Millennials love candles just as much as millennials love plants. In the same way that plants cozily accessorize a room, candles help to upgrade a space. "I feel like candles and music are the two things that can instantly transform a home and your mood," Abigail Stone, founder of candle company Otherland, tells us. "When I get home from work, or if you're home alone watching TV or something, it can be a little boring or lonely. But if you light a candle, it's instantly me time. It transforms your intention and the room with the ambiance and, of course, the scent."
Stone started Otherland late last year, because she found most candles on the market too expensive (meaning, she never wanted to actually burn them), while lower-priced brands had a tendency to be overly scented. She felt like there was a way to make a modern brand that also incorporated art and design for a semi-affordable price. And she's not the only one who saw a hole in the market. Brands like Boy Smells, Keap, and Overose have all launched within the last couple of years to great acclaim.
Candles have been burning since the beginning of time (basically, 3000 BC is the best estimate to when the first candle was lighted), but millennials have been driving candle sales through the roof recently. Part of that is because, as Stone points out, candles are an easier and less expensive way to decorate. And we know how cheap us 20- and 30-somethings are. "It's harder to switch up the vibe in your space with furniture and decor. Something like a candle, though, is instant."
More than that, they feed into this generation's self-care obsession. "People are thinking a lot more about their personal rituals and candles in this modern, digital, often-superficial-seeming world," Stone says. "It's not electric, it's fire, it's a flame, and you have a visceral reaction to that. It represents these feel-good habits and rituals that we see as essential part of our modern lives."
But, of course, not every scent fits every mood or vibe you're trying to give off. You wouldn't light a lavender candle when you're about to go out, would you? No, no you wouldn't. So, ahead, we've gathered some of our favorite scents and organized them based on how you might be feeling. As Stone explains, candles are a very emotional purchase and we millennials are very emotional people.
For when you need some extra morning encouragement...
Morning isn't usually a time people think to light candles, but really, it's kind of perfect. Set your intentions and start your day with the smell of the ocean. Waking up is hard, this helps.
Brooklinen, Wake Scented Candle, $35, available at Brooklinen.
For when you're feeling seasonal...
The smell and taste and aroma of chai should be enjoyed year-round, but it takes on a different kind of appeal in the fall and leading up to the holidays. This candle is a tribute to the tea ritual of the Indian subcontinent and includes hints of cardamom mixed with spice. It's great for when you want to be productive on a blustery Saturday morning, but still want to take your time entering the world.
Byredo, Chai Candle, $85, available at Byredo.
For when you're feeling a little feisty...
Not only does this candle help to get you in ~the mood~ but it can also be poured on the skin once it's melted (it includes jojoba oil). Do as you wish with that information.
Maude, Burn Massage Candle, $25, available at Maude.
For when you're feeling outdoorsy...
... but don't feel like going outside. Or, if you live in a city and thus aren't located near more than one solitary tree. Cedar and palo santo can help you get your dose of wood cabin coziness without the scary movie feel.
Keap, Wild Figs, $39.50, available at Keap.
For when you're feeling wistful...
What is it about roses and rainy mornings that make us feel nostalgic? Maybe your mom wore a rose-scented perfume as a kid. Mine did. And rain has a way of forcing you to pause and wade in your pensiveness. Either way, make note that this candle is not to be burned unless you're ready to feel these kinds of feelings.
Overose, Holo Nudesse, $68, available at Overose.
For when you're feeling fancy...
I imagine this is what hotel rooms in the Waldorf Astoria or the Ritz-Carlton smell like. The scent isn't too strong or pungent because the rich don't like anything too overpowering. They like a controlled ambiance.
Sunday Forever, Rich (Cashmere & Smoke), $36, available at Sunday Forever.
For when you just need to chill...
Lavender is usually my go-to scent to unwind from those longer than necessary days, but I hadn't been introduced to cannabis yet. It's smooth, and calming and the combination of white musk, amber, and tulip add to its freshness.
Boy Smells, Kush, $29, available at Boy Smells.
For when you're feeling 21 again...
Stone recommends burning this one while pregaming and getting ready to go out. You can also light it if you're over the age of 25 and need to muster up the energy to actually leave the apartment on a Friday night.
Otherland, Chandelier, $36, available at Otherland.
For when you can't be bothered...
... with going outside, with dealing with people, with being a functioning human being. This is for those serious hibernation days when maybe the snow is falling and the Netflix-binging is in full effect.
Olfactory, Toasty Candle, $35, available at Olfactory.
For when you're feeling yourself...
If the message on the candle doesn't hype you up, maybe the combination of birch, spicy blood orange, and vanilla will.
The 125 Collection, My Life is Dope and I Do Dope Sh!t, $35, available at The 125 Collection.