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Few things are as pure luxury as a fancy candle: No one really needs them, they’re expensive, and at the end of the day, don’t last forever. But so many of them smell. So. Good. Which is why we’d argue they’re worth it. So, which should you spend your hard-earned money on?
Here, we asked florist Phoebe Ma, who owns the New York City-based company Gem Fleuriste, to recommend her favorite candles, explaining what, exactly, makes each of them so perfect.
Geodesis Fig Tree candle, $40
I absolutely love Geodesis candles. They’re from France and smell purely of nature. The founder, Norbert Hiblot, used to collect plant samples on holiday to last him through the winter, and his candles reflect that habit. The Jasmine scent is subtly intoxicating, and the Fig Tree is a marvel; it combines the scent of the leaves, the sap, and the fruit. Even in wintertime, a fig tree candle makes me feel like I'm in sunlit Greece with leaves under my feet, surrounded by ripening figs.
Le Labo Petit Grain 21 candle, $75
I love how authentic this orange blossom scent is — it's slightly bitter, but mostly warm and comforting. Its inspiration was the airy gardens of orange trees in Seville, and you can almost smell the petrichor. I think it's hard to find an orange blossom scent that's not too sweet but sweet enough; this one strikes a good balance between the two. It's definitely a special and alluring scent.
Bellocq Atelier Majorelle Mint candle, $86
I'm lucky that I work with lots of herbs in my arrangements, which I'll use as a form of aromatherapy. Whenever I'm tired, I reach for some mint. There’s something so delicious and energizing about the smell of fresh mint, and that's captured in the Majorelle Mint candle by Bellocq Atelier.
There are notes of freshly torn mint, gunpowder green tea, and Moroccan cedar. Bellocq is actually a tea company, but they've expanded into beautifully scented candles in brass vessels that double as canisters once the candle's burned through.
Diptyque Baies candle, $34 to $64
This isn't your typical bouquet-of-roses scent — this one seeks to capture, as Diptyque explains, "the essence of a green riverside garden." The rose scent is natural but heightened: The brand uses beautiful Bulgarian roses, and Bulgarian rose oil is luxurious and potent. The buds and leaves of blackcurrants give the candle some dark fruit undertones. The result is a fresher and more interesting take on all the other rose candles out there.