I consider properly fragranced candles the height of luxury – you are, after all, literally burning your money. However, since the whole ‘home fragrancing’ market really took off, I’ve come to think of a beautifully fragranced room as almost part of my evening routine. I’m not one for lighting candles by the bath etc in a spa-like manner – too much pressure to ‘relax’, but I do love to have one flickering away while I watch TV or listen to the radio. Jonathan Ward candles are currently my favourites (although I was pretty blown away by a Guerlain one in May). The newest scent to the stable is Lulu In Provence. Now, I know Lulu consists of nectarines, almonds, redcurrants and sandalwood, but if you’d asked me to test smell this blind, I’d swear it had coconut and tropical things in it. Which shows that this nose isn’t ever going to be a fragrance ‘nose’. I’m adamantly against being pretentious about scent – if you love it, you love it. I care not at all if it consists of virgin lavender grown on the world’s highest peak or has been distilled in the presence of fairies. Scent is all around us, from the dinner cooking to the binmen doing their rounds: I just want my world to smell as lovely as possible and am prepared to splash out on candles to make sure it does.

I had Lulu In Provence (£20 or £30 sizes) burning on Saturday night; some friends dropped in and the very first thing they commented on was the beautiful fragrance.

It’s key with candles to choose wax that doesn’t billow soot into the room (hoteliers wonder why they keep having to repaint the reception area where they’ve got ‘welcoming’ candles literally powering soot up on to their ceiling) – and those with paraffin are the worst culprits. JW candles are made from organic soy and beeswax which actually helps to clean the air, so if I’m looking for candles, that’s something I always take into consideration.


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