Alfredo’s Cafe from La Montaña is based on a real cafe in the Spanish Mountains. Having spent a couple of years living in Spain I was interested to try this candle and see if it brought back memories of drinking Lipton tea that was accompanied by a small jug of hot milk and a tiny sweet biscuit.
La Montaña was created by husband and wife team Cass and Jonathon Hall. Cass was previously Communications Director at Lancome. Jonathon is the hispanophile so when the time came for a change of pace and space Spain was the obvious choice. The brand is young (about four years old and there are currently seven candles in the range. The full sized candles retail for £36 which puts them very much in the Diptyque rather than Yankee Candle candle space. The burn time is approximately 40 hours and the type of wax is not defined on the website. La Montaña definitely define themselves as an ‘artisan’ brand which the glass jars being hand filled and the wicks trimmed by hand.
The white glass holder is sturdy which a heavy bottom so when you burn your candle, you know that it wont impact on the surface that it is resting on. The label on the bottle is printed and stuff on very well so you will need to steam or soak it off. The aesthetic is unisex and attractive – a change from the clear glass of many candle companies.
I had such high hopes for this fragrance. Having lived in Spain, I had a smell in mind and sadly Alfredo’s Cafe did not meet my expectations. The notes in the scent are coffee, brandy, tobacco, leather and incense. Disclaimer – I don’t like coffee. Not to drink and I am not a fan of how it smells …. in isolation. Having said that there is something about a cafe in the mediteranean. When the coffee melds with the heat andthe alcohol it creates something special. I had hoped for a pretty intense candle but La Montaña went the super subtle route. In a small room like abathroom, the scent throws pretty quickly and you can get immersed in the scent quite quickly… but in a decent sized front room it takes a while.
When I think of coffee shops and cafe’s the smell is immediate. The slow burn of this candle does not say coffee shop to me. Additionally, my nose just gets leather. I don’t get coffee and more sadly for me I don’t get brandy. I love brandy scents and Alfredo’s Cafe misses the mark on this. La Montaña is based in a Spanish Mountain village. It is possible that the clean mountain air is diluting the tobacco and alcohol scent in Alfredo’s cafe. It’s possible.
Alfredo’s Cafe is definitely a front room not a bedroom scent. for me. It is the kind of fragrance I would burn in a public place too ( like a cafe or a coffee shop!) I like this candle but I don’t love it. There are other fragrances in the La Montaña range that I suspect would be a better fit for my olfactory taste ( like First Light or Winter Oranges). That said, I do like this brand and I would purchase other scents from the range. If you have tried La Montana candles let me know which scent is your favourite.