The revival of the candle world from high perfumery to luxury hotels
Indoor candles have always transported us into a magical world. They awaken our senses by diffusing their bewitching fragrances, by recreating the pretty melody of a crackling fireplace and by playing on transparencies, lights and shadows with their flickering flame. Full of softness, these ephemeral objects, destined to be consumed and disappear, contribute to the magic of a delicious moment of relaxation.
A decorative item par excellence, candles light up any interior: in a living room for a cosy winter atmosphere at nightfall, in a dining room for a candlelit dinner, or even in a bathroom for a moment of well-being and zenitude. The scented candles turn out to be small and unique objects to complete the decoration. The most famous brands and luxury perfumers have understood this and have made it their playground, using all their know-how to design exceptional models with delicate scents as well as careful aesthetics.
Diptyque, a French pioneer in the field of high perfumery, has been producing refined candle lines since its creation in 1961. 60 years of singular creations dictated by art and design. The elegance of Diptyque’s pieces has seduced the whole world to the point where the brand has become the reference in the luxury candle sector. Its points of sale are selective in Belgium. The Belgian boutiques Senteurs d’Ailleurs and Liquides Confidentiels are the guardians of the brand. For the French brand, “perfuming your home is an art” (sic). All of Diptyque’s collections are composed of a rich olfactory universe in a style that is always recognizable, simple and pure. Among the brand’s best sellers are the Fig and Berry range, with its mix of fresh and fruity notes, and the Feu de Bois model, with its dense, smoky fragrance that will make winter evenings a pleasure. To mark its 60th anniversary in 2021, Diptyque has opened an exhibition in Paris, “Voyages Immobiles”, and is unveiling its “Le Grand Tour” collection: candles inspired by destinations dear to Diptyque: Paris, Venice and Byblos.
The famous Belgian candle manufacturer Baobab has been redefining decorative candles into luxurious beauty products since 2002. The brand offers a unique experience between exceptional burning and a well-being ritual. Inspired by African landscapes, it has developed its identity around this culture. Each creation tells a story and gathers to a sensory journey in distant territories like the All Seasons collection: Madagascar Vanilla, Maasai Spirit or Zanzibar Spices with warm and vibrant accords. Numerous limited editions have been created, such as the Filo Grigo mouth-blown glass candle with notes of cedar, incense and vanilla.
Publishers, designers, the great contemporary creators keep the flame of luxury alive
The great designers and editors are getting into the perfume business and are designing candles with a luxurious spirit. These candles are part of the development of a “house” collection. They become essential to perfect the style, but especially to retranscribe the atmosphere of a residence.
Cassina, the renowned Italian design publisher, now includes its first line dedicated to home fragrances with essential oils, inviting to meditation and relaxation. Cassina’s collection includes three models of candles with expressive scents: Amber Kathmandu (top notes: orange, ginger, geranium), Sandalwood King (citrus, coriander, anise), Eolian Delight (citrus, orange blossom, cinnamon). Presented in a minimalist container of matte black, red or shiny blue lacquered glass, they will liven up any space. Another major Italian publisher, Kartell, is no stranger to the trend among high-end furniture manufacturers to build collections dedicated to interior fragrances.
Some designers of interior candles do not hesitate to call on the services of renowned architects in order to enhance the value of these exceptional objects within a well-groomed commercial space. The aim is to design a point of sale that displays the entire collection in a prestigious setting, like a luxurious jewel box. This is the case of the Australian beauty brand Aesop. In 2018, it opened its second address in Belgium in downtown Brussels. A showroom fitted out by Belgian architect Bernard Dubois with a style as minimalist as it is hypnotic with its play of vertical lines in yellow Belgian bricks from the 1930s. A refined space revealing the entire range of Aesop products, including the scented aromatic candles.
Other brands are offering a touch of luxurious character in the home at an affordable price. A self-made man in the unique world of perfume, Swedish Ben Gorham, creator of the Byredo perfume brand, teamed up with furniture giant Ikea in 2020 for a stunning capsule collection called Osynlig. These two big names adored by Swedish and international audiences presented nearly 19 models in rustic stoneware. All of them were glazed with 13 different sensory scents to affect moods.
New indoor candles with original scents and surprising designs
Fruity, floral, fresh, woody or spicy, the candles encourage us to escape. Their essences offer a poetic scented parenthesis. A simple scent associated with a childhood memory, a journey or a specific moment is capable of providing a real emotion.
The creators of atmospheric flames are vying with each other in inventiveness to reinforce the personal sensations released when using a candle. Loewe, the flamboyant Spanish luxury ready-to-wear and accessories brand from the LVMH group, unveiled a stunning collection in 2020 that distills the raw essences of nature. Its artistic director Jonathan Anderson collaborated with Nuria Cruelles, the House’s perfumer, to create a line of candles and home fragrances evoking the plant world. Eleven intoxicating and addictive scents inspired by botanical gardens and apothecaries: licorice, sweet pea, oregano, tomato leaves, honeysuckle, beetroot, coriander, as well as essences of cypress nuts, ivy, juniper berries, and marijuana. A collection that is both classic, impertinent and up to date.
In terms of design, the Loewe candles with their unique scents are housed in colourful, ribbed terracotta pots made from a 5th-century Greek cup that the artistic director acquired at auction. These are truly original models with character. In a similar vintage style, the Belgian company Aimez-vous les uns les autres presents the Apothicaire Lover range of plant-based candles: top-of-the-range creations made by hand.
Tom Dixon, the famous British designer, also surprises with luxury candles of captivating design. His pieces reflect his world and his passion for craftsmanship and industrial forms. The candles, with their subtle fragrance and noble accords, are accompanied by sublime precious cases. The Swirl line in marble, published in 2020, reveals a bold geometric style. For this line, the designer wanted to give a second life to the container after the candle disappeared. He then takes care of the design of the pots so that they can be used as decorative objects. In 2014, he created a collection celebrating the four elements: water, fire, earth and air. These mouth-blown glass models distill a fragrance of extreme simplicity and individual character reflecting its element.
This talented publisher designs beautiful candles, but also other high quality accessories such as candle holders and candle holders. These objects, with their old-fashioned charm, are also being sought after by top designers. Space Copenhagen, the designer studio at &Tradition, the Belgian brand Serax, and Ferm Living are reinventing candleholders with style to enhance candles and complete the decor.
Today, more than ever, the creators of luxury candles are committed to offering a real experience. It is no longer a simple decorative object, but rather an exceptional object that contributes to the pleasure of all the senses.