I’m pretty sure expensive candles are a modern phenomenon. I can’t imagine the Victorian upper class popping over to their local boutique to sniff the different waxes and come away armed with an overpriced jar, just for the pleasure of it; candles, until the invention of electricity, were a basic necessity that probably involved just about as much thought as to which window you should throw your bedpan out of. In the last twenty years though, candles have become a little luxury that can change the ambience of a room completely – lighting it with a soft, warm glow and providing a delicate aroma that tickles the senses.
Since I was a teenager I’ve been totally captivated by candles: I used to cover every surface with cheap tea lights and was even known to ruin my mum’s saucepans attempting to make my own. As an adult I find them a crucial part of every room, using them to not only offer a subtle flicker during a cold winter’s evening, but to offer a scent that either comforts or invigorates the mind. Millions of expensive jars are sold every year, and the UK is apparently the biggest consumer of them in Europe; a Swedish friend of mine couldn’t fathom why I spent so much on a singular candle, because they just don’t use them in the same way as we do.
During a conversation on Twitter a few weeks ago (when I was asking whether people would prefer to spend £50.00 on a designer / well known candle, or the same amount on a relatively unknown smaller British brand) I was surprised at the number of people who thought buying such an item was a purely ridiculous extravagance that they could never ever justify. Sure, it’s a lot of money to spend on something you burn away, but is it any different to buying yourself a nice bag or that eyeshadow palette you’ve had your eye on? Is it really any different from choosing to treat yourself to a daily Starbucks coffee or luxury holidays? Because for me it’s all about personal choice.
There’s always something that’s important to the individual and something that they can absolutely justify spending money on – there’s no difference whether or not that’s coffee, makeup, clothes, holidays or super dooper organic ridiculously expensive steak. As far as I’m concerned, if you earn your money it’s yours to do what you want with according to your own personal set of priorities. I love designer handbags, but my friends and family simply can’t understand why I’d spend £1000 on one; one friend spends all his money on guitar amps and expensive coffee machines, while another prefers to squirrel it away so she can do up her house… We all have our own priorities and those naturally evolve as we age, but it’s nobody else’s right to judge those choices.
For me, lighting an expensive candle is a little treat for the senses; it delivers a premium scent experience, sets the mood and looks beautiful on the shelf, just like an accessory or ornament. I don’t have Jo Malone on every surface (I save that sh*t for best!) but I know when I light the wick it’s for a moment of indulgence not dissimilar to an expensive bath oil or perfume. Yes I love a cheapo number from Primark, a sickly sweet jar from Yankee Candle and a dupe from Aldi, but there’s nothing quite like a beautifully crafted jar that holds an even more beautifully crafted scent.
Chloe from Lady Writes wrote this post which sums up our obsession with luxury candles perfectly, and reiterates my own thoughts about spending a small fortune on something that flickers on a bedside table. But what about you?
Would you and could you ever justify spending £50.00 on a candle?
(If you want some top tips on looking after those expensive candles, read my post here!)
SHOP SOME OF MY FAVE CANDLES
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