Style at a Certain Age is a lifestyle blog by Beth Djalali dedicated to aging with grace, strength, and beauty.
Celebrating Candles…Comfort, Calm, and Romance
September is National Candle Month!!
We all need a little – or a lot of joy and comfort, calmness and relaxation these September Days! How can a bit of wax, scented or not and a cotton wick…give us the transformative R&R we crave?? Magic? Yes!! Yes!! Romance and rest, elegance and comfort all come to mind…celebration too! Whether it is from a simple votive in church or nightstand…thin, elegant tapers on a dining table or clustered on our cocktail tables; these humble symbols of light bring inner peace, tranquility and even a little romance to our daily lives.
Beautiful, decorative vessels of glass, Limoges porcelain, or bone china are often quite elaborately scented with the most luxurious perfumes! Famed Scent Houses have made the candle a chic, heady icon of design for our homes. Diptyque, Creed, Jo Malone London, Baccarat, Lalique and many more have created beauty and tranquility from Jasmine, Rose, Orange Blossom and so many more beautiful combinations. Many are encased with their own lovely lids to snuff the flames safely! These charming objets seem to have mystical abilities to transport us to a different time or place, often with special memories – some happy, some sad…all meaningful!
Beginning in ancient times as a light source, they have now become one of the simplest and pleasurable gifts in our modern age! Gifted by both men and women, even children to parents for Birthdays, Anniversaries and Holidays. Fun, festive, and functional!! They are much like Art …giving unexpected joy and pleasure.
For religious or secular celebrations, the candle is loved by all!!
We think of a single candle decorating a cupcake for a first Birthday or a raging fire of them for twenty-five!! What happy fun!! Hannukah, Advent, Christmas and Candlemas Day all remember them…with loving sentiment. Even Easter and funerals have their symbolism and scents that cannot be denied.
Chamber lights in classic film bring images of Rebecca – Joan Fontaine ascending a staircase, September Baby Deborah Kerr in The Innocents with candelabra, or Kim Novak in classic Bell, Book, and Candle! Such romance!cannot be denied.
Icon Marilyn Monroe is envisioned and memorialized with the sound of Candle in the Wind…Elton John remembered Princess Diana with his well-loved version in 1997.
Yet, we always think of Happy Birthday celebrations…what would they be without the symbolic lighted candle to wish and blow out for another year of love, life, health and happiness – no matter the number on the cake!!
Themes are created around them!! From Circus birthdays to elegant soirees and Weddings!! Interior designers, Party and Wedding Planners accessorize clean modern spaces, as well as over the top eclectic creations! Love – Romance – Serenity – Beauty!! Fragrance always transports…and now, candle gift packaging does too!! Giving has created the need for charming, creative designs for all! Gifting candles is chic for every age, sex, and occasion…challenge solved!! Simply ask yourself…what is appropriate, fun, happy, useful??? They are perfect environmentally and age appropriate. Colorful or classic!!
A gentleman architect or Italian art loving friend may enjoy a Fornasetti classic for his new apartment!
A chic friend and new grandmother who loves cooking, gardening and all things French, would love CARRIERE FRERES’ Tomatoe or Lavender Candles in Limoges porcelain! For an upcoming Birthday, the English son of a Halcyon Days exec, now living in the US, might love their latest range of hand poured candles from his homelands’ charming Stoke on Trent! Joy can be found all around us! A little box of cake candles with polka dots…bejeweled tapers… Harlequin circus vessels…chic Tomatoe kitchen scented…Lavender Limoges…Love, Love, Love them all!!
Simply by their scent or design, you can take a trip around the world with candle selections from England, France, Italy and beyond…reminisce about a bygone excursion or light one of these beauties in anticipation of one to come!! Travel planning made even more enjoyable…as Chance the Gardner and Peter Sellers – it is like “Being There!” There are even mini travel candles to pack along to make hotel, powder and guest rooms even more personal and make us feel “at home”, allowing us to unwind!! Perfect gifts…
Global Artists and Perfumers all love them too…creating special collections in every color, size and scent combination imaginable!! Fragrance is certainly one of the most pleasant ways of transporting us, totally joyous….and with smiles, no passport required! “Noses” are revered all over the world and have created some of our best loved scents.
What would the Holidays be without candles?? One of my very favorites is Jo Malone’s Orange Bitters… sweet and bitter orange, ripe mandarin, rich prune and a base of sensual sandalwood and amber! Typically, available only at the Holidays….joy beyond. Diffusers are
another brilliant scent option for home or office. Modern and safe for those with young children, active dog tails and for our elders.
How about Thanksgiving…with a hostess gift of Michael Aram’s Olive Candle, comforting notes of Olive Branch blends with Verbena, Bergamot, Peppercorn and Mediterranean Cypress. The beautiful fragrances of the Holiday Season are well loved…Pine, Fir, Eucalyptus, Fireplaces, Incense! A classic Cypress Rigaud Paris Candle is perfect – so chic, yet so traditional with its little hand tied bow. It was
introduced to the White House by Jacqueline Kennedy in 1960. Charmingly, it even has its own snuffer and holder reminiscent of days of old with a modern twist!!
“O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely is thy fragrance!” Mon Beau Sapin, the iconic holiday candle by famed perfumer Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Perfect for the Baccarat collector – lover, 1 st Christmas in a new home or a welcome gift for the Holiday Hostess or Guest! Love!!
Of course, safety should always be considered and maintained…instructions followed for proper use and to extend their life! There is the obvious: never leave unattended or near children, pets, flammable fabrics or in drafty spaces, position on a flat heat-resistant surface.
To burn most efficiently, using quality candles are best. Trim wicks to ¼” for scented, cylindrical candle vessels and allow to burn till the entire top is liquid. For table settings, it is good to use unscented candles, so not to interfere with the wonderful smells of glorious food!
I certainly cannot fail to share my devotion to Colonial Candles as my go to for quality, unscented tapers and pillars. Ivory 10 & 12” are favorites in both classic and hand dipped designs. Virtually dripless with classic colors and numerous sizes; they are perfection. Created by Mrs. Baker on Cape Cod in 1905…they continue now in North Carolina.
If you love color (41 of them) and metallics Creative Candles have gorgeous small batch, smokeless, dripless and slow-burning tapers. This small, artisanal brand has continued this charming craft of quality candle making since the 60’s. Enjoy….
Candles of beeswax are wonderful and classic…dripless!! They help candlestick cleanup – sooo much easier and safe too!
Please use snuffers…no liquid flies about!! Most fine quality candles are created with decorative lid/snuffers of their own…. elegantly designed and safe. These beautiful containers can be reused again and again…with candles, pens, pencils, make-up brushes, cotton rounds, small plants or hard candy…. on and on! Beautiful gifts that keep on giving and often amortize the original investment.
So, till our next September Saturday, make a wish and enjoy a little charm and beauty in your home, head and heart with the mystical powers of the Candle!! xoxo MMK