A French-British Love Affair: PETITS RITUELS
Once upon a time, around about last autumn, a candle landed on my desk with the prettiest packaging.
(Hmm…could it be one of those pretty on the outside, disappointing on the inside samples? A bit like some ultra-handsome humans you meet).
Grab the matchbox, light the candle…
In the same way that Diptyque’s candles are beautifully packaged and beautifully scented, Nathalie Allard’s artisan creations for Petits Rituels smell as delicious as they look. And they’ve just landed at LoveLula, too!
One reason, probably the main one, is that Nathalie uses a very high concentration of essential oils in natural waxes, so you get a really great scent throw (both cold and when lit) which is traditionally a very difficult thing to do using only natural oils in natural waxes.
“I believe I am an artisan and each of my products is its own work of art because I adore my craft and want you to fall in love with it” – Nathalie Allard
One of my favourite awards categories to judge is always Best Luxury Candle – not only because it’s such a joy, but because it’s such an art form. The perfect candle is an elusive thing!
Here are some ways they can go wrong:
Floppy wicks…(it happens!)
“Bad” waxes or waxes from unsustainable sources
Potential toxins in the ingredients
The candle smells better when it’s not lit!
The scent is too weak or too cloying/headachey
In fact candles with paraffin wax pollute the air, and the toxins stay in the air even after the candle’s been extinguished.
“Candles improve with age – rather like French fine wine so I cure them for a minimum of 7 days but the longer they are left, the better they smell!” – Nathalie
The Petits Rituels difference
Only “good” waxes are used at Petits Rituels – e.g. soy, beeswax and sometimes floral waxes – and my gut is that Nathalie’s precisely sourced essential oils play a big part when it comes to scent throw (how (much/far) the scent fills a room). Hers are specially sourced from her favourite revered French distillers. There are various reasons why she chose this distillery which happens to be located in the home of perfume – Grasse in the south of France, a place close to Nathalie’s heart.
Explaining the special extraction process, she says:
“The distiller extracts the scent at a very low temperature which preserves the molecular properties of plants which results in a superior quality product. The oils are not only luxurious and invigorating but I can safely say almost every single one is certified. Oils, rather like fruit and vegetables are seasonal so I always check the quality because the weather can affect the scent, too.”
In a finishing touch, although the plants, flowers and herbs she uses are from France, the rest of the components of her range come from the UK so Petits Rituels is a rather beautiful, diplomatic French-British collaboration.
The Petits Rituels candles and wax melts I’ve tried really delivered an authentic aromatherapy experience – because the ingredients are authentic.
Funnily enough, although I love citrus blends, especially orange, pomelo and grapefruit, I’ve (quite often!) been sent an orange-based candle which I didn’t like at all. But out of the blends I have tried by Petits Rituels, my favourite IS her Orange Gourmande, a mouthwatering scented veil of sweet orange and organic rose geranium – happy, uplifting, with a sophisticated yet pretty depth to it, like a velvety, cocooning but never cloying version of orange-geranium if that makes sense?
And it’s just these two essential oils, with soy wax, that make up her Orange Gourmande candle. (By the way the Wax Melts are incredible – a friend got a whiff of one and the next day she was ordering her own from the website, just before Christmas!)
The candles burn for about 40 hours and the Wax Melts for 10 hours (although my friend would dispute that, I asked her yesterday and she said she’s still using them).
For me, candles are more a part of my life in winter…that hopeful, calming glow (cavemen around a fire, that sort of thing!), and of course the scent is enhanced in a closed room. That cosy comfort factor, the luminous quality when it’s dark outside…candles are my solace, my inspiration, my ritual and my absolute joy, I could not love them more.
I’ve yet to try the rest of the range but I’m smitten with Petits Rituels (repeating myself here…Orange Gourmande, and the Provence is lovely, too).
If we ever have a Beauty Shortlist Awards party in London (people keep asking us to so it may well happen next year!), I know what I’d love to put in the goody bags alongside some brilliant skincare, cobalt blue eyeliners and a gorgeous bath oil…a Gourmande Orange Petits Rituels Candle and a little pouch of Provence Wax Melts.
If there are any left…
“We all have daily rituals whether we realise it or not” – Nathalie Allard
Petits Rituels Candles burn for 40 hours and are £35 from PetitsRituels.com
…and they’ve just landed at LoveLula, too!
The Wax Melts (£10 for two) “melt time” is 10 hours – they’re here
From @BeautyShortlist Instagram – Winter Candle Love
Sensual Healing – Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Rose, Lavender
Orange Gourmande – Sweet Orange, Rose Geranium
By The Fire – Cinnamon, Clove, Orange, Lemongrass
Floral Sensations – Turkish Rose, Lavender, Geranium
Minty Bonbon – Spearmint, Lemongrass
Provence – Lavender, Rose Geranium, Ylang Ylang
You can read more on Nathalie’s blog – it’s a fascinating insight into how artisan candles are made, organic beauty tips, and her lovely posts about beautifying your life and living well. Merci Nathalie!
…and this .is what I do with the boxes! xx