I am OBSESSED with home fragrance products. As far as I’m concerned, it isn’t evening if there aren’t candles going and a gorgeous scent wafting gently though the air, and I have reed diffusers placed strategically so there are different scents in different parts of my home. I’m very sensitive to smells – because of both physiological and mental sensitivities. I have an unusually sensitive sense of smell, but as a result of my neurodivergency, I also tend to notice and be affected by smells more than most people. For a lot of neurodivergent people, any strong smell at all can be overwhelming and unpleasant, but for me, I have really strong reactions both in positive and negative ways. If I don’t like a smell, I can’t think about anything else until it’s gone. If I like a smell? It consumes me in a different way. I NEED to smell it everywhere, all the time.
So when I first discovered that there were all kinds of brilliantly talented, creative independent businesses making glorious home fragrances for me to bathe my home in? I was besotted, and several years later, here we are with a list of my favourites. So, if you’re interested in discovering the results of my ADHD hyperfixation on home fragrance products, read on!
This brand is particularly close to my heart because they’re from the Outer Hebrides, where my family are from. I’d followed them for years online and desperately wanted to try their products, but kept telling myself I’d wait until I was next on the island to visit their shop. Well, I wish I hadn’t waited. Sandwick Bay sell some of the best wax melts I’ve ever used. The depth and complexity of the scents, the way they bathe an entire room in gorgeous fragrance from just one little melt… it’s incredible. And they’re definitely the most long-lasting melts I’ve ever used – some have kept going for two, sometimes even three evenings before the scent wears out. The candles and reed diffusers are equally as fantastic – but I’ve chosen to focus on the wax melts in this post because otherwise I’d never stop talking. My favourite scents at the moment are Sandalwood & Vanilla, which is so dreamlike and smooth, perfect for cosy evenings, and Seagrass, which is both rejuvenating and relaxing at the same time – utterly enchanting. I’ll definitely do a full post on their products soon so I can go into more detail about them! But for the meantime, you can click here* to shop.
The delightfully delicate, yet room-filling fragrances of these soy wax candles are an extraordinary testament to the imagination and creativity of the co-owners of & Chai, Michelle and Louise. With crackling wooden wicks, the hand-poured candles are sold in fully recyclable glass and aluminium jars, with stylishly understated labelling – a gorgeous addition to a coffee table or desk. I’ve tried almost all of their scents, either full-sized or in tealight form and love them all, but here are a few particular favourites. The Isabelle candle is pillow-soft and comforting, with notes of ylang-ylang and vanilla, it’s perfect accompaniment for an afternoon’s work. Duvet Daze is a delicate, creamy, dreamy blend of coconut milk, cinnamon and jasmine, evoking lazy days spent curled up with a book. And Leif is so, so fresh and clean, with a woody, subtle earthiness – the perfect candle for a room full of plants.
It’s totally impossible to pick favourites with St Eval – elegant fragrances with a rustic, natural edge. To me their scents evoke a wilderness scene; coming off the windswept moors after gathering fresh botanicals, aromatic plants crushed by cold fingers, releasing the verdant fragrance of foliage, flowers, bark and fruits into the air. St Eval do the best scented tealights you’ll ever find. Tealights have an important role to play when it comes to creating an atmosphere – as they let you dot warm candlelight across a dinner table or all around a room, whilst scenting the space at the same time. I absolutely adore the wild, fresh and green Bergamot and Nettle fragrance, Bay and Rosemary is a poetic herbal fusion, Honeysuckle is pure summer distilled into wax, and I don’t think I’ll ever get over the gloriousness of the Joy scent – mimosa blended with fresh greenery, it’s a work of art that conjures a heady summer garden. And it’s not just tealights of course, they offer their abundant collection of fragrances in so many different mediums, including pillar candles, beautiful stoneware and ceramic candle vessels, and reed diffusers.
This opulent brand holds the great honour of scenting my living room – and has done for over a year, with the SAME reed diffuser. I joked to James the other day that it’s a good job we’re both in love with Plum & Ashby’s gorgeous Wild Fig & Saffron Diffuser because it’s never going to run out! This scent is a work of art – sumptuously sweet saffron and dried fruits, heady, sensual fig and enveloping vanilla, amber and wood, with a touch of leafy greenery and tart blackcurrant. So far this is the only product we’ve tried from Plum & Ashby, but pretty much everything else they make is also on our list – it’s impossible not to crave more when I spend all day everyday inhaling this stunning fragrance and never tiring of it! When I went to find the link on their website I noticed they’d had a rebrand, so naturally I’m painfully tempted to treat myself…
Ohhh what a joy this brand is. I think the picture says a thousand words when it comes to The Botanical Candle Co.’s delightful wax melts – but as wonderful as they look, it’s the fragrance that matters the most. And these fragrances… oh my. So far I’ve tried eight – and every single one has been an utter treat. My favourite at the moment is Tinder Box, which is perfect for cuddling up on the sofa on winter evenings – a sweet woody scent of tobacco leaf, black pepper and vanilla swirled together in a comfortingly cosy, smoky-spicy fragrance. Their floral scents are probably some of the best I’ve ever smelled too, and I love floral scents. Unapologetically heady, sweet and mysterious, Darjeeling and Tea Rose is the most well-balanced rose scent you’ll ever find, whilst Orange Blossom is a flawless ode to the most beautifully scented flower the earth has ever created. Late Summer is another incredible one, although I decided to save the rest of that scent until the summer months so I can enjoy it in the manner in which it was intended. With a scent of cut grass and petrichor, combined with the verdant freshness of bergamot and vetiver, sweetened by geranium and deepened by sandalwood, it’s literally August distilled into wax.
I hope you enjoyed me waxing lyrical about home fragrances, and are feeling inspired to give some new ones a try! Hopefully you’ll find a few new favourites 🤍