When LUMIRA founder Almira Armstrong visited Sicily in the summer of 2003, she had no idea this tiny island would leave such an indelible impact. “I loved waking up early and walking the streets prior to it getting busy, taking in the sights and smells of the sea with the land,” Armstrong recalls. “I’d walk through the fresh markets of Catania in the mornings and then spend afternoons along the beach, from Noto to Taormina.”
Long after the holiday ended, the experience would continue to infiltrate her memories: the dazzling sea along the coastline; the rocky cliffs topped with lush flora; but most of all, the breeze that brought with it the scent of blood-orange orchards and wild herbs, spiked with the heady perfume of neroli and tuberose. It’s thought that oranges were first introduced to Sicily by Arabs in the ninth and 10th centuries, and for hundreds of years, the island’s combination of climate and landscape has seen it produce some of the finest citrus fruits in the world. Most notable among them, of course, is the eponymous Sicilian blood orange, known for its deep red flesh and juice.
Ten years after her Sicilian holiday, Armstrong would channel her memories into the creation of the Sicilian Citrus candle. “It was always a scent that I was drawn to, I think it was with me since my very first visit,” she says. “It still brings back so many amazing memories of that summer on this beautiful island.”
Citrus scents can often be light and fleeting, however this one is deepened and grounded by a floral musk base. White flowers – jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom – bring a headiness to the middle notes, while delicate citrus dances across the top. This is an undeniably uplifting scent, and one that manages to evoke the spirit of summer all year round. Armstrong likes to burn Sicilian Citrus before hosting guests, as it very quickly sets the mood and freshens the atmosphere.
Written by Michelle Bateman