Privilege Blog

The Great Candle Burn-Off Of 2015 — Queen Diptyque Vs. Whole Foods Random

I used to scoff at “home fragrance,” back in the days when it came from factories and reeked of surfactants. Then I found candles, and plant-based scents. Now I can’t do without.

I’ve always wanted to try Diptyque, the well-nigh historic French brand. Why? The logo? The countless inclusions in luxury publications? I have no idea. But in retirement, $60 seemed a lot to spend on special molecules for kitchen air.

I went ahead anyway. Life’s like that. In the throes of resultant guilt, I picked up a Caldrea Herbes de Provence candle at Whole Foods. On sale for ~$11. Emotional equation #231: indulgence plus thrift equals virtue?

Shortly afterward, I decided Sturdy Up and use my impulse and regret in a piece of valuable research for you, my comrades in kitchens. Cue the Great 2015 Privilege Candle Burn-Off, v1.

Let’s see if that $60 bought value for money.

Packaging & Design

Voilà the label of a Diptyque Oranger. Classic, iconic. Fully aligned with our current appreciation for hand-crafting and imperfections.


And here’s Caldrea. Let’s just say that you can add all the French words you like – your design will not necessarily improve. Also, Caldrea? Anyone else reminded of a caldera?



The Scent Itself

Really, both candles smelled like, well, candles. By which I suppose I mean fruity, powdery, warmish. I preferred the Caldrea, which, although it bore no resemblance to actual herbs from actual Provence, was slightly spicer. The Oranger reminded me of ladies’ department stores back in the early 70s.

I imagine that I would have preferred both candles in a more astringent, earthy version. Eucalyptus, say, or green tea verbena.



The Dyptique burned perfectly. The Caldrea spit out smudgy cinders. I did not appreciate the counter-top volcano.


And here’s where the wick meets the wax.


I didn’t count up the hours, to see if Caldrea reached 28 as promised by their label. But their candle stopped burning 3/4 of the way down. I kept throwing matches in to see if they’d catch. The Dyptique burned to almost nothing. Lasted, at a guess, two times as long. Maybe three.

And, of course, the packaging never changed.


Final Score

  • Advantage Diptyque: Packaging, burn experience, burn time.
  • Advantage Caldrea: Price, scent.
  • Results: DRAW – Diptyque is better but not by the 5X price differential.

Next time I think I’ll compare Pomegranate from Pottery Barn, or maybe Fleur de Sel from Williams Sonoma, to Black Hibiscus from the new India Hicks line.

Why India Hicks? Because Patricia, of PVE Design, is one of their ambassadors. Where possible, support the community.

Do you guys have favorite candles? Any you want me to include in a Burn-Off? What do you find yourself willing to pay?


Affiliate links, as usual, may produce commissions. And, if you like candles and live in the UK, Pink Julep Abroad has a series of interest, here.



118 Responses

  1. I liked my Diptique Feu de Bois for the winter – smoky, woody and spicy. I also like the Williams-Sonoma Pink Grapefruit for its true scent. And I love anything pink grapefruit.

  2. I love the smell of some candles but can’t get over thinking the glass jars should be refillable in some way. I know, not very doable.

    1. @LauraH, I agree – refillable would be great. I recycle of course, but it never feels the same. I have found some candles that don’t need a jar – but then so much is wasted. I’ll try the men’s department;).

  3. And btw you might check out men’s boutiques, they can have some very interesting scents.

  4. Thanks for the link for us Brits! I love candles, and will follow your progress, because it’s so disappointing to pay a lot of money for one which burns unevenly, or won’t burn all the way to the end.

    I must note, however, my surprise in your tacit endorsement of India Hicks products. I was under the impression this was a bit of a pyramid scheme based on cheap products made overseas sold with a huge markup to account for the name India Hicks, and the MLM need for lots of cuts along the way.

    I hope I am wrong, but would love some more of your thoughts on the brand. And Direct Marketing in general; such a fascinating subject. People I know socially trying to cash in on our relationship by selling me things has always made me recoil in horror. I had assumed (obviously wrongly) that you would be the same, so I would love to hear your thoughts. I think perhaps you are just more generous than I and, as you said, see it as supporting a friend.

    1. @Hayley, At the top level, I am, as you say, supporting a friend.

      However, I don’t find direct marketing – done politely and transparently – any worse than having a corporate entity market to me. It’s all in the tone and the approach. Maybe my time in sales has colored my perspective. As far as MLM and margins – the question of retail margins is always interesting to me. Margins, someone’s gotta have them. Cost structures – they’re gonna be there. One always hears that supermarkets are the lowest margin business – 1% they used to say. Diptyque surely has high margins too.

      But, also at the top level, I am supporting a friend without doing much due diligence on the brand itself, which is something I should do better with. Thanks.

    2. @Hayley,
      I couldn’t agree more. I found this site because a friend of mine just started selling India Hicks and I wanted to investigate. (I know the post is a couple months old, but there will be stragglers as long as the product exists & blog remains online…) I have probably been approached by friends from every MLM known to man, the most insensitive was from a friend with whom I’d been close, we both moved to different cities and one day came home from work to find an exuberant voice message from her on my answering machine telling me she’d missed me and had some great news she couldn’t wait to share that she just knew would knock my socks off. I cannot tell you what a kick in the gut it was when less than 5 minutes into the conversation she dropped the bomb. The first 5 minutes she barely managed to get through the obligatory niceties. When I politely told her I was familiar with the products and not interested she did the usual sales pitch. I tried unsuccessfully to inquire about her family, etc., and when she understood I would not be a customer, not to mention a sales rep, she became cool and needed to be excused from the conversation to tend to something else. That pretty well sums up every single experience I’ve had with friends doing this type of thing, to varying degrees. It’s altered every relationship. Sorry I’m rambling but it’s fresh with this latest bit of news of another friend diving off into India Hicks. From what I’ve seen firsthand it’s nearly cult-like. After while their friends are all in that business, conversation always links back to whatever it is they’re selling and how it’s changed their lives and when you can’t be persuaded to buy product, and especially sell under them, they drift away completely. Without exception products sold by MLMs are overpriced and merchandise of equal value can be purchased much less elsewhere; friends and family are the first groups to be hit up; there is always the unavoidable market saturation and the ones at the bottom invest countless hours and $$ while the ones at a very narrow top benefit from tremendous financial gain; life-interests narrow significantly, sometimes interests almost exclusively honed in on “The Company”; and more often than not reps end up in debt with little to show for it. Honestly I thought people were becoming savvy to this kind of thing. I need to stop before I say something about morals and integrity. Glad you said something though.

  5. One of the biggest things I miss about having a disposable income (thanks kids!) along with expensive makeup and shoes, is scented candles.

    I’ve always wanted to buy a Diptyque but whe faced with the price tag I become the screaming emoji. Very expensive, exquisitely scented candles seem to be having a big thing in the UK right now, especially in ‘manly’ scents. I’m intrigued by the Tim Dixon range at Heals (but they are even more £££ than Diptyque. I’m not sure if you can get them, but The Neom brand are wonderful. Maybe also Jo Malone could be on your candle showdown? I have a candle wish list, it seems.

    Alas, I have resorted to making my own organic scented candles now…. (Although the odd Yankee candle has be known to make its way in (they have always burned perfectly for me, FYI).

    1. @Laura, Jo Malone is on my wish list too;). And you make your own? Have you ever posted a how to? Beautifully photographed, of course?:)

  6. India Hicks products are sold here in the US at Crabtree and Evelyn stores. I have heard nothing about pyramid schemes associated with it.

  7. funny post. I’m partial to the Illume brand, sold at Whole Foods among other upscale retailers. Their balsam/cedar candle is my favorite at Christmastime and other scents are good during the summer. They even have a citrus/bergamot blend that’s supposed to be good for fighting off mosquitos.

  8. Lisa I am a die hard Diptyque fan…Ambre is my favourite so far…but I am still testing new scents.
    I have tried other brands and one that I think comes the closest to performance and rich fragrance is the Aveda signature scent. I think it retails for about $40.
    Try one of those butane lighters next time your candle gets low…they work really efficiently and no burnt fingers or dropped matches.

    1. @Bungalow Hostess, Aveda – that sounds good. I like their stuff. I tried a butane lighter too – nothing worked! And I remember that Reggie loves Agrarian, just didn’t realize that they did candles too.

  9. Thanks for your reply Lisa. I hadn’t considered why it’s different for me to be marketed to buy a friend, as opposed to a corporate entity.

    I suppose it’s because one I can usually turn off, or delete, and with a friend I find it hard to say no. Yet I feel I should say no because I don’t want the product, and I will resent the friend for pressuring me if I do buy it. And surely it would be better to say no than to habour resentment. Which I suppose makes it entirely my own problem! I should be better at saying ‘Thanks but no thanks’.

    Margins are, indeed fascinating. I have no problem paying more money for well made, expensive brands, as long as I am getting quality in return. I very much dislike certain fashion brands which capitalise on their British heritage, and charge prices which could certainly stand supporting UK manufacturing, who then have their products made under questionable conditions abroad. (I’m not singling out India Hicks – I can find no information on where their products are made). Mulberry were one such brand, who, I believe are now re-shoring their manufacturing and I am very glad to hear it. My ‘Made in England’ bag of theirs is beautiful and I have not bought a single item from them since they moved production overseas. I shall rush back to them if they are serious about committing to UK production though.

    1. @Hayley, I think it’s very important that we all start thinking about ethical manufacturing practices. Thank you. For many reasons, I support overseas sourcing, but, with an even greater focus then on the business practices.

    2. @Hayley, I think we should consider that even when “made in America” the manufacturing machinery may be Japanese, the wax may be exported from China, the glass from Germany.
      We are in a global economy. I try to buy locally and be mindful of waste and excess. Doing my best…

  10. I have been known to take candles with defective wicks, set them in hot water until they soften and then pour or spoon the wax into cans outfitted with a new wick from the craft store. You can keep one in a pretty new jar for company, and burn the recycled one when it’s family.

    Without an real Eucalyptus for comparison I’m happy with the Yankee Candle version.

  11. I prefer the Mrs. Meyer’s to its brandmate Caldera–they seem to have a nice warm spice (cardamom?) undertone. I love Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren candles–the scents that aren’t floral or fruity. I get them at TJ Maxx. I used to love the Henri Bendel candles they’d have at Bath and Body Works, but I never go to the mall–their Firewood one is awesome.
    The best ever was Agadir from Tocca, which smelled exactly like the sweetest pipe smoke imaginable, but it was discontinued so long ago, it isn’t even available at the resellers.

  12. After lots of research I’ve settled on Henri Bendel candles. Amber, Silver Birch and Cedar are favorites. They burn very clean. Gotta keep the wicks trimmed.

  13. So much of smell is attached to memory, so for me Jo Malone London, the Grapefruit scent candle in a sturdy glass is superb, and reminds me of a very loving time… it’s also burns perfectly and lasts forever. Expensive…

  14. Soy candles burn much more cleanly, without excess smoke or soot. I tend to go for locally made ones. Here in NE, that’s Wax Buffalo or Feya. I like herbally scents, something crisp like you said. I find with handmade candles, I can pick something herbal or citrus without associating the smell with cleaning products. Though I think this winter I might try more incense.

    Wax Buffalo:

    1. @Sarah E, Oh, and I should say with the local craftspeople, I’ve always been able to return the glass to the maker for re-use.

  15. i was a connoisseur of extremely costly candles when i worked at a magazine and acquired them as samples or at beauty sales, at which they were $1 or $5 for me; diptyque’s are among the best, and i agree with the reader above who sang the praises of feu de bois. it’s my favorite, and one of the few candles for which i have happily paid full price.

    as you undoubtedly know, diptyque candle glasses are infinitely recyclable as jewelry or sundry holders; they’re a fashion blogger favorite as type-spangled repositories for makeup brushes. if you really want to go sturdy and find yourself back at whole foods with an itch to experiment, you can pick up some essential oil and beeswax (and wicks from the internet or a craft store) and create a new, clean-burning candle in the same container. nothing burns like beeswax.

    on beautiful presentation, i took a flyer on a dl & co absinthe candle on gilt groupe a few years back; i love their signature scalloped glass (also infinitely upcyclable; i think i need their burnt sienna candle, ever so High Dark, next), and i’ll hop on any absinthe-scented product that happens across my path. it was also worth the investment; their blend of soy, palm, and maple waxes is clean and consistent as it burns, and its diffusion of scent does not cloy.

    were laramie here, she would tout catbird’s tarot candle, and i too will praise its delicate scent; the note of pencil shavings is particularly wonderful in person.

    as a fan of porochista khakpour’s, i would also recommend wildflower botanica’s #GetLit literature-and-candles mashup. porochista’s co-designed candle, inspired by her novel the last illusion, is of this sort:

    Inspiration lines from the book: Maybe anything could become the most beautiful thing in the world/If you gave into it fully/Let it take you over./Let it be all you had.

    The notes in her candle say it all: scorpion amber, saffron, and smoke.

  16. Have you ever tried Lampe Berger? Fabulous fragrances that supposedly clean your air while they’re at it. The beautiful glass containers come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colours and they’re designed to be refilled with the oil, mixed with the perfume. Takes a bit of expenditure to get set up, but then I think there might be less container in the long run. Not so sure about the air-purifying, catalytic-burning claims, but I think there’s less residue than most candles ultimately disperse. They’re a French company, but many points of sale in N.Am. The US website regarding the origin (in hospitals, according to the lore):

    1. @Frances/Materfamilias, This would work – especially since it’s refillable! But I find the website somewhat impenetrable. Love France, think we in North America do web technology and interfaces way better:). I’ll keep trying to find out more.

    2. I think so many French websites are dreadful. Funny, because they’re certainly techie enough. More about information architecture and attitude to language and translation, imho. I think you’d like Lampe Berger, but that’s just because I love them! I like to give them as gifts as well. Some of the containers are really gorgeous

    3. @Frances/Materfamilias, Hey Frances: I’ve had one of these for about 10 years – I’m very into germ-free, as you know, and my lamp is very elegant – a bit like an MCM UFO. I do find that the scented versions smell a bit fake and the scent-free version (the one I use) still smells lightly scented with something I can’t put my finger on. They’re also annoying to refill, they run out of oil more quickly than you’d imagine and they can be tough to get going. All in all, I don’t know that I’d buy one again…

    4. Hmmm, I really like mine, but I have to admit that I use neither it nor a candle as often as many here seem to. Perhaps I’d weary of it if I used it more often. It’s true that the refilling is a bit of a pain.

  17. Love good candle packaging, because I think the eye, in addition to eating first, does everything first, but I don’t use candles except on my dining table. For me, they seem a good idea in theory, but not in practice. I don’t want to worry about them: matches, flames, smoke. If I am going to use anything, and I don’t usually like scents other than in a moisturizer, body lotion, fragrance, and sachet, I like to use an air scent from Diptyque. No matches are necessary, and yet I still get the beautiful graphic design. (I ADORE their graphic design.) My favorite of their room sprays, because I like woody scents with vetiver in them, is Ambre. It is described thusly on the Dyptique site: “An engaging resinous scent! A warm and elegant procession of the woods vetiver and patchouli, enhanced with radiant aniseed, insolent spices, mysterious incense, cistus, and tonka bean. It can be used to accentuate the scent of any candle and makes any room a livelier and more vibrant place. It can be used alone or in a more confined space such as a wardrobe or luggage. To do this, just spray 30 cm from fabric items or curtains. 150 ml.” It’s 5 ounces for $65.00. I also use two things I learned from my mom to add lovely scent to my environment. One is lavender sachets. The second is beautiful (the more beautiful the better) scented soaps to add to linen cabinets, dresser drawers, closets, and bathroom cabinets. I’ll put a link to the Diptyque spray and a picture of some of the soaps on Facebook. The Gardener in Berkeley is a wonderful source of beautiful and fragrant soaps.

  18. Enjoyed your thoughts on candles.

    I absolutely love Lux candles –
    A co-worker gave them as Christmas gifts so I received several of them. They are presented in beautiful class holders, quality fragrances, and they burn well. The downside of my retiring is no more candles from that former co-worker!!!!

    Another favorite which I found in Charleston, SC is – I could spend a couple of hours in their store. What an experience – especially their fragrance rooms where you can experience their products..

  19. I quite like the ones from L’Occitane, my all time favorite is Lavande, though I’m positive it’s not very “type de cuisine”, and of course The Winter Forest. It’s worth checking as some scents are unique to certain countries. I haven’t tried the Dyptique ones – too ‘spensive! :D

    1. @Lynn, Winter Forest sounds wonderful – I love the smell of lavender but associate it too closely with soap and shampoo. And I wasn’t familiar with the phrase “type de cuisine.” I’d love you to expand on the meaning in this context, if you feel so inclined.

    2. @Lynn,
      Exactimo, Lavander suits the bath and bed better, and pardon my French :D as I was actually trying to say is I don’t associate relaxing and calming lavander to the kitchen environment; as indicated on the Caldrea that you have, and the Dyptique ones as most of my friends love to have theirs lit while they’re working in the kitchen.

      Oh, I do owe you this information that some L’Occitane candles are packaged in tins – they get pretty hot (a minus for me, but forgiven as the scent makes up for it).

  20. Re spray description above: Love the phrase, “radiant aniseed, insolent spices, mysterious incense.”:)

  21. A friend gave me an Aquesse jar candle in White Ginger Lily – very long-lasting, no problems relighting, and the scent is much less va-va-voom than the name implies – I like clean, gentle, fresh, only slightly sweet scents, and this is a good one. They also make candles in little cans (reusable!); the ones I have are quite strongly scented, but not cloying (although my husband thought one of them smelled like insecticide, and I disagree). Very much worth investigating.

  22. Favorites: Lafco Feu de Bois
    Diptyque Baies
    Vie Luxe Blanc
    Williams Sonoma Pimk Grapefruit and Fluer de Sel

    Now I will try the Calera one just for fun.

    1. @Mary Anne, I’m curious to see what you think:). It’s really interesting to see how many people single out certain candles as favorites.

  23. I never considered myself either a candle person or a household scent person, but I was given a vetiver & cardamom candle by Paddywax Apothecary for my birthday last year and fell in love with it. I seek it out now and light it when I am working at my desk. Perhaps I should consider more options. The Mrs. Meyers sounds nice if it has cardamom, but I’ve grown very sensitive and particular about scents and I’ve had to discard a couple of their dish soaps because I couldn’t stand the fragrance. Maybe I’ll have to sniff around next time I am in Whole Foods.

    My one exception to the no candle rule used to be the Christmas Holidays, when I would burn Agraria’s Bitter Orange. It had seemed a bit extravagant now, on my smaller retiree’s budget, but perhaps I will reconsider when the holidays roll around again.

  24. The quality of Diptyque can’t be beat, but I kind of hoard them like they’re gold.

    Malie Organics Koke’e is wonderful and light and of high quality. You can get them at Nordstrom. They also have other scents, but they’re a little too sweet for me.

    1. @Marla, “The quality of Diptyque can’t be beat,” and speaking to the quality innate in the product, some of us never really light the wicks. Mine simply sit there unlit, yet the faintest fragrance still comes from that lovely little candle.

  25. I love the old time candles made by Riguad, the Cypres scent around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I’m not a fan of scents at other times of the year. I do use candles for ambience, but plain beeswax in mercury glass votives.

  26. I wanted to add something else. A lot of scented candles are pretty toxic, particularly the lower end ones. Paraffin is toxic, artificial scents are toxic, and many candles have lead in their wicks which is also toxic. I do know that Diptyque candles have lead free wicks, all natural scents (I think it’s the only manufacturer that does) but it does use paraffin, albeit “high quality” which is a by product of petroleum, I believe. Because of the “slow burn” of them, it’s supposedly OK? I don’t think Riguad is not great on the toxic scale either, so I’ll be giving those up, although it’s just once or twice a year. Important to do the research on the candles you burn I think – we’re exposed to enough toxins without buying expensive candles that just add to bad air.

    1. @kathy, I had been using soy wax candles for the past couple of years. I had a small stash purchased from local artisans as well as some cheaper ones from a retail store. When they ran out, I went to Pier 1 and bought a couple of regular paraffin candles. I can’t believe the amount of soot they leave behind!

      In a search for cleaner-burning candles I did find that beeswax is the cleanest. Supposedly, it cleans the air rather than polluting it. I don’t know if that’s really true; I guess I’ll find out when I start burning the one I just purchased.

      I do like scents, but from now on, I’ll definitely seek out more clean-burning types rather than just picking them up from where-ever!

    2. Bettina,

      Make sure that the wick is lead free, and that the scent comes from essential oils. Otherwise it’s all pretty toxic.

      Sorry Lisa – hope I’m not being a big “buzz-kill” about this.

    3. @kathy, No, buzz kill is needed when things are toxic. That’s so sad:(. I have to hope that it’s possible still to find candles that aren’t toxic – either on Etsy, from local independent manufacturers, or even the classics, if we vote with our wallets.

  27. I love Volupspa Saijo Persimmon in the summer. And my absolute favorite winter candle is Diptyque Feu de Bois. Just breathing in this unlit candle right now helps me forget about the Arizona heat just outside my window.

  28. Votivo Red Currant was my favorite scented candle during the winter. I also like the Aveda signature scent – not sure what it is called but maybe Shampure? Aveda also had one called Madagascar which was wonderful. I am not using scented candles at this time because I,too, have read that the scented candles are toxic. I like unscented candles when dining so that cuts out using them when entertaining. I have to admit that I have been tempted to try Diptyque but couldn’t justify spending $60 on one candle.

    1. @Jane, I would think Aveda would offer a non-toxic option – they have been at the forefront of “natural” products forever and a day.

  29. My husband professes to hate the smell of candles, probably overexposure to gift shops on vacations. We use lightly scent Mrs Meyers dish soap in the kitchen, and if we would like to smell nicer, I throw a lemon or an orange down the garbage disposal…the real thing is always better. (of course cleaning the grids on the vent over the stove is quite helpful also!)

  30. Since my husband coughs, chokes and sputters whenever I light a candle (probably a by-product of years as a wildfire fighter as well as structure fires). I first tried soy candles, and he does better around those. But if it’s a question of “the candles” vs. “the hubby,” it’s gonna be the hubby.

    In my former life, however, I loved Tocca “Montauk” (of course!), NEST “Holiday,” and Capri Blue “Volcano”…plus the various soy indie candles I favor.

  31. Try Malin & Goetz for high end high quality candles in awesome scents like tobacco (excellent earthy musty smell), cannabis, and jasmine. I think they around $50 a candle and last forever. Most can be purchased as smaller tea lights for $15 if you want to sample before shelling out $$

  32. As an aside, I bought a Diptyque candle in the special Holiday green glass with gold flourishes for my daughter as a house-warming gift, thinking it would be perfect with her new bathroom, and quite special (one might assume so, given the cost). When I arrived for a visit, I saw the candle, a teeny,tiny votive, in the bathroom, and in a very unWASP-like voice, yelled, “This is IT for $34!?!?” You live and you learn…to read item descriptions.

  33. I am a fan of Dyptique despite the price, I buy them twice a year and find they last a long, long time. Feu de Bois is so lovely during our long winters and in the summer I buy Baies and the Rose candles, oh and their room sprays are divine. They are definitely an indulgence though.

    1. @DaniBP, Feu de Bois is the clear winner here. I worry about room sprays – I always think they will get into my food! Silly, I suspect.

  34. Lisa try the Nest Tahiti Vanille, I love it. There are several other scents you might love from Nest as well They also burn perfectly!!

    The Arts by Karena

  35. Pure bees’ wax candles are the best. They have a delicate honey scent and you can put them in a jar for longer burn time.

    1. @KRD, Yes, I love the smell of beeswax, but I sometimes want something a little more intense. Do oils not work with beeswax, I wonder?

  36. This was a fun post, thank you. I’ve never purchased a fragrant candle. However, this is not to say I don’t adore natural fruity smells so if I find myself around a smelly candle, I might just be tempted to take a citrus one home with me. In the meantime, a great way to burn off stinky kitchen odors is to take the peel of an orange and place it in a small saucepan, add a few cloves, add water, simmer on the stove and voila, you have a natural kitchen fragrance.

  37. Always Cire Trudon or Diptyque for me if I want a scent and Price’s stearine tapers for dinner candles. I only use them in winter months and on weekends so I justify their cost that way.

    1. @Tabitha, Cire Trudon – first mention. I’ll take a look – thank you very much. I confess, I do not know the brand of my dinner tapers, unless I buy them from Glacier County honey, having met one of the owners online.

  38. I was not a regular candle purchaser except tapers for the dining table until I got roped into, yes, a home-based MLM “party” that a friend sponsored. (I agree with the comments about how it is easier to say no to a commercial pitch rather than a friend.) The brand is Partylite and not only are their candles seriously inexpensive, they also burn completely like the more expensive brand in this experiment. I also found many of their scents to be pleasant and not overly cloying. But the invaluable thing for me is the citronella scented mosquito repellant candles that work better than anything else I have tried and burn clean. In Florida that is priceless.

    1. @TB, I have been to only one MLM party in my life, it was actually for Tupperware, and, I wanted to go:). Maybe I never had very enterprising friends? I can only imagine how welcome mosquito relief would be in Florida.

  39. I have one Dypique that was given to me. Otherwise I am a Marshall’s\tjmaxx buyer of the hard to find scents I am drawn to. I like how Diptique is not (yet) made in China..

    … Like a lot of things it got ruined for me by blogs.

    Now when I see my _one_ I think -I should really put that on top of a nice little stack of coffee table books. (Next to the bar cart with Pimm and San Pellegrino)

    1. @Meg, Tell me what else got ruined and I’ll try to steer clear;). Note, I do not own a bar cart, the alcohol lives over the laundry sink. Ha!

  40. Great post. I love Diptyque but my husband is weird about candles – he hates the smell of all of them, on principle. He also won’t let me use my molecule diffuser for essential oils or my Lampe Berger (scentless oil?!) I mean, I override him sometimes, but it’s not worth the complaining. I do find that the deep floral and fruit scented candles are the ones most likely to yield a headache. When it comes to candles, light floral or green/woody scents are best, IMO. Can you tell I come from a family where we used all the fancy candles?! :-)

  41. Oh, also want to say that some friends who own the hair salon I frequent, just started selling candles that they’ve made (in collaboration with a local candlemaker) and they’re very fun scents – one is called Pleasure Beach and it’s scented with cannabis and some essential oils that make it smell exactly like a pot party at the lake.

  42. The Fig scented candle by Henri Bendel is my favorite. A friend gave it to us as a hostess gift because it would never occur to me to spend $65 for an 8 ounce candle. However, it lasts a long time, burns well and the scent is divine.

  43. Correction…Amazon charges $65 for a 9.4 oz candle but Henri Bendel charges $30 for one and $50 for two candles on its website. If it’s your first order, they offer a 20% off coupon.

    1. Thanks! I wonder, what does Fig even smell like? The flowers or the fruit itself? All kinds of new questions:).

  44. Rigaud in original green chypre scent , or Diptique. I use them so rarely they last forever. Cannot stand most scents. Rewined, by a Charleston based company is supposed to be good too.

  45. I quite like Thymes candles. Reasonably priced, good burn, real scents. They have an evergreen candle that I like year round but it really comes into its own at Xmas.

  46. I order candles (and other items) from Nourish in Savannah, GA. It’s a small company that started in a woman’s kitchen. Always pleased with their products and service.

  47. I’ve wanted to try Diptyque but indeed the price is lofty. For me it is the following mainly:
    Woodwick “Fireside”
    Byredo “Bibliotheque”, “Treehouse”, or “Cotton Poplin”
    Yankee Candle “Sun & Sand”or “Beach Wood”.

    Can’t live without scented candles.

  48. I don’t know if they are available in the States, but True Grace candles are very good, range from £16-28 for a 40hr burn candle, so aren’t crazily expensive, and they have a lovely evocative website as well. A pleasant way to spend 10 minutes online!

  49. I’m shocked for a number of reasons. First, it would have made more sense selecting comparable scents, or at least the top sellers of each. Diptyque’s Baies is their bestseller. I’ve tried Caldrea hand soap, and that was it for me. The two brands are night and day in regard to quality. Diptyque uses pure, natural oils, lead-free cotton wicks (the poor burning and spattering of the Caldrea candle proves poor wick AND wax quality), and the price points aren’t based on packaging or brand caché. Higher quality parfum oils, wax, attractive & reusable vessels, and hand-set wicks are just a few valid reasons why Diptyque (and even more expensive brands like Cire Trudon) are more expensive.

    Oranger wasn’t a great introduction to the brand. I highly recommend Baies, Figuier, & Mimosa if you prefer a lighter, fruit-forward scent. If you prefer more earthy scents you will enjoy Myrrhe, Oud, & Patchouli. Great florals include Gardenia, Freesia, & Lilas. Caldrea’s candles become intolerable once you’ve had higher quality candles. I did buy one of their candles for the kitchen many moons ago, and it ended up in the trash bin after collecting dust for six months. There’s simply no comparison. It’s akin to comparing a Kia to a Jaguar. Finally, do try a Cire Trudon candle if you’d like to try the highest quality and oldest candlemaker in the world. You can’t go wrong with Odalisque or Ernesto.

  50. My all time favorite scent for a candle is Eucalyptus. The best one ever is by Er’go Soy Candles. No lead in the wicks. No black soot on the glass. It literally burns completely away to just the metal base holding the cotton wick. Just pull it out, wash it and I have a beautiful, heavy glass. The other scents Er’go has are all beautiful. I just love their candles, but the Eucalyptus scent is amazing! Honestly, I have tried several of the Diptyque candles, and I do like them, but they really do not compare, in my opinion, to the Er’go on several levels. They do not burn as clean, are not as strongly scented and they are pricier. Er’go candles are not cheap, but boy are they ever worth the $$.

Comments are closed.