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The power of scent

Feeling SAD? Suzanne Taylor, founder of luxury local candle brand, Taylor Benfield, waxes lyrical about the soothing power of a scented candle during the colder months.

The nights are drawing in and if you’re anything like me you’ll be getting ready to hunker down (read: hide under a blanket until spring), but don’t let the post-holiday blues get you down. It’s time to embrace the season change with some all-out hygge! And there’s nothing like a bit of candlelight to make you feel all warm and fuzzy… well, and your favourite ratty old furry slippers of course. I caught up with Suzanne Taylor, founder of luxury St Albans based candle brand, Taylor Benfield, to learn about what a flicker of light and heady scent can do for our wellbeing.

What inspired you to get into candles?

I’d worked in marketing for big corporations for years, then decided it was time to start a business of my own. When I sat down and thought about what kind of business I wanted to run, I knew it would have to be something travel related as it’s always been a passion of mine, so about 18 months ago I came up with the idea of creating a candle range that was inspired by my travels. They’re designed to rekindle those wonderful holiday memories and bring a smile to your face.

Tell me more about the scents in your candle range…

They are all evocative of places in the world I’ve visited and loved. I loved experimenting and choosing which scents to launch with, and which different head, heart and base notes should make up each particular fragrance. One of my favourite candles in the range is Spiced Noir, which was inspired by a trip to Malaysia – the hot sultry days and intoxicating scents of the spice markets. Every time I light it, it takes me back. Others are inspired by the zesty citrus groves of the Mediterranean, the heady scents of Marrakech, through to floral fragrances from botanical gardens and, closer to home, fresh Cornish coastal shores.

So what’s so important about scent? 

By evoking certain memories and emotions, scent can influence our mood. Whether you’re looking for something calming, restorative or energising, burining a beautifully candle can help support your mind and boost your wellbeing. I hope my candles lift spirits and remind people of their lovely holidays abroad or inspire new adventures. I like to really focus on picking out the different notes within each scent when I burn my candles – can really help clear the mind. And my absolute favourite place to light one is when I’m treating myself to a bubble bath… nothing beats luxuriating in a beautifully scented candlelit bath with a glass of pinot noir!

What else makes your candles special?

Well, they’re all hand poured here in Hertfordshire, the elegant silver and grey packaging is designed to complement any style of décor (and they make a chic accessory that you’ll want to show off), and as well as my larger home candles, there’s also a small set of travel candles in each of the scents – take them on a romantic getaway to set the mood or to help you unwind after a busy day of sightseeing.

Fed up of wonky wicks and lopsided wax? Here are Suzanne’s candle maintenance tips:

  1. On the first use, always burn the candle until the wax has fully melted across the top.
  2. Make sure you trim the wick every time (down to 5mm) once the wax has cooled.
  3. Re-centre the wick after each burn.

Find more ideas here

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