Sometimes a candle is just a candle. But there are times when a simple candle has a lot more behind it than meets the eye. That is certainly the case with Baroness Von Neumann candles.
Who is the Baroness von Neumann? There is a long description of the Baroness on her website, but I’ll encapsulate. The Baroness von Neumann is an all American girl, who began life as Monica Ford. With showbiz in her blood, she toured with the likes of Nina Simone, and the pop rock band Devo. When you are beautiful, and determined to make a name for yourself, finding other opportunities is important. As the story is told, Monica found a big one at the type of event (in Palm Springs) where the elite, meet. She found, connected, and in 1985, married, the Baron Von Neumann. With this connection, she became a Baroness, with a family lineage that includes Austria, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the many achievements of the von Neumann family.
For many women, traveling the globe, being a celebrated hostess, and a good wife, is enough, but this rich, titled and determined beautiful, black woman wanted more. She became a mother and lived the good life. But after the Baron passed away, and some legal to-do within the family, Monica took on more charitable activities. But the Baroness Monica von Neumann also employed her (by now), finely-honed taste and talents to create a stunning home décor brand that includes textiles, flatware, linen and accessories plus, scented candles. Odd, but there is not much about either Monica or the baron she married to find. Online, there doesn’t seem to be any photos of the two of them together, or mentions of their life as a couple. But it really doesn’t matter. The candles are the thing I want you to know about, and the Baroness von Neumann candles are excellent!
The Baroness Von Neumann candle collection brings an elegant atmosphere or entertaining accessory to your home. The beautifully boxed candles (in hard cardboard with gold accents) candle bear the Von Neumann crest, emblazoned with symbols that show the achievements of those who carry the surname.
In case you are wondering what a family crest is, here is a quick primer: Anyone can design and display a family crest. However, a crest is actually just a piece of the Coat of Arms. –the part that usually shows up above the helmet. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families or surnames. A form of property, coats of arms may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted. Such grants were (and are) made by the proper heraldic authority for the country in question. But many people can, and do, design a family crest of their own Clearly, this one for the von Neumann descendants, has some very important key elements: The Physician – Bestowed upon Baroness von Neumann’s father-in-law, the symbol represents Dr. von Neumann’s dedication to the field of otolaryngology; The Star of David – As a Jewish doctor in Austria during World War II, Dr. von Neumann took strength in his Jewish identity. Often referred to as the Shield of King David, the star has come to illuminate the united bond between God and the Jewish people. The six pointed star signifies God’s power over the universe in all directions —north, south, east, west, up and down; The Lion – the image of the lion is likened to ultimate displays of courage, bravery, strength, ferocity and valor, and; The Hammer- In ancient times, the chemical element iron proved more precious than gold. Forged from wrought iron by heating and hammering it, the tool came to represents honor and dominance; The National Flower of Austria – the star-shaped Edelweiss has been flourishing in the country’s majestic mountains for centuries. A symbol of endurance and beauty, the perennials even thrive during the colder months when the promise of white, fluffy snowfall.
The Baroness Von Neuman candles are available in several collections:
The Memoire collection ($49.50/each) arrives in white votives with elegant gold accents. The scent are: ATLAS (Sandalwood, Ceylon Cinnamon & Mahogany); Savon (Jasmine, Damask Rose & Red Amber); MODENA (Orange Blossom & Lemon Leaf); and Fête (Clove Bud, Mandarin Norwegian Pine). I sampled the “Atlas” candle. The press information describes it as: “A warm and sophisticated ambiance of a wood-burning fireplace. The scent of mahogany timbers, spicy Ceylon cinnamon and Zanzibar clove layer over smoky peat, sandalwood, and close with notes of orange flowers, rosewood and red amber.” Translating this into advicesisters-speak, the scent is soft, not masculine or overly spicy. It reminds me of the scent of a ski lodge after the fireplace has been extinguished, but a large bouquet of flowers has been heated, and is scenting the air along with the incense-y smoke and wood. You really do smell something almost historical, as if you entered an old building full of rich history. The scent is intoxicating, unique, sophisticated, but it won’t overwhelm a small room. It just leaves a whiff, in your memory.
The Cosmopolitan Collection includes four candles, also in white and gold. They are a tribute to la belle époque, with scents that explore the range of sensory experiences for different yet equally exquisite moods and occasions. The candles combine florals, woods and spices. Atlas (Sandalwood, Ceylon Cinnamon & Mahogany); Savon (Jasmine, Damask Rose & Red Amber); Modena (Orange Blossom & Lemon Leaf); Fête(Clove Bud, Mandarin & Norwegian Pine)
I also sampled a candle from the Era collection. These are housed in generouslysized, bright orange votives (all are 12.5 oz.) : ($49.50) 55 (Vanilla, Oro Blanco, & Crystalline Musk); Antoinette (Hibiscus White Tea, Clementine & Black Currant) ; Capri (Grapefruit, Italian Basil) and the one I tried, Versailles a Fleur D’Oranger. Bergamont & Rosemary. The press information says Versailles has: “top notes of fleur d’oranger and bergamot energize with nuanced fruits and herb varietals for a masterful rhapsody of perfection personified.” Translated into advicesisters-peak, the scent is a juicy orange that has a slight undertone of herbs. It reminds me a bit of juicy fruit orange gum, because there is a brightness and a tartness, but also a sweetness, with the merest nod of orange blossom.
The Legend collection, based on the scent descriptions, will appeal to men as well as to women. The votives are a striking, black ($49.50/each). The scents are Czar (Absinthe Noir, Black fig & Hymalayan Wood); GARBO (Oud Wood, Scotch & Vintage Lavender); Johan (Leather, Cured Tobacco & Vetivert); andMarra (Cassis, Rosewood & Peony)
I wasn’t able to attend the launch event for these candles, so I didn’t meet the Baroness, but if I had met her in person, I’d have told her just how exceptional her candles are. They offer unique, sophisticated scents that you notice with pleasure,but that won’t gag you with too much olfactory excess. They scent the air with beautiful and unique fragrance notes that people love, yet, like a true royal, they’re elegant and not obvious. They’re also unisex. Some will remind you of a person, place or thing that you loved, and some will entice you to explore new emotions.
You can buy scented candles for a few dollars, or much more. If you want to treat yourself, or your guests, “royally” you can add this little touch of luxury to your hoe (or pick some up as royal “offerings” for your weekend hostess, or the holidays), for under $50.00.