June 21, 2019

Yes, that’s a word.

‘Scentscaping’ is the art of selecting and/or designing scents specifically for certain spaces and or events. Only a few years back this tended to be something kept for high-end and big budget weddings or events, but these days that is not the case and scent is something very accessible and is a lovely addition to a wedding day or any event.

Previously it would have just been about wearing a particular perfume or cologne but these day's it's bigger than that and it's about incorporating a scent to fill a room through the use of scented candles, and has the ability to encapsulate memories of the day to come through the power of such a scent. 

Now, to help explain how to go about Scentscaping I’ll tell you about how I came to decide on the scented candles that I made for my own wedding day...

Back in 2014 I was planning my wedding, and due to the fact that I’d recently started making scented candles myself, I knew I wanted to have scent involved in our day. The first place I started to think about was where that might be. We had chosen our venue of Ramster Hall which we fell in love with as soon as we saw it. The whole place had lovely high ceilings and a warm feeling to it. There was one room where we had our reception drinks, and then a separate hall where our guests would all be seated for our wedding breakfast. Initially I wanted the scent to be the first thing our guests smelled when they walked into the venue but then the further along I got with what that scent would be, I decided to go with placing our wedding candles on the tables in the main hall, to burn while we had our food and into the evening celebrations.

When it came to scent, I was already in love with the scent of Rosemary & so that was the first thought that popped into my head (and luckily my husband Jon agreed!) Our wedding held a subtle Christmas theme so naturally those festive scents of Cinnamon & Fir Needle were what initially sprung to mind, but we really wanted something a little less explicitly Christmas but with a warmth and freshness and so Rosemary ticked the box for that. I played around with a few blends with Rosemary at the forefront and ended up adding a little additional lift of Eucalyptus to it, to create what we called ‘Rosemary Romance’.

I really liked the way that although it was a scent I already knew well, in creating our own unique blend for our wedding candles, we were creating a brand new memory which it would trigger for years to come. This is something to think about if you’re choosing a scent for your big day. As tempting as it can be to choose a scent you already know and love, I strongly recommend creating a unique blend for you to ensure that when you smell that scent for years to come, it’s not diluted by other memories and takes you right back to that one wonderful day.

Like the sound of this and would like to discuss adding scent to your wedding or event? Please do drop me an email to laura@bylauralondon.com or have a look here for more information.

 Photo credit: Laura Martha Photography 

February 23, 2019

It's warming up and flowers are starting to bloom so it's starting to feel like Spring to me, and that got me thinking about what scents remind me of this lovely time of year. 

Smell is different from our other senses in that it is connected to the olfactory cortex. This is the brain function which is responsible for evoking memories & emotions, hence if you smell something it can take you right back to a particular time & place. 

Naturally, light and fresh florals are my first go-to when thinking of this time of year. They're clean, quite subtle scents but add that lovely fresh and sweet note to the air which I love, and is even better if you also bring it into your home. Think of Lilies, Hyacinths and perhaps a little Narcissus. This is part of the reason I love to have flowers in my home, as well as scented candles. 

What scents say Spring to you?

March 13, 2018

In late 2016, Emma approached me about making some candles for her wedding day and I was thrilled  o hear about her plans and vision for their wedding day. Emma and her fiancé Coomy had got engaged in Miami and after loving the place they decided to use the styles and influences of Miami for their day including everything from the colours they used to their stationery and their gorgeous cake. And when Emma mentioned how she felt about scent and giving candles as her wedding favours it all seemed to make sense and was a really interesting brief for me. 

Now, by absolute coincidence I was actually off to Miami on holiday a month after we first spoke (I wish I could say I include this level of immersion into a brief for a scent for every client, but it was just very, very good luck!) So I spent the whole holiday paying extra attention to the scents and smells around me & saw where Emma was coming from when she spoke about wanting sweet and fruity holiday scents which she associates with the fun times had there. 

I made a range of sample scented candles for Emma & Coomy to try out, and we got to 3 favourites which were Coconut & Mango, Pineapple Coconut & a blend of Tropical fruits. All 3 had the sweet vanilla-inspired base that Emma liked and rather than choose one, Emma really liked the idea of giving her guests different ones so that they could all have a smell of them and choose their favourite to take home. And she picked their favourite, Pineapple & Coconut to have burning on the day. 

For the Pineapple & Coconut candles burning on the day Emma had some small pie dishes (if you’ve ever had a Bingham Pie then you’ll know the ones I’m talking about!) which she asked me if she could use as the containers. They worked perfectly and it was a great use of the dishes that were otherwise filling up her kitchen cupboards and looked really nice with the candles set in them on the tables. We had a couple on each table and a few extras around the room to ensure that the scent threw nicely in the room. 

Each of their guests then had one of the three scents as their place settings. I designed them a bespoke ‘Emma & Coomy’ label which sat on the lids and tied in with their theme & stationery. And to make them double up as place names for the tables, I also did handwritten labels for each guest which tied around the lids. On the day, my lovely friend Sam who was at the wedding sent me these photos saying how much everyone liked them and they were quite a talking point when everyone sat down. 

It was an absolute pleasure working with Emma to get the scent and candles just right for her day and in her own words, she seemed to enjoy it too…

“I just wanted to say a huuuge thank you to you for making the candle scent and favours for our wedding. My husband and I cannot thank you enough for your patience and the effort you put into getting my brief perfected... 

It was so lovely for the guests to walk into the wedding breakfast room with it being filled full of our 'Miami scents' and it took us right back to the holiday where we met. 

Lastly the labels looked absolutely stunning on the tables so thanks for working with me on that and designing them.”

Photography from https://www.instagram.com/rachel_manns/

Cake by https://www.instagram.com/obeselise/

January 4, 2018

A few months before their wedding Katie asked me to make some scented candles for their day. They weren’t set on a particular scent but told me their plans for the day & the decoration & colours on the day, and I went away and made her some samples to try out. I also checked if there were any particular scents that she or Alex liked or particularly didn’t like! 

After testing out the three samples they told me that the Pine & Lavender was their favourite. I was glad as I felt that it fitted in perfectly with their woodland style theme for the marquee and was a really nice fresh scent which would be perfect for a nice spring time wedding. 

Then it was onto containers. Katie ordered white non-scented pillar candles & a range of containers to put them in, to sit on the wooden decorations with the plan to be that mine would then be dotted around in and around them as part of the wood arrangements. So when we were discussing what container to put them in we decided that up cycled tin cans spray painted with a matt silver would sit really nicely in the arrangement. 

To be honest the photos, taken by the fantastic Divine Day Photography can do the rest of the talking…

Now, luckily for me, I was also lucky enough to be a guest at their wedding and was really happy to smell their bespoke scent of candles as soon as I walked into Katie’s family home, where the wedding was taking place. Lots of guests were commenting on the scent & were really complimentary about how it filled the marquee beautifully and tied in so nicely with the gorgeous wood decorations that they had created for the day. That was a great day. 

July 21, 2017

This week I’m lucky enough to be spending a week (actually 8 days!) away on holiday with my husband in the south of France. We started with a couple of days in Monte Carlo, then onto a blissful hilltop hotel near Salon de Provence, and finishing our trip in Cagnes Sur Mer, just south of Nice. 

And while we’ve had a lot of time to relax I’ve been distracted by all the beautiful scents in this region & thought I'd write a little something about it. 

To start at the beginning of our trip I was thinking about Monte Carlo and aside from the smell of money(!), another yet somewhat unusual scent in the area, would be the exciting scent of warm rubber. Not classically a very popular scent with many, but there’s something exciting about it as you walk through the streets of Monaco. I’ve never seen so many super-cars in my life, and even a little Renault Twingo feels like a star driving through those streets, rev’ing up the engine, giving us a little hit of rubber. Naturally, this isn't all Monaco smells of but it was just one interesting scent I wanted to pick out. 

Next, onto Provence. It's hard to miss the green and intoxicating scent of Pine in this region. It’s definitely not unique to the south of France, as I know a lot of people associate Pine with warm holidays in general but it's a winner none the less. Being here, surrounded by it is such a treat for the nose and I imagine will conjure up memories of this trip for years to come. It’s made me think that’d it’d be a nice present for brides or grooms getting married in the area to give their guests. Perhaps a nice little pine scented candle to remember their day when they get home. Just a thought ;) 

As well as Pine, our old classic Lavender will also now remind me of this trip as the hotel we were staying in had lots of it dotted around, and it’s also commonly found growing wild in this beautiful region. It’s not a scent for everyone when used to scent beauty products or candles, but in it’s natural environment it’s an absolute classic which is beautifully complemented by a warm climate in my opinion. 

And finally, not to miss out my favourite, there is also quite a bit of Rosemary growing wild in the area it seems. I hadn’t actually noticed this myself but since my husband pointed it out to me earlier (he was a little smug to have pin pointed this one before me!) I’ve realised that it’s all just part of the scent of the area. And after a little reading up about the area, it seems that in fact, this ‘scent of the area’ has it’s own name; ‘garrigue' (gah-REEG). The signature scent of the south of France, described as a mix of piney shrubs, spicy herbs and sweet flowers. Who knew! 

I feel a little south of France scented candle coming on when I get home. 

April 15, 2017

Do you recognise this? Have you ever had a bit of a nightmare trying to salvage the ends of a candle? Had to sacrifice matches in the battle?

I came across this poor candle when I rented a house with friends recently and the sight of this made me sad. It smelt beautiful but had hit a very sad end to it's life after a bit of mistreatment. Ok, sorry I'm talking as if this candle is a person so I'll calm down a bit now. 

Basically it's easy to avoid this sad end if do a few little things outlined below...

Buy some long matches or a nice cook's lighter like this one from wayfair. They mean you avoid potentially hitting the end of the match before the wick is lit and then dropping it in (!), and also are a bit safer as you're hand is further from the flame. 

Secondly, really do try to trim the wick before each time you light the candle. This is not a myth, it makes the candle burn much better and will avoid any excess smoke to come from the candle. 5-8mm is the size you want, no less or you might hinder the burn. Between half and two thirds of a nail is quite a good point of reference! 

Thirdly, if you drop a match in as you're lighting a candle then blow the flame out & remove the match (being careful if it's hot of course) then re-light it. If you drop it in and leave it it wont just burn off, it could catch fire again, cause the wax pool to change or at a minimum turn your lovely cream candle a nasty shade of black or grey! 

Rant over, thanks for reading :) 

Oh, and you'll see in this photo the black soot on the container...if you get this on your candle then it's likely that it's because the candle has been burning for longer than advised and there's a VERY simple way to get rid of them. Blow the candle out, wait until the container has cooled and then get a piece of tissue or kitchen roll and wipe the black off. It'll be as good as new. 

March 11, 2017

A couple of months back I met Cherelle from Perfectly Planned 4 you at the London Wedding Breakfast Club. We got talking and Cherelle said she was looking for a new and unique idea of something to gift her clients with, and thought candles would be a great idea. So that's what we did...

Now to give you a little more information about the fabulous Perfectly Planned 4 you, and tell you more about how we created her candles, I asked Cherelle to answer some questions...

Tell us all about your company...

At Perfectly Planned 4 you, we create exceptional events for the style-conscious person who wants something bespoke and beautiful. We innovate and explore concepts outside of convention, dependent on our client’s desire. With elegance and culture our exceptional organisational skills and knowledge of planning, make dreams a reality with a bespoke and personal experience.

What do you love about what you do? 

I am a natural planner, since I can remember I have planned parties and events for my family and friends. I like to see the relieved faces of my clients when I explain what I can do for them and even better to see the delighted reactions when I have turned their wishes into reality.

Photo credit: Photographer Paul 

What made you choose scented candles as a gift for your clients? 

I used to gift my clients with personalised marshmallows, then I saw this is done quiet a lot in the industry and at Perfectly Planned 4 you, we like to do things a little different. Plus I wanted to give my clients something a bit more lasting and memorable.

I met the lovely Laura at a wedding networking event, we talked about the wonderful candles she creates and the idea popped into my head. With the powerful scents and elegant packaging, By Laura candles make the perfect thank you gift for my clients.

What made you choose fig & vanilla as your scent? 

I love sweet scents, I described to Laura the type of aromas I like and she sent me home with a bag of samples. Fig & vanilla felt warm, rich and soothing, the ideal gift for my clients when they arrive back from their honeymoon.

Anything else you might like to say...

In the early stages of planning, I ask my couples to imagine the atmosphere they would like on their wedding day. With that in mind, my top tip for couples planning their wedding is; think about how you would like your guests to feel when they walk into your wedding venue, it isn't only about colours and decorations.  Burning candles can make your wedding feel inviting, romantic and leave your guests with a lasting memory.

It was really fun working with Cherelle on making these candles. As you can see, she supplied me her logo which I just added a simple 'thank you' message to and looks really nice and smart on the candles and their gift boxes. 

Looking for a great wedding planner who's innovate, has exceptional attention to detail and is professional through and through? Get in touch with Perfectly Planned 4 you

February 25, 2017

Scent is a very powerful thing and in my opinion really does have the ability to evoke memories and place you back into a memory or a specific time. One of the strongest one of these which people quite often recall is the scent of jasmine, reminding people of holidays and specifically times of relaxation. Holidays can be a perfect time to subconsciously take in scents as this is the time in which you can be really relaxed and therefore taking in your surroundings more than if you were busy and running around. And who doesn't want to recall great times on holidays over and over! 

As well as recalling times, scent can be very powerful at reminding people of friends or family. It might be a particular perfume that they always wear/wore or a scent that they would commonly surround themselves with. In the 1900s Lavender was a very popular scent for women to wear and now is quite often associated with the older generation and I often hear people saying 'oh I love Lavender, it reminds me of my Grandmother' but Lavender is having a bit of a come-back and being blended with some more modern and fresh and uplighting scents which blend nicely to bring it into the 21st century. 

Do you have a particular scent that reminds you of a particular time, person or event? 

January 13, 2017

Don't be afraid of candles.  

I don't hear it often but occasionally I'm told by people that they don't light candles in their home because of the safety issues. Now...I'm not going to pretend that a candle isn't a teeny tiny fire but I will say that unless you're wildly accident prone or are lacking furniture of a particular height then you shouldn't be afraid of lighting a candle every now and again. There are a few key tips about how to look after them and where to put them and where NOT to put them, so I thought I'd write a little list to that effect to help fend off those rumours and encourage people to light that candle that they've had beautifully sitting in their home unlit and collecting dust for months. 

In no particular order and I'll be honest, some of these are common sense so apologies for that...

1. Place a candle on the centre of a piece of furniture. Nothing too near the edge as if you're walking past you're just more likely to potentially get too close

2. Leave it alone while it burns. Once you've lit it (don't forget to trim the wick before each burn too) just sit back and let it do its thing. Moving it can cause the melted wax to move about and potentially if split can make a bit of a mess. 

3. Light your candle when you're planning to be in your home for a little while. You don't want to forget about it and never of course leave it lit and leave the house. When leaving their house a lot of people would check if they've got their keys. If you're a candle fan like me your checks would be  'do I have my keys? are there any candles lit?'

4. Now we come to toddler and small children. So, truth be told, a lot of children are huge candle fans...if they see it, and it's in their reach they might go for it so best to keep it out their reach! My sister does this very well in fact; every time I go round (and I'm not sure if it's just because it's me!) there's always a lovely scented coming from a candle burning on the mantel piece. It's high up so my nephew Jude can look and appreciate, but not touch! 

So...if you're still not persuaded then I'll be honest, they do look pretty good unlit and will still throw a little scent in your home if you give them a rub every now and again! 


September 30, 2016

If you follow me on social you’ll have seen me mention this hashtag once or twice in the last month or so! So, I felt it appropriate to explain a little more about this collaboration and how it came about. 

Phoebe from So You’re Getting Married and I got chatting a few months back following a mutual appreciation of the new SYGM branding created by Gemma Milly (have a peak at her work, it’s great!) Conversations then moved towards scented candles and I knew straight away that I was chatting to a fellow candlelover! Phoebe knew what scents she liked, how to look after a candle and she was talking in candle terms before I was! So then she asked me if I was interested in collaborating on a scented candle with SYGM and I jumped at the opportunity. 

We chatted about the type of scents we liked and slowly moved towards deciding that we wanted to develop two scents, which we distinguished as ‘Wedding Morning’ and ‘Wedding Evening’. As I always say, scented candles are a great way to set a mood or evoke memories so these two occasions felt like a perfect suit to work for anyone planning a wedding, interested in the whole world of weddings or who simply likes the idea of these blends.

Wedding Morning was about creating a scent that a bride or groom may have burning on the morning of their wedding. Naturally we were taken to floral scents and clean but essentially uplifting qualities, which led us to the final blend of Rose, Jasmine, Eucalyptus & Spearmint. 

Then onto Wedding Evening. This one came about fairly easily for us as Phoebe and I shared a love of the warming tones of Amber, which seemed to fit with an evening mood. I love the almost spicy and Asian influence of a few bits we’ve added to it and the lightly burnt orange of the bergamot seemed to make sense when we tested it out. 

Then came the design and look & feel of the candles. Bringing together the lovely watercolour flower-crown designs of SYGM, my simple logo and a nice brush lettering style font, the logo was born. Then we needed to have some great photography of the products to successfully show them off and were lucky enough to work with Kitty from Kitty Wheeler Shaw Photography. And of course, to help complement the candles in the photography we needed some flowers too! I had recently met Eram from Boom Blooms and when I mentioned it to her she was really keen to be involved so we worked together to create some flowers to sit with each candle mood.  

Now that I’ve mentioned these two I should explain about the additional benefit that are included as part of a purchase of any SYGMxByLaura candle…we are in the process of compiled a carefully selected list of highly recommended wedding suppliers who are offering some fab discounts to SYGMxByLaura customers. Included in this list is the fabulous Rola from The New Wonderful - creative wedding and party planning. Then we have the make up extraordinaire Georgia from Make up by Georgia. And then Kitty from Kitty Wheeler Shaw Photography who I mentioned earlier worked with us on the photography will also feature in this list. And many more to be announced.

So…if you are intrigued by all this and fancy trying out these wonderful blends please do have a look in my online shop

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