Monday, February 13, 2017

How to Choose Your Own Personal Candle Scent

Hi All!  This post was slate to be a  Friday Fun Stuff post.  I became immersed in the research so I had to turn it into a full blown post.  I have been on the hunt for a good candle since I put my Christmas stuff away. This post came about out of  my own frustration.  I love a beautifully scented candle but I loathe a "faux" over scented sweet one. I have two prerequisites when candle searching.  I have to LOVE the fragrance and I want the candle itself to blend with my decor (difficult, yes).

To resolve the blending in with the decor issue; I FINALLY had a "come to jesus" moment. A pretty container to house the candle will solve half of the equation.  Here are a few that I like.  If you have more of a rustic farm house look this one is great.  The best news is you get two for a little over $20 with shipping and you can fill one of them with flowers or feathers as I did here.

I own both of  these.  They have just a slight metallic cast but  they don't look too "holidayish"  and they will house a 4 x 4 candle.



Scented candles can create mood and atmosphere just as effectively as music and lighting. Different scents can help you transition your space from season to season and room to room.  The entry is a great place to establish a "fragrance story" that is your own. 
The right fragrance will draw people in. 

Light, fresh citrus scents are perfect for spring and summer,  Spicy earthy scents compliment a crackling fire in fall and winter. Clean herbal scents can calm or revitalize your mood.  Scent is extremely personal. Understand what you like and seek out scents that attract you.  Start by identifying a fragrance family that appeals to you.

Sandlewood, cedar, patchouli, leather, smoke, moss

Killy of the valley, tuberose, rose, jasmine, etc.

Orange Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon

Grassy, Herbal, Clean notes

Edible Dessert like Scents

Aromatherapy can 'enhance your psycholigical and physical well being". To further confuse you most fragrances have three notes: top, middle, and bottom notes. “Plain, simple, and delicate notes, such as citrus and some florals, do not translate well and can be altered by heat.” These notes  below might help you further refine your selection:

Scents to Relieve Anger: Chamomile, Jasmine, Patchouli, Rose and Ylang-ylang.
Scents to Relieve Anxiety: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cypress, Frankincense, Hyssop, Lavender, Marjoram, Myrrh, Neroli, Orange, Peach, Rose, Rose Geranium and Violet Leaf.
Scents to Increase Confidence: Frankincense, Jasmine, Patchouli and Sandalwood.
Scents to Ease Depression: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Neroli, Orange, Petitgrain, Rose Geranium, Sandalwood, Tangerine and Ylang-ylang.
Scents to Improve Memory: Bay Laurel, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon and Rosemary.

I like to have a candle and a diffuser with the same scent in the powder room. My go to in the 20+ dollar range (aren't candles getting pricey?) is Red Currant  from Votivo.  Votivo has been around since the late 80's and although they aren't currently one of those being pushed, they still make a great candle.

Red Currant No. 96 by Votivo



A new favorite introduced to me by Marsha from one of my favorite local shops Tancredi & Morgan is the Tatine line. If you are local you can pick one up there.  They are a little pricey but wonderful.  If you aren't local you can buy them on Amazon.  I am currently burning Celebration Day.  I find it is a good bridge between winter & spring. (orange blossom, neroli & pine bark), 

Experiment with layering scents once you find your favorite.  You might want a clean scent in your kitchen, something more soothing in the living room, and something that won't compete with what you are eating in the dining room or none at all.

I generally prefer something fresh, citrusy, or herbal.  I do like a woody, mossy scent in the winter months,  Anything sweet or overly flowery does not appeal to me personally.   Another old standby that actually has floral notes is Arugula by Archipelago.


Don't let the name fool you I am not sure it smells like arugula.  I would describe it as a floral, herbal, grassy mix.  If that helps at all.

I am anxious to get your recommendations.  I feel like all of the candles that are being peddled in the stores now do not appeal to me personally. What do you look for in a candle?  Do you have a favorite? I know I can always count on you guys for great recommendations so bring them on!!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Great Regional Magazines-San Francisco Cottages and Gardens

While working on a current project I came across a lovely kitchen that had been featured in SF Cottages and Gardens  This prompted me to take a closer look. I am continually impressed with the content of the regional magazines since many of our national publications have disappeared.   The Cottages and Gardens franchise seems to be doing a great job in the areas they cover.  Let's take a look at our local version. 
The most recent publication features this gorgeous home in Sonoma by the Amazing Backen, Gillam and Kroeger.  I wrote about Howard Backen's book here.  My favorite book of all time.  If you don't have it in your library you should.  You can buy it here.

The design team devised three modern barn structures that enable the homeowners to rest and recharge.:

Some of my favorite spaces from past issues
Architect Ken Lindsteadt and designer Marie Turner Carson undertook a renovation that would respect the home:

Atop Telegraph Hill, leading designers transform the 2016 San Francisco Decorator Showcase house into a chic contemporary home.:

Vibrant paper in bedroom alcove Locust-05:
Tour a Historic Church Transformed into a Cozy Family Home:
Atop Telegraph Hill, leading designers transform the 2016 San Francisco Decorator Showcase house into a chic contemporary home.:
Jeff and Tray Schlarb, the design duo behind Green Couch, create a contemporary oasis for their young family.:

Andrea Cochran Transforms the Grounds of an Atherton Property into a Sublime Formal Garden:

If you would like to see more gorgeousness or  subscribe you can go here.