Abstract scents: cinematic candles and more

However much we fill our houses with the familiar vanillas and sandalwoods of this world, home fragrance is now coming up against a new trend: abstract scents. The smell of a favorite movie, of the evening compared with the morning, and even of rain, are not definitive smells. Creating a scent based on a time or event takes home-fragrance to a new level of aromatic experience – and companies like Tête à Tête Incendere, Pipkin&Co, Haeckels and Cire Trudon are doing just that.

long-lasting metallic luxury case.
The Tête à Tête Incendere candles now come in a long-lasting metallic luxury case. Replacement refill waxes are also available
(Image credit: Vicki Kim)

However much we fill our houses with the familiar vanillas and sandalwoods of this world, home fragrance is now coming up against a new trend: abstract scents. The smell of a favorite movie, of the evening compared with the morning, and even of rain, are not definitive smells. Creating a scent based on a time or event takes home-fragrance to a new level of aromatic experience.

Syndey-based designer Vicki Kim creates candles – under the name Tête à Tête Incendere (opens in new tab) – that evoke films. The films chosen for Kim's candles are not necessarily chosen for their 'host-abililty' – rather they were ones where the atmosphere was so palpable that she could smell it. Kim experienced a form of synaesthesia that allowed her to 'smell' movies, an experience she wanted to share with others. The tobacco and patchouli in her 'Great Expectations' candle evokes Ms Havisham's grand house (specifically, that in Alfonso Cuarón's 1998 realisation of the novel).

Fresh tones representing Benjamin Braddock's naive purview combined with the sensuous and worldlier fragrance of Mrs Robinson to form 'The Graduate' candle, Kim's inaugural release. The collection has recently experienced a revamp in design, including luxury metallic cases.

In a similarly abstracted approach to scent making, Suzanne Sales, founder of Pipkin&Co (opens in new tab), has created a soy-wax candle range based on the Danish cultural ritual of burning candles in the morning, day and evening. 'Morgen' (morning) is a refreshing cucumber and wasabi mix, while 'Aften' (evening) factors seaweed and juniper tones. Sales has taken this tradition one step further by introducing her citrus daytime scent 'Dag'. Previously only locally available, Pipkin&Co has recently launched online.

Abstract candles don't stop there: Margate-based brand Haeckels (opens in new tab) have created the 'Cliftonville Rain Candle' based around the smell of rain in the Kentish seaside town. Company founder Dom Bridges has expressed a fond obsession with 'the smell of rain hitting dry concrete'. 'It's different in different countries: humidity and the type of earth all playing part in the overall aroma,' he explains. 'The candle contains concrete particles, chalk, sea lavender, earth, salt water and seaweed to create the scent of a coastal promenade as the rain comes in.'

If you're not ready for more adventurously scented investments, just start with the matches. Further frontiers in the world of home fragrance have been conquered by Cire Trudon (opens in new tab), who have released matches scented in line with their home fragrance collections. One strike and the fragrance is out.

Raise the Red Lantern and 'The Blue Lagoon

The Tête à Tête Incendere range includes aromatic representations of 'The Graduate', 'Great Expectations', 'Raise the Red Lantern' and 'The Blue Lagoon'

(Image credit: Vicki Kim)

the cinematic candle

The design of the cinematic candle range has recently been overhauled for a more luxury look

(Image credit: Vicki Kim)

the Danish ritual of burning candles

The 'Morgen', 'Dag' and 'Aften' candles by Pipkin&Co are based on the Danish ritual of burning candles throughout the day

(Image credit: Pipkin&Co)

Cliftonville Rain Candle

Haeckels' 'Cliftonville Rain Candle' has been made to recreate the smell of the rain on Margate's promenade

(Image credit: Haeckels)

This trend has even spread as far as scented matches

This trend has even spread as far as scented matches. Cire Trudon produce five different kinds

(Image credit: Cire Trudon)

INFORMATION

Cinematic candles, Tête à Tête Incendere, £33 ($70 AUD); ’Morgen’, ’Dag’ and ’Aften’ candles, Pipkin&Co, £20; ’Cliftonville Rain Candle’, Haeckels, £50; scented matches, Cire Trudon, £11

For more information visit Tête à Tête Incendere (opens in new tab)Pipkin&Co (opens in new tab)Haeckels (opens in new tab) and Cire Trudon (opens in new tab)