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Photo courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

Editors’ Picks: The Most Romantic Candles

Whether by the aesthetic or the scent they emit, candles are hands down romance with a wick.
Roxanne Robinson Sep 04, 2020
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When Marcel Proust wrote in his 1913 novel, À la recherche du temps perdu or ‘In Search of Time Lost,” that the taste of tea and madeleines transported him back in time, it was his nose that traveled there. So significant was this reaction; it coined the term “A Proustian moment,” according to an article in The Harvard Gazette in February 2020. This phenomenon of a sensory experience triggering a memory, forgotten or otherwise, may be why scents are so comforting to us.

But more than comfort, some scents elicit emotions such as romance and desire.

Who hasn’t been reminded of amorous encounters when the scent associated with it wafts past our nose?

Candles, with their soft flickering glow, always add a romantic mood to any set-up, whether a paramour is involved or not. And besides, lighting a candle can make any place feel unique with or without someone else present.

Combining their allure with an alluring scent delivers in the sensory department. These candles -whether they possess a spicy, floral,  fruity or earthy aroma; or, simply give a room a moody aura –  alone may become the object of your affections.

Spice Notes

A leader in class when it comes to romantic seduction by candle, the Giovanni scented candle from Fornasetti, named for the opera based on the legend of Don Juan – the ultimate libertine and seducer. The setting of the opera, Seville, Spain, informs the intoxicating scent of musk, dry amber, cedarwood, and patchouli topped off with fruit and floral notes of peach, rose, and lily of the valley. The china jar shows portraits of brand icons, beautiful opera singer Lina Cavalieri and Furio Maschera, the unknown man who appears on Fornasetti’s works, both wearing domino masks in homage to the famous story of Don Juan.

The mighty warriors of the Massai tribe use feather headdresses resembling a lion’s mane to intimidate their prey. The Feathers Masaai Candle by Baobab, available at NestCasa.com, has the opposite effect. Conjuring up the hot desert sun and the ceremonial practices of the Massai, this spicy aroma combines patchouli, rum extract, and amber.

The Ourika candle comes from storied French candlemaker Cire Trudon founded in 1643. The Left Bank pedigree candlemaker boasts having a royal warrant for wax making who supplied the candles at Napoleon the First’s coronation. Its spicy aura culled from the iris also has a sensual side and recalls Egyptian mythology. The flower connects to Horus, the falcon God that brings the sky and the earth together.

With a name like Conversation in a Park, it’s no wonder this spicy candle from L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803 and curated by perfumer Dorothée Piot has such a titillating odor. Emitting notes of citrus bergamot, floral Ottoman roses, and fresh peppermint, this all-natural wax candle is encased in a heavy stone vase with a terrazzo finish making its appearance as attractive as its scent.

At an ample 450-gram size, the robust La Redouté pillar candle from Diptyque culls its spicy scent from a potpourri recipe that dates back to Elizabethan times. Standing bare without a jar, this pillar candle exudes a ‘sauvage’ mood.

Floral Notes

The scent of a woman is truly remarkable; just ask Al Pacino’s blind character in the 1990s film of the same name. No wonder this Baobab candle with its notes of magnolia and rose,  tempered by musk, is called The Women. Refined 9-karat yellow gold decorative trim encases the graphic female form that expresses femininity and strength.

Ultimate ladies’ man when it comes to fashion, designer Giambattista Valli teamed up with Cire Trudon on a luxuriously scented ‘Positano’ candle. Evoking the picture-perfect town on the Amalfi coast, this flower-powered fragrance contrasts heady top notes of jasmine, orange blossom, and gardenia mixed with subtle touches of magnolia, tuberose, and lily, giving your space the feeling of summer on the Italian riviera.

Founded by three friends at 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain in 1961, Diptyque Paris practically invented the transformative powers of scented candles. Their ‘roses’ candle is no exception, possessing a scent reminiscent of the romantic flower blooming in a rose garden.

But this scent doesn’t stop at a lone candle. A full spectrum olfactory experience is possible, using the complimentary scent, Eau Rose perfumed soap uses the most prized roses, the damascene, and the centifolia paired with a silk caressing body and bath oil made from argan, almond, and macadamia nut.

Inspired by an Oriental screen, this Fornasetti Flora Coromandel candle takes its cues from the lush garden flora in the garden of the grounds of the Fornasetti house in Milan.

Fruit Notes

You can almost feel the electricity in this platinum collection candle from the Baobab Collection. It’s fresh grapefruit scent blended with amber combine in one intoxicating scent from this beautifully encased wax candle.

The Cire Trudon Carmelite candle features  notes of orange and armoise, which is the ancient medicinal plant known for relaxation, and reducing anxiety. Just the combo of a rush of sunshine paired with inhibition-releasing oil helps set a romantic stage.

Technically fruity, the Figuier candle from Diptyque also bears a woodsy scent thanks to this fruit-bearing tree that stretches across Mediterranean landscapes. It captures the aura of the sun releasing its natural fragrance of bark, leaves, and the figs as they ripen across the region. A sensual fruit, the smell of this candle awakens many of the senses.

Earthy Notes

A fireplace sets a romantic mood on any occasion. The Feu de Bois candle from Diptyque features a scent from the Parisian candlemaker that transports you to the famous Bois surrounding Paris, such as the Boulogne and Vincennes woods. Set in a green hand-blown glass jar, this candle recalls an inviting open fire on a winter day.

Named for carpentry’s patron saint, Joseph, L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803’s scented candle smells of cedarwood and pink berries and is composed by perfumer Sidonie Lancesseur. The massive stone vase made from glass paste, enamel, and fine minerals with a terrazzo finish takes its cues from the mosaics found in Venetian palaces, the ultimate locale for romance.

Using Comme des Garcons signature polka dots, the Comme des Fornà candle by Fornasetti smells of simple Provencal ingredients thyme and lavender with a distinct earthiness.

Byredo’s Bohemia candle pays homage to an unconventional lifestyle with an ode to wanderlust in the company of classic bohemian misfits who gel perfectly together. The romance associated with this nomadic way is expressed through a smoldering combo of scents that blends rum, geranium, rosemary, vanilla, sandalwood, and oakmoss tied together with opoponax.

Even without a scent, placing candles at a meal signals the mood for romance and relaxation. Cire Trudon’s Madeleine tapered candles are named for the historic Roman Catholic church in Paris. This same style has been lighting the church since the 17th century. For a touch of elegance added to your romance, why not make them the table centerpiece by encasing them in a chic candleholder?

Baccarat, the French crystal house founded in 1764 under the permission of Louis XV, offers faceted crystal  candlestick holders that shine without a lit candle. Part of the Mille Nuit collection, a reference to 1001 Tales of the Arabian Nights, sets the scene for an exotic evening.

Saint Louis crystal, another one of France’s most storied crystal makers, offers two styles: the Oxymore Adiante and the Les Endiables, to hold precious taper candles. The first, a graphic stacked cubed pillar, and the latter, two opposing semi-circles, give your mood lighting an apropos alter on which to rest.

Taper candles / Candle Holders

Even without a scent, placing candles at a meal signals the mood for romance and relaxation. Cire Trudon’s Madeleine tapered candles are named for the historic Roman Catholic church in Paris. This same style has been lighting the church since the 17th century. For a touch of elegance added to your romance, why not make them the table centerpiece by encasing them in a chic candleholder?

Baccarat, the French crystal house founded in 1764 under the permission of Louis XV, offers faceted crystal  candlestick holders that shine without a lit candle. Part of the Mille Nuit collection, a reference to 1001 Tales of the Arabian Nights, sets the scene for an exotic evening.

Saint Louis crystal, another one of France’s most storied crystal makers, offers two styles: the Oxymore Adiante and the Les Endiables, to hold precious taper candles. The first, a graphic stacked cubed pillar, and the latter, two opposing semi-circles, give your mood lighting an apropos alter on which to rest.

For Your Custom Home Edit of Romantic Candles,
Contact : customerservice@nestcasa.com

Roxanne Robinson
Roxanne Robinson is an award-winning Paris-based American journalist covering luxury and fashion industries with over 25 years of experience. I spent over 18 years at WWD, covering sportswear, accessories and fine jewelry. My career witnessed the shift from print media to the digital age. I gained expert knowledge of the design world, wholesale and retail markets as well as the marketing that supports them. I met endless creatives and business people who create luxury from inception to POS with the consumer. My work has appeared in Forbes.com, BoF, The Hollywood Reporter, CRFashionbook.com, The Jewelry Journal as well in-house publications and websites at Bally, Pomellato, Au Depart and Editorialist.com among others.
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