Choisir ses bougies et parfums d'intérieur

Choose your candles and home fragrances

Winter will be soon here and we dream of the warmth of fireplace. Unfortunately, not all of us have the opportunity to enjoy by the fireside, but we still have the candles …

You light a candle to create an atmosphere, to relax, to perfume your interior or for the comforting glow of the flame. In summer, we will instead try to repel mosquitoes using outdoor candles made with lemongrass or geranium (even more effective).

So how do you choose your candles? Instinctively, I have always chosen my candles on the following criteria:

  1. A perfume that smells good, quite elaborate, not too heady
  2. A pretty pot that matches my decor or that of the person to whom I offer it

But as I became more and more concerned about the quality of the air in my home, I realized that candles, and more broadly home fragrances, have an impact on the air I breathe every day.

The different candles

For candles, this is mainly a matter of quality of wax. There are several waxes used for making candles but they are not all of the same quality:

Vegetable wax: extracted from plants (soybean, rapeseed, palm, etc.) is entirely natural, ecological and respectful of the environment. It has no odor, which allows the scent to diffuse without any alteration. However, the wax is not always full white.

Animal wax: only beeswax

Wax from petrochemicals, also called paraffin. Paraffin is the whitest of waxes, it is unnatural and of course, it is the cheapest wax and the most harmful to the environment and the body.

Natural waxes (vegetable and animal) diffuse perfumes better and for longer. Yet another reason to turn to natural candles.

The wicks are also important, ideally made of cotton, they will burn better. Synthetic wicks are less expensive. Sometimes you can find wooden wicks, they crackle a bit, which gives a nice little sound.

Getting more information about candles, I was amazed to see that some of the top brands of upscale interior design or luxury home fragrance still use paraffin waxes. How disappointing is it? So, what justifies their higher price?

Most candles have a label indicating the type of wax used. If there is no detail, trust the color of the candle. If the white is uniform and bright, there is a good chance that the wax is paraffin. Do not hesitate to turn to the wax craftsmen who are responsible for the traditional processes of making candles and their quality.

The labels

To go further and be sure to buy quality candles that will not produce toxic black smoke, you can also trust the labels:

  1. Ecocert,
  2. AB,
  3. Nature & Progress

These 3 labels are guarantees of safety.


As for quality standards, there is the RAL-C standard created by a German organization which certifies that the candle does not produce soot smoke, burns evenly and does not drip.

Essential oils and incense

Diffuseur d'huile essentielle

To avoid the risk of accidents with candles when you have children or pets, you may be tempted to turn to incense, essential oils or perfumes to spray in the air or on fabrics.

But, is it really better?

Essential oils are only for use with a diffuser that will vaporize micro droplets into the air. Essential oils are powerful and very concentrated and should especially not be heated because they are irritating to the eyes, the respiratory tract.

Incense has been used for millennia and by all civilizations. Be careful, however, to choose them because they are qualified as carcinogenic, because they contain benzene and formaldehyde. In cone or stick, choose the purest possible incense, that is to say, the least chemically transformed.

 Again, trust the labels and tags. If you are not sure, go your way.

The alternatives: Armenian paper, white sage stick

Armenian paper has been around since the 19th century and its manufacturing process has not changed since. Armenia’s paper leaflets are made from leaves impregnated with benzoin. Armenian paper is well known for combating strong odors such as tobacco for example. Nevertheless, it is advisable not to burn more than 4 leaves per week and to always ventilate the room.

Widely used in Native American culture, the white sage fumigation and purification stick burns like Armenian paper. Again, because of the smoke that emanates from the combustion, it is advisable to open windows when using it.

Home fragrances are everywhere, in wardrobes, on the pillow, in the bedroom, and of course in the living room.

Isn’t it dangerous to multiply the perfumes?

Indoor perfumes or candles do not replace the daily airing of your home. Renewing the air is essential on a daily basis and favor the most natural fragrances. Our grandmothers used to prepare sachets of lavender to put in the cupboards, let’s keep it simple.

Seasonality of home fragrance

bougie par saison

In winter, the scents of orange, gingerbread, ginger, wood (pine, sandalwood, musk) comfort us.

In spring, the scents of white flowers, linen, cotton and cut herbs energize us and prepare for summer.

In summer, we look for refreshing scents like lemon and sea scents instead. The fruity scents of coconut or monoi.

In fall, fig, amber, cinnamon, leather are the perfect scents for this transitional season between summer and fall. They will create the cocooning spirit.

And you, which home perfume will you choose now? Are you going to offer candles for Christmas?

Photos: Cotton Bro, Eva Elijas, Karolina Grabowska, Malina Sirbu

Fenêtres extérieures

8 tips to transform your balcony into an additional room.

You have a balcony, a terrace, a roof terrace, how small this outdoor space is, you can use it at least several months a year, do not neglect it, make it an additional living room.


1. Optimize space

You have a 3-dimensional space, use the height to hang shelves to store what you only need from time to time. You can hang pretty plants from the ceiling.

Freeing up floor space by limiting the amount of furniture will give the impression of space.

Lampe suspendue a un arbre

2. Lighting

For light: we think of solar which works even without direct light. In garland, on foot, to plant plants in the ground or to hang on the wall, there are solar lights of all sizes and for all budgets.

Also think about exterior mirrors which reflect light and give an effect of depth.

Hamac avec vue

3. Define the main use

Before any purchase, it is important to define the main use of this outdoor space in order to avoid moving the furniture too often.

For example, if you dream of a hammock but your outdoor space is also a dining area, you will have to regularly disassemble the hammock, this will become restrictive in the long run, with the risk of wear and tear from repeated disassembly.

Terrasse donnant sur l'océan

4. Identify your style

Sometimes we tend to buy decorative items over the years and we end up with colours and styles that don’t always work together, find your style to match the ensemble while avoiding the total look.

Jardin sous la neige

5. Protect

Ideally, it is recommended to keep outdoor furniture and accessories in a safe place. Not everyone has a garden shed or storage space in the garage.

However, you can protect your furniture from the elements with breathable and waterproof covers.

Exposed to the rays of the moon and the sun, your furniture will deteriorate all winter, moss and rust can set in.

balcon en bois

6. Eco friendly materials

We are turning to eco friendly materials:

  • FSC / PEFC wood,
  • recycled materials,
  • metal,
  • natural stone,
  • slate.

More and more affordable and resistant, don’t hesitate to opt for these materials that are good for the planet, designers are making pretty collections these days.

Tapis d'exterieur

7. Outdoor rugs

Rugs complete the look of an exterior, colorful or black and white, round or rectangular, there are all kinds. However, prefer natural materials such as coconut, bamboo or jute rather than polypropylene.

Polypropylene does not resist rain well and its particles fly up in the air.

Pile de coussins

8. Indoor/Outdoor brands

In the old days, garden furniture was only found in the garden shops and there were few pretty affordable choices.

These last years, many furniture brands have been developing their own “Outdoor” collections. There is something for all budgets and all sizes.

Enjoy your outdoor space!

Do you want to discuss your outdoor project? Contact me!


5 tips for welcoming spring at home

Mother Nature has been asleep and rested the whole winter but spring is coming soon.

 The season change can bring you joy, peace and relaxation at home.

In a way, the body is also asleep during winter, we spend less time outside, and we eat more comfort food during Sinterklass and Christmas events. The body is slowing down.

Spring is the opportunity to awake our 5 senses, to add more consciousness in our daily lives in order to feel lighter and to feel better.

Etagère en bois LOVE

1. Sight

  • My first advice is to surround yourself with plants and flowers. Adding plants and flowers in all the rooms of your house will bring life into it.

Watching the plants growing, living, changing along the seasons is very resourceful.

Small, big, growing fast, growing slowly, even if you don’t have green fingers, there are plants for everyone and every rooms don’t worry!


  • My second tip is to apply the biophilic design by using natural patterns in your decor.

For example, posters of flowers or plants can decorate a kitchen or an office.

Dry flowers can bring colours in a living room.

If you are in the mood for bigger renovation, you can apply a landscape design wallpaper in a corridor or in a bedroom.


  • My third tip is to clear and clean your home. Clearing your home or your office will also clear your mind at the same time.

Then you are ready for spring and summer.

You may already know Marie Kondo, the expert in home organizing.

With her method, you know where to start to have a fresh and steady home.

ensemble de coussins, palmier

2. Touch

 Change the textiles and the fabrics in your home, just like you do with your clothes.

You store your wool jumpers in your wardrobe and you rather wear cooler clothes, right?

In winter, we like comfortable and warm fabrics in the house such as a wool plaid, velvet cushions or bouclette curtains for example.

In spring, you can let these warm fabrics in the closet until next winter and replace them with natural fabrics such as a linen plaid, some cotton curtains and bamboo cotton pillows.

Bougie avec des fleurs

3. Smell

In winter, we rather go for sweet and warm scents like cinnamon, vanilla, wood perfumes.

Spring is the blooming season.

You can replace your winter candles and sticks by some flower, lemon and fresh grass home perfume.

It will give a fresh smell and it contributes to a positive mood.

Of course, the plants and the flowers you add in your home will clean the air and bring a nice smell as well.

Oranger sur un balcon

4. Taste

We saw earlier the benefits of importing more plants inside your home.  What about the outside?

If you have a garden, you are the lucky one!

But you don’t need a garden or a large terrace to plant some tomatoes, some strawberries or some herbs.

The minimum you need is a French balcony, not because I am French..

Growing your own vegetables and herbs doesn’t take much time.

You will be so proud of eating your own fresh harvest. From the balcony to the plate in just 2 minutes.

Gardening is well-known for relaxing so it’s time to plant!

Relaxation, vue sur les montagnes

5. Ear

Just open the window and listen to the birds, there are very active in this season.

If you live in the city-center and the only thing you can hear when you open the window is the traffic jam and the motorcycle klaxons.

Then, you can find plenty of nature sound playlists.

For more information about spring decoration, contact me!