Sunday, December 30, 2018

Jo Malone Holiday Candle Collection

If you've followed this blog for a significant amount of time, you are probably well aware how much I love candle sets. Especially holiday candle sets. This year, the Jo Malone miniature candle collection had my favorite, Sweet Almond & Macaroon so I decided to go for it.

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All of these scents I have tried before, with the exception of the Grapefruit Home Candle. That I will have to give my impression of cold sniff, but let me talk a bit about the scents.

 The Jo Malone Grapefruit Home Candle is a lovely, fresh scent. The Grapefruit Cologne has never been a personal favorite, as I don't wear citrus scents all that often, but the candle scent is lovely, fresh and a bit sweet at the same time.

Jo Malone London describes the scent as "Abundant grapefruit groves in coastal Spain. Rosemary, peppermint and pimento add perfect piquancy to grapefruit's bright and sunny nature. Uplifting and refreshing. To uplift, to wind down, or simply to add an air of luxury. Transform the atmosphere with luxury and opulence."

This is a lovely, classic scent that could be burned year-round to bring light and fresh life into your home. I appreciate the candle form of this scent much more than the Cologne.

The only truly "holiday" scent included in this collection is Frosted Cherry & Clove, but it is one of the best Jo Malone holiday Home Candle scents, and I wish it would be offered year 'round, as I much prefer this scent to other holiday offerings.

Frosted Cherry & Clove is both sweet and spicy, and is reminiscent of a fruitcake, at a time when fruitcake was a high treat during the Yuletide season. The brief description I was able to find for the Frosted Cherry & Clove Deluxe Candle says "Celebrate winter with a uniquely seasonal flourish. Frosted Cherry and Clove is rich with winter spices to fulfill your festive dream. Notes: clove, cherry, cinnamon, amber."

Although I wouldn't wish this as a Cologne Scent (I don't really want to smell like fruitcake) it is perfect for home gatherings during this festive season.

Peony & Blush Suede is the other Home Scent also available in Jo Malone Cologne form. This is, without a doubt, one of the best sellers when it comes to the Cologne, and is also (surprise, surprise) one of the Cologne scents I don't particularly care for. However, the Candle scent is lovely, a soft, slightly floral, warm scent.

Jo Malone describes the Home Candle as "The essence of charm. Peonies in voluptuous bloom, exquisitely fragile. Flirtatious with the juicy bite of red apple and the opulence of jasmine, rose and gillyflower. Mingling with the sensuality of soft, blush suede. Luxurious and seductive. To uplift, to wind down, or simply to add an air of luxury. Transform the atmosphere with luxury and opulence."

This would be a lovely scent for a relaxing, luxurious bubble bath.

My favorite Home Candle scent that Jo Malone does, and the main reason I wanted to get my hands on this scent. Sweet Almond & Macaroon is delicious, gourmand, sweet but also warm. It is, honestly, my perfect Home scent. It is not often included in sets like this, along with it's counterpart Green Tomato Leaf, and I was thrilled to see it. This is only available in Candle scent, although I would wear it as Cologne.

Jo Malone describes this as "Delectable macaroon. A comforting confection of sweet almond and creamy coconut. Rich with cherries. Softened by vanilla. Warm and cocooning." and that is a very apt description. Macaroons are NOT macarons, and are made with coconut. That scent component keeps this candle light and sweet without being a heavy gourmand. Sweet Almond has the cunning ability to be both enhancing and transforming of the other scents, and the is an all-around beautiful, underrated Candle scent.

The final selection is Green Tomato Leaf, another permanent Home Candle scent in the Jo Malone catalog. Like Sweet Almond & Macaroon it fills a very specific niche - specifically the niche for those who want a very verdant, fresh Home Candle scent.

It's difficult to describe Green Tomato Leaf to someone who hasn't smelled it and the best I can do is that it smells exactly like you are probably imagining. Jo Malone describes it as thus - "Glasshouse tomatoes. Earthy, leafy and full of sunshine. Crisp with stem-green galbanum. Lively with artemesia, fruity with cassis, resting on a cushion of moss. Tangy and evocative."

Tangy. Evocative. Yes. Not a scent for everyone, which is why I was so happy to see it in this year's sampler. Because it is not available in Travel Candle, you're taking a risk if you buy the Home Candle un-sniffed. If you love Green Tomato Leaf though, you will love it.

This selection of candle scents is exceptionally well-rounded, in my opinion. Unlike past collections which have been limited to best sellers or well-known scents, Jo Malone chose to include a true olfactory variety in the 2018 Holiday Miniature Candle collection, and for that reason alone I would recommend the set to and home fragrance lover. In my personal preference, the substitution of Pomegranate Noir for Peony & Blush Suede would have made this set perfect, but I can see why they didn't.

However - I have one major caveat with this collection and that is the price. Unless you are buying as a gift, or to sample the home scents not readily available in upmarket retailers, for the price, you are not getting the best deal.

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Each of the Mini Candles weighs in at just 35g - not an unheard of size. Diptyque, who makes candles of similar price and quality regularly offers 35g mini candles as purchase incentives or in sets similar to this. The difference is in price. The last diptyque set I purchased retailed for $75 USD. Now, perhaps we're taking inflation into account, but honestly, that is a much more reasonable price. The brings each 35g candle to $15 USD - a fair price for the quality. A standard diptyque candles is 190g and runs $65 - 175g total weight for $10 more is reasonable considering you are getting a selection.

However, the math doesn't work as well with Jo Malone, because now you are paying $20 USD per 35g candle. The Home Candles run $67 USD with the exception of Frosted Cherry & Clove, which is only available as a Deluxe Candle and will set you back about $200. perhaps that inclusion justifies the price, that would be up to you to decide. The Jo Malone Home Candles are 200g each and run $67 USD - If your interest is in only one or two scents (excluding Frosted Cherry & Clove) you are better off just purchasing the scents of your choice. 175g total weight is now $32 USD more than a 200g candle. The mini candles are truly mini, as well - don't be fooled into thinking you will get a set of five travel candles - at 60g the Travel Candles seem small, but the minis are almost half the size.

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For comparison's sake here is the mini candle next to a sample of skin care, in rather chunky packaging. This is a .5oz skin care sample in packaging nearly the same width and height of the 35g Mini Candle.

I'm not trying to turn anyone off the set, but as a reviewer it is my duty to make sure anyone who is considering buying this set understands what they will be getting.

Pros: Three scents difficult to find in other sets, one holiday exclusive. Lovely packaging and travel friendly. You can use these little babies anywhere.

Cons: Price per candle is steep, Frosted Cherry & Clove is a holiday limited scent that is sold out most places online.

All in all, my take would be to buy this set if you were so inclined It is still available at (at the time of this writing) and is a lovely gift for any candle or home fragrance fan. I hope they do another set like this next year, but for perhaps a bit less $$$. Final verdict - ♦♦♦♦

Lots of Love,
Holly G.