Some of my favourite things

Winter has crept upon us in a snap, a short summer, a fabulously colourful Autumn moving into what now feels like winter proper.

The warmth and laziness of summer lifts our spirits and we almost turn into different people, the energy rises and we become more nonchalant about time and life generally.

Winter changes the energy  as the temperature drops and the light dims, for those  first  few weeks in late September we are at odds with the season, we are either under- dressed or over-dressed, our homes are either too hot or too cold and we are irritated by the transition.

There is absolutely nothing like a beautiful scented candle to hail the colder season – the glow of a candle in a dusk filled room and the magic of the fragrance gently drifting through the space is settling, comforting and a much welcome visitor.

My introduction to perfumed candles began when I opened my Perfumery – scented candles began to gain popularity during the mid 1990s –  at that time most of the luxury companies were based in France, although there were  some very successful companies already established in the UK and the interest was growing.

Some of my favourite candles are from the French company Quintessence –  this family run business was created by Valentine Pozzo di Borgo and her mother, Sandrine Givaudan (coming from the famous Givaudan family) specialising in olfactory marketing and customized candles.

Launching Quintessence in 2008, Valentine Pozzo di Borgo continued the family tradition and became the 5th generation of creators of olfactive universes. This heritage is felt most notably through the collaboration with her mother and all the “noses” trained by her grandfather

It was around 2008 when visiting Paris I had the pleasure to meet Valentine – at this time the Company were still mainly creating candles for luxury companies but Valentine introduced me to a small collection which was the start of Maison Quintessence.

In 2012 Valentine created another brand of niche perfumes to pay tribute to her father’s family, Pozzo di Borgo, the concept is based on the olfactive genealogical tree of the family and Valentine’s perfume line travels back to 1764 with the birth of Carl Andrea Pozzo di Borgo up to the new generation of di Borgos with the birth of Valentine in 1984.

Each fragrance reveals a unique olfactive tribute to the character and personality of this remarkable family.

The collection of candles celebrate the art of French living and symbolize with spirit and distinction the exotic atmosphere of exceptional moments.

The atmosphere of each room of the Hotel Particulier or Grand House is expressed in two fragrances , one for day and one for night, for instance, in the Bibliotheque by day Fougere and Bois Brule by night, in the Boudoir by day Tubereuse and Prune by night , in the Salon Cypres Piment by day and Ambre by night –

The Quintessence story is unique and the candles expressly live up to the grand heritage to whom they belong –

The Pot Pourri is the perfect welcome to any home, the warm ginger and pepper notes with basil and dry orange flowers, complimented by the comforting woody dry-down of cedar and incense is a heart warming fragrance, a perfect accompaniment for the season of fires and festivity

The Quintessence boutique can be found at 77 rue Du Bac, 75007 Paris