I never realised how much difference a candle could make when it came to my productivity—yes, just a tiny jar of essential oil-packed scented wax alone wielded so much power. For me, having a candle burning in the background meant finishing an article in a fraction of the time I would’ve otherwise taken, but now the problem was finding the right scent.
My friends say I’m picky, but all I’m looking for is something not too sweet, strong enough to fill the room, burns for a substantial amount of time, and comes packaged in an aesthetically pleasing jar that I can later repurpose for jewellery. Okay, I’m hearing it now. But that only makes me the perfect person to have tried and tested these 10 local candle brands so that you can support local all while prepping your workspace at home.
1. Flowers in the Ventus
Flowers in the Ventus does both candles as well as fragrance sprays, and it’s also here where you’ll find only the classics. I go straight for the English Pear & Freesia – Wood Wick (S$30) which is S$2 more than what I’m guessing is its counterpart with a cotton wick instead. One of my favourite scents from Jo Malone, the English Pear & Freesia is an unfailing breath of a bouquet of flowers kissed with the light sweetness of fresh pear.
It’s the kind of scent that makes for a great gift when you’re struggling to make a choice, and is generally mild enough to be appreciated by most. The best part about Flowers in the Ventus? Free standard delivery on all orders—absolute music to my ears.
I first chanced upon At23co because of my Instagram algorithm and the advertisements I’d been fed (well, they’re clearly working) and was arrested by how gorgeously made their candles were. In here, you’ll find flowers, sparkles, and even seashells embedded into the surface of your candle and as if that wasn’t reason enough, the tongue-in-cheek names of the candles gave me greater reason to scroll on.
Constantly disappointed on my ever-winding journey to find a good rose candle that’ll save me S$120 from not purchasing Jo Malone’s Red Roses candle, I place an order for At23co’s Bed of Roses (S$18.90) (there’s also a code at the top of her site for S$5 off). I’m happy to report that Jeanne of At23co not only makes her candles look ridiculously good, but she also makes them smell great as well.
The Bed of Roses is a refreshing burst of timeless roses punctuated with refreshing berries, and while it might not be an exact replica of Red Roses, I’m actually glad that it isn’t the case, because I’m already loving this iteration in all its individuality. In fact, as we speak, I’ve already put in another order with At23co to give their other scents a go.
3. Nine Wicker Ave
At the time of my purchase, a lot of Nine Wicker Ave’s candles were already sold out, and the Kyoto that I was eyeing (because I must somehow always gravitate towards all things Japanese) had, too, ended its run. So in the spirit of Christmas—because it’s not like I’m three months too early or anything—I ordered Santa’s Kitchen (6oz) (S$29.50) instead.
This later proved to be a disappointing mistake because as much as Christmas is my favourite holiday, I tend to forget that all things sweet and candy-esque are often associated with the festival. Santa’s Kitchen is a painfully sweet meld of caramel and what also smells like vanilla. Nine Wicker Ave wasn’t kidding when they wrote ‘smells like a sugar high’ in the description, and I reckon that it’s our intern, Ariel’s, personality in a candle if she ever got a chance to condense all of that into a jar.
4. Grace by Elohim
Aside from candles, Grace by Elohim also does an interesting adjacent product, the Essential Oil Wax Sachet, which I’m guessing works like potpourri-scented bags. Simply hang them up and wait for your designated room to light up like it’s now a flower field.
There’s no shortage of wholesomeness here at Grace by Elohim—each candle is named after a virtue or value that I can only describe as what most of us need in our lives. The Candle Set (S$39.90) features three speciality candles—Joy which smells like lychee and black tea, Blessings which is reminiscent of rose and white tea, as well as Love that mimics nectarine and mint. The bundle makes for a great gift for when one scent simply isn’t enough, because a little variety never hurt anyone anyway.
A-kyndle is A-kynd’s fragrance brand and as much as I really wanted to customise my own candle under their Create your own – Kyndle (S$33.90) product, I’d missed the window of batch pours and had to settle for the pre-made Confetti (S$27.90) scent.
While its description writes ‘floral and fresh’, the candle instead smells very much like chocolate to me. It comes as an unexpected turn, but I’m trying to embrace alternative scents as long as they’re not overly sweet nor cloying. Perhaps my only gripe with the experience was the fact that my parcel took nearly a month to arrive from the time of order, and only upon enquiry was it revealed to me that the courier had misplaced my package and only just recovered it.
And I think that I speak on behalf of most customers when I say that a tighter courier process would’ve definitely done many favours for the overall customer experience.
6. Breathe Essentials Co
I was initiated into Breathe Essentials Co through a host of media gifts last year when they were seeding their products and letting us have a try. I really fancied the White Tea & Ginger (300ml) (S$49) scent that was reminiscent of clean notes of jasmine and bergamot as well as warm undertones of ginger—an unexpected but welcome pop for me. I’ve already got the A Gentleman’s Hug (300ml) (S$49) sitting in my cart, seeing as how I lean a lot more into woody, musky scents.
The best part about Breathe Essentials Co’s candles is that they’re vegan, free from animal testing, have eco-friendly wood wicks, and are made from 100% cocosoy wax, which is less common than the usual soy wax that you’ll find in hand-poured candles.
7. Lynk Artisan
If you’re looking for a spin on the classics, Lynk Artisan has you covered with interesting scents like Kakadu Plum + Musk (S$22), Cinnamon + Clementine (S$22), and Mandarin + Garden Mint (S$22).
Missing my favourite Spruce scent from Bath & Bodyworks, which they’ve since discontinued, I cart out the Himalayan Bamboo (100g) (S$22) candle in hopes of recreating that familiar ambience of hiking in the woods. While that forest-y fragrance isn’t quite replicated here, the Himalayan Bamboo scent does smell like fresh linen if you’re ever looking for that in particular, which is still considered a win in my books.
8. The Rituals Co.
The Rituals Co. is named as such because of its ethos to bring customers aromatherapy combined with natural crystals and all things botanical. It’s also here where you’ll find embellishments like flower petals and crystals that’ll complete your full zen experience if that’s what you’re after.
Their candles generally come in three sizes—Mini (2oz) (S$13), Regular (5oz) (S$33), and Large (8.5oz) (S$55)—and they aren’t kidding when they mean mini. The mini Wood Sage and Sea Salt Crystal Candle (S$13) fits more than snugly in the palm of my hand and has a burn time of only 13 hours. But it does make for a suitable trial candle if you’re simply shopping around for a suitable scent before investing in a larger candle.
9. A Thing of Sense
With A Thing of Sense, it’s all or nothing with their standard-sized candles of 300g/10oz. The (literally) bright side is that the candle burns for 60 hours, so there’s plenty of aroma to spare, but if you’re not prepared to commit to just one scent, and I don’t blame you, perhaps you might spend a little extra time sitting on this one.
The Ride | Amber Skies & Oakmoss (S$58) candle presents notes of oakmoss, amber, tonka bean, sage, orange, grapefruit, lavender, cinnamon, green leaves, pecan, and cedar. Phew, now wasn’t that a mouthful. No matter the candle choice, you can be sure that your piece will come power-packed with a complex blend of fragrances that all come together to form a sophisticated statement piece for your home.
10. Hush Candle
I’ve saved Hush Candle for the last because firstly, it’s probably one of the more well-known homegrown candle brands, and if you’ve made it this far into the listicle (and thank you for that), here’s finally a name that’ll ring a bell.
Hush’s clean, apothecary-esque branding rings true not only amongst their scents, but also in the aesthetics of their packaging. Each product is a minimalistic piece that’s there to get its job done, and get it done well. I was never one for lavender scents, but Hush Candle did such a fetching take on it, I’ve not only since been a convert, I’ve also gone back for a second order of my Lavender Bergamot Essential Oil Candle (4oz) (S$18) that’s as refreshing as it is affordable.
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