Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Guest Post: Burning Desire - Candles From Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle by Olfactoria

Who doesn’t love Frederic Malle’s perfumes? Anyone?

Well, I certainly do, so when he introduced a home scent line in 2009, I paid attention. But somehow, I never got around to smelling any of the candles in the range. I was kept away by the price as much as anything else, because I knew I would just not want to invest that much in a candle.

But finally I could not hold off any longer. Those beautiful red glass cups were beckoning on every corner of London - hardly surprising when you visit every perfumery in the city - and I finally sniffed my way through them, all the while holding on tight to my wallet... and reminding myself of my husband’s warnings not to exceed the weight limit on our luggage. Believe me, the reason why I didn't buy any of them was definitely not because I didn't like how they smelt!

There are nine candles in the range, five of them created by Carlos Benaïm, three by Dominique Ropion and one by Sophia Grojsman. Let us start with the last one.

Russian Nights by Sophia Grojsman: Wonderfully rich and meditative. It has notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, iris and sandalwood. Its name fits perfectly with the romantic, clichéd notions a non-Russian person like me has about long, cold Russian nights.

Santal Cardamome by Dominique Ropion: Sounds simple, but isn't at all. A deep, rich spicy-woody smell that makes me sigh with pleasure.

Un Gardenia La Nuit by Dominique Ropion: Probably perfect for lovers of massive, fleshy white flowers, of which I am not one. So there.

1er Mai by Dominique Ropion: Despite its name immediately conjuring images of socialist marches, this is a lovely and very realistic rendition of lily of the valley.

Saint Des Saints by Carlos Benaïm: Instantly takes me to Betlehem. I am among the Three Kings presenting their fragrant offerings to Jesus. Its mix of balsams, myrrh and incense makes it a perfect Christmas scent.

Rosa Rugosa by Carlos Benaïm: Windblown wild roses.

Jurassic Flower by Carlos Benaïm: Complicated. I like the scent, but can't get to the bottom of it. A fresh, floral creation with some fruity tinges. I would love to explore it further some day.

Coffee Society by Carlos Benaïm: Marina from PST would adore this. I am very biased against it, as I don’t drink coffee and hate nothing more than coffee breath, which is exactly what this reminds me of.

Rubrum Lily by Carlos Benaïm: The PERFECT lily bouquet. Very spicy lilies in full bloom, but not too indolic. I'll have to have one for myself one day. Sure to make every lily lover swoon.

I think this is an exceptionally well edited and creative line of home fragrances. The price point is very high, but so is the quality and the fragrances are unique. Rubrum Lily has a place in my heart and on my birthday wishlist, but there are many more I would not mind at all having at home.

Just as with his perfume range, Malle does not disappoint.

© 2011 Olfactoria


About the guest blogger: Olfactoria is a perfume-loving psychotherapist and mother of two living in Vienna. For more of her writing, please visit her blog, Olfactoria's Travels.


  1. Hi Birgit,

    All those candles sound brilliant. "Windblown wild roses" sounds like there is nothing more and nothing less to say about this one! ;)

    I'd be compelled to try Saint Des Saints, the impression of balsams and myrrh are always nice

  2. Hi Liam,
    Right, Rosa Rugosa does not need any more words.
    Saint des Saints on a cold winter's night is surely perfect.

  3. Oh they all sound gorgeous but too pricey for me . I think a Christmas list Birgit for me ( a little birdie tells me you have a birthday soon).

  4. Great to see you here, Birgit!

    Nice reviews. I'm sooo happy I don't feel even compelled to try any of those candles now (I'm just not in home products yet). One day, when I have absolutely no other perfumes/splits/samples to buy, I might look at candles.

  5. Angie, I find it hard to spend so much money on a candle too. A perfume is another matter, I carry it upon my person and it makes me happy throughout the day, a candle is something I rather give as a gift, or receive it. ;)

  6. Undina, hi!
    That day will be far off then, there is always something new and interesting to smell on the horizon. ;)

  7. Olfactoria, thanks very much indeed for your contribution to my blog.

    Although I love smelling FM's candles, I've never bought one as I think they're too expensive. But whilst we're on the subject of room fragrances, what do people think of L'Artisan's candles. I find them absolutely wonderful... not to mention MUCH more affordable. And the tiny ones make superb gifts.

  8. I would buy half of these if I weren't put off by the price. I do have a thing for luxury candles, but when I treat myself, I usually won't exceed $50-$60. I have to say, as tempting as some of these fragrances are, the packaging leaves me cold. It reminds me of Jonathan Adler (I don't have a problem with Jonathan Adler, I would just expect something different from a Malle product).

  9. Ahh... if I was just a teensy bit more upwardly mobile, Russian Nights would be burning in my house right this moment!

    They sound beautiful, alas, I'm just a poor gal, from a poor family...


  10. Carrie and Dee,
    you are right. We poor perfumistas cannot afford Malle candles, but we can dream, can't we? ;)

    thank you for asking me, it was my pleasure writing this post for you. :)
    I really like L'Artisan candles, the tiny ones are cute and a great way to get introduced to a scent. I have the mini of Traversée du Bosphore and while I cannot stand the perfume on me, I love the candle. It is okay for my house to smell like loukhoum. ;)

  11. I really enjoyed reading this B as I was totally in the dark (no pun intended!)about the Malle candle line. I do love those red glass cups too though and wondered what they were all about. I had a lot of fun dreaming of which ones I'd pick if money were no object (Saint des Saints, Rosa Rugosa and Santal Cardamome). Oh and nice to hear you're not a coffee drinker either. It often makes me feel like a bit of an oddball!

  12. Tara,
    glad you liked the sniff into those red cups. Non-coffee drinkers are obviously very nice and highly intelligent people! ;)


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