The Longest Night


Lighting your room with candles is one small recompense for long, dark winter evenings – thankfully with today being the winter solstice more light is on its way. In the meantime, welcome in Christmas and the New Year with the warm, evocative glow of a handmade candle…

“Olfactory evoked recall” is a terribly scientific way to say certain smells trigger scenes from the past. Wouldn’t it be lovely if this year’s Christmas memories came to mind when someone lit a richly-scented Astier de Villatte candle? Encased in hand-blown glass or porcelain with names such as Delphes, Naples and Honolulu, they are already designed to evoke distant places. One thing these candles won’t conjure up is a headache, they are entirely natural and contain no paraffin or other petrochemical by-product.


These beeswax candles were burnt by colonists on festive occasions. They even had a little rhyme to go with them: “A bayberry candle burned to the socket puts luck in the home, food in the larder and gold in the pocket”. Superstition aside these really are special candles. To make them thousands of bayberries are picked and boiled, the wax is skimmed from the top of the pot and collected. Because they are a natural product a soft bloom appears after a few days giving a lovely dull, powdery look to the surface of the candles but if you prefer the original shine you can restore it with a few strokes of a soft cloth.

Find a carefully chosen selection of beautiful candles on the Selvedge online shop.

Free shipping for orders over £60.

Last posting noon 23 December.

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