I’ve never written a candle review before… I had wanted to many times in the past few years, and I’ve amassed quite a collection myself, but I never got around to writing them. For a long time, I found myself trapped in a self discovery journey, where I wasn’t quite sure what sort of scent that I really enjoy for a room. Lighting a candle in itself is a therapeutic process, a signal to myself that it is time to lie back and relax. The fragrance takes awhile to permeate, and I am usually fast asleep before I get the chance to put it out. When this small miniature candle came into my possession, I was skeptical initially (the last few Diptyque candles I bought had terrible throw and took hours to fully scent the 1 meter radius I keep it within). It smelled completely innocuous – pleasant but mild – in the solid form, but once lit up, I was completely awed. By the time the hubs walked into the room and commented, “Something smells really good!”, I knew we have a winner in the new Annick Goutal L’Ile au Thé Perfumed Candle!
L’Ile au Thé is a brand new fragrance from Annick Goutal, and it is first and foremost a perfume inspired by the volcanic island of Jeju in South Korea. In celebration of its launch, Annick Goutal has also released this special limited edition perfumed candle that I am going to introduce today.
Annick Goutal was acquired by the Korean Amore Pacific Group in 2011, and the introduction of L’Ile au Thé is clearly with a view towards expanding the brand’s presence in Asia. In their search for olfactory inspiration, Artistic Director Camille Goutal and Perfumer Isabelle Doyen had travelled to Jeju island, and were struck by the contrasts between the mandarin orchards, crashing waves of the sea, and rolling hills covered with leafy tea bushes. And this formed the basis for the scent.
When I first experienced L’Ile au Thé the candle, it was a soft caress of velvety osmanthus mixed with fluffy clouds of white musk. But there is a green, almost mossy base that keeps the scent grounded and fresh. This is tea absolute, not the fragrant and sweet variety, but there is an organic sense to it, almost gritty. It provides the perfect counterpoint to the juicy, ripe notes of mandarin, and I absolutely adore it.
With high end candles, the packaging is almost as important as the wax itself. And Annick Goutal L’Ile au Thé is exceptional in this regard. When I first saw this in Escentials, I immediately picked it up. The soft matte white jar is perfectly flawless, broken only by the Goutal monogram in relief. So elegant and modern, it is a refreshing change from the ornately decorated glasses I’m used to. I must also point out something small but significant about this candle – the wick is coated with wax so it remains perfectly upright when the candle melts, such that the heat is always evenly distributed and the candle burns evenly throughout. The throw is also amazing, my tiny miniature easily filled an entire bedroom within minutes, and it lasts long after the wick is extinguished.