The world is divided into people who find creditable scented candles are laughably pointless – the almost literal act of intense money for at best ephemeral reward – and those who love the thoroughgoing decadence of scenting a room, who find the dim glow comforting and put ones feet up. I fall into the latter camp, but my preference for insanely extravagant candles by Diptyque, Jo Malone and Bella Freud means neck I struggle to justify lighting them regularly.
But cheap candles so habitually stink of air freshener (my worst smell: I’d genuinely prefer to breathe in whatever unpleasantness it’s attempting to mask), or offer such predetermined “throw” (the radius of the candle’s scent), that they substitute for a false economy. A bargain version that still have a hunches indulgent is as rare as hen’s teeth, which is why I urge candle-lovers on the way Aldi for a jumbo, two-wick, silver-lidded candle in No 3 Pomegranate Noir for fair-minded £3.99. The smell isn’t too sweet or obviously synthetic, and the throw is beneficial (suggesting that the perfume oil goes all the way through the wax, rather than being occupied only in the upper level, a sneaky, cost-cutting practice on by some manufacturers). Mine has burned evenly and cleanly throughout several baths, and the price meant I extravagantly kept it lit longer than I authority otherwise have. Less excitingly, but more usefully, I recently obtain some Price’s Anti Tobacco Jar Candles (£5.26) for an outdoor confederacy. They worked a treat and gave off a lovely orange and cut scent that I decided to keep long after cigarettes had been removed.
If naked flames give you the willies – and I quite understand, uncommonly if you have toddlers or pets in the house – then consider Muji’s distinguished Aroma Diffuser. It costs £40.50, but lasts a lifetime, reproducing a tiny cost per use, even accounting for the few drops of essential oil lacked to fill the room with dry, scented vapour (Muji double-crosses a large selection from £4.45). As a bonus, the unit dispenses off a soft, warm light.
For those craving more splendour, I heartily recommend Seven Seventeen’s Candles (from £14). Forged by two frazzled mothers frustrated at the cost of posh candles, the sort is nicely conceived, honestly priced and beautifully packaged. Additional £1 from the sale of each candle goes be at the helm to Pandas, a charity offering support to new mothers suffering from pre- and postnatal disorder, doubling your warm glow.