Fireside Embers candle

To discover why Parks spent 15 years developing their new fragrance, Fireside Embers, we caught up with founder Carol Symons.

"It's so different from any woody, fireside fragrance I'd ever experienced until that fateful day" - Carol Symons

Q. If you've already got woody scents like Sandalwood and Feu de Bois, why launch another?

Carol: "Actually, the original idea for Fireside Embers started with Feu de Bois maybe 15 years ago. Feu de Bois has always been a popular scent - all the way back to Diptyque's iteration. But in Feu de Bois, the cade gives it a bright, dry aspect. In my head I always imagined how wonderful it would be if it were richer and warmer. Basically, I was reaching for the best ever fireside scent.

Over the years we experimented and tried different versions, but never quite captured what I was imagining. And because we already had successful woody scents, we just kept trying. Very frustrating - like an itch you can't scratch.

"The breakthrough came a couple of years ago."

The breakthrough came a couple of years ago. I was staying with friends, and their home smelt amazing. The warmest, cosiest, most inviting fragrance appeared to be coming from the log fire, yet I'd never smelled a fire like that.

I looked everywhere around it for clues - maybe a herb sprinkled on it, that kind of thing. Eventually I asked the hosts what they were burning... Who knew the highest quality of firewood is oak? Apparently because it's denser and longer lasting - but it just had this wonderful fragrance to it. Which makes sense, because with drinks or food they often make a point of highlighting "oak" for flavour. Whiskey in an oak casket, "oak-smoked" salmon, cheese etc.

That was the Eureka moment. Now that we had a reference point there was something real to work towards. I really wanted to capture in fragrance that feeling of leaning into the hearth, feeling the heat, savouring the warmth.

Fireside Embers diffuser and small candle

We actually got the Fireside Embers fragrance to work in a diffuser first, but I really wanted a candle. When you look at a candle's flame, it's just as grounding, hypnotic and soothing as staring into the flames of a real fire. I was really reaching for the same calming, rich and warm ambience you get from that fireplace. That feeling's mesmerising and can't be replicated without a flame. Like any fragrance, it's a tricky balancing act to get it working really well in 100% natural wax (as opposed to paraffin), that added another year of development.

In any case, I'm so pleased we got there, it's so different from any woody, fireside fragrance I'd ever experienced until that fateful day. It even captures the note of when the flames have died down - you still get that warm glow, the smouldering scent and that homely comfort we all crave. That's why we settled on Fireside Embers as the right name.

Discover Fireside Embers here.