Review: Valley Mill Christmas Candles

We were sent a selection of candles from Valley Mill for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

As soon as the clocks go back at the end of October, I start lighting scented candles in the evening. There’s something about having a few flickering candles which make the place feel cosier and warmer. As November moves into December, the candles I burn move from autumnal apples and cinnamon to Christmassy scents. This week I’ve been burning three new scents from Valley Mill in Wales, and very lovely they are too.

Year round, Valley Mill sell their popular range of Tapestry Tin candles in a variety of different scents. Each candle has a 30 hour burn time and they have been handmade in Wales using the finest quality soy wax. This gives them a longer burn time and better scent throw.

Review: Christmas Candles from Valley Mill

Each tin costs £10.95 and they come is a range of different scents. I’ve been burning three of the Christmas scents and although it’s only November, they’ve been really putting me in the mood for Christmas!

Holly Berry – This is a really festive candle. Take the lid off the tin and you can smell Christmas trees and holly wreaths and all things good about Christmas. This would be great to burn in the same room as your tree, especially if you’ve got an artificial one. The holly berry tapestry tin candle is probably my favourite!

Chestnuts – Chestnuts roasting on an open fire is one of the iconic scents of Christmas. This handmade soy wax candle is really evocative of roasted chestnuts. The smell of this lovely candle makes my mouth water. I really must buy some chestnuts this Christmas!

Cranberry Gin – This attractive candle is wrapped in a festive red tapestry print and when lit quickly fills the room with a fruity Cranberry Gin scent. It’s not overpowering and it’s actually quite a refreshing fragrance. It’s got festive hints, but you could happily burn this throughout autumn and into winter.

Review: Christmas Candles from Valley Mill

There are many more delicious sounding Tapestry Tin Candles in the Valley Mill range, including; Amaretto, Welsh Cake, Spiced Apple and Black Orchid.

The Valley Mill candles are well priced and would make a lovely gift for a candle lover. I really like these kinds of candles in tins, they’ve got just the right amount of burn time and I think tins look smart too.

For more information, visit the Valley Mill website.

Review: Voluspa Maison Candle

As autumn turns into winter I like to fill my house with festive smells. Cinnamon and spruce are my go to scents at this time of the year. I think scented candles, especially in the run up to Christmas are a simple way of creating a cosy and festive atmosphere in the home. We were sent the Voluspa Maison Candle scented with spruce cuttings to put to the test, but what did we think?

Voluspa Maison Candle

The two wick Voluspa Maison candle comes in a beautifully decorated tin, so you can take it wherever you go.  The “Spruce Cuttings” candle is made from royal Colorado blue spruce cuttings, so when you light this candle the room is filled with an authentic spruce fragrance. The tin is also useful for keeping your candle dust free. I always find you can never adequately dust your candles, so a candle with a lid or cover is always welcome.

All Voluspa scented candles are made with without phthalates, parabens and sulfates. This lovely two wick scented candle is made from 11oz of coconut wax and has a burn time of around 50 hours.

Voluspa Maison Candle

The “Spruce Cuttings” Voluspa Maison Candle would be a lovely candle to have in the same room as your Christmas tree, enhancing its natural tree fragrance. The candle has a good throw – meaning that it fills the room fairly quickly with fragrance. I’ve had it lit downstairs this morning and I can still smell it upstairs. A good throw is generally an indicator of a good quality candle.

Voluspa Maison Candle

The Voluspa Maison Candle costs £20 which compared to other high end candles of this quality is good value. It’s made with high quality ingredients and the tin looks lovely and is the kind of thing I’d keep and keep bits and bobs in afterwards.

The Maison “Holiday” range includes several different festive fragrances including Cinnamon Ceylon and Copal and Visions of Sugar Plum, as well as a selection of different candle types including gift sets.

Voluspa candles are available on their website and from a range of retailers including House of Fraser.

Review: Valley Mill Wax Melts & Soap

Working from home I often like to light scented candles to fool my brain into thinking I’m left the building and gone to work, it sounds a bit silly, but it’s just something I do when I start work for the day along with switching on my laptop. One of the things I sometimes have on the go are scented wax melts, I was sent a box of these perfumed treats from Valley Mill to try out for myself.

Wax melts (sometimes known as tarts) are little disks of scented wax which you melt in a special burner using the heat from an unscented tealight. The wax sets again once the candle has gone out and it can be reused and reused over and over, all you need is a new unscented tealight to warm it through again.

As with all candles the wax melts should never be left to burn unattended and shouldn’t be used when children and animals are around. Better safe than sorry!

I chose the Welsh Cake Soy Melts which are currently £6.25 for a box of 5 melts. The melts are set in a distinctive cog shape, which obviously melts into a puddle of scented wax when in use. 

The Welsh Cake melts really do smell of Welsh Cakes, they have a really good throw too, meaning my whole house was filled with the fragrance of baking, These would be great to burn in the kitchen to give the impression of domestic goddessness without ever switching the oven on!

valley mill

Valley Mill also sent us a chunky bar of their Rosemary & Lime Natural Soap to try. With two mucky boys in the house I wanted a soap which was natural and nourishing, but which also had antiseptic properties.

Apparently rosemary and lime have been used in skin care for hundreds of years for their cleansing and revitalising properties. This natural soap contains shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil and castor oil to make it even more nourishing for hardworking hands.

The Rosemary & Lime Natural Soap is colourful and chunky, when you rub it between your hands it foams a little, but throws up a delicious scent (rosemary is one of my all time favourite fragrances). My hands were squeaky clean and sweet smelling after I’d used the soap. I think this would look eye catching in any soap dish and is good value at £4.

Valley Mill stock a selection of lovely products and gifts, all handmade in Wales, and almost all on my Christmas list!

For more information on these Valley Mill wax melts and natural soaps visit their website.

Note: We were sent these Valley Mill products for review purposes, all images and opinions are our own.

Review: Sparkle On, Gorgeous Yankee Candle

It is no exaggeration to say when I opened the box containing my latest Yankee Candle – Sparkle On, Gorgeous I let out an audible gasp of adoration. Not only was this candle beautifully different to any other Yankee Candle I’ve seen but it smelt intoxicatingly different to my normal go-to fruity scented candles.

The Sparkle On, Gorgeous Yankee Candle is part of a new range of tumbler candles designed to be given as a gift. The range is based on some of the most popular and classic Yankee Candle scents and features bold colours and a striking design. I personally loved the design of my Sparkle On, Gorgeous candles, not only is it my favourite colour, but the contemporary styling worked really well in my house.

Sparkle On, Gorgeous Yankee Candle

This 10oz tumbler candle should burn for up to 40 hours, retailing at approximately £15, my slightly wonky maths makes that just under 38p per hour – pretty good value. The candle wax itself is almost black, it has two wicks and sits in a lovely decorated glass tumbler. Its contemporary styling and brushed metal lid would suit a wide range of rooms and it would make a very lovely and stylish gift.

The Sparkle On, Gorgeous Yankee Candle features the classic “Midsummer’s Night” candle. It’s an intoxicating and musky blend of masculine scents including patchouli, sage and mahogany cologne. At first sniff it’s very like a delicious musky aftershave. It’s masculine, but it’s not just for men, I can imagine many women would burn this scent because it is so evocative.

Sparkle On, Gorgeous Yankee Candle

The “throw” on this Sparkle On, Gorgeous Yankee Candle is pretty good. It takes maybe half an hour for the scent to start to fill the room, but once it gets going it’s delicious; reminiscent of hot sultry summer nights, but still perfect for burning all year round, whatever the weather. 

As the autumn nights begin to draw in, burning this lovely candle will remind me of warm summer evenings and the heady almost Mediterranean scents of patchouli, sage and the aftershave of the man I love. Delicious. 

Note: We were sent the Sparkle On, Gorgeous Yankee Candle  free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Autumn Crafts – Painting Hedgehog Tealight Holders

It may be September, but the world has suddenly slipped into autumn. Autumn is one of my favourite seasons, full of mellow fruitfulness, crunchy leaves and an excuse to get our open fire lit and roaring. The small boy and I have been noticing the changes around us on our walks, the berries in the hedgerows, the acorns and conkers starting to fall from the trees and the busy squirrels stocking up for the lean winter months. This lead us to start talking about hibernation and the snuffling, shuffling hedgehogs which we rarely see by often read about.

We were sent a box of ceramic hedgehog tealight holders to paint from craft company Baker Ross, so one afternoon after our autumnal walk we sat down and painted them up.

Hedgehog Tealight Holders

The box contained four plain white ceramic hedgehog tealight holders and we used some paint which we were sent to decorate them. A box of four ceramic hedgehog tealight holders currently costs just £4.40, which I think is good value and you can paint them up as presents for people.

Hedgehog Tealight Holders

I chose to paint mine blue with multi-coloured spots and the small boy wanted to paint his black and red. As you can see from the picture he was really focused on the task and he sat and painted his hedgehog for about half an hour or so. This is a great craft activity which works to strengthen his hand muscles, improve his hand-eye co-ordination and his attention to detail.

Hedgehog Tealight Holders

While we were painting we chatted away about hedgehogs and I looked up a few hedgehog facts for him. Did you know….?

  • A baby hedgehog is called a hoglet
  • Each hedgehog has about 5000 spiky spines, each one falls out after about a year
  • Hedgehogs hibernate in the winter, they eat as much as they can and then find a cosy nest to curl up in for the winter around October
  • A hedgehog is nocturnal and only comes out at night to forage for food
  • A hedgehogs favourite food is slugs – yukky!

Hedgehog Tealight Holders

Here are our finished hedgehog tealight holders. We’re very proud of them. They were easy to paint and I think they look really good. Despite my initial thought that the black and red hedgehog might look a bit gothic, I think he’s managed to create quite an interesting effect. He’s incredibly proud of his creation and loved to show it off to visitors and enjoys me lighting it at night.

Review: Blueberry Scone Jar Candle from Yankee Candle

I love scented candles. My work room at home is filled with them. If I’m going to be at my desk for a few hours invariably I’ll light one to invigorate my mood, often I’ll light them in my bedroom to help me wind down before bed, hardly a day goes by without me lighting a candle, especially now the boy is a bit older and can be trusted near naked flames.

I was sent a summer fragrance Yankee Candle to try out, I received the Blueberry Scone large jar candle (rrp £21.99). It’s a big jar which should burn for 110+ hours or more. The heavy glass lid keeps the candle fresh for when you’re ready to light it. 

blueberry scone yankee candle

The fragrance is lovely and really does smell of freshly baked blueberry scones. Warm blueberry scents with a soft undercurrent of fresh from the oven scones with a hint of vanilla, just a hint, because vanilla can be an overpowering fragrance. 

Often with scented candles they “throw” the fragrance only a short distance from the actual candle. Some scents travel better than others. I lit the Blueberry Scone Yankee Candle and it quickly filled the room with the smell of fresh blueberry scones, the smell travelled reasonably well but didn’t fill the house, which to my mind is fine, but I know others prefer a lengthier throw.

This candle has a home in my work room now and will be burnt on a regular basis. If you like a fruity, warm scented candle, then this is worth looking out for. I adore the warm spiced autumn candles full of cinnamon and apple, but this is a good summer version, smelling of kitchens and cosiness. 

Yankee Candles are widely available online and in gift shops, you may have to hunt a little for the Blueberry Scone Yankee Candle, but it’s worth hunting down and having a sniff to see if you’d like it. Fragrance is such a personal thing, these remind me of a trip to America I took when I was a teenager and I briefly became obsessed with everything blueberry.

Note: We were sent the Blueberry Scone Yankee Candle free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.