“ Brand: Marks & Spencer / Type: Candle / Category: Home Fragrance „
About 18 months ago I discovered the Sweet Bergamot range of scented candles and other room fragrances from Marks & Spencer and was immediately captivated by this citrus yet floral fragrance.
I do like tealights but I do like some of the pretty inclusion candles Marks & Spencer sell and during the sale just after Christmas last year I spied a large inclusion candle in my favourite fragrance marked at £3.99. It turned out this was a pricing error but to Marks & Spencer's credit they sold the candle to me at the marked price - despite the fact it currently retails at £13.00.
For a couple of months the candle sat on my sideboard as more of an ornament than anything else but eventually I decided it was silly to not have it burning and emitting it's lovely fragrance even though there's no denying it's a very pretty candle.
The candle is very large, measuring 15.5 centimetres in height and 10 centimetres in diameter. It sits on a clear plastic base and has a beautiful flower design embedded in the exterior wax all the way around, making for a very pretty design. Marks & Spencer make several different inclusion candles and some are made with a coloured wax but the Sweet Bergamot candle is made from off white wax, with the floral pattern coming in a very pale peach and brown.
Some of you may not have encountered inclusion candles before and might be wondering what on earth I am talking about so I shall give a very brief explanation. Unlike a traditional candle where all the wax melts, an inclusion candle contains the main wick and wax inside an inner core which is insulated from the outer wax shell. This means you get a candle which burns downwards as a traditional candle but only in the inner core meaning it doesn't make a mess or drip because the outer shell doesn't melt at all.
This design also means that the lovely flowers embedded on the outer wax shell do not burn away with the the rest of the candle.
What caught my eye the most about the Sweet Bergamot Inclusion Candle was the outer floral design - it looks both pretty but also quite stylish and arty. I have a very neutral living room and I knew it would look lovely there - better than the jar candles I have in the same fragrance which are green and don't match my colour scheme so well.
The candle has a fairly short wick and I had no problem lighting it. I use the longer length safety matches to light candles as I find them easier to handle and I am nervous around naked flames.
When I first burned this candle I was very impressed with the fragrance it emitted - it's sweet but not cloyingly so. I am not very good at describing scents but what I love about Sweet Bergamot is the blend of a sweet floral fragrance with a kick of citrus aromas - but by citrus I would say it's more like lime than lemon. The overall effect is sweet but refreshing - which I find perfect for a room fragrance.
I've heard people say bergamot is very feminine but it's to Marks & Spencer's credit that Sweet Bergamot has a hint of masculinity and this isn't a home scent I would say is purely for the girls.
So while I love the fragrance, what about the candle? Well to begin with I was delighted but as the candle burned down the fragrance became much harder to detect. You also have to bear in mind that because the wick burns down inside the outer shell, you aren't going to get anything like as much light from the inclusion candle as you would get from a regular filled jar candle because the flame creeps downwards inside the inner core with the wick.
When I first burned the candle the fragrance would become apparent within about 15 minutes of me lighting it but as the candle has burned downwards over time it's becoming harder and harder to detect anything much in the way of a fragrance at all. The candle is supposed to have a burn time of 80 hours but I would say the fragrance time is significantly less - perhaps 20 hours or so before it seems to vanish into the ether (or perhaps that should be melted wax).
When I first unwrapped the candle after I bought it I could detect a whiff of bergamot from it without even lighting it but now there doesn't seem to be much of a fragrance at all and I have burned this about half way down - although it's impossible to tell exactly how much has been burned because you can't see where the inner core finishes inside the candle.
As a result I have been rather disappointed with this inclusion candle. I do love the idea of a candle that doesn't make a mess but when it comes to a fragranced candle for some reason the fragrance just isn't effective in this design. I have bought tea lights and filled jars from this range and found the scent to be far more effectively emitted using these methods than the inclusion candle.
At the end of the day however I am going to be incredibly shallow and say I still love this inclusion candle purely because I love the aesthetics of it. Quite simply I think it looks lovely and I shan't be in any hurry to dispose of it even if it doesn't give off much in the way of a strong scent. I can make up for that using far cheaper tealights or filled jars. Sometimes you like something purely because of the way it looks and I have to say that just looking at this candle is uplifting for me because quite simply I believe it's a thing of great beauty.
Putting aside those thoughts however I have to be honest and say it's not worth £13 because it's just not very effective. It offers limited light and a fragrance that seems to diminish more every time you light it.
If you see this in a sale for £3.99 then by all means pick it up - but so far as I am concerned it's something that's better to look at unlit, than something that will offer much in the way of light or fragrance to your living room.