I am new to the world of candles. Five of the past seven years of my life have been spent living in residence during my undergrad and master’s, and one of the privileges of having one’s own apartment is being allowed to burn candles – something that I have been taking full advantage of (though all while neurotically oversupervising the candle due to fears of fire). I have learnt a bit and found favourites, dudds, and learnt some tricks. I love burning a really nicely scented candle that puts me in a great mood and try to regulate my use of them: my really good candles get saved for happy relaxing moments and my cheapest candles are used all the time – this way scents don’t bring about the wrong emotion at the wrong time (thinking of work or tv when trying to relax or falling asleep because I’m smelling the relaxing candle’s scent while working). It might be crazy but it works.
I’ve used three main candles since moving in and here is my rundown:
I know you’ve read everywhere that these are the best candles and it’s true. My diptyque baies smells authentic and gorgeous, AND lasts forever. The downside? They’re incredibly expensive and I never would have been able to buy one without some well-timed promo codes during a sale on a website. The moral: buy, buy, buy…if you can afford it. Though based on how long this one lasts, I bet you will go through the same amount of money in less expensive candles in the amount of time it takes for one Diptyque to burn.
I got my hands on a L’Occitane lavendar candle during a memorable stay at the Beverly Hilton. It smelled amazing – but it lasted less than 10 hours. The moral: not worth the price.
I got the illume three wick balsam & cedar candle over the holidays. It smelled wonderful and came in a very pretty glass holder. It doesn’t overpower the room – it’s more of a background smell than something guest’s would immediately notice. The three wicks mean that it melts evenly though now that I’m near the bottom some of the wicks aren’t the same size and that’s resulting in an uneven burn and will end up with some of the candle being wasted since it won’t be able to melt. It has lasted less time than my Diptyque though it was burned for approximately the same amount of time and is larger. The moral: it’s great but not on a must buy list.
There are a lot of tips out there on candle maintenance but what I discovered is that it’s the first burn that makes all the difference. Follow the instructions on the candle but if there are none assume that, when burning for the first time, in order to get it to burn evenly you should leave yourself time so that you don’t have to blow it out until the entire surface has melted. With longer lasting candles such as the diptyque, this means an hour per inch in diameter.
Finally, when entertaining, candles are great for your living space or bathrooms BUT (a trick learnt from Cupcakes & Cashmere) be sure to use nonscented candles in the areas where you’ll be eating – you don’t want to the smell of the candles to clash and overpower the smell of the food (unless you burnt something – then go for it!).
Hope this was helpful! Do you have any favourite candles or candle scents? Do share!
Wishing you the best of everything,