My sister, who lives in the US, stocks up on pure stearin candles from Liljeholmens. She confesses to pulling them out of the cupboard not to light them, but to have a whiff. Why? They smell like christmas, she says.

Since 1830 Liljeholmens Stearinfabrik has been producing high quality candles, making them a christmas staple in most Swedish households. It was these candles we lit in advent as we read advent poems, it was these candles we carried when singing the Lucia processions, it was these red candles mother lit on Christmas Eve.

There's another secret to why they are a quintessential christmas smell. Liljeholmens are suppliers to most churches in Sweden. Since these may date back centuries, even to the medieval age, theirs is a characteristic smell of old stone, wood, metal, glass, and lit candles. Of those the easiest to export is, of course, the candles.

Available internationally through Swedishop, Scandiafood, and Fjorn Scandinavian. Their factory outlet is located in Oskarshamn, Sweden.

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