About Me

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Would you light my candle?

Not only is this blog post a reference to one of my favorite musicals of all time, RENT, it's also a true question I would ask if they're aren't any Zippos around. I have a somewhat irrational fear of using matches and I never have even tried. The sound of a match being lit makes me cringe. I'm terrified I'll burn my fingers. But, I love candles. So if that situation ever arises, let's just hope there's someone around to light my candle.

I walked around our apartment this morning and counted how many candles we currently have out: 7, plus tealights and an extra scented pillar candle waiting in the wings, and 3 "holiday" candles. This is actually a surprisingly low number for me. My love of candles undoubtedly started with my mother (like a lot of things) who always has a candle in every room of the house and goes around and lights them after she's done with her Saturday top-to-bottom, no-surface-left-unscrubbed cleaning. To this day I always light them when I'm cleaning or done cleaning. It makes everything somehow seem cleaner and more serene, and I love that.

The difference between my love of candles and my mother's is that my mother had no choice but to love candles. As an elementary school secretary for almost 20 years, she has gotten hundreds of candles as gifts from students. Like me, she hates waste, so she uses them. Open the cabinets in the bathroom and laundry and what will you find -- more candles. What usually gets regifted -- candles. I have taken a couple of hers over the years, but, as you would expect, the candles she gets are a mixed bag. 90% of Yankee Candle's scents make me gag. If the packaging is ugly and it can't be removed, I'll say no thanks, even if it has a redeeming scent.

I spend my hard-earned money on fancy candles. Granted, I have learned to say no at times when a $42 organic soy candle at a boutique in wine country just isn't in the budget, but it's hard. I go back and forth regretting the decision. I write blog posts like this one to help me cope.

Voluspa is one of my favorite brands (gorgeous packaging and scents), but if you're looking to NOT spend the majority of your paycheck on candles, Target actually has an impressive selection to choose from. A friend and I recently spent a good 20 minutes in the candle aisle, sniffing and selecting, and I bought just two and was very proud of myself. Be forewarned that they have some duds in there, but if you allow yourself enough time to really sniff through them and choose wisely, you'll be a satisfied candle shopper.

Scent-wise I tend to lean towards light, clean, floral scents, but I also like a bit of a musk every now and then. I light my patchouli pillar candle from Pier 1 when I do yoga. Voluspa has a scent called Moso Bamboo that's dark and earthy but it makes my heart sing when I'm in the right mood. Nothing signals the start of the holiday season for me like breaking out the heavy evergreen and pine candles.

I realize that a lot of people might think that candles are a frivolous thing to spend your money on. But when you consider the atmosphere they create, that elevated feeling of "clean" and "home," plus the number of burning hours, with a scent you enjoy and something pretty to look at, I don't think you can go wrong.

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