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Polly's Pick: Astier de Villatte Provincetown Candle

By Polly Blitzer / May 20, 2013

Photo: Polly Blitzer via Instagram.com/beautyblitz

What is it about a burning candle? Anything it diffuses smells warm and tranquil. I look forward to late-afternoon lulls when I take a breather to light up a bougie. 

This one caught my eye, because it was created in collaboration with John Derian, the master of decoupage. I've been a fan of Astier de Villatte candles for quite some time. (If you're not familiar with them, I encourage you to make a beeline to the home section of Barney's or Bergdorf Goodman.) The spicy Alcatraz candle enchants in a way that makes your shoulders relax instantly. Consider the unusual notes of Italian blond tobacco (not even close to prison yard Marlboros), yerba mate, dried hay and black pepper. You will want to be held captive by this Alcatraz. Please, take me as prisoner. I beg you.

Primarily known for white lacquered ceramics, like fruit stands and vases, Astier de Villatte also has a line of candles in charming, flea market style vessels. The candle scents blends familiar notes into sophisticated complexity. You won't find candle cliches, such as vanilla cinnamon or fir tree. Instead, the Provincetown scent combines an unexpected (but heavenly) swirl of star anise, basil, Italian bergamot, cedar, coriander, eucalyptus and fennel, with hints of Indian ginger, and peppermint.
John Derian's Provincetown candle captures the salty sea spray and dusty dunes I look forward to every summer.
 
Derian was inspired by ocean wind and open country, modeled after his favorite village on Cape Cod. "Endless sandy beaches and wild vegetation surround Provincetown. Intoxicating fresh air and sea mist combine with the scents of wild berries, beach grass, wintergreen and cedar". This candle contains no paraffin or other petrochemical by-products. It's made with vegetable wax and cotton wick.
 
Astier de Villatte x John Derian Provincetown candle, ($185) for ceramic or ($83) for glass, available exclusively at John Derian NYC; 212-677-3917