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6 Candles I Love

April 28, 2011

I was thinking yesterday about all of the candles that I own because I was organizing a cabinet where I keep my mini candle store (ha ha) and felt a bit ashamed of how many I have still unopened… And funny thing is, I was deciding what was missing from my stash so that I could restock. Sigh. The life of a candle addict. Funny thing is that I have mild allergies to fragrance so I’m careful when it comes to stronger scents, like lilac and jasmine, since they make me very sick. Did you know that until I was 25-years-old I suffered from chronic allergies to perfume, hair spray, candles, anything and everything seemed to trigger intense headaches and flu-like symptoms? Oh yes. I didn’t wear perfume until I was 25! Then, one day, the allergies just vanished. Poof! I have no clue how or why that is even possible, but they did and that is when I went a little nuts buying everything scented that I could pack into my cabinets from cleaning supplies to shampoo. Sure, cigarette smoke still makes me sick, as does newspaper ink, certain paints, strong perfume, etc. but I’m pretty much a perfume and candle-aholic now though the scents need to be fresh, natural and certainly not heavy. I thought I’d share some candles that aren’t obnoxiously strong that I love, 6 to be exact, that add a slight fragrance without overpowering me or my guests. I photographed my current 3 favorites at home today and listed the other 3 below as I need to replenish my supply so I couldn’t take a picture of those.

6 Candles I Love

1. Le Labo vintage candle (love the packaging!) that was a gift to me from Liberty actually and I love it. The scent is Santal 26 and is an, “aristocratic scent, at once gentle, smokey and leathery, that will fill your space and give it true personality.” All I can say is that I’m already on my second Le Labo candle and I can’t get enough. Great for couples, as it’s a bit masculine and slightly feminine which I also love.

6 Candles I Love

2. Bailey’s Mown Grass candle. I love Mark & Sally Bailey’s gorgeous creations for the home, this candle being one of them. My husband bought it at Liberty and as you can see, he’s been using it in his office each night. It smells delightful, and it’s at all over-the-top as some grassy scents can be. It’s light and breezy, almost as if you woke up in your stone cottage, opened your windows, and took a deep breath as the gentle Spring air caressed your nose with the scent of green. In the states you can buy it online at Terrain.

6 Candles I Love

3. Diptyque Feuille De Lavande (Lavender leaf) is so perfect for this time of year but I mostly burn it in the Autumn, early winter. I love the way it makes my home smell – so clean, but also how it makes me feel – so calm! It’s worth every penny.

Not shown: 4. Jo Malone: Grapefruit (love this), 5. DayNa Decker Bardou (the wick crackles when you burn it so it sounds like a fireplace!), and 6. Candied Fruit Candle by L’Occitane. Yes, that one is very sweet and über fruity but in a big room it’s quite delightful, especially when the sun is shining and the windows are open. I don’t suggest burning it with the windows closed, it’s a bit overwhelming!

What are your favorite scented candles? Now I’m wondering, do you even use candles? Are you allergic to fragrance? Were you once allergic and miraculously healed without reason like me?

(images: holly becker for decor8)



  • Reply Paola April 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    long time reader, first time commenter. ordered your book and received it yesterday and had the hardest time putting it down. thank you so much for all the amazing work you put into that thing, i love it!

  • Reply jenn April 28, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I LOVE candles. We have a pretty tiny house, so I try to stick with just one scent … and love how it wafts throughout the house. My current favorite (bording on obsession) is Capri Blue’s Volcano scent. AH-MAZING!

  • Reply Amy April 28, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I myself am fond of the Chateau Marmont candle
    It brings back such wonderful and relaxing memories.

  • Reply Julia April 28, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I’m a beginner when it comes to scented candles as I’ve always found them smelling too strong and a bit synthetic. However, this past autumn I bought a candle from Rituals – Sweet Sunrise. I love it! You shouldn’t burn it for too long as the scent can get a bit strong.

    Now that I know that there are so many yummy scented candles I’m curious to buy some more…

  • Reply Kelly April 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Hi Holly,

    Candles, they do make the loveliest accent to a room, I still love real beeswax, guess that is from going to church when I was little, but favorite fragrances, love floral scents, lavender, honeysuckle, lilies and some spice cinnamon and a peach, my Mom had a peachy fragrance in her house. Funny thinking of this reminds how much our sense of smell is linked to memory.
    When I studied lighting, candles were considered kinetic light.

  • Reply Rona April 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    I too am a candle-holic! And I tend to light one most afternoons when I’m working at my desk.

    My current favourites are Jo Malone’s Pomengranate Noir and Heal’s Botanicals Lavender and Vanilla. For the autumn/winter, Heal’s Botanicals Orange and Cinnamon plus The White Company’s Winter candle are wonderful!

  • Reply Denise April 28, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    We have the same nose/allergy issues! I’m ordering the grass one now. Thank you! There’s a company in the States called Gold Canyon and they make a scent called Clean Sheets. I think they do home sales only. I don’t like their packaging so I just buy the tea lights that can go into my own vessels. It’s super fresh & light!

  • Reply Melissa April 28, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    I picked up a few candles in Red Lodge, Montana last summer and have been smitten ever since. They’re by The Black Crow Candle Company ( My absolute favorite is Brown Sugar, which has a lovely crow on the label, closely followed by Sweet Fig. The candles I have are packed in jars wrapped in a swatch of burlap, but the website is now showing new metal can packaging.
    I’ve been rationing mine out since last June and can’t recommend them highly enough.

  • Reply Z April 28, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Like Jenn, I have a small space so I generally stick with scented oils from my Body Shop burner, but have been using Vanilla-esque scents for years and was just thinking about trying something new, and in candle form. Lots of lovely choices here, thank you!

  • Reply sally April 28, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I like scented candles but it is the light they produce that is so appealing.
    Candle light produces an atmoshere all of it’s own and one small flame will light up the darkness. It’s also a very forgiving light great for relaxing at dinner parties :)

  • Reply napatelier April 28, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    The first one is so atractive, but I have no clue where to find it in italy…
    Diptyque is my favorite for now…
    have a great evening!

  • Reply napatelier April 28, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    The first one is so atractive, but I have no clue where to find it in italy…
    Diptyque is my favorite for now…
    have a great evening!

  • Reply josephine April 28, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I splurged on the Le Labo Santal 26 candle a few months ago, and LOVE the scent, too! I’m sad to see that the candle is almost at its end :( I also love that the candle burns evenly; you get more for your money :)

  • Reply Angelia April 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I really like Sake from Mi Spa candles. I do have sensitivities/allergies to some fragrances that contain a lot of alcohol or artifical ingredrients. The candle containers are always so interesting as well.

  • Reply Alexis April 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    I adore candles! I change mine with the seasons. For me, nothing is more exciting than purchasing my Fall scent candles. Yours are so pretty!

  • Reply Z April 28, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    One quick question — any suggestions for which one is the least potent, in terms of blowing it out? I know that’s an odd question, but whenever I blow out a candle, that poof of smokey/sulphury-ness makes my husband sneeze. Do certain candles do less of that? Like, beeswax vs. soy?


  • Reply Ann Siobhan Nordquist April 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Wonderful post Holly. The Bailey’s mown grass candle is wonderful and the lavender leaf. I have huge love for they are made with 100% beeswax and cotton wicks with pure essential oils. My fave of theirs is Sensuality which is palmarosa & geranium ?

  • Reply Star Hughes April 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    I love the mown lawn candle – that sounds amazing! I’ve never heard of anything like it, but what a good idea, that’s one of my favorite smells!

  • Reply Brett April 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I’m a self proclaimed candle junky too! Love these recommendations and will have to give them a whirl! I actually posted some of my faves over on my blog a few weeks ago – check it out if you decide to try something new :)


  • Reply gina April 28, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Looove candles too, my favorite would have to be Volcano, by Capri Blue, they can be found at Anthropologie, when they burn down to just a tiny bit of wax and can’t be lit any more I put them in my closets, so everytime I open the door I can still get the scent~

  • Reply Veronica April 28, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    I really love candles too but don’t stock up or burn them item enough. Of late, however, I have started to light one at bedtime in a large hurricane to provide a little night light for tending to my newborn at night. Current fragrance is lavender. Indeed, I can’t tolerate strong sickly sweet fragrances either eg: Chanel 5. I need lighter fresher scents eg: white tea and ginger.

  • Reply Mrs Bok April 29, 2011 at 12:00 am

    I love Jo Malone too! But also the Archipelago soy candle in Aragula.

  • Reply Mimi April 29, 2011 at 12:23 am

    i like the white company candles my favourite ones are driftwood and cassis, designers guild is selling some nice candles as well but I don’t remember it’s names and of course jo malone :)

  • Reply Katie April 29, 2011 at 12:44 am

    I’m still so allergic! But I’m just twenty-two, so I’ll get back to you when I’m twenty-five and let you know if I’m still sneezing at the scent of perfume and coughing when I use hairspray. I hope my allergies disappear, too!
    That said, I really love the description of the Santal 26 candle from Liberty and it sounds so wonderfully old-world. Unfortunately, even thinking about the scent of the mown grass is making me feel a little sniffly–too funny.

  • Reply Kristyne April 29, 2011 at 3:06 am

    Holly, I love the little crocheted doilies shown with the Mown Grass candle. Do you remember where you found them?

    Also, I’ve been meaning to ask you about the “06” on the cover of your book … symbolic for you? I’m guessing it refers to 2006 when you started blogging? Or was it something else … or just random? (Inquiring minds want to know! :)

    • Reply decor8 April 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm

      @Kristyne – Yes, that is when I launched decor8 — in ’06 — but it was just coincidence that those numbers were in that photo and that the photo ended up being on the cover – but a great coincidence indeed!!!

  • Reply jackie April 29, 2011 at 4:17 am

    i always have at least 10 different candles in the house, some scented, some unscented. right now my heart belongs to tocca cleopatra and voluspa goji & tarracco orange. both are available at (where else?) anthropologie!

  • Reply fenny setiawan April 29, 2011 at 5:23 am

    I love candle too. And think candle can just instantly change the atmosphere (depend on the scent, lavender makes me very relax and intimate). But now with little one trying to explore everything surround the house, I have to keep my candles somewhere save. I surely look forward the day I can light them again without worry my little one hand will get burned :)

  • Reply Chic and Simplicity April 29, 2011 at 5:35 am

    I’m French…so of course I love Diptyque.
    I also like Mad and Len (very very nice) and Astier de Vilatte’s candles (with city names…).
    I didn’t know Le labo. Would like to taste…

  • Reply Katie Truelove April 29, 2011 at 5:51 am

    My mom has always been allergic to strong scents…confession: when I was in middle school I would spray perfume all over my room because I wanted my own space…I know I know, nightmare child;) I’ve never been a candle junkie but this post just might turn me into one:) I did get a lovely candle from Henri Bendel as a gift a few years ago…wish I had written down the scent!

  • Reply Patricia April 29, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Have you ever heard of Bougies La Francaise?
    I am sure you will love them! You can visit them in Paris at the Maison & Objet fair Hall 5A Stand 16 J15!

  • Reply Shari April 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    My most favorite candle in the WORLD is Kyoto, by Tocca. The smell reminds me of the flowers that grow from the elephant ear plant… it’s fresh, clean and also intoxicating. My mom would cut the greenish white flower from the plant after it opened, and the aroma from it would drive us all crazy (in a good way!)

  • Reply Myriam April 29, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Hi, I am really fan of your work, your creativity and your blog.
    When I was a young girl, I used to learn doing crochet with an old woman who gave me the love of it.
    Is it possible to get the reference of the tutorial you used to do the 3 lovely small decorative napkins near the candel ?
    Myriam from France.

    • Reply decor8 April 29, 2011 at 11:10 pm

      @Myriam – I’m sorry, I did not make them – I bought them at a flea market last year…

  • Reply Shell April 30, 2011 at 4:07 am

    I love candles too. I try to stock up on candles when I can. I like simple scented candles like vanilla and strawberry. I also enjoy putting essentials oils on my candles myself. Makes me feel more connected to the scent and candles.

  • Reply annelouise April 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    i suspect one reason you now like candles and scents is due to the quality of the ones that you’ve mentioned here: i still get headaches now from synthetic oils, but never from natural, essential oils.

    sounds a little precious, i know, but i promise you it’s true. that said, essential oil candles don’t have to be expensive candles, but i do believe that (in this case) you get what you pay for.

  • Reply Mary Anne from Melbourne May 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Holly

    Great post! Love candles too! I have Diptyque and Jo Malone ones but my fave candle is Tocca – Stella. It’s major note is blood orange. The Santal and Mown grass look fantastic.

    Looking forward to receiving your book. I ordered it from amazon for my Mother’s Day gift from my kids. Hope it arrives! You’ ve got some great reviews! :)

  • Reply Chelsea May 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I absolutely love Tyler brand candles, within 5 minutes of lighting one your whole house will smell wonderful. My favorite scent by far is their Fleur de Lis , it’s amazing.
    I will buy no other candles but these!

  • Reply Sarah May 2, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Jo Malone ones are awesome. Has anyone ever tried the personalized ones? Can’t remember where I saw them, but I am intrigued….

  • Reply spirit May 3, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Thank you for this! I burn candles nearly every day in winter but never know what to do in warmer months. Most of my winter candles are just not summer appropriate.

    I have always loved Diptyque Feuille De Lavande and Le Labo Santal 26 looked and sounded so intriguing that I had to buy it after reading this. I just lit it about a half hour ago and I must say it is an incredibly sexy scent – almost pheremonic. Too “adult” for mixed company but perfect for the bedroom ;)

    I also bought the Capri Blue Volcano that jenn likes which it’s funny, is possibly the exact opposite -fun and fruity, young and fruit punch sweet. At first I thought it was downright silly but after leaving it burning on a warm Saturday, it seems like it’s the perfect bright, juicy summer scent.

    This post got me all excited about candles again so I even ordered some others to try from Barney’s and Candle Delirium. I also ordered Jo Malone Grapefruit which I never would have thought to try but everyone seems to LOVE and which seems nice for summer. Mown Grass I’m afraid of because synthetic grass scents all seem to give me allergic asthmatic attacks.

    I’m going to try some L’Occitane and some of the other reader’s suggestions too.

  • Reply Alea May 3, 2011 at 6:46 am

    I grew up in a house where my dad was allergic to most things with smells, and my mom was missing her sense of smell to things that are flowery, etc. (She could tell when she was burning dinner, though!) So my childhood was rather scentless! And no, neither one of them has improved with their noses with age. I’m glad you seem to be cured – and fresh cut grass is one of my favorite scents too. I bought it when pregnant, my husband thought I was crazy and I started to question my sanity too (and my pregnancy influenced sense of smell), but I still like it!

  • Reply Christina May 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I enjoy candles, but I have yet to find any that I feel really release enough scent to even be noticeable. I think I have been going a little too cheap. I only smell the ones I’ve been using if I happen to lean directly over them, haha. Which as you can imagine is something I should actually be avoiding. I’m just not comfortable spending $60 on a candle, but you’ve inspired me to try one that’s a least more than $5! :)

  • Reply Christine May 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Fellow candle addict here! I’m partial to Voluspa Makassar Ebony & Peach (a bit overpoweringly sweet–but unique enough to hold your interest), and Cire Trudon candles are nothing short of life-changing:

    Thanks for the round-up!

  • Reply Laura May 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    I have really bad allergies but not to scents, just anything that grows and most things that have fur, but what my dr told me is that our immune system goes through a 7year cycle (give or take) and that things that we were allergic to 7 years ago we may not be now but we are also able to pick up new allergies our whole life. I have noticed that things that I was oober allergic to when growing up, such as cats, lilacs, dust, milk, have gotten better and even some have gone away such as milk! But when I asked him that was his answer, that we are always changing, though some things and some people will have the same allergies always.

  • Reply Leah August 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    The absolute best candles I have come across have been by Sweet & Tender. I got a Pomegranate & Sage Jar and it is devine.

  • Reply Lara August 11, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    I love these! They are way cute and unique! I also have an allergy to smoke and strong perfumes so I feel you. Thanks for the great ideas.

  • Reply phillip August 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I agree.. the light is as important as the scent as far as the overall appeal of a candle goes.

  • Reply tyler September 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Love the Santal 26 packaging. Very vintage!

  • Reply Naomi December 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Mown grass!! Finally I can smell it without getting an allergic reaction…

  • Reply Madeline January 12, 2013 at 4:09 am

    I was given a Lotus soy candle for Christmas by Burst of Nature. It’s now my all time favourite. The scent filled my home within minutes.

  • Reply N Webster March 6, 2013 at 3:24 am

    I love candles! I recently discovered Scentsy and now im hooker… no flame and so many scents and warmers!

  • Reply Mel April 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm


    I love your blog, and I love candles.. Infact I love to make and create candles! I would love to send you some samples of my candles & wax melts for you to sample and write a blog on them?

    Let me know what you think!

  • Reply cathy December 9, 2014 at 12:39 am


    This response is a little late, but don’t blow your candles out. If you gently dip the wick into the melted wax, it will extinguish the flame without any smoke or odor. You can buy special adorable little wick-dipping tools, or just use the wood end of a match to push the wick down and bend it back up. Works like a charm.

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