Scented Fragrances… What I Am Burning This Month

If you have been reading French Essence since the beginning you will know that candles are one of my great loves… if you have only been reading a short time you will have probably figured that out too… It is no secret…scented candles are my weakness… They are one of those luxuries that I would not want to live without and for me, they make home feel like home… I often travel with a scented candle… silly I suppose… but being a home body means I like the comfort of the familiar.

After my last note about candles… the gorgeous colourful ones I showed you here… I had many messages from readers asking for my favourite brands and scents… I have tried more scented candles than I can name but I always come back to the same place… for fragrance, for value and for burning quality… My best are Diptyque and Cire Trudon… I know there are an endless supply of scented candles on the market…. some cheaper, some more expensive… but these never disappoint… They are consistent in quality and burning time… Their fragrances are superb… true to nature and most importantly… they are not cloying… A scented candle should contribute to the ambience of a room, be subtle and be part of the background… overwhelming fragrances can do the opposite.

I change scents for the season… Autumn and winter are the months that I want to be reminded of the outdoors… home fragrances can be less sweet and more earthy… These are my choices and what I am burning this month.


Baies…  a heady mix of black current leaves with a subtle touch of rose

Black Wax Edition… it burns so much longer… here

Feu du Bois… a gentle reminder of wood smoke and wood burning but with just a touch of sweetness… a step back in time and a reminder of childhood days..

Classic here … The Large Ceramic Vase edition… here

(i bought the large ceramic vase edition last christmas… the vase is stunning, the perfect shape and colour… the candle will last me for this holiday season as well)


Odalisque… inspired by 19th century impressions of the Orient… fresh notes of lemon, orange blossom and grounded with a touch of vanilla…

Limited Edition … here

Spiritis Sancti… an aromatic incense… lily of the valley and labdanum fused together to create a soft, evocative fragrance…

(sometimes i will burn spiritus sancti and feu du bois together… a wonderful winter combination)

Candle  here

European readers can find Diptyque… here

 I am sure if you enjoy candles like I do… these won’t disappoint… Do you change home fragrance for the season? Everybody has a favourite… Tell me…  What candles are you burning right now? xv

47 Responses to “Scented Fragrances… What I Am Burning This Month”

  1. Anita Rivera says:

    Bonjour Vicki!

    Oh how I do love candles, and fragrance in general. I love to open a kitchen or dining room cabinet and get a whiff of a forgotten candle tucked way in the back, left there for a special occasion. That SUDDEN entrance of memories fills my senses and it leaves me still for a moment (my next blog post for next week).

    A good lavender candle is my favorite. Enjoy my dear. Anita

  2. Karen in CT says:

    … I love Feu du Bois … just bought a couple more for the winter season .. Nest is a favorite as well, Orange Blossom is tops … nothing like scented candles. Thanks for another lovely post. I will try the Cire; you always bring us something new.

    Good weekend, Karen in CT

    • Vicki says:

      You will really adore the cire trudon candles… and the hand blown glasses they come in make wonderful vases or votives…

  3. Catherine says:

    Thank you for sharing your favorite candles/scents Vicki. I’m burning Diptyque’s Figuier at the moment, …makes the space feel warm and fresh. Bon week-end :)

  4. Why am I not surprised that we love the same Cire Trudon candles? Odalisque is one of my favorite scents ever and Remi loves Spiritus Sancti! Did you know that you can buy them in Arles…? :)

    PS. That Lanvin figurine…she is my dream version…of me!

    • Vicki says:

      ‘She’ was a gift from my daughter for my birthday… she is lovely and from now on when I look at her I shall be reminded of you Heather… She is just like you… As if I needed another reason to come to Arles… :) Next week???

  5. Andrina Treadgold says:

    At the moment I am burning Diptyque Coriandre, in Perth it’s Spring so a perfect scent for the warm evenings.My winter favourite is Baies.Great post Vicki.

  6. It’s great to read about your favorite candles, Vicki. I’ve been interested in Cire Trudon candles, but haven’t taken the plunge. This Christmas will be the time! Diptyque candles are my favorites too. Currently, I’m burning Diptyque’s Cypres for fall and was completely smitten with their Rose candle (wonderful fragrance) during spring and summer.

    • PS – What do you think of the Annick Goutal candles? They have one out for Christmas that I’d like to try.

      • Vicki says:

        I prefer their fragrances for wear… the candles are very pretty and beautifully scented… but they burn very quickly… I love ‘Noel’ at Christmas time… and I often buy it for a treat… but it doesn’t last like the others…

  7. Katherine says:

    Diptyque gently lingers like no other candles I’ve ever tried. I really enjoy having them in the house – even when they are not lit you can smell the scent.

    • Vicki says:

      Yes… and sometimes I will put the used one in my drawers for a week or two before I wash the glasses… it gently perfumes and is a lovely reminder when you open your drawers…

  8. Ann Mah says:

    A friend gave me Nicolai feuille de figuier, which is perfect for fall. And I will always love the ginger flower scent of Shanghai Tang. But I looking forward to exploring your suggestions — love the idea of changing scents seasonally.

  9. I love the smell of vanilla. At Christmas the cinnamon
    scent is a favorite. It is getting cold in Maine. My heart
    goes out to the Poor New Yorkers that have no power.
    Stay warm.


  10. You know my story on scented candles (sigh) but I am intriqued …….what is that dolly thing in the photo? Reminds me of the Barbie booth at Maison et objet……….then I chuckle because that was just plain odd and funny. I am sure yours is fabulous but can’t quite make it out. Also, I adore the Cire Trudon candles, that was one of my best Paris memories and I still have a lovely assortment of their coloured votives (unscented). Much love xx

    • Vicki says:

      She is a Lanvin ‘dolly’… Alber Elbaz created a line of porcelain babes done up in his fabulous fashion… Mine was a birthday present from one of my girls… She is the cutest… and so is my girl.. :)

  11. we are crazy about dyptique and did some damage on st. germain while we were there! oydeo and figuier are incredible when burned in combination. and the scent i have been wearing since that trip is les hesperides…just magic. since they don’t create room spray per se, they suggested we spritz rooms with little samples they sent with us.

    smiles to you.


    • Vicki says:

      I love the way the French are so generous with samples… they are brilliant to keep , travel with or add to a gift… Gorgeous scents that you chose Michelle…

  12. mary timmers says:

    If it weren’t for our HORRIBLE ECONOMY, I might consider something pricey, like the candles you’ve listed. For the time being, I’m still getting mine at Target! Enjoy yours!


  13. Kathy says:

    In winter I adore the scent of Cire Trudon Ernesto. I love the ‘little red riding hood’ one at Christmas, it is forest fresh particularly nice for our hot Australian Christmas. I love Nazareth at night over the festive season. Astier de Villatte Opera is my absolute favourite, it is a lovely spring scent. Just wondering Vicki, do you have a trick on saving the labels on the glasses while washing?
    Cheers, Kathy

    • Vicki says:

      No I don’t… It’s hard to save the gold labels… I generally clean the glasses bare and remove the labels. I do save the boxes for bits and pieces though… they smell delicious and are great for small jewellery items or even haberdashery…

  14. Living in Art says:

    So happy to have found your site, I am going to really enjoy!

  15. Pamela says:

    Dear Vicki
    Your choices sound heavenly. Sadly though, the Diptyque candles are very heavy to pack in a suitcase. We tried some other lovely ones (can’t remember the brand – but quite super expensive) up on the top floor of Le Bon Marche. I was tempted. But when I picked them up they weighed a ton and my husband was also afraid the heavy glass container might break in the suitcase. So we’ve been buying essential oils instead and enjoy them in winter in an oil burner. But of course you miss the magic of candlelight.

    I loathe the cheap ones you find in candle shops here in Australia. They’re not scented with essential oils but artificial chemicals and they’re often overpowering and so sickly. Probably not terribly good for you either. My husband can’t even go into one of their shops as he begins sneezing immediately.

    I especially love the scent of fresh air and open wide the windows every morning, even in winter, at least for 30 minutes to an hour. At home here now in spring we have the natural scents of jasmine, roses and lavender that drift into the house because our garden is quite small and they’re planted in front of the windows. With best wishes, Pamela

    • Vicki says:

      Sounds perfect Pamela…

    • david terry says:

      Eear Pamela….. I just read: “I loathe the cheap ones you find in candle shops here in Australia. They’re not scented with essential oils but artificial chemicals and they’re often overpowering and so sickly. Probably not terribly good for you either. My husband can’t even go into one of their shops as he begins sneezing immediately.”

      THAT’S what I was referring to in my comments concerning the vast majority (as far as I can tell) the the horribly scented candles in this country (USA).

      thanks for confirming my suspicion….artifical esters are the culprits….

      david terry

    • Pamela have you tried the expensive ones which are made in Australia? As always, one gets the quality one pays for. It’s the fault of the consumer, not the producer; if people keep buying whatever is cheapest, then the quality has to fall. I would rather have less of something good, than lots of something poorly made. Candles made by GlassHouse in WA or by Mor in Melbourne are truly exquisite. One of their candles can scent a whole house with the most subtle, yet alluring fragrance, and they last for ages.

      And Vicki, yes, I change scent for the season – although here in Melbourne, that isn’t so straight forward as our weather is so changeable! It would require running around at least 4 times a day and swapping candles over from summer, winter, autumn and spring scents just to keep up with the barometer!

  16. Trish Murphy says:

    Hello VIcki, I love the dolly she is beautiful. Candles what can I say! I am totally I love with the beautiful Cire Trudon candle that I was so lucky to receive from you in your giveaway earlier this year.I have always been a candle person loving the ambience and perfume they give .Nothing I have ever used before holds a candle to your Cire Trudon Odalisque!!! XX Trish

  17. David Terry says:

    Dear Vicki,

    Just last Christmas, I discovered a new brand of scented-candle (which, to be honest, I usually avoid…I have too many friends and family-members with allergies) that I really like. I should also emphasize that I’m fairly averse to the “pretty”, floral, sweet scents that seem to predominate, and that this aversion mounts to complete revulsion when I’m faced with the horrifyingly sticky-scents of “Cinnamon ‘n Home-made Apple Pie”, “Fresh Linen”, “Strawberry Fields”, “Lilac Surprise!”,and just about anything made by the “Yankee Candle” company (which is wildly popular in America; my personal suspicion is that they’re the world’s largest commercial consumer of artificial esters).

    Just for the record?….if you walk by a “Yankee Candle” store in any American mall, you can SMELL the dang place from fifty yards away. I always wonder how anyone can stand to actually work in those joints for eight-hour shifts. Presumably, they’ve all had major knocks on the head and lost their sense of smell.

    However, I’ve discovered “Paddywax” (the very accessible website for ordering is, predictably enough “ They make a particularly attractive series of candles that are devoted, so to speak, to authors. I think the series is called “The Library”. The candles come in discreetly frosted, brown glass, with a quotation from the designated author printed on a sepia label. The widely-varying authors include Austen, Thoreau, Balzac, Oscar Wilde, and Dickens. Basically, these are perfect gifts for bookish friends (I happen to have a LOT of these).

    “Austen” is, as you might hope, light and slightly floral, but very discreet (i.e., not too “girly”). “Thoreau” smells of moss and the woods. “Oscar Wilde” is, appropriately enough, the “heaviest” of the scents….very fin-de-siecle, with a hint of musk (I hate it, for whatever my reaction’s worth). “Dickens” smells pleasantly of old leather, a bit of lemon-oil, something reminding you of a wood-fire…..and generally like a library in some old, comfortable, English house.

    I should emphasize that these are scented candles which you can give to a guy. For better or worse (and this is, of course, a matter of manufacturer’s knowing exactly which demographic they’re marketing-to), most scented candles are unmistakably “feminine”. Paddywax’s “library” series isn’t, which comes as rather a relief to me.


    david Terry

    • Vicki says:

      These sound very good David… I haven’t seen them… The fragrances I mentioned, especially Feu du Bois and Spiritus Sancti are great fragrances for men as well as women.. not floral and not overly spicy…

  18. Hi Vicki – Sorry, me again (you can tell I’m crazy about scented candles…). Could you recommend a few of your favorite scents in the Astier de Villatte candles? I’ve noticed a few of them in your photos. They are not available in stores in my area–would have to purchase online–so can’t “sniff” them myself. Thanks.

    • Vicki says:

      My favourites are Naples, Cambridge and Anchorage… They are wonderful and generally I burn these in the warmer months… they are softer fragrances… They are beautiful scents.. you cannot go wrong…:)

  19. Jennifer says:

    have the same black wax Dibtyque candle burning as I write this. My favorite…love this scent all year round

  20. Margaret S. says:

    Hi Vicki,

    I love Jo Malone’s candles. The scent depends on the season, but Vintage Gardenia is always lovely for a Sydney summer. However at $95 a pop my husband cringes every time he sees it burning.

    Right now I’m using a Paddywax candle. I have to agree with everything David Terry said above; in particular their Library range is truly just divine. They always present them in beautiful glass holders too. I recently bought a few of their little travel candles that come in tins, very handy for a weekend away… and they’re very reasonably priced compared to Jo Malone or Diptyque.

    I’ve also used Durance from time to time, although I find their scents quite subtle.

    I’d love to try a Cire Trudon candle too…. I’ll have to pick one up when I’m in Italy in December… I can’t quite recall what they cost here in Sydney (around the $200 mark I think) but I do remember thinking I would not enjoy watching it burn.

    ciao e grazie

    • Vicki says:

      I like Durance too… and often burn them as supplementaries or in bedrooms because they are so much less expensive… although they have just had a rise in price… :( They are good but as you say… the scent is subtle and sometimes almost non-existent… depending on the fragrance…
      The others, while more costly.. do last… especially if looked after… I must try and find the Paddywax…:)

  21. Marmel says:

    My shop for french candles went out of business a few years ago with the terrible economy, I really miss that shop. Right now my very favorite candles are Linnea Lights, hard to explain but they have a scent that doesn’t overpower yet makes the whole house fresh and clean. My husband is very sensitive to fragrance so I have to be careful with my candle purchases. I always have a bar of homemade soap next to each sink, it is a good way for seasonal fragrances.

  22. I love Diptyque candles, but can’t usually make my budget stretch to afford them, so I look far and wide for beautiful alternatives. One of my favorites for scent and beauty is Capri Blu. I usually buy them at Anthropologie, and I love their beautiful mercury glass and milk glass jars, as well as the fact that their candles are soy wax. They are a very eco-friendly company, which makes me happy, too. I also like the Paddywax candles mentioned above. xo Gigi

  23. cindy says:

    Right there with you on scented candles in the winter, also for travel to make hotel rooms feel like home. My all time favorite since my mother first gifted me with one when I was in college and still gives me for my birthday every year…Rigaud Cypres! Love several Diptyque also. Always head to the scented candles first when I enter a shop and sniff away!

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