Up until a few years ago, I'd probably never spent more than £15 on a candle. This is unsurprising, considering I had gone from being a struggling art student to a still-struggling fashion assistant, whose minimum-wage salary didn't afford me the luxury of spending £15 on a couple of days worth of food, let alone something I was going to burn away. But as I've grown up, so has (thankfully) my budget, and so has my obsession with candles.
At any given time, I probably have four candles on rotation in my home—I type this as my £7.50 Marks and Spencer candle flickers next to me. And while I certainly don't snub more affordable candles (my M&S bargain serving as a case in point), I have come to understand the appeal of expensive candles.
Diptyque was my inaugural introduction to the world of expensive candles. When I first moved to London, I remember setting aside 10% of each of my monthly pays to save up for my first shopping trip to the capital. It took a few months, but I finally found myself standing in front of the glass display cabinet in Liberty (where else?), selecting my Diptyque candle. I chose—and still choose—Baies.
Fast-forward to the present, and I've worked my way through just about every luxury candle brand going. Not every scent, of course—my income isn't that disposable—but I've tried enough candles from all budgets to know that expensive candles are almost always undeniably superior.
Unlike some bargain wicks, which, when they burn smell like someone has sprayed an entire can of orchid Febreze, the scent of expensive candles is subtler but no less potent. Instead of choking the air, it floats on it. I also find that, with the recommended care and maintenance, that expensive candles last significantly longer, too. The premium products used to create the wax are designed to be longer-lasting than more affordable blends, and while I have my high-street favourites, I buy them knowing they won't, um, hold a candle, many of the high-end options I've tried. I don't fully subscribe to the saying "You get what you pay for," but when it comes to the below, it certainly applies. Keep scrolling to see and shop the best expensive candles from some of the Who What Wear team's favourite candle brands.