Good vibes only: A Joshua Tree Desert Rose candle review

This marks my 8th week of sheltering in place. It’s me, my husband, and our baby under one, so you can imagine how chaotic it gets at times. 

As usual, scented candles make an olfactory escape from the daily grind, but my latest candle review promises a particularly… spiritual ascendance from the norm. Are you ready to get a little woo-woo with me?

Meet Joshua Tree Desert Rose Candles, which come with crystals and a promise of “high desert earth energy.” These candles aren’t just for decoration or aroma, but for use as part of the candle lighter’s meditative practices. Each candle comes with crystals that you are supposed to remove before lighting. (I accidentally didn’t do this, but luckily was fine). 

I don’t consider myself a spiritual person, but in these desperate times, I’ll try anything. During the baby’s afternoon nap, I lit my Joshua Tree Desert Rose Summer Sunset candle. Seated on my tiny back porch with my eyes closed, the strong, piney scent of palo santo really did make me feel transported to the wide-open vistas of the Joshua Tree desert. 

The desert connection isn’t just a gimmick. Rose Cefalu creates her candles in her one-woman shop at her home in Joshua Tree, California. Each candle is made in small batches in her kitchen, where she spent a year perfecting the scents for her candle line. Rose told me it’s important for her to make candles in this intimate way.

“I feel it’s like when your mom makes you a meal. It’s made with love and good energy. When I am making candles I am looking at the beautiful landscape of the desert, inserting stones and crystals that have been infused by the full moon or straight from my yard in Joshua Tree.”

Joshua Tree Desert Rose Candles are made up of a soy and coconut wax blend that leads to a powerful scent. Summer Sunset has hints of sage and vanilla, but it’s mostly foresty palo santo to me. It comes with a hand-stamped cloth bag perfect for gifting, and a small pamphlet explaining the alleged spiritual properties and traditional beliefs surrounding the three crystals (amethyst, rose quartz, and white quartz) packed inside the candle jar. Please be sure to take them out and place them around the candle before burning to avoid a waxy mess!

The next time I lit my candle, I brought up Rose’s Instagram, which is full of photos of desert flora and fauna. Paired with the candle’s scent, I can almost imagine being there—sitting in Rose’s sunny kitchen while she hand-pours another miniature batch of candles, little pockets of the desert to deliver warmth throughout this dormant world. During a time when I can’t leave my house, Joshua Tree Desert Rose Candles gave me a mini-vacation. If that’s not enough to make a practical person like me feel something spiritual, I don’t know what is.