This Candle-fluencer Swears a $6 Target One Helps Him Focus
And more of his favorites to burn.
Published Oct 21, 2023 1:18 AM
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Kudzi Chikumbu, the creative behind the addictive Instagram account Sir Candle Man, has always been captivated by fragrances. “My mother was a florist,” he explains. “In a flower shop, most of the flowers don’t have a strong scent, but you do have the scent of green—leaves, chlorophyll, stems—so that is a scent I love. Wet, dewy, green, and earthy. I find it very grounding.”
But it wasn’t until a recent trip to Paris that he realized candles were his true calling. “Au 17 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian smelled like my dream life in Paris. I could see the scent as a picture, and in that moment I realized fragrance was art,” he says.
In his new book, Let It Burn, he gives all the tips and tricks for finding your own signature scent and avoiding olfactory trends. “I see a lot of people buying candles because other people like them or because they are popular,” he says. “Scents are so vast, fun, and exciting, so it’s so important to try to find a candle you love and not a scent that someone else loves.” Here, he shares his favorite candle, including a $6 selection that he swears makes him more productive.
The First Candle I Fell in Love With
LAFCO Feu de Bois stole my heart. The ashy, resiny, leathery, and frankincense goodness is so magical and cozy. I gift that candle a lot and love the brand!
The Fall Candle That Isn’t Pumpkin
When I think about fall, I love a woodsy fragrance. P.F. Candle Co.’s Piñon is perfect. It’s pine and balsam but also earthy. The perfect balance of cozy and crisp.
My Favorite Floral Candle
For florals, I think bright and fresh white flowers combined with musks. The perfect candle for that is Elsewhere’s Chainlink. The combination of jasmine, ylang-ylang, musk, and fresh aquatic notes is so gorgeous.
One That Sounds Odd But Smells Amazing
Trudon’s Terre à Terre! This candle smells like damp earth and mushrooms. The moist soil is mixed with elusively sweet moss. Magical. It feels as if you’re stepping into a fantasy. I could not stop burning it.
A Scent You Can Burn While Cooking
The perfect candle when cooking is something fresh. Think: citrus or herbs. I love Flamingo Estate’s Climbing Tuscan Rosemary. Not only is it energizing, it cleanses the air.
The Sexy One
Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Oud Satin Mood is my go-to. The candle is sultry and fun because of the vanilla, violet, and oud mix. It burns very clean and has an almost satin feeling in the air. Very smooth.
The Celebrity Brand That Holds Up
Courteney Cox has a brand called Homecourt, and it does not have any misses. My favorite from the brand is called Cece. It’s earthy but sweet because of the combination of patchouli, carrot seeds, cardamom, cedarwood, and smoke. Exquisite perfumery.
Best Budget Candle
Target’s Everspring Cedar and Balsam costs $6 and is the perfect fresh and clean candle for any time of day. I enjoy burning it when I am working from home. The candle brings a sense of calm and helps me focus.
The Splurge That’s Worth It
Loewe’s Beetroot candle costs about $100 and is so worth it. Imagine an almost candied beetroot combined with earthy moss. I was initially looking to buy a different candle, but they didn’t have it in stock, so I bought the beetroot one, and wow! I have almost burned through it.
The Accessory Everyone Should Own
A wick trimmer is a must. You can of course use anything to trim your candle wicks, but a chic wick trimmer is chic and complements home decor. Trimming ensures you have a clean burn and a flame that is the appropriate size.