My neighbours had various pots of plants on their patio. Growing up, I remember sneaking in sometimes to “borrow” a handful of mogre (jasmine). It helped that we were generational friends (our dads were friends, our elder siblings were friends, and Falsay and I were friends as well), in case anyone ever got caught. Back then, my patio had a swing and that’s about it. History has it that once there was a garden in my patio, where roots grew so deep and strong that they threatened the very foundation of our house. Every now and then, a random branch would sprout from the ground, sending the entire battalions of elders into panic mode. Hence, no greens for us.
Despite being sort of deprived, the fragrance of jasmine stuck with me. They aren’t much to look at but their fragrance is my most favourite smell in the world. It is also so intricately entwined with my happy memories- they made my childhood fragrant, N used to bring me mogre ka gajra (jamine bracelet) whenever he could, we would hold the traffic to buy one from the street, I wore them on my wedding and I still look longingly every time a seller goes by, but I can’t stop to purchase them.
Then Germany happened. And it taught me the value of scented candles. I didn’t care for them before Berlin to be honest, primarily because I had previously bought them from a shady gift store on Sindhi Muslim and while they looked pretty, I could NEVER smell anything other than hot wax. So, I didn’t really care for them. But with Berlin’s 4pm sunsets in winters, long nights, enclosed cooking spaces and general weather-related gloominess, I started buying candles. Now, N and I have candle lit dinners almost every day 😀
Since I acquired a nose for candles, I kept an eye out for them too. This is how I discovered Karachi Candle. It’s from the city that has my heart and soul, and their fragrances looked/sounded incredible. I saved them in my to-purchase-in-Pakistan list in 2017, but only got to it this time around. I hadn’t seen The Karachi Candle Company’s stuff in person; just online, but something called me to it. Was it the name? The simplistic design? The enchanting fragrances (chambeli, motia, lavender, oudh ul laila)?I don’t know. It’s just one of those things you see and you believe.
I ordered two large candles (Motia and Chambeli) and a box set of Motia to share with my friends. This was my first time seeing and sniffing them in person, and I LOVED it. Chambeli is hands down the winner and I have been sniffing it like a treat since I got it. I didn’t even want to light it for the fear of it ending (and who knows when do I get to go back to Pakistan again to restock) but I just did (for this love letter/low-key review post), and it actually has a fragrance! Equally divine, equally nostalgic.
Scented candles from The Karachi Candle Company is one of the best purchases from my trip back home in 2019. Those who live in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, they stock at a few places and you can find them on their website. Those who love elsewhere, find someone who lives in Pakistan, become their best friend, and then get on to farmaish-ing because it is totally worth it.