Scenting the Home

By: Jen Shoop

I am a huge fan of candles — they give off a soft glow, making anyone (and everyone) look a little better; they serve as mood-setters; and they can fill the room with an inviting scent.  For years I have used Tocca’s Florence candle.  Tocca’s website tells me that the Florence candle features “an alluring combination of Ivory Gardenia; Italian Bergamot and crushed violet petals.  Blue iris and bottom notes of blonde wood add a sophisticated and feminine scent that is reminiscent of old world Paris.”  Right.  All I can tell you is that it is soft and fresh-smelling at the same time — and definitely not overly-floral or sweet (i.e. cloying).

As you have probably gathered, I’m a sucker for style, and I just love the pretty Tocca packaging — it looks sophisticated in and of itself!  The bottom of their boxes always read: “Love yourself,” which — for whatever reason — just makes the candle seem even more special and more indulgent.

Despite my love for Tocca (I also wear Tocca’s “Cleopatra” perfume — people stop me on a regular basis asking what it is!), I decided to venture out of the Tocca rut this past December.  I tested Nest candles, Voluspa candles (popularized by Anthropologie), and, more recently, Seda candles.  The Japanese Quince Seda candle is probably their most popular — and it REALLY packs a punch.  Just having it on my dresser (not lit) scents the room with a subtle aroma; lighting it absolutely fills the apartment.  For this reason, I am not sure I’ll buy Seda again until I have a bigger space — I tend to blow it out after an hour or so, or it gets almost too intense!  (Not a bad problem to have — I’m guessing this candle will last for 6 months rather than the typical 1 or 2.)

Voluspa’s champagne scent was really appealing, but it lasted maybe 2 weeks when all was said and done!  It had a light, almost soapy/sudsy scent to it, and it came in a pretty little tin holder — but I’d rather not have to worry about replacing my candles with such frequency.

The surprise underdog was Nest’s floral scented candle (I wish I could be more specific, but I honestly can’t remember the scent — I thought it was maybe Gardenia, but a quick google search indicated that I may have made that up…)  My roommates and I hosted a party at our apartment and one of the guests — a taciturn, smart, “manly-man” sort — came up to me and said: “Your bedroom smells so good.  That’s the best smell I’ve ever smelled in my life.”  I couldn’t believe how intense he was about it — or that he had taken the time to mention it to me! — but, at around $10 less than Tocca and Seda candles, I’ll swap them in now and then!

I’d love to give Diptyque a try (all the celebs seem to love ’em) — but I just can’t bring myself to drop $50-plus dollars on a CANDLE.  I’d much rather buy two of Tocca’s (which I adore) for around the same price!

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