I find scented candles and diffusers to be a very particular taste: there are lots that I just can’t stand, and plenty that trigger sensitivity symptoms. (My skin starts flushing, my nose starts running and I get a headache. Incense and lilies are the absolute worst.) So I’m very wary about lighting a new one, and it took me a while to get round to opening the candle that Cochine sent me, in its beautiful packaging. (They come in gorgeous cream padded boxes with little tassels. Very beguiling and un-throw away-able.)
But, once opened, I was an immediate convert to their unexpected scent combinations and gentle fragrance. Both inspired by, and made in, Vietnam, the names alone sound glorious: Neroli & Frangipani, and White Jasmine & Gardenia especially appeal. They come in chic silvered glasses, which will be wonderful with tightly packed bunches of roses, once the candle has finished. (Although I’ll be waiting a while, as they last for fifty hours.)
Cochine’s founder, skincare and fragrance specialist Kate Crofton-Atkins, moved to Saigon and was enchanted by the floral scents of the city. Partnering with a fragrance house based in New York, she spent over a year working with essential oils harvested from Vietnamese plants and trees in order to produce the perfect combination of scents that would reflect Saigon. The result was Cochine, Vietnam’s first luxury fragrance brand.
The candles are made using a botanical palm oil wax that has been developed using renewable resources as an alternative to paraffin wax, and high performance lead-free cotton wicks. Cochine support sustainable farming projects, such as the Agarwood Project founded by The Rainforest Project (more information here), and use oil from certified Aquilaria Crassna trees from the Mekong Delta, botanical wax from renewable sources, PET recyclable plastic bottles, and outer packaging from over 90% recycled card.
I like them so much that I bought several as Christmas presents. (People laugh about the ubiquity of scented candles as presents, as much as they comment on their expense, but I do think they are very spoiling, and not something one is likely to buy for oneself. And, the good ones last for hours.)