Thoughts when picking a candle.

February 15, 2020 | 4 minute read

I’ve edited this article probably a dozens times now. With each edit, comes with a different perspective on things. Read this as if it’s a living document, ever-evolving and changing.

Latest edit: 01/21/2021


A good candle is tastefully scented. It shouldn’t be overbearing or underwhelming. It should be within range of being mildly pleasant to strikingly bold.

A fragrance composition I always benchmark against is: Grapefruit + Mint, Pipe Tobacco, and Amber + Driftwood.

The Grapefruit + Mint is a light, citrus-y, refreshing flavor profile. The Pipe Tobacco comprises a scent in the other direction, encompassing a bold and deep scent. The Amber + Driftwood mellows it all down, elongating the fragrance by connecting the refreshing citrus to the dark tobacco. The three fragrances blend together to form a journey of aromas that’s pleasant and suitable for any environment.

Visual style

A good candle is simple in its design. From its vessel to its color palette, all aspects of it should strive to be simple.


A good candle should be reasonably priced. Anything more than $30 should be classified as expensive. Candles priced higher than $30 turn the purchase into a statement of wealth.

Thoughts related to candles:

Note to self: We’ll want to move this into its own post. Maybe a “things to consider” when purchasing a candle.

The context of the candle is as important as its composition. Consider the premise where you plan to light the candle. If the scent is sweet, then having it lit within a room that’s dark-lit and earth-y might conflict with the setting. However, if the scent is placed in either a brightly lit kitchen or a brightly lit bathroom, it will appropriately radiate and append to the setting.

Be careful with broadly-defined names. Dig deeper to figure out the scent profile behind the generic name (ie. Ocean, or Snowflake), and determine whether it fits the space you envision it will be.

Candles aren’t large enough to hold the center of attention. I tend to side on the simplistic and minimalistic design patterns, so I enjoy candles that are single-colored with a very clean design. With minimalism in mind, details on the label should serve its purpose of conveying the notes the candle expose and other basic information behind its composition. Anything else clutters its space, and should be omitted.

I’ve found amber jars to be gorgeous in presentation, but constraining in structure. Amber jars tend to be more narrow and tall, whereas tin containers can be wide and short. Benefits of being wider include having the option to burn more than one wick at once. Burning two wicks at a time allows for stronger scent throw. This can be rare with amber jars.

I’m unsure of how 4oz candles can justify a price tag upwards of $30. A guess would be that its fragrance oils might be the cause of its costs. However, I’d argue that the scale of fragrance oil usage is still minimal as the the ratio of fragrance oils probably will only be 10 to 12% of the weight of its wax (4 oz).

If it’s not the fragrance oils, then it’d be either the design or the candle vessel. In these cases, either factor must really stand out for me to purchase.

Don’t buy candles that are outrageously expensive candles.

When picking a wax, go with a natural and non-environmentally harming wax.