'What is it in my heart is surprised and bewildered
Like that camellia tree,
Beautiful still in its glittering anguish?
And spring so far away!’
~ Conrad Aiken
Last month I was fortunate to find Camellia oleiflora blooming, and still scenting the air even in the December frost.
The beautiful camellia has been growing in the U.K. since the 18th century having been brought over from the east on a tea ship. They are considered to be a most glamorous flower. In France in 1913 Coco Chanel pinned one of the white blooms to her belt. She adored the flowers simplicity, shape and vitality (it’s not afraid to flower in winter), and made the Camellia more than her favourite flower — she made it the symbol of Chanel.
Since 2700 BC the leaves of Camellia sinensis have been made into tea in china. While Camellia oleifera, makes a beautifully scented edible oil known as tea oil or camellia oil. The camellia we probably see the most is Camellia japonica, which is largely unscented but extraordinarily elegant.
Camellia was a natural inspiration when creating our luxury scented candle Notes of December, I wanted to capture the scent of an evergreen forest but marry it with Camellia to make a truly beautiful scent for your home.