We’ve always believed that smells can transport you across the miles – and through time, too. And La Montaña is proof. Since Cassandra Hall launched her beautiful candle brand a couple of years ago (India Knight’s a fan – and so of course are we), we have been whisked to Spain with every whiff.
The trouble with buying scented candles – not ‘sight-unseen’ but perhaps ‘smell-unsniffed’ – is that you just don’t know what you’re getting. So La Montaña offers a terribly clever way to experience the candles, in the form of beautifully-illustrated scratch ‘n’ sniff cards! ‘
Explains Cassandra: ‘As La Montaña is principally an online business – we like dealing with our customers directly – we have invested in some haute technologie to sample our candle fragrances via crystal technology. It’s hard for people who don’t live in London to sample our fragrances – so we have beautifully-printed sets of our seven fragrances with clear, resealable labels which give an utterly true rendition of each fragrance.’
Simply peel back the clear panel and there’s a perfect, evocative representation of the smell. (We’re using ours as scented bookmarks!) Excitingly, Cass has 100 sets of these scented cards to offer exclusively to Perfume Society readers. Simply click here to e-mail her – be sure to mention The Perfume Society – and prepare to enter the wonderful, aromatic world of this ‘rising star’ candle brand. What’s more, one lucky reader will receive a full-size La Montaña candle of their choice.’
Cass spends most of the year in Spain and the fragrances recreate the different smells she associates with that country. There are seven scents altogether, of which our three favourites are the following:
Alfredo’s Café – inspired by the scents of her village square: coffee, black tobacco and brandy, swirling with leather and incense from the nearby church. As Cass says, ‘Alfredo and his café are real – and wonderful. The only thing missing from this fragrance is the sound of old men slamming down their dominoes.
Three Kings – celebrating a winter festival (a highlight of the colder months), we’ll leave it to Cass to describe this: ‘The trees surrounding the village create a background of cedarwood notes mingled with trampled pine needles, while frankincense and myrrh from the church make an accord with traditional, homemade turrón (almond nougat) and a brightening tot of brandy.’ We’re almost there, thanks to a sniff of this seasonally-perfect fragrance…
Cloudburst – zingy, sense-awakening and just so refreshing, this evokes the mountainside after a summer storm, when notes from Cassandra’s herb garden blend with the fresh citrus from lemon and lime trees, alongside the scent of wild mountain fennel and rockrose (cistus).
The other fabulous fragrances are Sacred Roses, Gálan de Noche (night-scented jasmine, rose, ylang ylang and orange blossom), Winter Oranges and First Light.
As above, click here to e-mail. Once you’ve received your set, we think you’ll be tempted to try the candles for real – there are lots of options (ranging from £18 for an individual mini candle, which burns from an impressive 15+ hours, to £30 for a 40+ hour full-size candle). And on our Christmas wishlist for sure is this 7-candle set, below, with all the miniatures in one beautiful presentation box (at what we think is a jolly reasonable £75).
Time to say ‘hola!’ to La Montaña, we think – just in time for a feliz Navidad…