Buying a candle is one of those underrated purchases. Underrated in many different ways. Underrated in the way that you wonder how you get by without one when its finally run down its wick. Underrated in the way that – despite the length and breadth of candles of there – most people still don’t know what they’re looking for. So, that’s why we caught up with one of the newest names to OPUMO – Northwick Wares – to unearth some of the best candles for winter and also to learn a little bit more when it comes to the best scent, the best design and even the best wick.
So, what should we all be looking for when it comes to buying a candle?
Northwick Wares may be a new name in the world of home candles, but they’ve done a fair bit of homework to get themselves here. Comprised of Saagar, Neil and Oliver, Northwick Wares focus on beautiful, sustainable and environmentally conscious lifestyle objects with an emphasis on high-quality materials and high-quality craftsmanship. That mission statement has lead them to spend over a year testing and refining their first collection of natural candles. One of the trio is also a chemist by trade, so it's fair to say they know all there is to know about what makes a good candle. So much so, they gave us the three key things to look out for when it comes to buying the best candle.
- "Scent throw is important – there’s nothing worse than buying a luxury candle that doesn’t smell of anything when lit," explains Saagar of Northwick Wares. "A strong aroma when the candle is unlit (cold throw) doesn’t necessarily mean a strong aroma when lit (hot throw) - luckily, we’ve sourced premium fragrance oils for our candles and tested rigorously to make sure they perform hot and cold."
- "Number two is provenance," Saagar adds. "Provenance of the candle’s constituent parts – knowing exactly what’s in your candle is important. The majority of mass-produced candles are made from fossil-fuel derived paraffin wax and additives. We think the more responsible choice is renewable vegetable wax which is why we’ve used soy."
- "Lastly, look for a multi-sensory experience," Saagar states. "Look for candles that have an additional dimension. As a minimum they should look beautiful in your home and fill it with aroma. If it can be reused once it’s served its purpose as a candle that’s great. If it has a wooden wick that crackles and alights your sense of sound, even better."
So, what about the best candles for winter?
The ‘designed, prototyped and made in London’ ethos of Northwick Wares ensures that every single one of the brand’s candles has gone through multiple burn tests to impact on the changes made to the design. And to make them smell great. That doesn’t change for winter, of course. The candles just become all the more important. On that note, here’s three of the best candles for winter from Northwick Wares.
“It’s all too easy to link the winter months to a craving for scents that offer warmth and comfort,” Saagar explains. “If you’re a regular evening routine burner, the vanilla, Tonka and tobacco notes of Majorelle are perfect for these colder winter nights by the fire.”
“More than the season, we think the candle you burn should be picked based on the room you’re using it in and the mood you’re in. A lazy Sunday scent will be quite different to a productive home office scent. The lighter grassy, citrus notes in Caledonia, work well on Sunday afternoon on the sofa.”
“The cool, glacial Fjordlands is a real allrounder of a candle but its particularly strong scented candle for winter because of its refreshing scent,” explains Saagar. We tried it ourselves. It works. It’s an uplifting fragrance in the way that it will infuse any room with a cooling aura, which is a nice alternative to a lot of the richer, heavier fragrances that come to the fore through winter.
Finally, don’t forget the candle design
Because they’ve become so popular, and there is a lot of choice out of there, what sets a lot of candles apart is what they actually look like. Think about it. They’ll be sitting in your living room, dining room, bathroom – wherever – for a fair few months so you need one that not only looks good but one that is a little bit different to your usual suspects. Unsurprisingly, it’s another box that Northwick Wares has ticked, as they told us themselves.
“We wanted owning one of our candles to be an experience. And for us, this starts with the unwrapping – our candles come in beautiful foiled terrazzo inspired boxes,” explains Sagaar.
“It was also really important to us that the jars we use to house our candles are reusable. This led to the development of our signature crackle glaze ceramic jar that is easy to repurpose as a plant pot or tumbler. The jars are functional, natural and beautiful – the driving force for a lot of what we do. Every material we use references the beauty and imperfections of the natural world – we were keen to expose the imperfections of the materials we’ve used in line with the Japanese Wabi-Sabi concept of finding beauty in those natural flaws.”
Shop and explore all candles at OPUMO and if you’re in the mood for even more home improvements then check out the 5 floor lamps to keep your home light and cosy this winter.