Amongst several other things, I am obsessed with candles. Every evening, I light a different one in my study. It accentuates my mood. And it is a civilised way of leading one's life. Such an obsession means that we have a formidable stock of candles at home. And I get them from various parts of the world.
Here are five of my favourites.
1. Cire Trudon
In the 17th century, candles had become a symbol of luxury. That's when the blokes at Cire Trudon established their business. Their candles are rich and opulent. Fiercely expensive as well. Wretches! But they are steeped in loveliness. My personal favourite is the one called Pondicherry -- ginger flirting furiously with zests of lemon and vetiver.
Jackie Kennedy lit these at The White House. I am told that Prince Charles still does. I certainly do. That's where the similarity starts and ends. Rigaud candles are wickedly wonderful. I swoon over the Cyprès one. A delicious threesome of cedar, lavender and pine needles.
3. Le Labo
When I was a tad younger, I loved their colognes and aftershaves. But now having moved on in age, its Le Labo candles that do it for me. I burn these in my office during meetings with pleasant people. In particular, what drives me bananas is their Laurier 62 candle. It has 52 ingredients in it. It is chaotic and calming. Equally charming is their Figue 15.
4. A Dose of Something Good
Is their Orange Flower Tattoo the greatest jasmine candle known to man and monster? I should think so. This is delightful stuff. Equally fantastic is their Kamadeva's Arrow. A Dose of Something Good is available at my favourite store in the world: Keeper's in Singapore.
First, allow me to share the bitter truth: candles in India know Jack. They barely even know Jill. There is a brand called Niana that does some half lovely things but there is only one brand from India that does it for me - No-Mad. Their Gilaas Candles come in lassi glass-style containers. The wax is 100% soy. The wicks are 100% cotton. In particular, I find Nimrukti very soul-satisying: cloves and orange in a torrid affair. Equally compelling is Nisadi: a burst of bergamot, cedar and neroli.
So there's my burning discourse on candles.
Why smell the coffee when there's patchouli to be smelt?