Oh St. Valentine, how you pop up every year, sending boyfriends and girlfriends in a fluster to quickly find their lovers a gift for a holiday that’s been commercialised in your name. How you love to remind those not in a relationship, of society's expectation that we should be committed. What joy you bring!

While many valentines edits were popping through my inbox in the lead up to the big day, what caught my eye was an invitation to a life drawing class, hosted by artist Alexandria Coe, for the launch of the collaboration with candle brand, Evermore London. What better way to celebrate love, than by creating art that displays an appreciation of the natural body, an insecurity so many men and women struggle with? Despite having no drawing talent and barely scraping a passing grade at Art GCSE, I replied with an enthusiastic yes. 

After a quick coffee in the top floor of the Conran shop, and the setting for the class, we took our seats and listened to Alexandria as she explained the different life drawing exercises we would be doing, and once the model got into position, we started with a 2 min sketch. As expected, no hidden artistic talent came to light, but as Alexandria reassured, it wasn’t about the expert technique, but about how we represent the body in a minimal state. 

Which is something Alexandria is an expert on. Having studied at the Chelsea College of Art, then completing an MA at Central Saint Martins, Alexandria has mastered the act of conveying emotion through a few lines. Her latest piece, ‘Lover’s Embrace’, was created exclusively to be on the new, limited edition Evermore London candle, Garden’s of Venus. “It’s really hard to know what you want until you see it, so it was kind of working with the idea of something that wasn't too gender specific.” explains Alexandria, when deciding on a concept for the artwork. “It had to be something that really represented sensuality obviously, as that’s what the fragrance is all about.” Founder of Evermore London, Sarah Bell, paired gardenia and sugared rose petals scents with patchouli, amber and indulgent tuberose to create the candle, which is inspired by Venus, the goddess of love. “Most of our fragrances are nature inspired and this one was probably the most sensual one that we’ve got.” She says, “the tuberose and lily in it make it, for want of a better word, quite sexy.”

The word ‘sexy’ may have strong connotations with romantic love, but for Alexandria, sensuality is a more open field.It’s how something makes you feel good about yourself.” She states, “that could be yourself making you feel good, but it could also be the way someone romantically makes you feel or how a friend makes you feel, or even just standing in the sun on the beach. It could just be an experience of a place.” With that mindset, we can look to Valentines Day as no longer an anxiety-inducing holiday, but a celebration of love for all our relationships, human or not. That’s a celebration worthy of gifting this candle for.

More More More!

+ Ceramicist Laetitia Rouget's exhibition opens in Sabah's Mayfair store

+ The iconic photographer Peter Lindbergh captures the ultimate expression of French luxury…

+ Surprise Me!