Showing posts with label Candles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Candles. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fresh and Light

Right now I'm loving fresh, light and uplifting scents for the home. I always find it interesting how my scent preferences change with the seasons. I usually think I lean towards all-occasion types of fragrances but these days I'm gravitating towards lighter fresher scents. A few favorites right now I find to be unique with good throw:
  • Malin + Goetz Mojito ($52 for 9 oz for 60 hour burn) is a fresh mix of lime, mint, basil and rum. This is my first Malin+Goetz candle and I love how this burns really cleanly, the scent is so unique, I've never smelled anything like it before. Mojito has a fresh unique uplifting scent including top notes of lime, rum, mint leaves, peppery basil, middle notes of spearmint and Chinese mint, base notes of white musk. I highly recommend this one for a clean fresh scent.

  • Diptyque Geranium Rosa ($60 for 6.5 oz, 60 hour burn) is one of the Diptyque scents that is harder to find (for me at least), you can find it all Diptyque stores and more retailers are starting to carry it now. This one is a fresh light green floral with a hint of mint (however I think I'm the only one who detects any mint). Geranium Rosa is one of those scents that is extremely green and very floral, if you prefer scents that aren't quite as green, opt for Roses or Baies which are not quite as sharp. I like this one for the fresh green feel it creates.

  • Byredo Fleur Fantôme ($80 for 10.5 oz, 60 hour burn) is one of the splurgiest candles I've ever purchased, it has a highly complex mix of florals. Top notes: Rhubarb, Lemon Petitgrain Leaves, Middle notes: Violet Leaves, Tulip Extract, Base notes: Galbanum, Heliotrope, Suede. It has a refreshing floral mix and for something so complex, it actually has a simple fresh feel. Fleur Fantome has to be one of the most beautiful smelling candle I've ever burned, it smells like a beautiful garden.

  • Henri Bendel Beach ($15 for 4 oz travel size or $30 for 9.4 oz size) is another unique fresh scent (it's one of my most repurchased candles). Beach is like the ultimate vacation scent and the mix is pure genius. There is nothing like it and it smells exactly like a beach vacation. If you're new to Henri Bendel's line and are looking for a recommendation to try something new, Beach would be my top pick. Notes include warm white sand and earthly driftwood blend with the summery smells of jasmine, white lotus, creamy coconut milk and sweet rosewater. I find Henri Bendel to be among the best candles at a decent price range. They have a diverse range of amazing scents that aren't too overpowering but still have really good throw.

What home fragrances are you loving right now as we transition into warmer spring weather?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Diptyque Boutique Maiden Lane - San Francisco

Diptyque | Maiden Lane, San Francisco

I took a much-needed mini vacation this month with my husband. We spent a week in San Francisco visiting family and friends. I've been a die-hard Diptyque fan so the Diptyque Store on Maiden Lane was on my list of must-see places. The store featured the new Diptyque Electric Diffuser (quite impressive) which will accomodate a small selection of scents in 34 boulevard st germain, Figuier, Baies, Amber and Feu de Bois. Both my husband and I were seriously tempted.

The Maiden Lane boutique is a small intimate store. It has a warm slightly rustic-library feel with the wood shelves and decor. The store is split into an upper and lower level creating a home-like feel. The combination of all the scents was so incredible. I wished I could take the entire store and transport it into my own home. I learned so much from the Diptyque staff on each of the different categories of scents - they were incredibly friendly and patient with all our questions as we asked about each candle. I've since developed quite a long wish list of items to try in the future. Due to our traveling situation I limited myself to 2 items (since we didn't want to check any luggage) and purchased two of the Boutique Exclusives in Mousses (forest-moss) and Tilleul (linden tree). If you have a chance to visit one of the boutiques I highly recommend it. The store Diptyque reps are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. The stores themselves are decorated so beautifully - I felt inspired to up the game in our own house decoration-wise with subtle candle accents.

Mini 2.4 oz candles shown below all lined up ($28 each):

Boutique accessories (photophores are store exclusives):

My picks Mousses  and Tilleul

Have you been to a Diptyque Boutique? I normally purchase my candles from Nordstrom or Barneys but fell completely in love with the Diptyque store. What are your favorite Diptyque items?

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Diptyque Violette & Genevrier Candles

This year I've started to venture beyond my go-to staples and explore more home fragrance scents from a variety of brands. My two latest discoveries from Diptyque include Violette and the new Genevrier candles ($60 each for 6.5 oz, approximately 60 hours burn time). Both are very different from what I'm normally drawn to but my husband has great taste when it comes to home fragrance so I asked him to help me pick out a few at our local Nordstrom. I've burned both separately so far and love them both. They make beautiful accent pieces around the home.

Violette is a soft but warm-smelling floral. I'm always drawn to violet scents but whenever I test them, they turn quite powdery on me (not in a good way). Diptyque Violette is more like a true floral and has a subtle sweet quality that is quite soothing and soft. I'm not a huge fan of florals but this one was recommended by so many readers I knew I had to check it out. I think it is quite lovely. The scent is soft but still quite strong with good throw. If you don't like florals though you most likely won't like this one - it's a true floral.

Violette pictured with the Diptyque wick trimmer and matches, both were gift with purchases during the last Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Genevrier is one of two new releases from Diptyque. I thought I would prefer Noisetier (hazelnut) but ended up loving Genevrier (juniper) instead. Genevrier is a woody green kind of scent. It smells just like juniper with a forest-like feel. It's not quite as green as Henri Bendel's White Spruce (usually released during the holiday). Genevrier has a more earthy quality with a slight mix of a mint. It feels very clean and fresh smelling. The scent strength is medium. It is definitely a fall-holiday scent. In Southern California it's still warm but as the weather cools I think this one will be perfect.


More around the home:

Above tray from West Elm in Silver Lacquer, also shown the Diptyque Roses in the 2.4 oz version

My most frequently burned candle favorites include Diptyque Baies, Diptyque Figuier, Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin, Henri Bendel Pomegranate, Henri Bendel Vanilla Bean and Henri Bendel Fig. I tend to like sweeter creamy scents but have found florals and woody scents to be quite amazing for the home. Both Violette and Genevrier are lovely additions to our home. I can see us both re-purchasing once burned through.

I usually purchase my Diptyque at Nordstrom and Barneys but the brand is also available at a number of Diptyque Boutiques and other retailers worldwide.

What are your favorite home fragrances? Do you like candles, diffusers or sprays?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Diptyque Candle Jars Recycled

By popular request, here is a simple step-by-step guide to cleaning candle jars so you can recycle and reuse them as decorative containers. This will work for most candles. My favorites to re-use are Diptyque and Henri Bendel mainly because the jars are sturdy and even if there is a slight burn on the sides, the glass is strong enough so it doesn't leave burn marks (most of the time). I like the way Henri Bendel candles are simple and clean looking. For Diptyque, I love the oval stickers and the fact that heat from the flames doesn't change the color or make them peel.

Tools needed: Hot running water, paper towels and a flat-edged spoon (I prefer spoons because they are safer to use) ... and of course a finished candle! The spoon below is a hot chocolate spoon from Crate and Barrel from several years ago.


Step 1: Make sure your finished candle has finished cooling. Take the spoon and carve or scoop out any wax. The hard edges make the wax easier to scoop from the bottom corners where the sides meet the base. Work around the candle in a carving motion around the sides and then on the bottom. Depending on the candle, room temperature, how much you've burned, you may find some waxes more stubborn than others. Having remnants are ok, we will remove in the next few steps.

Step 2: Take a paper towel and wipe down any excess burnt pieces and wax. A stiffer paper towel will help pick up some of the wax you scraped off. If it doesn't come completely clean, not to worry. Most of the cleaning has to be done in a series steps where the jar gets progressively cleaner.


Step 3: If stubborn wax remains, fill the jar with hot water. Make sure it's not too hot (definitely not boiling). If the heat is too high it can crack the glass. Let it sit for 30 seconds to soften the glass. Note that you can re-arrange any of the steps. I like to scrape, wipe and then fill with water to remove as much wax and burnt edge remnants as possible before adding water to soften the excess.

Step 4: Now that the warm/hot water has softened the waxes on the sides, repeat the cleaning process with a paper towel to wipe the inside completely clean. The wax should glide off easily and adhere to the paper towel. If there's still wax remaining, repeat by adding hot water for an additional 30 seconds and wipe clean again.

Now your candles cleaned and ready to use for decoration!

There are a number of different ways to clean out your candle jars. This is just one I've found works. Some recommend freezing the jars to help the wax pop out. I haven't tried it - if you have I'd love to hear how it worked for you. For me, I tend to leave things in the freezer and forget about them. Also using the method listed above is faster for me rather than having to wait for the jars to cool/freeze in the freezer. Others recommend pouring boiling water to soften and remove the wax - I personally wouldn't recommend boiling water since the glass might not be strong enough to sustain the shock in different temperatures.

I haven't tried all the candles from Diptyque, but so far my top three favorites are Baies, Figuier and Mimosa ($28 for the small and $60 for the regular size). Right now Nordstrom has an Anniversary Sale special duo with Baies and Figuier that comes with the lid and wick trimmer (for $120). Shop my favorites below.

For some Diptyque recycle ideas, you can see some snippets on my @beautylookbook Instagram feed. Also visit my other blog Styled Notes - I've written a special post focued just on recycled decor ideas for Diptyque candles.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Diptyque Minä Perhonen Collaboration: Joie, Ciel and Infini

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Diptyque has collaborated with Minä Perhonen to release new special-edition candles inspired by poems written by Akira Minagawa. There are three scents each encased in a beautifully designed white brushed glass jar. The three Diptyque Minä candles are Joie, Ciel and Infini ($65 each). The scents are lighter than most Diptyque candles are. I wasn't quite sure how these would burn since I'm not typically a fan of airy florals when it comes to home fragrance but am happy to report they burn quite beautifully - both individually, or all three at the same time.

Joie is a floral described  as "a fresh floral fragrance, bucolic and delicate, with dewy and aromatic notes." It's a lovely fresh soft floral, not overpowering. It almost has that baby-skin feeling to the scent due to the delicate nature. It's both refreshing and soothing.

Above: SS Print Shop Print, Gucci 54mm Sunglasses, YSL Fall Nail Lacquers in Gris Underground and Beige Gallery

Ciel is classified as an herbal scent described as "ice vapor, iris powder, sweet dew, an enveloping and nostalgic fragrance." To me this doesn't quite fit the herbal category. It's a soft airy fragrance with a hint of licorice. This one is calming.


Infini is described as woody, "recalls an association of woods, incense, and spices, for a mystic fragrance." There is a green-ness to this scent. It reminds me of GAP's heaven and dream scents (from the 90s) mixed together. It has an earthy but fresh linen-like feel.


Some decor and desktop photos of each candle, they make lovely accent pieces for the home. I love re-using the jars for brush or pen holders after they finish burning.

 Above tray by West Elm

I found mine at Nordstrom (gift with purchase going on online) and also spotted them at Barneys NY in Beverly Hills. I love each one, although my favorite is Joie. These are limited-edition, if you can get to your local Diptyque store or counter soon to smell in person I recommend it.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Ten Things I'm Loving Right Now

Here's November's List of Ten Things I'm Loving Right Now. As always, I want to hear your lists too! And they don't have to be beauty/makeup related.

1) Henri Bendel Candles from Bath & Body Works $26 - these are the best candles I've tried with so many feel-good scents. My favorites are Vanilla Bean, Fig, Quince, Pomegranate - and my husband loves these too.

2) L'Occitane Holiday Sets - Still loving the scented hand creams, in particular the Shea Vanilla and Frangipani scented ones! I wish they weren't limited edition. Also love the Shower Celebration set - wish all the scents came in larger sizes (I believe the only one available individually right now is the Almond Shower Gel).

3) Paul & Joe Lip Lacquers $20 - You've seen these in my look features earlier in the month and my regular readers know that I bought practically every color. They are absolutely fabulous and I hope these are here to stay. They are great alone or over a liner/lipstick. I can't rave enough about them. Cute packaging, nice pigment, non-sticky texture, very wearable colors. I've purchased my Paul & Joe items from Bergdorf Goodman, The Primping Parleur's Online Boutique, and - but check the Paul & Joe Beauty website for locations around the world.

4) PhytoSpecific Integral Hair Care - this is a spray hair treatment which is supposed to "restore moisture, smooth, redefine curls, detangle, make setting easier, and protect hair from heat damage." I have thick slightly wavy hair which I cannot air dry because it poofs up into a huge frizz ball. Up until a year ago when I started using this, I religiously blow dried and straightened my hair daily. I tried a number of no-frizz serums and straightening sprays, but I still had to go through the daily ritual of blow dry/straighten. This spray is incredible for me and once I spray and comb through, it allows my hair to air dry without turning into a huge frizz ball. I haven't tried any of the other PhytoSpecific products, but I do love the shampoos in the regular Phyto line.

5) Dolce & Gabbana Caramel Blush $44 - I love nude blushes and this one is pretty without looking muddy on my skin. You can buy D&G online at, but I highly recommend ordering through the Saks NY or Beverly Hills counters because you get excellent customer service and the makeup artists who run the counter are very good at recommending colors. If you have any questions about other products, you can ask me too! I've accumulated quite a few things from them since they launched the line.

6) Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer $48 - By far my favorite powder bronzer of the moment. Wasn't so thrilled with the hefty price tag, but I have to say that it gives that natural tanned glow. My skintone is on the pale side right now, I'm the equivalent of what's in between MAC NC30-35. Normally I'm more of a NC35-40ish. You can purchase Edward Bess at Bergdorf Goodman or online at Compared to some other bronzers:

7) Le Metier Eye Brightening & Setting Powder $36 - I've always been skeptical of brightening powders mainly because I usually don't see a difference when using them. This, however, is every bit as great as Ellyn (from Neimans King of Prussia) and Lisa (my fellow Le Metier fan) have both raved. I use the shade Revive which is good for medium-tanned skintones. The next shade down Refresh is quite a bit paler. Seems like they need a shade in between. I use it after I apply my foundation in place of concealer under the eyes and it is an instant-brightener/evener all in one. (FYI - has free shipping with code and a promotional Peche Lip Creme with any Le Metier purchase, good as long as supplies last.)

8) MAC Pigments: Naked, Fairylite, Your Ladyship, Shimmertime - I like light/neutral pink shimmers for a natural barely-there all over eye color. I believe all of them have been discontinued except Naked, but you can get a full sized Shimmertime Pigment in one of the MAC holiday sets and Naked is also available as a mini in one of the holiday pigment sets.

The swatch picture couldn't capture the real color, so I'll try my best to describe the differences:
  • Naked is the most neutral
  • Fairylite has the most pink and most visible silver sparkle/micro glitter
  • Your Ladyship has a golden sheen to it
  • Shimmertime is the most pink/frosty throughout

9) MAC Style Black Mineralize Eyeshadows: Gilt by Association, Cinderfella, Young Punk $19.50 each - Yes, I do like MAC products even though I don't write much about the line! I was afraid these would be too glittery, but they work well when applied with a damp brush or over a gel liner for a pretty smoky eye. It appears they are sold out online, but most MAC stores usually still carry seasonal stock so check your local store.

10) Hot Chocolate - I know many of you prefer I stay on the beauty topic, but I really love this time of year because it's the perfect time for hot chocolate, apple cider, and warm teas. A classic favorite is the Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate that they only carry during the holidays. I've seen a few at Godiva and Crate & Barrel that I'm dying to try out. I know Trader Joes has a lot of holiday ciders and goodies, so I'm hoping they have a hot chocolate too. Do you have a favorite hot chocolate?

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