Idina Sackville was born in 1893 into a wealthy aristocratic family. She’s been the subject of several books; fictionalised in The Pursuit Of Love by Nancy Mitford and more recently her life is encapsulated in The Bolter written by her great grand-daughter, Frances Osborne. Idina was a real life adventurer; a notorious member of the infamous Happy Valley set in Kenya in the late 1930’s and 1940’s, and loved the high life. More than that, however, glamorous Idina loved a lover and worked her way through a fair number both in Britain and Kenya, despite being married. She had two sons, with whom she had a distant relationship, before their father took them away for good to live with him and his new wife. Selfish, greedy, witty, beautiful and charismatic, Idina was an amazingly resilient woman; leaving to start a farm in Africa in 1919 when it cannot have been easy, and eventually at her death, having racked up six husbands! She was handy with a gun, doggedly hard working on the farm and a must-have at any ex-pat party for her humour, her open mindedness, glamour and her charm.

Jonathan Ward’s newest candle, Idina’s Locket is inspired by this contrary woman, in particular her first wedding at age 20. Forming part of the Amber range, the scent is an absolute ringer for those lingering olfactory reminders when you open a vintage locket. Powdery rose, cut with soft amber and gentle pepper reminded me instantly of my grandmother’s powder compacts and in turn sent me on a road of gorgeous memories.

It’s a remarkable achievement to recreate an era, a person and an emotion in a fragranced candle…but it works. Beautifully.

It’s out in September.

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