My desk is in a corner of the house – I look out at the passing world, but just behind me is the downstairs loo. It’s not a bad place to work, but sometimes, gazing at the rain and listening to the other people who live here, it isn’t the most inspiring.
Ideally, obviously, I’d be sitting up a snow-capped mountain in front of a log fire, or at a street cafe somewhere exotic to meet my muse, but that isn’t happening any day soon. So I improvise.
Scented candles do help create something slightly more sophisticated than usual aroma of my workplace – squidged near the downstairs loo and the laundry room. And nice ones that actually smell of something when you light them because they've got real oils in them.
Shearer’s Candles of Glasgow have long been my favourites. Recently I had the chance to chat to artistic director Rosey Barnet.
Rosey has the enviable job of creating the company’s range of delicious scented candles.
She said: “I travel a lot on business and find I get my inspiration all over the world.
“When I was in Egypt and staying in a lovely hotel I found there was a lovely smell of crisp linen mixed a hint of spicy air coming from oil burners. It was wonderful.”
She used that inspiration to instruct perfume houses that she wanted to develop a cotton scent with an edge of spice.
Perfume houses created samples for her which she then had to test in candles as the candle-making process can have a profound effect on oils. Eventually she was satisfied with the Egyptian Cotton scent in the new Spring range.
“The Lavender and Neroli was inspired on a trip to Venice. We went to a restaurant on a beautiful island. One wall was open to a herb garden. You could smell the lavender, the herbs and the orange trees. Then in China I had visited a spa where the pathways were lined with oil burners full of orange oil. Neroli is made from the blossom of the bitter orange.”
Sigh. I could do that job, honest.
I’m currently burning an Egyptian Cotton candle and can confirm that it’s lovely. Almost as nice as my absolute favourite the Lavender and Neroli.
Rosey has kindly offered some Shearer candles from the new range as a prize to one of my readers. To be in with a chance of winning, please leave a comment about what scent you’d like to recreate if you could. Obviously, if you buy my book your chances of winning will improve considerably... as will flattery.
UK entries only.
Competition closes on March 18 and winner will be announced as soon as I can get round to it.
For more information on Shearer’s candles visit their website or their shop in sunny Govan.
PS Rosey tells me she's working on a range of oil burners that will be divine, not like those nasty ones we all had in the 80s.
PPS Please don't comment anonymously I need to be able to contact you. Email me if you're shy - firstname.lastname@example.org.
THIS COMPETITION IS CLOSED AND HAS BEEN WON BY @jennifer_stokes