With the clocks just turned back by an hour, it’s amazing how suddenly darker and more wintry the season feels. At this time of year, we have an innate need to envelope ourselves in warmth and cosiness, wrapping up in warm layers against the cold and often damp weather. This need for warmth is reflected at home, too – we bring out the soft blankets, plush throws, padded eiderdowns and knitted cushions; we light scented candles to bathe our homes in warming, sweetly spiced fragrances; we draw curtains, switch on lamps and light the fire to create a softly flickering, warming glow.
I am SO ready for the ultimate season of cosiness, are you? One way I plan to evoke a sense of warmth within the home is to use fragrance, smell being a hugely important sense to consider when creating that relaxed, cosy ambience. So needless to say, I was delighted to receive a goodie box of lovely smellies from boutique Irish giftware company, Bog Standard, who are based just a few miles from where I currently reside in the lush countryside of County Down. Set up by the lovely Alix over ten years ago, Bog Standard has grown its range of fragranced homeware products to include hand poured natural wax candles, candle tins, scented soaps, sachets, fresheners and hand care products. Here is my lowdown on some favourites…
I’m an avid candle user throughout the year, but even more so during the darker, colder months when that extra little cosy factor is required at home. I’ve particularly been enjoying my large fragranced candle in ‘Moss‘ these darker evenings of late; its rich, woody fragrance filling the house. It perfectly captures the scents that surround you on a forest walk – a gorgeous woody fig fragrance lifted by fresh grassy top notes. It’s a scent that is not overpowering, but with a wonderful, warming, earthy depth. I really like it as a background fragrance in the in the evenings or to induce a soft, soothing atmosphere whilst having a bath.
Each candle is packaged in a beautifully patterned cardboard box and I think they make a perfect gift for dinner hosts, birthdays or Christmas… or for yourself, of course!
The ‘Clover‘ scented soap bar is ideal for setting in your downstairs WC or guest room at this time of year when we invite people into our homes to share the festivities with. This delicately hand wrapped pale green soap has been triple milled for that rich, creaminess we all crave from such little luxuries. There are eight scents to choose from, so why not arrange a selection of them along with freshly laundered hand towels in a little wicker basket as a pretty bathroom or guest room display.
Many of us have fresheners in our cars, but how about tucking one inside your linen cupboard or hanging it inside your wardrobe to give your clothes a fresh smell? I popped this Orchard scented one in amongst my bathroom towels – the sweet apple blossom and pear scent is gentle, yet really clean and fresh.
Not a home scent as such, but I have to say I am in love with the rosehip lip butter! Made with shea butter, cocoa butter and nourishing beeswax, it’s packaged in a handy little lidded jar which is the perfect size for popping in your handbag for on the go. It provides that added protection we all need for our lips over the winter and with a subtle rosy tint, too. I would even pop a smudge onto my cheeks for a healthy, dewy glow as it’s much less greasy than many other lip balms out there.
Sometimes it’s the little luxuries in life that help to make us feel totally at home and at this time of year we want to extend this warm welcome to others, so whether it’s a gift you’re looking for or simply a little treat for your home, I do urge you to try out the Bog Standard range. You can buy them online here and at selected gift shops and National Trust shops across Ireland and the UK, as well as internationally.
Right, I’m off to curl up by the fire (with my Moss candle lit, of course)!