These bougies have been getting some love and positive press—rightly so!—and as I’ve been lighting them (one so far, anyway) to brighten my gloomy days on the East Coast of the United States, I wanted to add to the cheer. As a fan of the fragrant podcast Fume Chat since I learned about it at the beginning of the second season, I was thrilled when The Candy Perfume Boy announced the debut of this Olfiction project. I placed an order for the discovery set around the first week of launch, and it arrived from the UK just over a week later: 5 colorfully packaged mini candles.
They did not disappoint.
I could smell them through the boxes, and each delicious one clamored for my nostrils’ attention with their cold throw (this aspect is discussed, along with other technical challenges of candle making, in Season 3, Episode 9 of Fume Chat) in a similar fashion as puppies compete with each other for maximum petting (true story). I think Succulent first caught my nose, with its sharp, cactus greenness smoothed with musk, followed closely by Hellflower, the grapefruit magnolia. Of course, Queen Jam held her own, with luscious raspberries and bilberries crowned by jammy rose. I am saving her for a special day.
The other two, Cuir Culture and Gilt, are more reserved inside the boxes, revealing their potency only when I open them. Cuir Culture smells to me like sweet leather with a backbone of wood, letting off some IBQ-like pungency with each inhale. Gilt rushes at me with aldehydes and labdanum, and really reminds me of Rien Intense Incense by Etat Libre d’Orange by memory, although I no longer have my sample of that to verify the comparison.
I wanted something uplifting to start my journey with Boujee Bougies, so I chose to burn Hellflower first. Unfortunately, at the same time, my other half started stinking up the apartment with his citrus degreaser for some bicycle maintenance work, which blended eerily with the sulfurous grapefruit fumes and confused my impression of the candle. The subsequent lightings were much better, with floral-tinged bitter citrus living up to its description:
Hellflower is a magnolia bloom burning with brimstone and grapefruit; a post-apocalyptic floral that proves sometimes a touch of the beastly is needed to enhance beauty.
Maybe it’s just me, but I felt I could smell it more strongly cold than hot. Perhaps it’s because there’s more contrast when I sniff it deliberately, next to the neutral air, than when I’m cocooned in a warm, dark-orange existence within its vapors.
I’m almost through my mini of Hellflower after a few hellish weeks in December, and am looking forward to savoring the other 4 in turn. I say they definitely delight the mind as well as the nose and would recommend them to, well, anyone—particularly those who love perfume.