High-end candles: a sign of being in my 30s

On Saturday, I was supposed to take my friend on a food crawl around Jackson Heights as a day out during her visit. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans for us. I didn’t want to deal with the stroller in pouring rain, nor did I want to risk experiencing any subway flooding, so I suggested to my friend that we have lunch at the Singporean Urban Hawker center instead, and then figure things out from there. The MoMa, which was our original after-lunch plan, was immediately x-ed out: the line wrapped around TWO BLOCKS, even with the pouring rain. So instead, we went window shopping at Nordstrom and in Time Warner Center instead. We spent at least 15 minutes inhaling every Voluspa candle on display in the home wares section; the Saijo Persimmon and Mokara were definitely my favorites. I told my friend about how I’ve been burning a scented soy or coconut wax candle every night the last few months while I’m reading before bed. Everyone likes the mood and ambiance that real lit candles bring, and the scent is always soothing at bedtime.

My friend laughed. “This is such a sign you are in your 30s; only people in their 30s-plus can appreciate high-end, fancy candles!” she said. She agreed, though, and said that she also started appreciating them in the last few years.

Okay, so maybe it is true. In my twenties, I never thought anything of candles and didn’t understand how they could be so expensive. I didn’t understand how Diptyque could have multiple boutiques across New York City, JUST selling one item (candles!). It always evaded my comprehension. Then, I didn’t understand the difference between paraffin and soy/coconut wax. The idea of spending $50-75 on a candle was insane to me. Now, while I still think that price point is high, I do appreciate them so much more. A high quality, perfumed candle is not just a thing, an object to display in your home; it’s also an experience, a somewhat sensual one at that. The one candle I own now that I did buy before I turned 30 was a lavender soy candle purchased at a Tasmanian lavender farm in December 2015. I still burn it occasionally and am obsessed with the scent, though I am sad I’m reaching its end. What was also remarkable about this candle was that despite it being very high quality and having a good “throw” (that is candle speak for “the scent travels through the room it’s in and isn’t weak”), it was actually quite inexpensive in U.S. dollars after the conversion from AUD. Now, I may end up seeking high quality, scented candles elsewhere where I can get them cheaper. 🙂

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