I had this conversation with someone recently who wrongly assumed that I like to be a bit of a perfectionist at christmas. This is true of my own home from time to time, and it must be said I do like things they way I like things at christmas, but massive big designer co-ordinated christmas trees are not head of my list of things I love at Xmas. My tree has decorations the children have made and chosen themselves over the years, and some of them are broken but still need to go up (especially according to the children). We go for a bit of choas at Christmas time, or at least colourful chaos as The Daughter likes to remind me. We have a beautiful homemade wreath on the door, stockings on the mantel piece (made out of bright felt) and a rather large (growning every year) nativity scene made out of Lego by my children complete with extra figures from Star Wars, Harry Potter and Dr Who (as you do). The one really christmassy thing I like to do in the evening is a hangover from our time in London where Christmas room scents and candles are very commonplace. My favourite, when I was there, was a lovely one from Crabtree & Evelyn. Now we are in a different country and climate, but I still like to light a candle in the evenings leading up to christmas. Who am I kidding? I like to do it pretty much every evening, but here are some Christmassy options that you may like too…
The Aromatherapy Company has their Naturals Christmas range and I am picking the Naturals Christmas Home Fragrance Gift Set in Rose and Patchouli. Patchouli, with its sweet, dark and woody notes is one of my favourites, as is rose. It comes with two votives and a Reed Diffusion Set and retails for just $24. It also comes variations of Cocoa & Vanilla, Lavender & Chamomile, and Orange & Jasmine.
Also from the Aromatherapy Co comes the Therapy Christmas Range. With its gold and red chevron packaging, the Wild Pine & Holly Berry Natural Wax Candle couldn’t be more English Christmas-y if it tried! But with its very sleek modern, white-with-a-touch-of-gold candle it looks rather chic. The candle retails for $29 and there are several other sets as well, and the other scent is the sweet Juniper Berry & White Thyme. I love the Lab Bottle Candles ($14) with their apothecary-looking, lidded bottles. They would make great storage jars, or little vases when the candle has finished. For both ranges go t0 thearomatherapycompany
Ecoya have released a limited edition Christmas collection called Memories Unleashed. There are two fragrances, Caramelised Plum Pudding and my favourite of the two, Fresh Pine Needles. The soy candles both come in a snakeskin-inspired design in plum and green that features the work of Phillipines-based mixed media Daryl Feril. They retail for $49. Also available in the range are Christmas packs, both small and large that retail for $59 and $169 respectively. These include lip balms, hand creams and mini candles (small) and body wash and lotions, reed diffuser and candle (large). You can buy them online and also find a full list of stockists at ecoya.com
George and Edi are a Wanaka based company who produce hand poured soy candles in a delicious range of perfumes. They have now released their range with an extra large option instead of just the standard small, medium and large. My favourite one would be the Vanilla and Star Anais with its sweet light, but slightly exotic scent. But they have also released some candles specifically for Christmas called JOY and NOEL. They are both beautiful – I can’t really choose between the two to be honest! We have one each of them to give away – so just like this post on Facebook or comment below. You can find George and Edi at Maaike & Co in St Kevins Arcade, and look here for more stockists in New Zealand and Singapore.
Curio Noir’s glass collection was inspired by apothecarys of yesteryear. With hand-blown coloured glass, their 100% botanical wax and perfumes mixed in Grasse, France they are a thing of beauty. I have several of the containers which have become vases over the years, just perfect for bedside flowers. Each different perfume has a different coloured glass, from blacks (Tubereuse Noir) to soft aqua blues (Feather My Tears). With the soft grey-glassed Black Spice having notes of fresh tea leaves, cinnamon and nutmeg, it reminds me of an old stately house with a library and leather chairs and loads of books and an open fire… The Curio Glass range retails for $135 and is stocked in New Zealand and Australia, with local Auckland stockists Miss Crabbe, Crane Brothers, and Simon James Concept Store.