Lately I’ve developed quite an obsession with scented candles. They’ve never really been big for me until now however, that’s because I’ve discovered cheap candles where you can up their ante by adding a few drops of perfume oil, essential oils or bakhoor/uunsi (more on that later). I haven’t really splurged on expensive candles but, I’m contemplating on getting a Jo Malone candle, especially the Pomegranate Noir candle.
Coming from a Somali background, perfume is a huge thing and I’m sure my Somali and Arab readers will be nodding their heads in agreement. From a young age, my mother would douse me in perfume before I went to school so that I’d smell sweet. I also remember my mums vast collection of perfumes ranging from Dior’s Dune to Givenchy’s Organza; going perfume shopping now brings me back to many childhood memories. However, not only would my mum use perfume but she’d use bakhoor/uunsi (the Somali name). You pop the woodchips that have been soaked in fragrant oils like sandalwood, frankincense and musk over coal and you get a scented smoke like you see in the image above. The smell lingers for days and you get a very deep, musky scent which I used to hate a child but now I absolutely love that part of my culture.
One thing about the tradition though, is that it can be quite expensive. The stuff my mother would buy is top notch and very high quality and if you want the best, it can set you back about at least £100 for a few ounces. We’d only use this on special occasions though, but my mother would spend this much money nevertheless. However, if I told her that I’d be willing to spend about £260 on a luxury Jo Malone candle, she’d think I was crazy.