Candle Review: Rive Sud Interior “Via Della Basilica”

bougie-luxe-via-della-basilicaRive Sud Interior is a newish company based in France, producing fragranced candles.  Their collection of four scents created by Delphine Thierry was released recently. When I received an email from the company PR representative asking if I’d like a sample to review, I agreed happily.

I have never reviewed a scented candle for the blog before, though I like them.  The only “expensive” candle I’ve ever tried before this was a small size Annick Goutal Noel candle (which I bought during one of Parfum1’s discount sales).  Usually I make do with candles from Pier 1 or Bath and Body Works, and I’ve even been known to pick up a Pumpkin Spice candle or two from Wal-Mart.

The four candles released by Rive Sud Interior are as follows:

#1 Acqua di LatteFloral touches of fresh and ephemeral angelica, for a symphony of white and transparent fragrances. (Notes of star anise, angelica and white musks.)  220g candle, 70,00 €.

#2 Cap Ferrat Les PinsA carpet of pine needles on a warm earth, a sea breeze, sea spray on pinewoods. (Notes of sage, nutmeg, pine, papyrus.) 220g candle, 70,00 €.

#3 Via Della Basilica Like a poem by Pavese, the streets will open into a hill of pines and stones leading silently to the basilica. (Notes of black pepper, myrrh and incense.) 1100g candle, 250,00 €.

#4 RosewoodAn elegant and warm mix of wooded scents highlight the voluptuousness of the essences. (Notes of cinnamon, gaiac, and rosewood.) 1100g candle, 250,00 €.

The sample I was sent was a small 75g Via Della Basilica candle, and it smelled lovely right out of the box. I’m not Catholic – indeed, my daughter was just noticing recently that our rural county of Virginia has about three times as many churches as it has stoplights – and I only have memories of incense from visiting Malta and Rome a few years ago.

This is a calming, meditative sort of scent. The black pepper is the first thing I smell, as well as a “cold stone” effect, which could be part of the incense, as I first smelled this effect in Comme des Garcons Incense Series Zagorsk. There is also a hint of polished wood, and some benzoin, but by and large this is simply an incense scent without much smoke, with a sort of outdoor cast. I’m not sure whether I’m smelling any pine or not, but there’s a chilly-air angle to it that recalls conifers.

I like it. Very much.

The wax burns cleanly and evenly although the wick is not located in the exact center of the candle. Oddly, though, I notice that once the candle is burning I lose my ability to smell it after about thirty minutes, and it’s only when I’ve blown out the candle that I can smell it again. Its unlit throw is not enormous, but within a few feet it’s noticeable (mind you, this sample is 75g, slightly larger than a votive candle and encased in sturdy glass).

Would I buy a 1100g candle ever? Probably not. I have noticed that the larger the candle, the less likely it is to burn evenly. I do find it a little odd that RSI is not offering a choice of sizes for these candles. It simply offers #1 and #2 in the smaller size and the other two in the large one.  Getting on to the price: these are really, really spendy.  Quality materials, as far as I can tell – frankly, Via Della Basilica smells wonderful and I would certainly buy it if it were priced for my budget. It’s not. The large candle costs approximately $345 at today’s currency exchange rate. Even if the dollar were stronger against the euro, that’s way out of my range.

From Rive Sud Interior‘s website, it appears to be the creation of an interior decorator and designer called Christine Bodino, who is based in the Cannes area. As such, I would imagine that anyone who can afford an interior decorator for their villa in Cannes or Cap Ferrat wouldn’t have any trouble dropping 250 euros on a candle; the company seems aimed at the luxury market.

As I said, it’s a beautiful scent and the candle is good quality.  Here are a few other reviews:

Elena at Fragrantica

Lucasai at Chemist in the Bottle

Kevin at Now Smell This

The Non-Blonde

Kevin and Lucasai both noticed notes of immortelle in the candle, which I did not. Immortelle tends to make me feel a bit queasy, and I’m rather glad I didn’t pick up on it, even after the mention of this note that smells something like buttery maple syrup.  Some reviewers also mentioned that the throw seemed minimal to them, especially given the price, and I’d agree that the burning candle did not seem to put much scent into the air, although I had a better experience with it unlit.



8 thoughts on “Candle Review: Rive Sud Interior “Via Della Basilica””

  1. I’m trying to imagine how large the 1100g candle is and how long it would take to burn it. The design of these is simple and modern and fits well with my style, but since I rarely burn candles I cannot imagine using one of these up. The prices seem astronomical to me. Ah well, the very rich are very, very different.

    1. I know! I can’t imagine how big that is. For comparison, I checked the biggest candle I have, which is the big 3-wick size from Bath and Body Works (Winter, by Slatkin Candle), and it’s 411g. I just can’t picture how big the RSI one is.

      The prices are silly. I mean, even Cire Trudon are cheaper. I suppose these are for people who simply want “the best,” and they don’t have budgets.

  2. Heya mals86,
    Sounds fabulous. I wonder if the candle’s primary focus is not so much to scent the air but to remove all other scents, a wash of beautiful almost fragrance that burns out the rather less lovely fragrance of modern life? I like the idea of a very soft fragrance that won’t interfere with food or people’s aromas but will basically cleanse the space.
    On cleaning day here I beg everyone not to come home till after 3 pm because I burn incense and candles through the house after the clean till about 2pm. Then I open all the doors and windows to let that scent depart. When everyone comes home the house still smells nice but what it really smells is fresh and clean, I also think that the incense smoke and fire from candles cleanses the house of all negative energies, an Australian Aboriginal idea that I love.
    I think I will grab one of these while in Europe, thanks for the heads up.
    Portia xx

  3. Oh, interesting idea on a neutral scent… I don’t know. I tend to burn candles mostly for my own pleasure, although I did light some recently after an errant piece of food (broccoli, I think) got stuck on the heater element in the dishwasher and made the whole house smell like burnt cabbage. That was nassssty!

    You know, I’ve never burned incense but I think I might like to try that.

  4. I liked the candle very much, but got totally sidetracked by the big box it came in, and my own review focused mainly on that! Did everyone get the same humungous carton?

    1. I… um… barely remember the box. But that might have been because we were getting so many packages delivered in December (I do a lot of shopping online!). I have a vague memory of the box being considerably bigger than I had expected for a sample candle, but I think I just ripped into it and then put the outer box with all the other boxes to be recycled.

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