Whether you work in a big city or a small town, mornings are often laced with the diverse aroma of freshly ground beans or something more instant. Even if you have the luxury of a lie in, slow mornings are made extra special with the subtle scent of a stove top moka pot; a charming gurgle over the hiss of the blue flame signals the perfect brew.
From an espresso to a latte, coffee has taken shape as a popular morning drink. Over the last few centuries, it has evolved into one of the world’s most sought-after beverages, and in the last decade alone, the speciality coffee scene has boomed like no other. But the origins of this drink go back far further than you may think.
Originally sourced from the ancient forests of Ethiopia, there are many myths and legends surrounding the discovery of the coffee bean, first noted when a farmer saw his sheep, after eating the beans, perk up with an unusual amount of energy. But it wasn’t until word reached the Arabian Peninsula that coffee cultivation and trade truly began.
Coffee houses started to spring up as early as the 15th Century, and they became a hub of social activity, conversation, music, performance and a means of spreading news. In the 17th Century, this wondrous drink reached Europe and coffee houses too became focal points for social interaction and stimulating conversation; mid-century, there were over 300 coffee houses in London alone. Due to the demand, coffee plantations started to spread across the world and many new nations were established on coffee economies.
The widespread pleasure of drinking coffee still stands today. Associated with energy, vigour and alertness, many people can’t start their day without a generous cup of this addictive drink. Distinctive in flavour yet hugely diverse, coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that is absorbed into your bloodstream and improves various aspects of your brain function. It also contains essential nutrients such B vitamins, magnesium and potassium, and may help fight or prevent several serious diseases.
But, we think there is more to coffee than its energetic tendencies; the drinking of coffee has become a ritual with many associations, all weaved together through its diverse and alluring smell. Studies even suggest that just a whiff of freshly brewed coffee is enough to alert your senses, regardless of whether you decide to drink it or not.
On morning commutes, the staple aroma of passing coffee shops can sharpen the brain. Whether that’s a placebo effect or not, this is still a testament to the power of smell and the pleasant associations we establish in our minds. It is a smell that encapsulates the labour, care and precision that has gone into each cup.
With the recent surge of slow coffee culture and speciality techniques, the coffee shop has become, once again, a culturally stimulating location for all manner of people. Whether you head for a coffee with friends or simply want to sit on your own and read a book, the coffee shop and its distinct aroma of freshly ground beans welcomes all. It is a space to perch and watch the world go by or sit and get some work done. It is somewhere you head on a first date, third date or a three-year anniversary. At once, the smell off coffee embodies the beauty of stimulating conversation, community and people, socialising and connecting over the simple pleasure of a hot drink.
To bring this sense of belonging and connectivity into your home, we have a selection of fragrances each laced with the mesmerising smell of coffee, but expressed in completely different ways. Inspired by Bach at Café Zimmerman, Breakfast at Leipzig by D.S. & Durga calls to mind the lively coffee shop backdrop of many of the composer’s first performances. Fused with notes of buttery almond, pastries and pipe tobacco, this candle really brings to life the largest and best-appointed coffeehouse in Leipzig in 1723.
Elsewhere, Anya Hindmarch’s Coffee candle is more an ode to the morning brew, rich and woody in scent and an intoxicating mix of café abs, galbanum, cardamom, vetiver, patchouli, Virginia cedar wood, tonka bean, frankincense and amber. With bright eyed, googly graphics, this candle would be an enlivening, caffeine-free addition to any home.
Does the smell of coffee help you get out of bed in the morning?
Let us know in the comments below!