As a candle fan, I shop for a lot of candles!
Since I live in a big city, I have access to all the major candle stores, from Bath & Body Works and Yankee Candle to department stores like Nordstrom and TJ Maxx. I think this makes me uniquely qualified to discuss what’s popular in the world of candles.
So when a reader reached out to me recently for my opinion on what’s going to be hot in the world of candles in 2017, I did my best to oblige. Here are my thoughts on what is motivating candle buyers like myself right now, and what makes a candle worth the purchase.
Today, what characteristics make a candle popular?
I think a popular candle sells a concept, not a product. Take some of Yankee Candles’ most popular scents—Pink Sands and Mountain Lodge. They are selling a getaway! Hype also helps—fans think Mountain Lodge is what Chris Evans smells like in real life. I think that’s why Diptyque’s Baies candle does so well even though it is so expensive—it sells a Parisian lifestyle.
Why do you buy candles?
I buy candles because they are a sensory experience. They smell amazing, the flickering flame sets a relaxing mood, and the packaging is luxurious. They are a luxury product, in that nobody needs candles like this to survive. So when I buy one, I am committing 100% to indulging myself. It’s self care!
What 2017 candle trends are you observing?
In 2017, I’m seeing candles designed to evoke nostalgia. On Facebook I see Homesick Candles that are designed to smell like your home state. On Yankee Candle, there are new personalized candles where you can tie a scent to a custom life event, like an engagement. Meanwhile, Woodwick is selling a new scent called First Crush which is definitely supposed to remind you of your past!
I am also seeing a lot of essential oils in candles. People are pretty attuned to the healing properties of essential oils by now, and candle manufacturers are tapping into that. Bath & Body Works developed an entire candle line with “real essential oils.”
Trends come and go, but I think the most enduring qualities of a popular candle remain those which make it a luxury purchase. It shouldn’t just burn cleanly and smell great; it should also look amazing, like a piece of home decor. Nobody needs candles, so manufacturers simply have to make them irresistible impulse purchases candle fans can’t ignore.