Karl Winters Luxury Scented Candle

What Makes a Luxury Candle?

If there’s one thing true about home décor, its the appreciation for a beautifully designed scented candle. There is something magical and soothing about how a candle’s aroma can emanate through a room. But not all candles are created equally.

Diptyque Baies Luxury Candle

While any candle will burn and give off its aroma, a luxury candle can sometimes cost 3-4 times the standard price. Following these candle care tips ensures that you get the most from your scented candle – it will last longer and  smell stronger!

Today, luxury candles have become synonymous with memorable celebrations and special gifting events. The Royal Weddings burnt luxury candles to create a memorable aroma for their guests in Westminster Abbey & St. George’s Chapel.

Meghan Markle chose Diptyque’s Baies, a scent rich in rose flower, with fruity undertones of berries and currant.

Royal Kate Middleton preferred Jo Malone Orange Blossom candle, a fresh aroma of clementine flower, orange blossom and water lily.

Jo Malone Orange Blossom Luxury Candle

With many candle brands to choose from, it begs the question: What makes a luxury candle and is the hefty price justified?  Luxury candle brands adopt a meticulous approach towards fragrance oil quality, design and aesthetics. The results is a luxury candle that’s unique to their brand identity. Below are several factors used in the production of a luxury candle.  

FRAGRANCE OILS

Fragrances are complex compounds made up of aromatic raw materials. The source of the fragrance oils is a vital consideration in the production of a luxury candle.

Map of Grasse in France

While fragrances are available around the world, luxury brands are particular about fragrance quality and where they are sourced from.

Grasse, a small medieval town in the South of France, has a long tradition & history in the extraction and production of fragrance oils. Several of the largest fragrance producers such as Givaudan and Firmenich have invested in developing perfumery schools and centers of excellence in Grasse. 

Sourcing from credible fragrance producers ensures adoption of innovative extraction techniques, while ensuring minimal impact to the environment.  Many fragrance oils are extracted from natural sources such as plants, roots and flowers, but an increasing number are now synthetic.  The trend today is towards natural fragrances because of their higher perceived value – they are believed to be greener, healthier and more sustainable.  

Rose oil, a common ingredient in many fragrances (including the iconic Chanel No. 5), can be harvested from a variety of countries such as Bulgaria, France, Turkey, Morocco. Each rose flower has a unique olfactive expression that ranges from sweet, floral, fresh and citrus.

Rose oils can become very expensive, for example, the price of 1kg Turkish rose petals can be over $8,000. Because roses are delicate flowers, they are harvested by hand, which is a hard and laborious process. The same day they are harvested, the rose oils are extracted and isolated using a complex process called steam distillation. 

The result is a higher quality and aromatic rose oil.

 

Rose flowers in Grasse
Grasse, France, the perfume capital of the world

A perfumer’s final rose construct can elicit feelings that can be described as timeless, vibrant, elegant, and musky.

PERFUMER

perfumer lab in Grasse, France

A perfumer is trained in the art of fragrances. It takes years of dedication, training and expertise to differentiate smells and create beautiful “olfactive experiences”.

A fragrance can be described as loud or quiet, energetic, peaceful or complex. Just as a painter creates a masterpiece with colors on a white canvas, a perfumer has their own Pantone of Perfume.

Luxury brands seek perfumers that have mastered the ability to create harmonious artistic fragrances that customers will love.  A signature scent can be made of up of over 100 aromatic ingredients – the way they are combined together determines the appeal of a luxury fragrance oil for candles.

AESTHETICS AND ART

Candle lovers today may be interested in elevating their home décor with decorative objects. Candle bands such as Fornasetti, Overose and Karl Winters incorporate visual aesthetics and art into the candle vessel and packaging. 

Overose candles are housed in dreamy pastel colors, whereas Karl Winters adopts color to represent the fragrance experience.

Whether its art motifs or lively color palettes, these candles allow craft and finish to take center stage in any home.

PETROLEUM BASED WAXES

Scented candles are an economical way to upgrade the ambiance in your room, but what’s the issue with mass-produced candles?

Paraffin is an inexpensive petroleum-based waste product, which is used in the production of Paraffin wax, a key ingredient in many candles. In 2009, a study by South Carolina State University found that burning paraffin wax candles give off harmful fumes (toluene and benzene) which is linked to asthma and lung cancer.

Crude oil, being the origin of paraffin wax, is considered highly unsustainable due to it being a non-renewable resource.

Many luxury brands adopt more sustainable and natural wax options such as coconut, soy and beeswax, albeit at higher costs. This ensures a non-toxic cleaner alternative when burning a candle for extended periods of time.

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