creating the jammiest candle

by the Boujee Perfumer, Pia Long 

Queen Jam (kuningatarhillo) is a real Finnish conserve, made of raspberries and bilberries. Being Finnish myself, I grew in a very berry culture – the foraging of berries from nature is not just a quirky past time, it’s ingrained into the lives of almost every Finn, urban or rural. The bilberry is a smaller, darker and more flavourful relative to the bigger blueberries we are used to seeing in the UK. Bilberries do grow wild in the UK, too, but most people wouldn’t think to look for them and when you do find a patch, the berries are sparser and harder to forage.

A Finnish forest where bilberries can be found, will always have spruce or pine around, a lot of moss and a perfect spot for the berries to thrive under the shade of the trees. This environment, the deep purple colour of the berries and the unique flavour were my first focus when creating the Queen Jam candle, then the raspberries, then the jam, and as always, a little bit of artistic license to avoid being too literal – rose petals.

I’ve been working on berry accords for my whole perfumery career, but I like this one the best because it manages to be mouth-watering, realistic, and a fantasy all at once. One of the perhaps peculiar findings in my berry experiments was that myrrh modifies a bilberry accord in a way that makes it feel more authentic – as there is no bilberry essential oil, I had to create the aroma myself. For raspberry, I used real raspberry leaf absolute, along with various perfume ingredients to achieve a super juicy berry. Rose enhances the berries in a playful but sophisticated way, making the fragrance something you want to fill your whole house with – rather than just the kitchen. Of course, for those of you who enjoy rose jam, rose in this context makes a lot of sense, too.

While Queen Jam is a scent you can enjoy all year around, I especially think it’s a late summer and autumnal harvest mood.