I can't live without candles - they are one of life's little luxuries and a great candle, scented or not, is one little addition to a home or office that goes a long way!
When I'm looking for candles, I keep a few things in mind. The scent is obviously very important - it has to be compatible with my tastes. Some candles are spicy while other are fruity and the scent one chooses is a very personal decision. For me, my allergies play a big role - I can't enjoy something that makes me sneeze like a crazy person. By the same token, I can't abide a stinky candle and there are loads of them on the market these days… No thanks!
Presentation is another key factor. A beautiful candle adds a personal touch a well-situated desk, makes a stark bathroom look that much more cozy, adds a little something extra to a dressing table or provides that perfect luxurious touch to a well-lived-in living room. Whether it's beautifully colorful, nicely neutral or the appropriate pop of pattern, I love a beautiful candle, especially the ones that come in jars I can keep and repurpose later as a votive holder, storage for make-up brushes or a small vase for fresh flowers.
When it comes to candles, I am the first to admit that I am a shameless equal opportunity shopper. I know there are loyal Jo Malone or Dyptique fans out there and fair play to them (I can't really blame them for their fab taste), but I buy candles everywhere and I hoard them - I just find them too hard to resist and there's no such thing as enough. I rarely pass by a low-priced candle that smells or looks lovely - only a few weeks ago I hoarded a serious amount of Febreeze candles that were half-price because they are perfect for getting food smells out of the flat and they were laced with the familiar cinnamon laced smells of my childhood Christmases... £2, no problem. I find candles at TK Maxx, the grocery store and I've even been that crazy lady who buys all of the tea lights that smell good at Poundland with no shame about the fact that I look insane rocking up to the cash register with 40 boxes of the same thing. Judge if you like, but no one has ever complained and my guests are always surprised when I tell them where that lovely smell came from. If I don't like the labels on candles I find, I peel them off and display them in plane jars. If I don't like the jars, I sometimes salvage the candle by tying a pretty ribbon around it or concealing it in a bigger jar. Unscented, but still beautiful? That's the candle I hide away for dinner party table settings where a little flicker of light will be the perfect touch, but the scent won't put guests off their food.
Though a bargain is great, there is something to be said for a special candle… The one you spent a bit of money on because it's a little luxury you treat yourself to. This is the candle you burn when you're having a relaxing, re-fueling night in with a face mask, a glass of wine and the best book ever. It's also the candle you burn when guests come over. It's the candle you savor and enjoy because it's not the norm.
The White Company Symons Candle was given to me as a Christmas gift and it's one of those special candles. At £35, this limited edition beauty is not overly expensive as far as luxury candles go, but for me it deserves respect. Housed in a beautiful, reflecting silver jar with a simple white label, the Symons Candle is like a glamorous dress that you wouldn't wear just anywhere… It adds a beautiful sense of occasion while filling the room with a cocktail of cashmere, white amber, cotton, cedar wood and peony aromas. Inspired by The White Company flagship store, it's sleek, chic and the perfect gift for pretty much anyone, or even better, yourself!
What do you look for when you're stocking up on candles for your home?