Ever since the beginning of lockdown last year, I've been obsessed with having candles burning in every room of my house. Why? I have absolutely no idea - I think it started out as a kind of interior comfort I tried to emphasize when it seemed clear we would be stuck inside for months. From the get-go, the burning of the candles correlated to the shitshow going on outside in the world, leading me to stock up on these smelly friends in bulk. Sitting in my bedroom now, I can point out not one, not, two, but FOUR candles dotted around the room. The one burning beside me is a fancy candle my sister got me for Christmas, a Jo Malone peony and suede scent. Since it's one of the fancier candles in my arsenal, I only burn it when I'm really in the moment and can appreciate it for what it's worth. Second in command is a massive pomegranate candle with two wicks, which usually burns throughout the morning when I write.
I've also realised that, much like plants, you need to care for your candles. I learned the hard way that you should always cut the wick from the first burn so that your candle doesn't tunnel or melt inwards, leaving a crater in the middle of it. You also shouldn't put your candle beside an air vent or open window, as the flame will get higher and start to smoke. Also, wax on the wick will make your candle splutter and smoke.
Like all good things, the collection got a bit out of control when I placed a lavender one beside my bed, thinking it would lull me to sleep with its drowsy scent. It did the job, and as I was turning to turn off the light and blow the candle out, I knocked the candle over, spilling burning hot wax onto my hand. My slightly red hand now sits slathered in aloe vera as I type, gingerly.
I tried making banana bread, sourdough, kombucha and all the other lockdown fads - nothing stuck. This seems like the thing that will stay as my collectables for a while - so if you're ever looking for a gift for me at all, my favourite scents are rose, jasmine, ginger and verbena!