by | May 18, 2015 | 0 comments

So here’s the festive story of how our Winter Oranges fragrance was born.

I’m sitting here in a very chilly phase of Spanish winter (it’s not all flip-flops and shorts, believe me)…

Cold, but not grim

Cassandra’s blog with Jonathan’s comments in manly blue and Cass’s rebuttals in lady-like pink

… and yet everywhere there are trees festooned with fresh oranges, looking, a bit bizarrely, like lovingly-hung Christmas baubles.

In (yet another) gap in my general knowledge quick: capital of Burkina Faso? [1] I had no idea that there were different breeds er, I’m no horticulturalist, but… varieties? of orange tree that fruit in different seasons – certainly not in the depths of winter – so it’s a particularly delicious pleasure to find them on my doorstep.  Quite literally on my doorstep in fact, when the other day a local friend brought us a huge bag of freshly harvested ‘navalinas’ .  Considering that JH makes fresh juice every single morning of the year I might already have mentioned this a few times (yes, as he’ll tell you, he’s perfect) Come on! No! Pah! Nonsense, not ‘perfect’ – I mean that’s quite a word to be bandying about.  Perfect, genius, funny, sexy… Come on, now, stop! we get through a LOT of oranges, so this was an ideal gift.

What we love about these winter oranges is that you can’t help but be aware of every part of them – from the zing of the zest, to the sweet juiciness of the flesh, and then to the smoky aroma of the orange wood being burnt in fields and fireplaces (I’ll tell you about the blossom another time).  And so, you guessed it, we just had to create a candle.

At first, I really wanted to make it a ‘Christmas’ candle, because I’m a Christmas kind of gal and I love it.  I make no apology for it either, because I think it speaks of a happy childhood and innocent pleasures – snowy scenes, twinkly trees, advent calendars (the old-fashioned glittery sort, not chocolate), fairy lights in windows.  Literally, Cass would have fairy lights everywhere, all year.  Who would it hurt?  Lots of people do and I love visiting their houses.  She’s refreshingly simple (let’s call it that) let’s not To Cass life is binary: fairy lights good; no fairy lights bad.  ANYWAY, moving on… Even I have to admit though that there are some elements of Christmas that become… too much.  Like when you hear “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” for the nth time and instead of smiling fondly, you think crossly: “This is idiotic”.  Or the soppy TV advert that initially gives me a lump in my throat, but ultimately makes me long to watch an action movie with lots of guns.  This seasonal overkill tends to correlate directly to my mince pie consumption – the first one is so keenly anticipated and SO delicious and the last one is always one too – urgh! – many.  And I do tend to find that most Christmassy candles out there smell a bit like mince pies – and have the same effect.

Aside: generally (there are exceptions, just not many) I’m not keen on the whole ‘foodie’ thing in fragrances and candles. I don’t get it.  I blame the Americans for starting it – though I speak as someone who is a huge fan of America (don’t get me started; I’d need a whole extra website).  I went to the U.S. for the first time when I was 12 and remember being blown away walking into a store that sold soaps, candles, that kind of thing, and they smelled of BUBBLEGUM.  It was awesome.  This was in the, ahem, 70’s and unheard of on this side of the water.  Even then Cass and I were living spookily parallel lives – although, as it happens, my first memory of yummy American smells (don’t get me started on the tastes) is all to do with grape But while I loved it at the time, there is a particular sort of cloying sweetness to these types of fragrance, even in their more sophisticated incarnations and, ultimately, they give me a headache, which is not the effect I want our candles to have!

Anyway, back to the present…  It was pointed out to me (yes, by he who knows all C’mon, I said stop!) that winter lasts a lot longer than just Christmas.  Duh!  So we wanted our candle to fit snugly in with all the aforementioned Christmassy goings-on, but also to have a life of its own, away from twinkly trees and fairy lights (sniff).  For me, winter is about brisk, crunchy dog walks in a frosty park, and warm, cosy afternoons in front of a real fire.  So our Winter Oranges candle blends all the orangey notes (zest, juice, and so on) with red apple and some spice, from cinnamon to nutmeg and clove.  It’s the freshness that makes it different and uplifting, while the spices give it depth and warmth, and that makes for a fragrance that will carry you right through the winter months.  Also, if you plug it in, it will flash, in a choice of ten different flashing sequences (each more epilepsy-inducing than the last), all the way through till the following Guy Fawkes night [2]  Um, have you been drinking?

[1] Ouagadougou

[2] Every detail of this is, quite simply, made-up.

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