Style Beauty

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Ruth Griffin: Light up your Christmas... with feel-good fragranced candles


Beauty expert Ruth Griffin. Photo: Naomi Gaffey.
Beauty expert Ruth Griffin. Photo: Naomi Gaffey.
Skinfull affairs
Pippa Collection
Tipperary Crystal
Sarah Miller
Ruth Griffin

Ruth Griffin

With party season now firmly upon us, our clothes, our make-up and our homes are given free rein to sparkle and shine. And what better way to combat the cold and dark, and create some festive feeling, than with cosy fires, twinkling lights and the warm glow of candles?

With party season now firmly upon us, our clothes, our make-up and our homes are given free rein to sparkle and shine. And what better way to combat the cold and dark, and create some festive feeling, than with cosy fires, twinkling lights and the warm glow of candles?

Plenty of you will light a festive scented candle in the next few weeks, but they're not just for use at Christmas. I use candles in my home all year round - I light some tea lights (Murphy's Tea Lights, €5 for 80, are great) and one scented candle from lovely Meath brand The Handmade Soap Company (see natural choices below) or Voluspa (from €17, every evening. This little ritual makes me feel cosy and chilled out. There's actually a solid scientific reason for this: the orange glow from candles triggers our melatonin (sleepy hormone) so they are great antidotes to the blue light from our devices that makes us feel 'wired and tired'.

Choose scented candles with cotton wicks - they allow better diffusion of the scent. Vegetable wax is a more ecologically friendly choice than mineral wax, but the scent may not last as long. Place your candle on a strong, heat- resistant surface, away from fabrics. If you have more than one candle in the same room, space them 3in apart so they don't melt each other!

The first time you light a candle, let it burn for around three hours if possible, to ensure that the perfume is integrated into the wax. After that, light your candle for 30 minutes to three hours maximum. After using your candle, trim the wick so that it's one-eighth of an inch long. This will make sure that it burns evenly when next lit.

Below are my picks of the best candles to treat yourself to - or to gift - this festive season.


Seasonal scents

The Pippa Collection Warming Winter Pine Candle, €42

Pippa Collection

Lifestyle maven Pippa O'Connor has turned her very fashionable hand to homewares and launched her own line of candles. This Warming Winter Pine Candle (above) will add that Christmassy, cosy vibe to your house, whether you have a real tree or not! From Brown Thomas and

Lily Flame Christmas Pudding Scented Candle, €12.60

A truly scrumptious, sweet and warming candle with a hint of spice - that may make you a bit peckish! This smallish candle actually has an impressive burn time of 35 hours. From Debenhams and selected pharmacies nationwide.

Elemis Joyful Glow Candle, €38.50

This candle will really give you that contented, cosy, can't-get-off-the-couch Christmas Day feeling, with its vanilla, orange and cinnamon scent and 40 hours' burning time. It comes in a re-usable glass jar - and looks like a gorgeous Christmas decoration! From Elemis spas, Debenhams, Harvey Nichols and The Spa at The Shelbourne, Dublin.

Diptyque Sapin (Pine Tree) Candle, €32

Diptyque are candle masters and will be on many a Christmas wish list! The Pine Tree Candle is an unusual mix of woody and citrus aromas, as the pine resin crystals are also infused with mandarin. Gorgeous! From Brown Thomas,, Space NK and The Loop.


Irish-made picks

Max Benjamin Cloves & Cinnamon Candle, €24.95

This Irish company never fails to deliver a gorgeous, natural and beautiful-smelling candle. This Clove & Cinnamon option is the most gorgeous Christmas offering. From Arnotts, Avoca, Brown Thomas, Kilkenny Shop, Carraig Donn, Meadows & Byrne and

Voya Seasonal Spice Candle, €27


Sensually sweet orange and spicy cinnamon is balanced by earthy clove and deep woody undertones in this option (above). From Kilkenny stores nationwide, Voya spas and


Budget buy

Aldi Luxury Collection Deluxe Hurricane Candle, €24.99 


This luxe four-wick candle-in-a-glass is HUGE! People are going crazy for these. Try Pomegranate (No. 3, above) or Lime, Basil & Mandarin (No. 1). If you prefer, you can choose the smaller individual candles for €4.99 each, or €11.99 for a beautifully packaged trio of candles. From Aldi stores.


Stocking fillers

Tipperary Crystal Christmas Berries Filled Tumbler Candle, €13

Tipperary Crystal

This beautifully packaged candle (above) is a perfect Christmas gift if you're looking for a stocking-filler. Warm, sweet and seasonal-smelling, and the tumbler can be re-used. From Arnotts, Kilkenny Shop, Carraig Donn, pharmacies nationwide and

AromaWorks Nurture Candle, €18

With may chang, Roman chamomile and a soothing base of sandalwood, this Nurture candle is a brilliant gift for the beauty buff in your life for his/her next pampering night! From Debenhams nationwide, Holland & Barrett and


Candles as skincare

Neom Organics Intensive Skin Treatment Candle in Tranquillity, €43


This is a multi-tasking candle (above) that can also be used as a skin moisturiser. Brilliant idea! It is specially formulated to care for dry, stressed skin in need of extra nourishment. You simply light the scented candle and, after the wax has melted and you've blown the flame out, you massage it into your skin as a deeply nourishing skin hydrator. The candle is made from skin-friendly cocoa butter and almond oil, and the wholly natural Neom Tranquillity fragrance. From Marks & Spencer, Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Seagreen, and Neom spas nationwide.


Natural choices

Skinfull Affairs 100pc Natural Orange & Cinnamon Candle, €19.95

Skinfull affairs

Skinfull Affairs is a fully "conscious cosmetics" shop that makes the most lovely, handmade, 100pc soy wax candles. This Christmassy offering (above) is scented of orange and warm cinnamon, and has an impressive burn time of 30 hours. A great gift for the vegan natural-skincare lover in your life. From Skinfull Affairs, Wicklow Street, Dublin 2, or

The Handmade Soap Company Kindness Comes Naturally Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg & Pine Candle, €15.95

From Meadows & Byrne, Avoca, Carraig Donn and

Field Apothecary Lichen Candle (Nettle, Clover, Thyme), €40

Field Apothecary is a range of essential oil-based, soy wax, natural candles. Made in Ireland with up to 11 essential oils in each one, Field Apothecary Irish candles are hand-poured in small batches in the rolling hills of Co Down. This Lichen candle has hints of orange, bergamot and thyme. From Arnotts, Industry & Co and

Unisex choices

Rituals Wild Fig Candle, €31.50  

Rituals is a skincare and wellness brand that has long been loved by men and women alike for its soulful approach to skin treatments. The Wild Fig candle (below) has an earthy, grounded aroma with the teeny-tiniest amount of sweetness - just enough floral to appeal to all tastes. In many Eastern countries, the fig is associated with fertility and virility, so that might help convince some men to indulge! From Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Debenhams, The Loop, Rituals stores, and €29.50 from


YSL Tuxedo Candle, €75

Some major perfume brands have turned their bestselling scents into candles for the home. A gorgeous option is the YSL Tuxedo Candle from their iconic unisex fragrance, Le Vestiaire. From Brown Thomas.

Luxury buys

Fornasetti Profumi L'Eclaireuse Scented Candle, €170


This chic candle comes in a quirky container (above) that can be kept forever and houses Fornasetti's new fragrance, Mistero - a warm, woody and spicily aromatic scent. A big treat for your home or a loved one who adores their candles (this boasts a burn time of up to 60 hours). From The Marvel Room at Brown Thomas.

Sisley Rose Candle, €60

This luxe skincare brand has created a candle using their signature rose ingredients and scent. The candle's burgundy lacquered glass case is stunning enough to keep too. From Brown Thomas, Debenhams and

Jo Malone Christmas Miniature Candle Set, €82

A gorgeous set of miniature scented candles from the cult classic scented candle and fragrance maker. From Brown Thomas.

Decorative options

Voluspa Crisp Champagne Decorative Tin Candle, €30

This coconut wax scented candle is a mainstay in my home. I LOVE the design of the tin and they come in so handy after the candle has gone! It smells divine too, with a woody and vanilla base. All Voluspa scented candles are made without phthalates, parabens, sulphates or animal testing and have 100pc cotton wicks for a clean, long-lasting burn. From Avoca, House of Fraser,, and reduced to €24 at Debenhams.

Sara Miller Grapefruit, Tonca & Yuzu Candle, €29

Sarah Miller

This 100pc natural soy wax candle (above) is hand-poured and emanates an uplifting, zesty scent. Set in a gold-lined glass, it gives a really chilled-out, relaxed glow when lit. From Brown Thomas, Arnotts, Seagreen and

Peppermint Grove Lemongrass & Lime Candle, €14.95

Some people aren't crazy about the warm, spicy and woody scents in Christmas candles. If you're looking for a refreshing all-year candle, this is just divine-smelling - so uplifting and clean-scented. And the gorgeous cut crystal container it comes in is so elegant-looking for use after the candle has gone. Just lovely! From pharmacies nationwide.

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