From hostess gifts to treasures under the tree, a candle is just the kind of small luxury that makes the perfect present. To elevate this kind of gift-giving to an art form, however, it pays to take a few extra moments to really consider the tastes of your recipient.
Just as choosing a perfume for someone else requires a certain amount of research, so too does pinpointing the perfect candle. LUMIRA founder and creative director Almira Armstrong shares her best advice for getting it right.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
According to Armstrong, “The first step to choosing a candle they will love is understanding the olfactory tastes of your recipient”. The obvious way to do this is by surreptitiously looking at the scents they’re currently burning at home. While there may be a mix, you should start to see certain patterns emerge. Are they partial to the juicy burst of sweetness mixed with earthy undertones that accompanies a fig scent? Or do they appreciate the soft and comforting notes of coconut or vanilla?
If you haven’t yet visited their home, you can also get an idea of their taste from the perfume they choose to wear themselves.
“Whether they prefer mysterious orientals or light and breezy rose scents, if someone keeps certain notes close to them, chances are they will also appreciate the same styles for their home,”
— says Armstrong.
EVOKE AN EXPERIENCE
“Scent has the magical ability to immediately transport us to another place and time,” explains Armstrong. “Capitalise on this power by selecting one that you know will resonate with a special time in the recipient’s life.” Sicilian Citrus becomes a daily reminder of that long, lost summer they spent in Italy; DUBH by Luc evokes the night you spent together under the stars.
Similarly, the right scent can also be a harbinger of an adventure that’s yet to come. What better way to spur their excitement for an impending tropical holiday than with the heady notes of Balinese Ylang Ylang?
CONSIDER THEIR DECOR
One of the greatest contributions a candle can make is to complement and enhance an interior style or atmosphere. “Selecting a candle that matches your recipient’s style shows a real thoughtfulness – you’ve taken the extra time to consider how the scent will fit into their corner of the world.”
For those who cultivate an easy beachside vibe at home, decorating with plenty of rattan and white, Armstrong recommends the fresh and summery Tonic of Gin. If their rooms are all dark leather and rich textures, Arabian Oud is an ideal complement. For more decor-inspired choices, see our Journal article on choosing the right candle for any setting.
Written by Michelle Bateman