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  • Katie Calautti

My 7 Favorite Candle Brands

To know me is to know that I am the most Taurus Taurus who ever Taurused. Which basically means my home decor budget grandly eclipses my grocery budget. Ambiance—it’s what’s for dinner! At the very top of my list of hermitude must-haves are candles. Every night, without fail, I light a wick and let the evocative scent of an artisan amalgam soothe me as I wind down (aka: scroll Twitter and attempt to quell my rising existential dread) before bed.

In characteristic style, I’ve become an obsessive researcher of candle companies and a shamelessly snobbish scent-seeking missile. I’m a sensitive being, after all, and only the most expertly-sourced, chemical-free, non-cloying-yet-effectively-fragrance-distributing blend will do. I’m a simple girl with simple needs.

So without further ado, here are my current favorite candle brands.

1. Carrière Frères

Everything about this brand—from the packaging to the alchemy—is elegant and très upscale. I mean, they’re FRENCH and have been in the game since 1884, after all. I especially love their Firebrand scent, and my bff Diana Davis is a Tomato devotee.


These Boston-based candle makers instantly transport me to far-off lands and cozy art and textile-filled spaces with their magical mixtures. Plus, the label art! Swoon. Grand Tour is my go-to scent, though I love them all.

3. diptyque

Look, there’s no arguing with a classic. I’m a Feu de Bois girl for life, baby!

4. Cavern New York

This Brooklyn-based brand is a firm (and well-priced) favorite. I especially love Estate and Atrium.

5. Boy Smells

If you want to lean into the millennial pink sans-serif marketing of it all, this relatively new-to-me brand is pretty fun. I haven’t tried their whole line, but the two I’ve got—Slow Burn and Gardener—are very nice.

6. Harlem Candle Company

This BIPOC-owned brand had me at, “Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance.” But historical context plus gorgeous packaging?! That’s a guaranteed purchase, for me. I’m a Billie Holiday fan in both sound and scent.

7. Ardor Bin

Vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic, BIPOC-owned, minimalist design, and WOOD WICKS? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and a resounding YES. Check out Botanic Sea and Sandalwood Night.


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