First Light is our signature fragrance, born, as it was, from our very earliest experiences of our new mountain life. We were up at dawn before it got too hot to let the dogs out, and there was an absolutely enchanting, natural fragrance in the air… the fragrance of the mountain itself. The mountain that appears in the background of every one of our illustrations.
Maybe we’re biased – well, of course we are – but we find this fragrance hauntingly beautiful. Wild fennel makes it distinctive and unlike any other we’ve discovered (in all Cass’s many years of candle-obsession) while herbs such as rosemary and mountain pepper give it an aromatic edge and its lingering softness comes from the amber-y roots of a mountainside rockrose.
It’s the fragrance of a Spanish summer dawn; a memory you didn’t know you had.
As it was our first concept, it was also our first meeting with a professional perfumer. These people are magicians; they can keep hundreds of aromas in their minds (or noses) and can conjure up a complex fragrance of stunning beauty in a remarkably short period of time (though not with Alfredo’s Café – see that blog). We had confidently said that we knew we wanted Wild Fennel, and were astonished to discover that we needed to smell five different fennel oils to find the right one. FIVE! Who knew?
We think of it as an ‘aromatic’ in terms of fragrance families, but according to perfumers who know their stuff, it could also be a ‘chypre’ – meaning cyprus in French, this includes fragrances built on a similar accord consisting of bergamot, oakmoss, patchouli, and labdanum (rockrose). We don’t mind really, we love it whichever it is! In fact, we love it so much, we also made it our first reed diffuser fragrance.
The author and columnist India Knight just loves First Light and she says that not only are La Montaña candles the best and best-smelling she’s ever come across, they also make people go into your room and say “Oh my God, what is that divine smell?”
Possibly because of the association with the dawn, the quietest time of day, we consider First Light to be our stress-buster, or ‘spa’. fragrance. Not only do we keep it in reed diffuser form in the house at all times, but we reach for it in candle form after a difficult day – or after an interminable queue in the over-heated Post Office at Christmas time!
As one of our customers told us: “I’ve been walking around my house with it, trying to decide which room deserves it the most!”