I’ve never understood why I would want my house to smell like banana nut bread. Why not just make banana nut bread? Or a vanilla cupcake? Unless I can munch the air…? And even eating a vanilla cupcake gets old, quickly. Yankee Candle recently introduced a line of ‘manly’ candles – in scents like 2×4 (aka construction site). Really? Why?
I say ‘luxury’, realizing the term is subjective. They exist somewhere above Yankee, and below the beastly Jo Malone 4-wicked $425 mammoth (that will burn for 10 days straight!).
For most people, spending more than $20 on a candle seems excessive, especially considering you can’t wear it, or eat it. But, the next step up is the ~$40 to $90 range.
What I’ve found there is a variety of brands that represent higher quality, domestic production, small businesses, and artistic, distinctive scent that is not styled after a bakery item, or a gender stereotype. Everyone wants their home to have an agreeable smell – fresh linen, or flowers, or clean citrus. Those can be achieved by regularly changing the sheets, buying fresh flowers, and cleaning with citrus-scent solvents.
Short of those, you can choose your scent in wax form: a favorite perfume (Flowerbomb by Viktor&Rolf), a favorite fruit (Fresh Fig by Laura Mercier), a city (Acupulco by NARS), a beverage (Crisp Champagne by Voluspa), a hair product (Angel by Kevin Murphy). I bought a Diptyque Baies (berries) candle as an early Christmas gift for myself, and have been very pleased.
First and foremost…it smells amazing. A delicate, sweet, festively tart scent that is unique and warming on a winter night. It also has a wide cast. Just walking into my front door I can smell it, and I’ve only burned it in my room (at least 30 feet away from the entrance to the house). But, it’s not heavy with a chemical after-scent. *points*
More features: unlike my $16 Odin for Target candle, it burns evenly. No clumpy wax or droopy wick. It came with an instruction guide that explained proper placement and treatment for continued use (not in a drafty room, trim the wick before each light). And, as a hook-line-sinker, a story about how Diptyque was founded, and how it has made candles in France for the past half century.
Now, regular readers know that I am defenseless to a good brand story. It makes it all worthwhile to me. But, if you are not duped by brand legitimacy tales, here are some basic areas where the luxury candle excels:
- Made in the US or France (typically), not in a Vietnamese sweatshop
- No overwhelming, oppressiveÂ Blueberry SconeÂ orÂ Cranberry Chutney stench
- Efficient wax burning means no waste at the end – container can be reused (toothbrush/pen/votive holder)
- Have your whole place smell like Tom Ford or Elton John
- Know that you have a comparatively unique home scent
You wouldn’t want to douse yourself with Axe body spray, would you? So why should your house be subject to the candle equivalent? Trade up, and you may be surprised how it relaxes and delights you.
To walk the walk, I bought a range of luxury candles for friends’ gifts this year too:
- Aquiesse Bamboo Teakwood Portfolio
- LAFCO Spike Lavender/Media Room
- Dayna Decker Botanika Clementine
- NEST Italian Leather
Hopefully they enjoy them as much as I do, and did picking them out.