They say that some of the best things in life are free. And that may be true. However, sometimes spending a little bit of that money you work so damn hard for just to treat yourself isn’t such a bad thing either. For a very long time, I couldn’t understand why someone would blow £2000 on a handbag. I couldn’t understand why someone would spend the equivalent on a month’s rent to buy a pair of shoes just because they had red bottoms that would only get scuffed up when worn. And I certainly didn’t understand why someone would literally burn their money away on an expensive candle.
Because, truly, not all of us have money to splash out on pretty things when there are plenty of perfectly acceptable bags, shoes, candles, fill-in-blank-here that aren’t going to cost you an arm and a leg. And yet…
Over the last few years, I could see that my mind has shifted. I had always been a chase-the-bargain kind of girl and if you have been reading Swoon Worthy for a very long time, you’ll probably know that. But as time has gone on and I’ve grown older, things have shifted ever-so-slightly in my thinking. Of course, I still love a great bargain buy and I still adore and enjoy plenty of High Street options. However, I now find myself saving and splurging on really special objects. These are by no means ‘impulse buys’. They are considered purchases, budgeted for and waited for patiently.*
When they arrive, the quality almost always exceeds my expectations and they become truly special in my eyes rather than a throwaway piece that I’ll quickly tire of and want to replace in a year or two (which, alas, does tend to happen with those impulse High Street bargains).
*That’s important which is why I put it in bold and italics. Please don’t spend money you don’t have or get into debt. Be smart and save to buy what you love!
I recently treated myself to a pair of designer sunglasses by Chloé. I had always told myself there was no need to spend money on sunglasses when I would probably only lose them or break them. And that was true for many years when I was younger. So I stuck to £12 ones from New Look or £15 ones from ASOS. Even after falling utterly in love with a pair of Dior sunglasses in Duty-Free whilst on holiday, I walked away from them (this is something I still regret).
Until recently I realised that I had some of those cheap pairs of sunglasses for over 10 years. I hadn’t lost them, I hadn’t broken them. In fact, I hadn’t done those things since I had been in my 20’s. Why was I still denying myself? When the Chloe sunglasses came in, oh my god, how I fell in love. Yes, they were many times more expensive than my throw away pairs but I’m extra vigilant with them now and I adore them. I feel excited when I know I can wear them. They give me a little boost every time I put them on my face. The money I spent was worth the feeling I got when I wore them – that I’d earned them. To use that old cliche, I was worth it.
And so it follows that I have done a complete turn around when it comes to luxury candles. My first foray into candles that cost more than a tenner was about 2 years ago when I received a beautiful orange-scented candle that cost around £35. It was the most expensive (at that point!) candle I’d ever had and when I lit it, the fragrance filled the room – I burned it every night for a few weeks until there was nothing left (and then I was very sad!). I was later encouraged by my friend Bianca (who has a bit of a penchant for expensive candles herself) who said to me when I was hemming and hawing about treating myself to another, “Every woman deserves to have an expensive candle at least once in a while!”
And I thought, “Ya know what… she’s right. Why CAN’T I have a gorgeous luxury candle?” I asked for only one thing for my birthday from Wayne – a luxury candle from Diptyque. I felt utterly spoiled and it made me happy every time I lit it. I’ve continued now to purchase candles for myself as little luxurious treats from time to time. And ya know, there really is a difference. Many of these higher end candles use the finest perfumes available. The fragrances are simply divine and some are so fragrant that you don’t even need to light them to fill an entire room with heady scent. They really do blow many of the cheaper candles away (pun intended!)!
Which brings me nicely to introducing you to an amazing brand who I have the privilege to be working with on today’s post. Bonadea is a luxury brand who carry a myriad of items for your dining table and your home. They hand-pick the finest, most exceptional examples of table wear and home accessories from some of the most highly regarded heritage brands and best contemporary designers. You’d be hard pressed to find a more worthy place to treat yourself.
Bonadea recently invited me to try out some of their luxury candles and well, after my foray into these wonderful treats, I certainly wasn’t going to refuse. If you watched me opening the parcel on my Instagram Stories, you will have heard an audible gasp when I lifted the lid of the beautiful matt black box it all came in.
The attention to detail is staggering, everything wrapped in beautiful thick paper and tied with ribbon. You genuinely feel like you are being spoiled. The presentation creates excitement and expectation and when I unwrapped each of the items, I felt what Gemma Martínez de Ana, the founder of Bonadea meant when she said, “A touch of luxury in life can provide a wealth of happiness.” I was genuinely overjoyed.
So what you are seeing in today’s post is what I received. I have loved Halcyon Days Leopard collection for a very long time so the opportunity to own this beautiful candle is something I’m so grateful for. Here’s what Bonadea says: “The delicate scent of jasmine is beautifully complemented by the elegant leopard design of this scented candle holder. Recalling inspiration and motifs from India, the design has been hand-crafted and painted in Stoke-on-Trent, a beautiful blend of English tradition and exotic design.”
I have had this in my office for a few days now and every time I walk in the room, I’m greeted by this beautiful little creature (I love his little sulky face, he reminds me of my Meisha) and the heady fragrance of jasmine. While I don’t burn it every day, on those dark rainy mornings when I have little motivation, I light this candle and I feel like I’m being nice to myself. A little touch of luxury to get me through my morning!
On my coffee table, I have this wonderful little pot which hides a candle inside. I love these kinds of vessels because even after the candle is finished, you still have a beautiful piece to display. It’s quirky and different and the detailing on it is utterly stunning. And you want to talk luxury? Here’s what they say on the site about it: “Handcrafted from black Limoges porcelain, this candle holder evokes a sense of the exotic with a textured crocodile design. 24 carat gold accents complement the golden crocodile who lies on top of the lid, an intricate detail that gives the piece a sculptural quality. Inside, a wax candle is delicately scented with champagne.” Yes, you read that right. CHAMPAGNE. #livinthedream
Now I’ve wanted a Cire Trudon Candle for quite some time, being one of the oldest candle & home fragrance companies in the world. The Trudon family cut their manufacturing teeth supplying the French monarchy & Napoleon (!!!), having started the company in 1643 and business is still going to this day. I find that staggering, don’t you?
Here’s what else Bonadea has to say about the ‘Madeline’ fragrance. “This luxurious fragranced candle celebrates one of the contemporaries of [the 17th century], swashbuckling horsewoman, fencer and renowned 17th-century dissident, Madeleine de Maupin. Madeleine was audacious, courageous and carried many traits considered to be the antithesis of femininity, so the fragrance pays homage to both genders with its complex sophistication of floral leather.” OH MY GOD I LOVE MADELEINE. She sounds amazing.
Oh, Fornasetti. How I love thee. These beautiful porcelain vessels are utterly divine. I have no other way of describing them. The detail is phenomenal and I think they will forever be treasured long after the candle (the larger one) and the room spray (the thinner vessel) are gone. The candle is by far the strongest of all the candles I’m showing you here today. I had the top off when I was taking photographs and I could still smell it in the room (even after it was covered) for hours afterwards. This is the most expensive of all the items I’m sharing but it really is incredible – I’ve never had another candle which was as potent and magical as this.
The room spray is contained inside and comes complete with an embossed leather label. Here’s what Bonadea has to say about these: “The Otto scent contained within carries aromatic top notes of lavender and thyme, warm heart notes of orris and cedarwood, and opulent base notes of tolu balsam, birch, and incense. Fornasetti’s luxury ‘Otto’ scented Architettura candle is presented in a ceramic vessel decorated with a hand-illustrated neoclassical trompe-l’oeil design.”
“Iconic in its Palladio-inspired motif, this candle is equally distinguished in its scent. Infused with notes of incense, thyme, lavender, orris and cedarwood, ‘Otto’ delights the senses with olfactory inspiration from the Fornasetti Milanese home and surrounding gardens and will create the perfect atmosphere in any stylish interior.”
Now you may not want to regularly spend over £100 on a candle. You may not even want to spend £30 on a regular basis. But every once in a while, when you have worked really hard or you’ve put up with a lot of crap in your week, or perhaps you’ve just given your all to something important in your life or you just need a bit of a break… why not give yourself a little gift of luxury? Items like this remind you that you are worthwhile, that you deserve a little extra care and attention. They remind you that sometimes what may seem frivolous is actually an act of self-love. And there’s nothing frivolous about that.
So please do check out Bonadea. They have an utterly amazing selection which will most certainly leave you swooning and quite possibly, your wallet just that little bit lighter when you decide that indeed, you do deserve just a little bit of luxury from time to time.
I’d love to know now, would you treat yourself to a gift of luxury from time to time? And if you do, what is your weakness – candles? Shoes? Bags? Fresh flowers? Something else?
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post but did receive items free in exchange for my review. All images, words and opinions are my own. I only work with companies I really like and think you’ll like too! Thanks for supporting the brands that support Swoon Worthy.