About twenty years ago I was wandering down Walton Street in London when I came upon a little perfume shop called Jo Malone. It had just opened, and the fragrances were so pure and unique, and the packaging so simple, that it was a revelation. I bought as much as I thought I could stuff into my suitcase, not realizing that Jo Malone perfumes were too good an idea to remain in a tiny shop in west London for long. The rest, as they say, is history – but I had a similar experience in London last week, and I want to pass this on as our little secret, until it blows up in the same way that Jo Malone perfumes did.
My daughter and I were walking down a little mews, looking for a cab, when we happened upon a pristine, welcoming two-room shop with the most glorious fragrance emanating from the open door. It was Rachel Vosper’s candle shop. Some scents are entirely unique, and some are just the best examples of a classic fragrance, like French lavender, that I’ve ever smelled. The containers are simple and beautiful – and you can send them back to her and she will refill them for you. And you can bring her any container you like, and she will fill it with the candle fragrance of your choice. Isn’t that an incredibly good idea?
Rachel herself was hard at work in the back room, finishing off a tableful of elegant candles, and we had a nice chat. I bought one of her leather candle holders and slipped the Hellebores candle into it, and its scent is the essence of spring in my office. I’m slightly obsessed with it, and I encourage you to go to her website and just enjoy it. It’s a unique pleasure to find an artisan who excels at their vocation and makes every design element a thing of beauty. It’s a gift in itself, really, just to observe – but buy the candles too. You will love them.
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