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closeup of flame on purple candle

Photo: George Becker

spirit guides

How to Buy a Candle

WTF is a scent profile anyway? Let us illuminate you (ha) so you can pick out scents like a bad b*tch.

Written On 2/7/2022

If only we were burning through that box of condoms in our room as quickly as we are burning through our candles. Ugh. Tragic.

But seriously, now we need to buy some more candles.

Yet again we face the age-old dilemma, especially when it comes to shopping for sht online: WTF IS A SCENT PROFILE and what do these descriptions of scents even REALLY mean?

First things first… did you know a candle has many levels!? “Cold throw” refers to its scent unlit, and “hot throw” is how it smells when it’s actually lit (Candlefish).

First, there's the top note, which your nose picks up on immediately. Don’t let this distract you from the middle or heart notes, which are the most important and really they’re the essence of the candle. Lastly, there are the bottom notes, or, the base of the scent, which last the longest.

Now know this: There are FOUR different scent categories and they are floral, woody, spiced, and fresh.

Under these categories are nuanced notes. Sometimes they reference a fruit (for example, citrus falls under the “fresh” category), or maybe a spice or garnish in your food, like ginger (“spiced”). Cedar goes under the “woody” profile, and “floral” is fairly self-explanatory. Here’s a super handy wheel of fragrance fortune to guide you when you’re lost in the dark, so to speak.

So what happens when you see a scent descriptor you can’t imagine the smell of? Why, let me Google that for you! Seriously, it might just be a flower or spice you’ve never heard of. But here’s where things get a little more advanced: In modern-day candle making, you might come across seemingly random descriptions like, uh, “Feels like a warm blanket.” That’s when you need to dig deep into your newfound fragrance profile knowledge and imagine the experience it’s describing and transport yourself to the senses associated with that moment. This allegedly cozy piece of fabric is probably kind of woody, with notes of florals and spiced scents. (Hey, that’s our best guess anyway.)

Now that we’ve painstakingly cracked the scent code together, we’d like to introduce you to our newest friends: caliray just made some candles b*tches! And in typical sexy sustainable steez, these small batch blends come in glass vessels made out of recycled wine bottles. Cool right?

Pick your poison. Now you know what to do.

stay lit