Stuck at home? Pretend you’re somewhere better with a transporting scented candle

Written by Josie Steenhart

Not vibing on your current scene but stuck there anyway? Change up the art, switch your cushions around… or transport yourself the f*ck away with a scented candle.

Some people have bookshelves, I have scented candle shelves. (I also have bookshelves tbh but that’s not what this story is about).

On said shelves, which are frankly a bit ridiculous and have the look of an unlit shrine to god knows what (dust, mainly), I still have my very first Diptyque candle, purchased at Mecca for about $538 back before they adjusted their then wildly-inflated prices for imported goodies.

As I could only afford one (tbh still true at current prices) I researched which scent I wanted for about 246 hours, hovering over cult Baies and classic Figuier before settling on Foin Coupe, or ‘Fresh Mown Hay’. Because why would you not want your house to smell like fresh mown hay — especially French fresh mown hay? Oh la la.

So cherished is this particular candle, my first, that I’ve managed to eke it out for something like 626 hours, only lighting it up on special occasions. (This is made easier by accumulating 391 other candles since).

A couple of years ago, I was #blessed enough to visit Giverny, the village in France where Monet lived, on a perfect summer’s day, and to my delight, some genius had gone to the trouble of cutting the hay field across the road from the legend artist’s house and flower-filled gardens into a bunch of those old-school haystacks like the ones in his paintings. And so I can confirm, my Diptyque Foin Coupe candle was bang on.

The other day, after spending 917 days already in lockdown, I took this treasured artifact down from the candle shelf, and set a match to it. Squinching my eyes shut tight, blocking my ears to the neighbourhood kids having meltdowns, I swear, for a moment or two, I was back in that golden field of hay with the sun on my face, bees buzzing something nice-sounding in French, and old mate Monet somewhere nearby with a palette and an easel.

Where I’m going with this, basically, is scented candles can be a little bit magical, and we need all the magic we can get right now. I highly recommend Diptyque’s Foin Coupe, obvi, but here are five others from my shelves that will take you places.

Bibliothèque by BYREDO

For those of you lacking both a bookshelf and a scented candle shelf, BYREDO’s Biliothèque’s your solution in a very compact form. Think gorgeous old wood-panelled libraries full of soft, creaky, leather bound books, but also peach, plum, violet, peony, patchouli and vanilla so it doesn’t get too weird.

Seasonals Candles by Markantonia

From the talented local team that also make those next-level dried flower arrangements, Markantonia’s four Seasonals candles are all a bit special, but my favourite is Winter, a very heady yet somehow still grounded combo of burnt fig, cassis and citrus that wraps you up like a freshly washed wool blanket.

Trianon by Cire Trudon

Founded in 1643, Cire Trudon are the oldest candle makers in the world, with customers that included Marie Antoinette, so it seems fitting they would create a candle that gave a nod to the famous cake-eating queen. Trianon is it, drawing on the fresh herbs and wildflowers that grew in MA’s private pastoral paradise at Versailles, as well as the warm, musky scent of torches being lit around the palace on summer evenings.

Cellar Feels by CURIONOIR

You would think with the amount of wine I’ve been consuming lately that any scent remotely relating to it might be something to avoid, but not the case with CURIONOIR’s Cellar Feels candle, which you just want to keep deeply inhaling (not unlike me with the wine). It also reminds me of my friend Alice who often wears the parfum version and who I haven’t seen in many weeks (hi Alice, I miss you). Juicy grapes, apple, black tea leaves, cedarwood, moss and nutmeg all crushed together in a way you can’t stop thinking about.

Big Sur After Rain by D.S. & DURGA

This uber cool New York fragrance company only comes out with edgy, surprising, yet deeply enjoyable scents, and Big Sur After Rain is no exception, taking you on a refreshing trip along the famous Californian coastline with the roof down on your convertible just after the rain has stopped — with salty ocean on one side and rainwater-soaked eucalyptus groves on the other.

bibliotheque candle collage

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