A Guide To Splurging On Candles

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Rebecca Maloof

Tips for Taking Care of Your Candles:

  • Let the candle completely and evenly burn through the entire first layer of wax the first time you burn it.

  • Clean your candle. If you notice black soot, wipe the sides clean after it has been lit. The wax and black residue should wipe right off.

  • Always trim your wick. You should trim it before the first burn, and every time after, keeping the wick straight, so that it burns evenly.

  • Don’t leave a candle unattended. It can be tempting to let your candles burn throughout the day, but make sure to always keep an eye on them, and accidents with candles are definitely not ideal.

  • Don’t burn a candle for more than 4 hours at a time. I’m guilty of occasionally doing this, but it’s never a good or safe idea. The soot isn’t good for your lungs. 

I love candles. Not in an every so often, special occasion kind of way. It’s more like an every single day, morning and night, kind of way. Candles have become a part of my daily routine. I wake up, make my oat milk iced latte, and light my candles. You can say I have become a sort of candle connoisseur. I research different brands, buy new candles every month, and am not ashamed to admit I’ve spent $100+ on a single candle. 

You may think this is excessive, but I promise you that the second you smell a Le Labo Santal candle, you will understand the hype. So, consider me your guide to give you some recommendations for luxury candles at different price points. You don’t need to spend $100 to get a good quality candle, but luxury candles are a ballpark of their own, honestly. I would apologize because your bank accounts probably won’t thank me for this new addiction, but I won’t. 

Le Labo $68+

So, let’s start with my favorite. You’ve probably heard of this one, as it is what some people call basic. I don’t particularly care about that label; I revel in it. Because if something is so beloved, it probably is for a reason. Le Labo is that. These candles are unreal. They come in many different scents, but the most popular one, Santal 26, is clearly the favorite among consumers. The smell is masculine and woody, yet still sweet. These candles are hand-poured in their fragrance labs, and each label is customizable, so you can address it to yourself, a friend, or write whatever you want. These are the best and are worth every dollar. 

Diptyque $38+

Diptyque candles are also part of the luxury category and are so, so fragrant. The minimal design on the candles is a bonus too. My favorite scent is, again, one of their most popular. The Baies (Berries) scent will literally fill your entire house, even if you’re only lighting their smallest candle. This scent is floral and sweet and smells like what I imagine walking through a meadow smells like. These come in a few different sizes, and they even have signature candles specific to cities. These are the perfect splurge, and the burn time is super slow, so you can savor them for a while. 

Maison Louis Marie $36+ 

Maison Louis Marie candles are subtle and straightforward but smell so good. If you’re not able to spend the money on a Le Labo Santal, I highly highly recommend MLM’s No. 4 candle. This one isn’t as pricey but gets the job done. Their simple, elegant design will also make your living room look elevated and put together. Also, just FYI, their Eau de parfum selection is just as wonderful. 

Aesop $110 

Yes, we all love Aesop for its aesthetically pleasing brown soap bottles. There is no denying that the design of all Aesop products is perfect. But don’t sleep on some of their less popular items, like candles. Aesop candles are honestly all great. They are the perfect combination of smoky, woody, and herbal scents, and all three scents are equally impressive. Any of these candles will please, and they are pretty large for the price. 

Malin + Goetz 

I once interned (very briefly) at a recording studio in New York City. Because of my NDA, I can’t tell you which one, but let’s just say, there were a lot of celebrities in and out of that building. I’m talking Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, the best of the best (don’t argue with that statement.)

Part of my intern duties was to make sure that candles were lit in the bathrooms. Real glamorous stuff. This did introduce me, though, to one of the best candles I’ve encountered thus far, and that is from Malin + Goetz. These candles are everything, and are apparently the only brand acceptable for pop stars to have in their recording studio bathrooms. All the scents are fantastic, but my personal fav is Cannabis scented candle. It smells sweeter than actual weed and is light and floral. Highly recommend it (pun intended, sorry). 

Kai $26+

Most of the candles I’ve mentioned have already received lots of praise from those who know lovely candles. But, I’m going to let you in on one of my favorites, which is kind of like the underground, indie candle of the luxury scent world. The classic Kai scented candle from Kai fragrances are out of this world. The scent is their signature and comes in shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, you name it (yes, I use all of these, too.) It smells like the cleanest thing you’ve ever smelled, like fresh laundry mixed with coconut and gardenia. Like seriously, I want to know what they put in this thing; it’s that magical. The bottom line is, this candle, until now, has been one of my best-kept secrets. You’re welcome.

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