“Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.”
-Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Candles are a new obsession for me. I liked them before for the occasional mood light but never purchased them solely for their scent… and then I arrived to America. Now I have a collection and tried the two biggest brands for scented candles, Bath & Body Works and Yankee Candle. I spent hours to find the perfect smells and bought several during Christmas sales. Since then I’ve been using them religiously and have some general tips for beginning candle buyers/users:
- It is really rewarding to wait until holiday sales and stock up. (I’ve got my large jars on buy 2 get 2 for free deals)
- While in the shop don’t feel afraid to ask for some coffee. They generally have some, because it cleanses your nose so you can keep on scenting without a headache or numbed senses!
- Choose scents that go well together or smaller versions of your favorites. There’s no way filling up a whole flat with only one candle so coordinate them. Personally, I hate mixing scents that are too different so I try to pair them up or buy some smaller versions as well.
- Go shopping with a car and a male friend/dad/boyfriend! Seriously, candles are super heavy and you don’t want to lug them around too long. I made that mistake but never again.
- Buy a wick cutter to minimize charring and the unhealthy smoke.
- … And some extra long matches or those lighter pistoles, especially if you own any of those large jars. Your poor fingers will thank your foresight!
- Try out samples or tea candles from the bigger brands! All of them sell candles but with very different characteristics. Decide which is better for you and purchase!
- For example Yankee Candles’ ware burns slowly, they keep for a long time but they do not scent up the room quickly. Their large jars need extra equipment for care and lighting and there’s always some wax left on the sides (there’s only one wick in them) that makes clean up for DIY and alternate usage kinda harder.
- Bath & Body Works’ candles on the other hand are generally smaller with shorter burning time, but their biggest jars contain three wicks. You can also tell the difference as soon as you light them up, however their offerings are much smaller, the selections sell out fast and they are harder or impossible to repurchase. I also noticed a nasty tendency for the wicks, they tend to explode when relighted.
Now, for a little bit more detailed look into my secret stash…
At this time I own 8 candles and a packet of tea candles but tried and recommend the following ones:
Yankee Candle’s Large Jar Candles – Lilac Blossoms, Macintosh, Grapevine & Oak, Dune Grass, Christmas Wreath (last for winter)
Yankee Candle’s Autumn Splendor Collection Medium Jar – Ripe Currant, Bittersweet Berries (already used up)
Yankee Candle’s Tea Light Candles in Apple Cider
Bath & Body Works Mason Jar Candles – Autumn Day, Apple Field (already used up)
Bath & Body Works White Barn Home 3-wicks Candles – Sandalwood & Citrus
And a low-cost one from MainStays in Peaceful Waters
Happy candle shopping and may your day be scented!