|I made a little shrine to my Jilly Cooper autograph with Shine, Still and Eden. Don't judge me.|
There is the most gorgeous florist in Camberwell called Pesh Flowers, run by women with impeccably cut-glass tones and an absolutely inspiring skill when it comes to flower arranging. It's a lovely shop, and I always stick my head in where possible.
However, my budget is more £3 bunch from Morrisons than bouquet, so I tend just to buy florist flowers for other people. Candles though - now we're talking. I bloody love a candle. Pesh Flowers carries a large amount of the range from Melt Candles, which I have smelled and bought extensively over the last couple of years. They're a really gorgeous range, handpoured over 36 hours in Lancashire's Ribble Valley, and all presented in smart black cylinders with little quotes on them. You can get a bunch of sizes, from skinny little things to huge, glorious towers in all manner of pretty colours. Prices start at £7.50 for a travel candle in a little silver tin, to £32.50 for a 'tall and fat' candle. My favourite is the short and fat candle (£17.95), which is about four inches wide and five inches high and just looks a million dollars.
If you want to know which one candle to buy, it's Still. That's it. Off you go, shoo. A completely stunning mix of lavender, geranium and all sorts of other stuff, it's a dusky, relaxing fragrance that fills your room with the sort of atmosphere that usually requires several gins, a really good dinner, and a starlit sky on a summer night.
More (RIP the magazine). Having forked out a ton of cash for a Jo Malone red roses candle for my mum at Christmas, I wish I'd just got her one of More, which is a really sumptuous, cheerful and slightly soppy rose fragrance. It's delightful.
Any hoo, I followed Melt on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, and as a bonus their PR sent me some of their summery candles to try. This is a bonus because they're not cheap. They're not cheap, and some of the other ones stocked in the florist, like Blush, smell like you've been punched in the face by a sticky child who is covered in glitter.
(A quick look at the website suggests that Autumn and Saddle would be of very great interest to me. Does anything smell as delicious as autumn air and leather? No.)
When I was at home over the weekend, my dad muttered something about my brother still using Lynx in his late 20s. Shine smells alarmingly like that. Moving on.
"This is one of those rare creatures who offends no-one and delights everyone. She does all seasons and all places in the home, behaves impeccably at all times, is well mannered and charming and so makes the perfect house guest/gift. She’s the “girl” that everyone wants to be friends with and everyone wants to know. We like her .....A LOT!"I wasn't best friends with this girl at first because, when unlit, she smelled like a cross between citrus sweets and air freshener. When she had settled in (it! It!) it was rather nice, much woodier than I was expecting, but probably a bit too subtle to tempt me.
Dance is an ideal bathtime candle; light, floral and gentle without being unnoticeable. I felt calm and happy after a good whiff of this.
Joy burning in the kitchen for three hours, and whenever I walked in to make sure it wasn't on fire I was left with a rather underwhelming smell of nothing much. If I put my beloved Lily Flame Bluebell Forest scented tin (ghastly packaging, but smells like magic and is only 50p more from Waitrose) in there for 10 minutes, I feel like I've fallen through a magical door into flower land. The colourful candles (tall and thin, short and fat, tall and fat) all seem to give off a much stronger fragrance which I like.
So, here are the final thoughts. Concentrate on the luxury glass jar and the beautiful fat candles (my tall and thin Still candle that I bought the other week is a terror for spilling wax). I love the slightly bark-like texture of the colour candles, and there are some delicious scents here. I can't wait to see what comes into stock in Pesh Flowers next.
PS - buy Still. And then buy More. And then Saddle and Autumn and tell me what they're like, plskthx.