Oh goodness, have we got a treat for you.
Not too long ago, we discovered the most irresistible, deliciously-smelling and elegantly packaged candles – and we are officially smitten.
Mad et Len has just arrived at Huff Harrington Home and we can’t wait to share them with you. Their story is the kind of tale we love: two globe-trotting adventurists, Sandra and Alexandre, settle down in a tiny village in the southern French Alps and begin making completely organic, vegetal candles using the flora and fauna that surround them. They happen to have a blacksmith friend who fires up a hand-forged black iron tin to house the aromatic candles. Et voila – candle perfection.
We were so hooked when we first saw the line that we took it one step further and went to Mad et Len’s Marais showroom on a recent trip to Paris. Alexandre and Sandra were there and we were able to see and understand first-hand what this creative couple is doing.
One sniff of these artisanal candles sent our olfactory senses cartwheeling. They are intensely pure, rich and completely evocative, a nod to the natural aromas and smells found in nature, like cut grass, smokey wood, spicy flowers and shrubs. And the packaging is exquisite: black iron tins house these wax beauties so when the candle is done, you still have a dramatic and functional container to be used again.
(And, by the way, how could we not fall in love the name itself: Mad et Len is a clever little take on the French “madeleine” and takes a cue from Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past when a delicate little pastry triggers a flood of memories.)
The scents are hand-formulated in the village (which is near Grasse, the perfume capital of the world) and in small batches, using undiluted flowers, woods and spices. The intense flavorful notes of moss, violet, soil, oak, eucalyptus, cypress and mint will have your nose in a happy little tizzy, we promise.
We’ve brought our favorites into the store and even after a couple days, we’re all hovering around the display in a scent-infused trance. Our favorite (although these candles are like your children: you simply adore them all) is probably Terre Noire, a yummy and earthy concoction of rich soil, minerals, pine and oak. It is unlike anything else you’ve ever smelled in a candle and is completely addictive.
Next on the list is the equally fabulous Spirituelle, a lighter fragrance reminiscent of crisp mint, orange blossom and wood. Sang Bleu is rich with undertones of black current and rose while Figue Noire smells literally like sunset under a French fig tree. Graphite is an intoxicating melange of paper, leather, wood and chalk.
The gorgeous candles come in a couple different sizes with burn times of 75 to 130 hours: the apothicaire tin, pictured above, and the vestimentale, seen here:
The line also includes a couple enticing perfumes and we quickly realized we couldn’t live without the two signature scents: Fuego Flores (light and feminine with orange and wild lavender notes)and Vetyver Bucolique caught our attention immediately with their beguiling and sophisticated aromas. (In fact, the Vetyver Bucolique might – just might – remind you of your long-ago French boyfriend!)
Do we sound hooked? We are. Everything about Mad et Len, from the artful chemistry of the scents to the sleek and elegant packaging, had us from the first bonjour. Shop Mad et Len now and find out why we’re positively obsessed with this out-of-this-world line – and if you’re local, come into the store and join us as we drool over Mad et Len.