Janice Issitt                    Life and Style

travel, interiors, photography, home, crafts, personal style

4 Dec 2014

Christmas Candles and Choral music.

Christmas decorating just wouldn't be the same without candles, whether you are a user all year round or just for the darker season, candles are an absolute must for every home to create ambience, coziness and fragrance. Just be sure not to leave them unattended. 

I don't know about you, but over the years I have bought a lot of fragranced candles and most of the time Im bitterly disappointed. They either smell like toilet cleaner or have no smell at all. Finally Ive come across two types which I can thorough and whole heartedly recommend. 

To get you in the spirit why not play this video I made for the Choral group The Mediaeval Baebes who I photographed at their recent London show before they headed off Stateside for a tour. Ive never posted a video on my blog before and for some reason it works fine on the computer but not on the phone, sorry about that.

I discovered DPM Fragrance/Capri Blue  candles through Anthropologie in the UK.  Since smelling Aloha Orchid when I first walked in store, I have become a serial user of these candles.  Firstly their fragrances are amazing and secondly the packaging is fabulous, so beautiful you will reuse it long after the candle has burnt down, often in chunky frosted glass jars and mercury glass containers with lids. With seductive names like "Velvet Moss and Jasmine" they smell every bit as good as it sounds. Below the top candle is from DPM, I love to display candles on glass cake stands as a table centerpiece. 

At DPM/Capri Blue they use the top quality food grade soy which absorbs the fragrance much better than any other type of wax. Its so soft its like perfumed cream and smells so exquisite I would actually wear it as a perfume.  

Soy candles are hand poured using traditional methods and I was interested in the process after reading about it on the DPM website. 

These gorgeous containers can be recycled in many ways. This design is part of their Muse collection.

DPM/Capri Blue are based in Mississippi in the USA and use sustainable and recycled materials where available. 

If these inspire you to have a go at making your own, why not get a kit containing all the essentials you need, these are available at Making The Best a shop in Leighton Buzzard. 

The kit contains, soy candle wax, wax dye, scent, 4 tin containers, thermometer, wick, sustainers and wick pins and instructions.

To melt the wax without a double boiler you need to put one saucepan inside another, its probably best to use old pans for this. The under pan contains water which heats the wax in the smaller pan until it melts, use the thermometer to get the strategic temperature.  The wicks need to be coated in melted wax and the instructions tell you how to do this with the sustainers and greaseproof paper. The wick is fixed in the bottom of the tin container and held straight with wick pins. 

Now melt the candle wax, add colour and scent and pour into your tin or whatever container you choose to present the candle in. 
Leave to set for 24 hours. 

Ive simplified it all here so make sure to read your instructions thoroughly.

And while we are here, I thought Id show you what Ive done with my kitchen cabinets to make them look festive, using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and stencils I changed the colour of the wooden doors in time for Christmas. 

Scented candles are also available to buy ready made from Making The Best and my favourite from them is Nag Champa, like the traditional Indian incense but without the smoke, the smell is strong even when unlit. Because every single candle is hand poured, even the tea-lights, Patricia ensures that they are thoroughly tested before sale to give the best quality product. If they don't make the grade they don't go out for sale. 

Personally I think whether its a ready-made candle or a kit to make your own these are a perfect gift, many of my girlfriends say they appreciate the luxury of expensive bubble bath, soap or candles as they aren't always the first thing you buy for yourself. Hope this suggestion helps. Im off to Sweden for a week, see you all on my return with lots of snowy scenes from Lapland I hope!

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