I Fell for Le Labo's Santal 33 Just Like the Rest of the World and I Don't Care if That Makes Me a Sucker
I mean, even Justin frickin' BEIBER wears it.
I don't know about you, but I have a very particular snout, especially when it comes to home fragrances. For starters, I get headaches easily from scents that are too overpowering or too cloyingly sweet, and, yes, I subscribe to the notion that certain scents are more appropriate for certain times of the year.
For example, I wouldn't dare light a harvest candle until we're at a consistent <75 degrees outside, and there ain't no way I'm gonna sniff Christmas Cookie Bonanza if it isn't December. Sue me!
For the past month, I've been curating a collection of candles that I deem worthy of summer. Some will even transition gracefully into fall (really, any herbed candle does well throughout the year). Some are a little spendy, others are on par with what you're probably used to paying. I'll let you decide what's worth a Visa swipe.
Rosy Rings Tomato Vine, $32
I'm the kind of (apparently disgusting?) person who eats tomatoes like an apple. Some of my fondest memories involve grabbing a giant, juicy tomato right off the vine in my adolescent garden—dirt be damned—and then roaming out into the woods to find cool rocks and bugs.
I also have fond memories of driving around the back Amish country roads with my mom and stopping by various Amish farms to get groceries. We'd often buy tomatoes as a snack, and I can still feel the juices running down my arms and the wind in my hair as we walked around selecting the prettiest produce.
So yeah, I'm partial to tomatoes. This Tomato Vine candle by Rosy Rings is super earthy and green, leans on the light side, and if you know what a tomato vine actually smells like, you'll know that this is the real deal.
Ola Tropical Apothecary Coconut Wax, $33
This Coconut Wax Candle by Ola Tropical Apothecary is super concentrated and therefore permeates your home pretty quickly. I think that makes up for the somewhat short burn time of 30 to 36 hours.
It's sweet, beachy, and leans more toward a "perfumed coconut" than an earthy coconut. I like that the ingredients are all sourced from Hawaii, making it feel like more of an authentic burn experience.
Blushie Dust After Rain, $6
Did you know that there's an actual word for the smell that comes after the rain? It's called petrichor, and this petite, 100% soy candle by Blushie does a fine job of re-creating it.
It somehow does capture that wet and dusty scent that rain seems to kick up, and I like the tiny size. It's perfect for a bathroom or a tiny home that's easily overpowered by scents.
KOBO Seeds Somerset Thyme, $28
This KOBO Seeds Pure Soy Candle is one of my favorites from the bunch because it's just so damn clean and unassuming. On first whiff, it hits you with a twist of lemon, then softens into a powdery, herb-y fusion of thyme and sage.
This may sound kind of weird, but when I smell it, it makes my mouth water. It's like, I want to eat it, but I know I should just smell it? My brain is so confused. Anyway, it has a burn time of 60 hours.
Paddywax Watermelon Mint, $19.99
I wasn't sure what to expect with this strange fusion of scents, but watermelon and mint go together like ramalamadingdong. It's more sweet than it is earthy, and is somehow the perfect blend between fruit and mint without being gross. You know what it reminds me of? Watermelon gum. But BETTER.
It's made by Paddywax, and was shipped from Dot & Bo (tons of discounted candles, gang). It's 9 oz and it comes in a sturdy ceramic jar.
Peacock Parfumerie Royal Fern Botanist Candle, $44
Gonna be real with you: I snagged this fella strictly because I loved the packaging, and also I really wanted to know what a royal fern smelled like.
I will tell you that, according to Peacock Parfumerie, it smells quite green, mildly earthy, and a little warm. It's one of the lightest fragrances on the roster today, and has this twinge of fresh air that makes for a really pleasant home fragrance.
Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava, $15.99
Pictured to the right, above, is Pacifica's Hawaiian Ruby Guava soy candle, which comes in a bunch of different sizes. The 5.5 oz candle is $15.99, but they have a smaller size for $6, and larger sizes as well.
I was a little worried about this one being too sweet or pungent, but it's quite smooth and lovely. There's a bit of coconut in it, which softens and warms up the overall scent. It's bright and fresh and perfect for these hot summer days.
TOCCA Cleopatra, $54
It's no secret that TOCCA is my favorite brand, and I am obsessed with the Cleopatra scent (and not alone there either). The brand has multiple candle sizes, and this 10 oz "Candela Luxe" is the largest and has a burn time of 60 hours.
It's the most expensive here, but it's probably my favorite due to its complexity. It's powdery and smooth, but rich and warm and slightly juicy. It's as nice to look at it as it is to smell it, as it's housed in a gorgeous, scalloped glass container and comes with a gilded metal lid.
Yankee Candle Midsummer's Night, $27.99
Yankee Candle's Midsummer's Night has been a long time favorite of mine. It's ever-so-slightly masculine, which is a quality I'm often drawn to in fragrances. It's dark, musky and warm with notes of patchouli and sage. This is the 22 oz two-wick version, which burns for up to 85 hours.