Scented Candles

costesI have to admit that I am a late convert to the idea of scented candles. Of for that matter of candles at all. I have a bit of phobia about open flames, since so many house fires are started by people who decide to leave the room for the day with a lit candle going. But last year at the LA Scent event I went to I won a candle in one of  the giveaways.

Complete. Utter. Revelation.

My main fear was tipping- I had a blackout at my street once and had only tapers, so I put them in this vase I had that was about 3 feet tall and used them to read by and hoped my neighbors were very careful with our bone-dry wooden building (I admit I was scared from tales of a good friend who had her house burn down from a careless employee, but hey.) I almost gave mine away to a candle loving and less fearful friend, but I didn’t. The one I had  (Hotel Costes) smelled so delicious I had to try it. Of course once I tried it I couldn’t give it away, because A) it would be like gift wrapping a slice of cheesecake you’d taken a bit out of and B) I didn’t want to.

I also found that these candles, while seemingly awfully expensive have , if you use them judiciously the life of nuclear waste. You light them, let them warm some of the wax, and blow them out. They’ll perfume your room for hours from the hot wax and be able to do the same the next day.

I do still instead of tapers keep some battery-operated “candles” that I keep around for lighting that my BFF who had the house fire gave me. But I think I’ll always keep a couple scented pot candles on hand for some extra “oomph” around the house. Any suggestions as to what I should be going for next (hopefully inexpensive?)

Image: LuckyScent

  • Diana says:

    I’m a fan of the tried and true Yankee Candle in the malls. They have lots of different scents that change with the seasons, the candles and wax tarts are strongly scented and they are relatively inexpensive. If you’re worried about an open flame, you can always try one of the wax tart warmers. They melt little wax tarts and scent the house without fire. I have one that has a light bulb in the base so that I don’t forget its on. Sage and Citrus from Yankee is one of my all time favorites and Autumn Leaves is nice for fall.

  • I’m not a candle person so I wouldn’t spend the big bucks on one…however, I did get a candle from Pacifica awhile back. The scent is Tibetan Mountain Temple, which is a spicy, almost chai-like scent. I have five cats and I don’t light the candle, but I can smell it in my small living room without lighting it. It was quite inexpensive.

  • Musette says:

    I’m a Trapp Girl, all the way. But it’s only for One: Bob’s Flower Shoppe. Gawd, but I love that scent. I found some at Marshall’s for about 1/2 price (they are phasing out the medium-sized candle). I think everyone on this planet heard that shriek! LOL! xoxoA

    ooh! and I fell in love with Diptyque’s Jamin. I got a little votive in a gift bag and couldn’t figure out what the stunning scent was! Pulled it out and….ooooh!

  • sunnlitt says:

    I think that Volusa candles are great. They come in a multitude of scents and the prices are very reasonable. My Nordstrom has them, but I have found them in many gift shops.
    Also, Trapp makes a candle scent called Bamboo Sugar Cane, which I love! Green and sweet??!! I found that in a shop on Balboa Island. Right in your neighborhood. Almost.
    Paddywax makes a candle called Ocean Tide + Sea Salt which smells very spa-like.
    Good luck on your candle journeys.

  • einsof says:

    first, Tom, let me be perfectly clear: you may gift me a half eaten piece of cheesecake or a sampled candle anytime! *laugh*

    here’s a trick (although you have to make it pretty, otherwise it just looks like paranoia on the coffee table): when we have to burn a candle for a long time (a yahrzeit candle, for example, burns for roughly 24 hours) i will put the candle in a smaller tin, and that inside a larger tin. then, you can put water or sand or some other flame retardant so IF something happens, the flame will only go into the water or sand. hm. i hope that makes sense. obviously, not too tall a tin so as to be able to see the candle….

    fave candle company: Rebel & Mercury (formerly Gabriel’s Aunt) check out the Distinguished line.

    what you should be going for next? my cheesecake, i imagine. 😉

    an alternative (do not freak on me candle purists!!) — buy a potpourri warmer and you can simply melt the candle instead of burning it. you can also use floral waxes in this manner (you’re going to want to have the purest you can find… otherwise you could be smelling jasmine and solvent.)


  • mikasminion says:

    I am more of a candle hoarder than a candle burner. I have a cat who likes to get where he isn’t supposed to be and knock stuff over…also, singed whiskers smell awful so I rarely light one. My husband does burn candles and never seems to have any trouble with the cat, but he’s generally less paranoid than I. I do use my Lampe Berger fairly frequently though. It just goes out when it runs dry but the scents are so strong I almost always remember to snuff it.
    My all time favorite is Cedre by Esteban Paris. Very church incense without the smoke (I burn a lot of incense outside and love it but my allergies won’t allow it in the house). I also like the Voluspa travel ones because of the lids, and because I can but lots of small ones. Oh, the huge fruity Capri Blue jars from Anthropologie, i think the scent is Volcano, it smells like fruit punch which I’m mildly ashamed to enjoy. They are just so darned addictive and last about forever.
    I’m still mourning the demise of the Basil candle from Diptyque. Y’all have probably heard it before from me but they need to BRING IT BACK!

  • Lisa D says:

    Tom, try a late night bath or shower by candlelight – it’s lovely, and there’s an abundance of water in the unlikely event of candle-tipping. I love the Cire-Trudon line, but really can’t see myself spending that much money for every candle. Thankfully, I have a much wider range of love for candle scents than I do for perfumes. I can be just as happy with a Voluspa. You can sometimes find very nice candles at bargain prices in stores like Marshall’s – I think there are fewer perfumistas hunting for bargain candles at these places than fashionistas looking for clothes.

  • SamanthaL says:

    I’m totally a candle person…particularly around this time of year when it’s starting to turn cold. I love to snuggle on the couch with my L’artisan Jacinthe et Feu du Bois candle lit…it’s lovely but fairly
    expensive of course! For more affordable candles I like Voluspa Maison Noir Black Figue and Chypre. I’ve only ever liked one candle from Bath and Bodyworks that wasn’t a sweet, awful, foody,mess called Autumn Day but of course that’s been discontinued!!! I’ve also heard Thymes were good…but haven’t tried any yet. I’m really hoping my boyfriend gets me at least one Diptyque candle for Christmas this year, I’m really coveting Cyprès and/or John Galliano.

  • thegoddessrena says:

    I really want a Vanille Insensee one. The last time I was at the Atelier shop they had one going outside and it was spectacular. I am, unfortunately, sort of broke right now…..

  • LOVE candles. The MudAustralia ones by Ainslie walker are my favourite. She is a mate but I love the product so much I pay full retail.
    I really love the Dyptique range, especially 34 boulevard saint germain candle. Seriously gorgeous.
    Portia xx

  • Brandi says:

    Hi Tom,
    Good for you! Yes, you have to be cautious but your healthy fear should be effective. I love to have scents in my house. I use candles but I haven’t really ventured into the very expensive ones- of that is quite relative. We mostly buy Votivo- Red Currant is a fav of mine, and we use Trapp. You may like the travel tin candles that are smaller and you can put the lid on them for added sense of security. My mother gifted me a Lamberger. If you haven’t heard of it, it is an oil lamp. They have some pretty styles also. There are many scented oils to choose from and you only light it for a minute or two, then blow out the flame and the heated coil throws the scent from the oil. I really enjoy using mine. I also enjoy candles for the added ambiance. A new scented world to discover. Enjoy!

  • Lynley says:

    A lot of the spendy ones I haven’t tried as Aus$ are even scarier and there are reports that some (Diptyque?) don’t have good throw. OTOH, I don’t like cheap smelling candles either.
    Of brands you’re likely to have there, L’Occitane make great candles, and the lids help keep the scent fresh. I also like Mor and Jaye Niemi- not sure where they’re available.
    But have fun exploring!