Simple pleasures. I’ve come to realise they’re so much better than the big, flashy ones.
I’ll take a bike ride with the kids over a big night out any day; my perfect weekend would include a pilates class, a book and the latest Netflix series ready and willing to binge watch.
One of the things I do every Monday morning is pick myself two fresh bunches of honeysuckle, one for my home office and one for my bedroom (it grows over our fence and into our back garden via the neighbour’s vine – thanks neighbour!). The fragrance fills the entire room, and it literally makes me happy all day. At night, I open the bedroom door and the smell envelops me in a cloud of perfume. Divine.
I think I love it so much because it reminds me of growing up in New Zealand, where honeysuckle used to grow wild in deliciously scented tangles of cream and yellow flowers. Our back garden was full of it, as well as jasmine and daphne and orange blossom, and every time I went home I used to take huge bundles of it back home to my little flat in the city.
It’s evocative and familiar and comforting and just makes me feel happy. So much so, I’ve been searching forever for a jasmine or honeysuckle scented candle that truly captures the scent of my favourite florals. Some have come close – I adore Jo Malone’s Peony and Blush Suede and it’s my all-time favourite perfume, but there’s no way I can justify spending nearly £50 for the candle.
I’m super particular about fragrances, and if something isn’t 100% perfect I find I literally can’t bear the smell. So many times I’ll buy a candle because it had everything looking for on the label, but as soon as I light it I realise it’s just not right. The fragrance is too weak or too sickly sweet, or smells synthetic, or it’s just not floral enough.
I was really excited to be asked by Cocochi to try a hand-poured soy candle from their new range, but a teensy bit nervous too. When it came to selecting one of the fragrances it was a no-brainer – their Davana candle, combining orchard fruits, honeysuckle, rose, jasmine and oakmoss, could have been tailor-made for me.
But what if I still didn’t like it?
It looked lovely when it arrived in a classy matt-black glass jar with a wooden lid. Removing the top released a deliciously floral perfume – but I knew the real test was in lighting the candle…
I was THRILLED to discover that the fragrance didn’t just stay authentic to its ingredients, it actually smelled even more amazing. It was classy and elegant – more like a spray of expensive perfume than the ‘air freshener’ aroma given off by a lot of other candles (and I’m not just talking the pocket-friendly ones).
It was sweet, but not too much so – a perfectly balanced blend of florals, with a fresh twist of citrus. The fragrance filled my home office, and lingered in the air for ages – long after I’d snuffed out the wick. Usually I get bored of continually smelling the same scent, but in this case I couldn’t get enough of it and kept stopping by the honeysuckle scented candle to inhale even more of its delicious perfume.
I also loved the ethos of Cocochi; every hand-poured soy candle is made from the highest quality, natural wax, using cruelty-free fragrance and essential oils, and clean-burning cotton wicks.
The five different scents are totally unique and created exclusively for the UK company. As well as the Davana I chose, the range includes Tuscan (cardamom, violet lemon, mandarin, violet and guaiacwood), Manor (clove, patchouli, incense, almond and labdanum), Juillet (green leaf, jasmine, tuberose, peony and lily) and Amble (cassis, clove, patchouli, cedarwood and vetivert).
Also pleasantly surprising was the price – just £18 for a 175g hand-poured soy Cocochi candle with a burn time of 30+ hours.
An entirely justifiable luxury me-time treat.
• please take a moment to read about Billie Bacall’s passion project, ‘I Am Your Friend – a Book of Hope’