The candle and home fragrance world has taken a drastic turn, for the better. Old-fashioned scents such as rose and lavender are being replaced with more musky, masculine aromas for a sophisticated update.
This curated edit will give you the lowdown on the most exciting brands, the key scent notes to look out for and where to find these coveted candles.
P.F. Candle Co.
Hand poured in Los Angeles by husband and wife team, Thomas Neuberger and Kristen Pumphrey, these small-batch creations are made from the finest clean-burning soy wax and fragrance oils. The candles are packaged in simple, apothecary-style jars and look stunning paired with succulents on open shelving.
Two of my favourite scents from this collection are Amber & Moss and Teakwood & Tobacco. The notes are reminiscent of outdoor California living and add an earthy, warming element to any space.
From morning swims and spa traditions to seaweed harvests, this collection is inspired by the Swedish coastal way of life. L:A Bruket candles are handmade and organic, with ingredients sourced from the country’s western shoreline.
In sleek and understated designs, industrial influences are downplayed to allow for the natural components to shine through. Popular scents include Coriander, Black Oak and Tabac.
Earl of East London
Operating from a converted shipping container in Hackney’s trendy Netil market, this line now includes 7 signature candles in 3 sizes. They are made out of eco soy wax and poured into dark amber apothecary jars, giving them a warming glow.
Each scent is created using bespoke blends of botanical fragrances and essential oils – Atlas Cedar, Smoke & Musk and Greenhouse to name a few.
A slight splurge
Based out of New York, but with raw ingredients processed in France, the creators of Le Labo aim to reclaim perfume from a mass market of uniformity. The candles are manufactured by hand using soy wax, natural oils and strikingly modern aromas. The number in each product name reflects the number of olfactory notes used to create the scent. Cedarwood, incense, amber, pinewood and patchouli accords run throughout the collection.
In addition to candles, there are also perfumes and colognes which come in at a higher price point but are worth the pennies if you ask me.
Inspired by her signature sweaters, these candles come in quirky glass vessels with bold, Pop Art lettering. Loving boasts a heady blend of tuberose with warming amber and sandalwood, while Art fuses lilac, guiacwood and musk to emit a delicate woody and floral fragrance. The containers also make great plant or pen pots once the contents have evaporated.
Inspired by the link between fragrance and memory, Stockholm native and founder of Byredo, Ben Gorham, draws on inspiration from exotic travels – including the aromas and spices of his mother’s hometown in India – to create the label’s cult scents. Rosewater, patchouli, eucalyptus, rosemary, moss, sandalwood and vanilla are just a few of the perfume notes that make up this range.
Mouthblown glass is used to encase the candles, which gives them an authentic, artisanal feel.
The ultimate indulgence
Astier de Villatte
Each aroma is inspired by a specific place, evoking the distinct and alluring characteristics of the destination and, in turn, giving the candle its name. The exclusive scents are developed by celebrated perfumer Francoise Caron, in collaboration with the Takagaso Perfumery in Japan.
Rue Saint Honore pays homage to old Paris, merging jasmine delicately with amber and leather. Provincetown, on the other hand, captures the coastal enclave’s intoxicating salty air and sea mists through a combination of wild berries, beach grass and cedar. This magical collection means you can transport your senses to wherever you please, no passport required.
Mad et Len
Blended by hand in a small village near Grasse, France, these rich scents combine distilled essential oils with natural vegetable wax to create aromas inspired by the earth’s elements. The blackened iron packaging and apothecary bottles give the range a real edge and will add an industrial feel to any interior. Pure, rich notes of amber, sandalwood, black fig and oakwood instantly add warmth to any room and are extremely evocative.
Mad et Len’s botanical potpourri and scent-infused lava rocks are also not to be missed!
The common themes running through each brand are the use of raw, organic products such as cotton wick and soy wax; smoky scents inspired by nature; and sleek vessels which promote a second use once the candle has melted. The majority of these collections also include perfume and home fragrance so you can spread the feel-good aromas to every corner of your home.