, green glass vessel, made of 40% recycled materials. Upon lighting the candle, we found it to have very little stickiness, and the scent did not carry very well. After burning for nearly 4 hours, the scent was still so light, we could barely tell that it was burning in our office. We think this candle would be better suited in a smaller, more confined space (like a powder room), as it’s no match for our large, open office!

Although this candle may not have the strongest fragrance, it has a very clean burn. Only a small amount of residue was left behind on the vessel, and the wax dried very evenly, with no bubbles or divots. The vessel itself is very aesthetically pleasing, and would make for a great decorative candle in a smaller room, office, or bathroom.

You can purchase your own Woodsmoke candle here. Dimensions: 2-½” Dia. x 3-¾”H, 8 oz.

MAD ET LEN | TERRE NOIRE

 
 

This week, we are reviewing Terre Noire, or “Black Earth”, by Mad et Len. We first encountered the line at Gump’s in San Francisco, and were drawn to it because of its unique container - a hand forged iron vessel and lid. The craftsmanship and “hand feel” easily stood out amongst the more “normal” glass and ceramic vessels, and opening the lid and experiencing the scents was sheer luxury. The Terre Noire is earthy, sensual, and smells like what we imagine a French Château on a crisp fall evening to smell like.

The husband and wife team behind Mad et Len, Sandra Fuzier and Alexandre Piffaut, were tired of their city life, and wanted to make something with their hands. They bought a place near Grasse, France, the fragrance capital of the world, to be close to the artisans who would play a role in developing their candle line. The name Mad et Len is a play on Proust’s madeleines. Genius. Fragrance is a strong trigger for memories, and the name captures all of that and then some.

Click HERE for a glossary of scoring criteria

The candle itself has a strong fragrance - you can tell they use a lot of essential oils. The fragrance is what we call, “sticky”, lingering long after the candle is blown out. The top of the scent is very perfumey, and the last scent is bright, like citrus. Our first burn for three hours was great; the wax burned evenly to the side of the vessel. But as the wax cooled, it looked kind of gnarled. The following two times we burned it, the wax continued to dry in a gnarled fashion. We’re not really sure why this happened, but we will stick a pin in it for another time. Then, as the candle was burned about half-way down, the wax began to cool smoothly, as we would have expected. The wick remained close to center.

The cost of this candle is another thing. At $110 a pop, this is probably not your everyday candle. It would make a good special occasion gift, or a nice splurge for yourself. We purchased ours locally at The Human Condition, where they also carry the rock potpourris and larger size candles.