And, Ireland, in particular, happens to produce some really wonderful ones. Here are some of my all-time favourites, all made here on the Emerald Isle, at a couple of different price points.
1. Fig & Vanilla, Paul Costelloe, Dunnes Stores, €12.00.
These candles are a long-time favourite of mine. The packaging is chic and slick and the candle is poured into a very simple glass tumbler that I have since repurposed to house my make-up brushes. Fresh from the box or empty with brushes or pencils inside, they look great on dressing tables and are really rather good value. You get a real luxe feeling at about a third - or less - of the price of a high-end candle of this size. This scent is my favourite - subtle and sweet and not at all over-bearing. I will say that more expensive candles tend to smell more potent without being too strong but Dunnes are one of the best for offering lower prices and non-stinky scents.
2. Spearmint & Sea Salt, Considered by Helen James, Dunnes Stores, €12.00.
A lot of the same boxes can be ticked as above for this offering from another of Dunnes' homeware ranges. I adore anything that claims to smell like the sea and am a big fan of this one. Again, the packaging is chic, the scent subtle and price-point is competitive. The only thing I will say is that it is so subtle, it can fade into the background and become virtually unnoticeable if you're burning it for a long period of time. However, it is still really pleasant and fresh and a little more unisex and less sweet than the Fig & Vanilla.
3. Rose Tea, Cloon Keen Atelier, €40.00.
I got gifted a sample of this last year and I love it. Sadly, this scent is never among those sold in the selection at Brown Thomas in Dublin. I have to wait until I go on a trip to Galway to stock up but it's always worth it! It really does smell like my favourite rose tea - a natural, earthy smell that isn't synthetic or over-powering at all. This is how rose should always smell - sweet but a little more complex and almost musky. There's a step up in price but also in packaging and quality. Again, I've kept the container and used it to house my sketching pencils. The mirrored effect on the outside looks nice now but was particularly attractive when a flame was burning inside and casting light all across my room. But it's not just how it looks, as I said, expensive candles smell different. They don't become background noise. They give off distinct smells that pervade the room once burned. If you like rose smells, this one is a real winner.
Sadly, this scent seems to have been discontinued now but I still highly recommend the brand and their Galway store is a place of great and quiet beauty.
4. Dublin Tea Rose, Oud and Patchouli, Rathbornes, €19.00 (Travel Size).
The lady in Brown Thomas told me that this company is the oldest, continuously running, candle company in the world. Established in 1488, this Dublin-based company is uber-elegant with containers that look like porcelain, a box that looks like something jewellery should come in and gilded lettering on everything. Again, it's a rose tea scent but, again, it is more complex and rich. In fact, I think this may be my favourite candle scent of all time. It's subtly sweet, a little spicy and really permeates through a room. I was also surprised by how long it burns for, definitely longer than was indicated on the box.
Yes, it's a bit of a splurge - the travel size cost more than the Dunnes candles that are around three times the size - but if you're looking for a luxurious Irish candle brand, this is the one!
So, maybe that wasn't quite so basic after all....I mean, I'm no nose and have none of the proper terminology going on but that's a lot of words about candles....
Liked this post? Want more?