Light, breathe in and relax... The Spa Spies try out a range of winter candles.
280 g | £36.95
Key ingredients: Sweet orange and cedarwood.
First impressions: The Comfort Zone Tranquillity Candle comes in a sage-coloured ceramic pot with a label which you can remove. The candle itself is made of creamy wax and has just one wick, making it look very simple and chic.
What's it like? Once lit, the smell is strong enough to infuse the air without being overpowering. After 10 minutes or more, I struggled to detect anything individual in the notes. There is orange, but it smells warm and of musk, rather than citrusy. It reminded me of a really good cologne, warm and sensuous rather than your typical aromatherapy essential oil spa scent (close your eyes and imagine George Clooney has popped over for a cuppa).
Does it work? The rich and alluring scent makes me feel like I’m being wrapped in cashmere. It delivers relaxation with luxurious bells on. It lasted me a few months, and the single wick candle didn't need trimming so the scent was always clean. I must say I looked forward to lighting up.
Verdict: A cosy candle for the colder months with its winter scent, or a classy christmas gift for your suave special someone. Both the scent and packaging would appeal to both sexes. This is one of the more expensive scented candles we reviewed but, with 55 hours of burn time – and the fact that it’s from Comfort Zone – it's worth every penny.
200g | £38
Key ingredients: Orange, bergamot, lemon and lime, geranium, ginger, cedarwood and patchouli.
First impressions: The Elemental Herbology Earth Candle comes in a stylish black box with gold patterns and white writing on it. The colours add an element of glamour, while the patterns are creative and feminine. The candle itself is white and housed in clear glass with writing and floral patterns in black.
What's it like? This candle is all about giving a sense of balance to you and your home. The first aroma is strong but not overpowering with citrus high notes and spicy middle tones. Half an hour is enough burn time to fill a room. The scent did make me feel calm and wasn’t too heavy or sedating.
Does it work? The wick burns evenly which some expensive candles don’t, meaning it should last several weeks if burnt for 30 minutes at a time (the burn time is quoted as 45 hours). The only thing I wish it had was a lid, so it doesn’t collect dust between uses.
Verdict: The scent is calming and transports you to a treatment room. I would buy it again and give it as a present, too. I also feel like £38 is a fair price for a spa brand candle.
200g | £26
Key ingredients: Lavender, petitgrain, geranium, frankincense, chamomile, myrrh, black pepper, dill and patchouli.
First impressions: The Temple Spa Siesta Forever Candle comes in a simple yet chic black square box. Open it up to reveal a weighty glass jar with a shiny chrome lid; take this off and let the calming scent envelop you.
What's it like? Once lit, the soothing scent of the candle quickly fills the room. The smell is complex, relaxing – and very reminiscent of a spa. If you’re always on the go and struggle to wind down, burning this for half an hour should help you switch off.
Does it work? The candle burns evenly with the wick staying up and very little flicker (the sign of a good wick). Despite burning it frequently, I’ve barely made a dent (Temple Spa suggest it should burn for 45 hours). At £26 I’d say this is a bargain for a natural smelling, calming candle.
Verdict: Spa heaven in a candle – light it and a world of calm and tranquility awaits. I’d definitely buy it again.
140g | £21.50
Key ingredients: Coriander, cardamom, incense, patchouli.
First impressions: Minimalist outer packaging gives way to a bright red candle which immediately reminds me of Christmas; one smell and I’m picking up the warming, spicy cardamom and the heady incense – it is instantly comforting.
What's it like? Once lit, the Christmas candle scent envelops the room slowly, filling the air with an exotic aroma which is instantly relaxing, and perfect for this time of year. There’s very little flicker, too.
Does it work? This is a really good value product that burns slowly and evenly while filling your room with warming aromas. If you have trouble sleeping, burn this while you’re in a warm bath and you’re sure to sleep like a baby.
Verdict: The Thalgo Indocéane Relaxing Candle definitely does what the name suggests: relaxes. It’s perfect for burning on a cold winter’s night while reading a book and, at just £21.50, would make a fantastic present under the Christmas Tree. It's certainly on my wish list.
200g | £26
Key ingredients: Peppermint, eucalyptus, lime, rosemary.
First impressions: The ESPA Energising Aromatic candle comes in a stylish bronze and white box with distinctive silver writing. The candle itself is encased in thick plain glass with the words ESPA embossed on the front in white. Underneath the candle is a round cork mat to place it on – a practical idea that protects surfaces from dripping wax.
What's it like? The fragrance is strong and citrussy on first smell but – once lit – is much more subtle with fresh, light notes that are extremely pleasant. The packaging suggests the candle should revitalise, enliven and awaken the senses while burning for 40 hours.
Does it work? I lit it before getting into a bubble bath; like the scent, the effect is very subtle – perfect if you don't want to feel too sleepy afterwards. With its fresh, light smell, the ESPA Energising Aromatic Candle would be good to use during the day, too.
Verdict: This is a classy candle that will look lovely in your home. The scent isn't too overpowering, it's good value-for-money and it has a long burn time. What's not to like?
15th November 2018
Clever, inspiring design, sublime views, a vast, clean and empty pool, solitary relaxation areas to read, write or commune with my muse.
Small talk, discussions about spirituality or astrology, any products containing tea tree oil or aloe (sadly am allergic), busy pools where you can’t do laps.
Behind the scenes