16 Candles That Prove That Bigger Is Better
“Go big or go home” seems to be the mantra lately in the world of candles. While unscented votive and taper candles that don't compete with food aromas still have a place in elevated dining experiences, scented jar candles have gone next level. Now, these intoxicating parfums have been supersized. Nest Casa culls the best choices to buy today. These rank high in size, aroma, and style.
What Size Is a Large Candle?
Because wax is such a pliable material, it is almost limitless what it can become in a mold. Practically any shape or size can be achieved. For example, the French candle brand Cire Trudon—which was founded in 1643 to serve as the sole royal candle manufacturer, supplying candles (or, bougie in French) to the court—replicates historical figures in wax. The recently revitalized mark recreates famous busts of Napoleon Bonaparte and Marie Antoinette, the last French queen, who was beheaded during the French Revolution.
Of course, giant floor candles have been present in the modern era for several decades, often becoming accent pieces instead of being used for functional burning. For this article, Nest Casa is focusing on large or oversized jar candles. Often referred to as hearth candles, these have been enlarged to correspond, in many instances, to the size of a gallon of paint. Generally, these candles contain three wicksand are used in place of actual fires in fireplaces. Due to their size and multiple wicks, they tend to give off a sturdy glow—and, most importantly, an impactful scent.
Essential Tips for Burning Large Candles
To benefit from the size of these olfactory tantalizers, there are few things to note. Remember that candles should be burned for at least three hours when used for the first time to give them a conditioning or scent memory (call it muscle memory for the candle). These candles are favored for their “scent throw,” which measures how far the scent carries when cold and solid or when burning and liquid.
It's best to keep each wick neatly trimmed to about a quarter inch to avoid dangerously high flames, black soot formation, and wasting the candle's scent (which could be caused by the rapid pace at which a tall wick will burn). Also, the glass can shatter if it gets too hot. Trimming is done with wick trimmers, scissors, or nail clippers. Another tip to avoid too much smoke is to make sure that there is adequate ventilation without being too windy. Soy candles mixed with essential oils are known to burn the cleanest.
These large burners last for at least 150 hours. Some can last for as many as 300 hours, with a recommendation of not burning the candle for more than six hours in one sitting. Candles burn for roughly five to seven hours per ounce of wax. The multiple wicks (three or five) does the opposite of what one might think. This doesn't cause the candle to burn faster but, rather, extends the candle's life by evenly dispersing the wax pools and utilizing the entire wax each time it burns.
Why Are Large Candles Popular Now?
Given the current focus on a calming home environment thanks to the events of 2020, it's no surprise that large, aromatic candles that add scent appeal are so popular. Nest Casa founder Sara Colombo strongly recommends oversized, fragrant candles, noting that large candles with multiple wicks provide enough dispersion of fragrance for wide, open spaces.
"Large candles, especially those like Baobab Collection, are amazing because not only are they a long-lasting scent, but the decorative glass makes them a décor object as well," she says. These big jar candles are also fun to style. "I love to create a grouping (my magic number is usually three) that includes a large candle and two smaller objects, like a vase or sculpture on a coffee table that coordinate with the color of the candles' vessel."
Editor's Top 16 Picks
The Figuier aroma is as popular with Diptyque fans as Baies. This 1,500-gram heavyweight boasts five wicks to distribute the heady yet fruity aroma. An ombre green, ceramic pot, which recalls the fig tree, is perfect for indoors and out.
The face of the opera beauty Lina Cavalieri depicted in Piero Fornasetti's work adorns this candle. The burn leaves the smell of lavender, thyme, cedarwood, birch, incense, and labdanum lingering in the air, recalling this mysterious woman.
Bring springtime indoors with this floral-scented candle by Fornasetti, also featuring the artist’s classic muse, Lina Cavalieri. This lush aroma contains ivy, lily of the valley, and white rose with a touch of musk.
Abd El Kader Grand Bougie Candle, Cire Trudon Ernesto Grand Bougie Candle$570.00 BUY NOW
Named for the Algerian religious and military leader Abd El Kader, who led the fight against French colonialism in the mid-1800s, this candle from Cire Trudon pays tributes to El Kader’s legacy. This large candle delivers spearmint, jasmine, and rich vanilla to recall the exotic smells of the north African country.
This bamboo candle from MJ Atelier evokes the smell of a tropical forest, lush with the plentiful grass plant with abundant green notes and sparkling citrus giving any room a jungle scent.
Ripe pomegranate and smoky guaiac wood fill any space with a provocative ambiance, thanks to this candle from Jo Malone—which performs best in a nighttime setting.
Jo Malone's ode to the English garden has a sensual side. Peony is paired with pomegranate to create a complex fragrance throughout this candle, featuring a scent that evolves with the various layers of the wax.
A beautifully embossed, cube-patterned jar in blushing rose envelopes this candle. It emits a sophisticated scent that blends blackberry, chypre, rose, and oud from Voluspa.
With five sturdy wicks, this large candle from Voluspa is characterized by Moso bamboo, black musk, and Japanese cypress to blossom with the beauty of a Japanese garden.
Le Labo's signature scent comes in burnable form with the Santal 26 candle. It weighs in at 1,200 grams of wax and is nestled in a white, concrete container.