i fully admit that i have a candle obsession. i love a good-smelling room, and i appreciate it even more living with a dog who farts a lot 😉 but seriously, there’s not much better than a cozy candle, especially this year when we are snuggled up inside our homes so much.
today i would like to share my favorite candles with you. i am in no way paid or sponsored by any of these companies; they are simply the ones that have stood out from the crowd during my recent candle-buying sprees. [we’re to the point where every time i get a package jeremy asks me if it’s another candle]
my favorite extravagances.
these d.s. & durga candles are the most expensive ones on this list, but they are also hands down my favorites. one smells of the sea [big sur after rain] and the other smells of india [rama won’t you please come home], and both bring me so much peace. i bought one of each of these as an early diwali gift to myself last fall [they actually arrived on diwali, which was perfect timing], and they are phenomenal. i burn them for about an hour each time so they’ll last me a while, and even that is enough to keep the scent lingering for hours after. these will be intermittent purchases, but i cannot foresee not having these candles in my life for the rest of time. their blue label candle is also excellent if you like the smell of whiskey and the woods.
my favorite subscription.
in december 2019 i bookmarked the keap website and said it would be something i treated myself to at some point in 2020, and that moment finally came in the fall. the timing was perfect, because the first scent i got was northlands in november: our house smelled like a forest, and it brought me a lot of joy. in the months since i have received wood cabin, library, cotton magnolia, and green market, and each one has been fantastic. not only do the candles smell incredible but keap is also committed to sustainability, so everything in the packaging is recyclable, compostable, or – in the case of the glass encasing the candles – reusable. you know i am always happy to support a company that values sustainability, and these candles are top-notch.
my favorite local candles.
i first discovered brooke of new harbert candles on a memphis maker instagram pop-up at the beginning of the pandemic in spring 2020 and purchased the midtown scent. i loved it, and not long after i saw that she was making a citronella candle for the onset of mosquito season in memphis. as someone who wages war every year with the mosquitoes who take up residence on my front porch, i will try anything. even the most hardcore candles have struggled against them, but brooke’s citronella candle kept the evil creatures at bay and kept my arms and legs from being eaten. that in itself made me a loyal customer. in the months since i have purchased at least 15 more candles from her [i love supporting a neighbor!] and have loved all of them. i think thackery is my favorite scent of hers, but honestly they have all been great. and her candles have great burn time.
my favorite nostalgia-inducing candles.
i don’t know how harlem candle company does it but each of their candles makes me feel like i am in a smoky nightclub in the 1960s listening to jazz, and i love it. i have purchased the langston and the holiday and have loved both, and i have my eye set on the josephine next. i especially love the nightclub map of harlem collectible glasses, and these are also ones that i burn slowly so they last me a long time. i am a big, big fan.
my favorite feminist maker.
even though she is based in massachusetts, i first came across soy much brighter candles when visiting seattle in 2019. i purchased the ruth bader ginsburg coconut + teakwood candle on that visit and promptly fell in love. just like rbg, her candle lasts forever, and i love being able to light it every day. when my first one ran out i decided to see what other candles they had in stock and wound up purchasing a “mystery box” — one of the samples it included was athena’s library, and that sold me on the company as a whole. i’ve gone back a few times, but the rbg and the athena’s library continue to be my favorites, along with the into the woods reed diffuser scent. katie is also a great instagram follow and regularly donates proceeds from her sales to organizations working toward dismantling oppressive systems.
my favorite india-inspired scents.
sometimes the internet can be a great place, and this is one such example. someone i follow on instagram shared aditi’s page, and i clicked over and gave her a follow. aditi is a fellow tamilian, so i decided to take a spin through her website and see what she had to offer. almost immediately i noticed that golden bloom scent full of honeysuckle and jasmine and knew i had to have it. i threw in a sun & soil [sandalwood and vetiver] candle as well for good measure, and i was thrilled when they arrived. that honeysuckle and jasmine smells absolutely divine and reminds me so much of the things i miss about living india. i will soon be gifting myself another.
my favorite student-made candle.
when perusing the offerings at last year’s juneteenth virtual expo, i came across ten thirty candle company. they are a local company and have a scent called man cave, so i was sold. when i received my package i had the added bonus of finding out it was made by one of my bridge builder students! the candle itself smells of wood and is absolutely delicious, and i have purchased a few more since. these are also the most affordable of all on my list, if cost is a barrier.
my favorite new discovery.
a few weeks ago i received a gift in the mail from sarah: anecdote’s fabulous i’m speaking candle. i immediately lit it and loved it. and then, the following week, a different anecdote candle – high society – arrived in my strand quarterly subscription box and smelled even better. i ordered a variety of their tins last week to test run which ones are my favorite, so i’ll keep you posted on that. the ones i have smell fantastic, plus they have great names and descriptions. i am very excited to add them to the rotation.
i told you i had a problem, but i fully own it and i legitimately do light candles nearly every night when i’m home. i’ve had many others over the years, but these are the ones i love best and will continue purchasing in the years to come.