I was in London at the weekend and I'd tweeted several times expressing my intent to buy a Diptyque candle; I'd seen them on various different blogs - each review raving about how good they were and how wonderful they smelt. I was expecting great things, especially for the £20 price tag for the smallest candle. I walked into the home department of Selfridges and started picking up each candle to see which one was my favourite. I smelt each one several times, but none of them jumped out at me as being an outstanding scent; Feu de Bois was one which I found particularly 'odd' shall we say - why would you want a log fire smell in your house, when you don't have a log fire? Some of them were nice but not '£20 for a small candle' nice, I considered Baies, Pomander and Ambre but then I turned around and realised there was a Neom stand; another candle brand I've been dying to try for ages.
Neom pride themselves on using only organic and natural ingredients in their candle, whereas it's actually quite difficult to find out what Diptyque put into their candles - which suggests to me that they're synthetic (please correct me if I'm wrong, and point me in the direction of some information about this!). I went around the Neom stand smelling their candles, their fragrances are equally as strong and bold as Diptyque and some of them I really did not like but I finally found one which stood out to me as being the perfect home fragrance for me. The travel candles are £5 cheaper than the small Diptyque candles but they do have a shorter burn time (Diptyque mini candles burn for around 30 hours, Neom travel candles will burn for around 20 hours) so this was a bit of a deal breaker for me - I had to have the Neom one instead.
I chose 'Serenity' which is vanilla and sandalwood; it's not as overpowering as some of the others I smelled. Vanilla can sometimes be a little overbearing in a candle but the sandalwood seems to tone it down to a gorgeously soft relaxing scent. Neom only make their candles with vegetable wax and pure essential oils which means that they burn without releasing harmful chemicals, toxins or soot. The black ring you usually get round a candle - yep that's due to all the artificial ingredients in a candle, and you're breathing all those artificial toxins too.
I've burnt mine for 12 hours so far and there has been no sight of any soot or blackening of the glass - it's burnt so cleanly; I've never seen a candle burn so clean! I have my travel candle in my front room which isn't a big room but maybe a little too big for a travel candle as they are more suited to small rooms such as bathrooms. Nevertheless the candle enveloped the room with the beautiful scent of a spicy kind of vanilla. For a small candle it packed a punch in terms of the scent it emitted; it fragranced the room far better than any Yankee Candle I've had.
Don't get me wrong, Neom is an expensive brand and I'm not normally one for spending a fortune on candle; I often think you'd get more enjoyment out of burning £5 notes but with this I have really been converted to organic candles. The essential oils content is so apparent and I absolutely love it. When I've finished this I just know I'll want to buy a 3 wick candle, it's a luxury that I'm going to make sure I save money for!
I do wonder whether some people buy Diptyque because they actually like the candles or whether they buy them just to say they have a Diptyque candle and they can take pretty blog photographs with it - surely people wouldn't be so daft?!