Monday, October 23, 2017

True Life: I'm Obsessed with Bookish Candles

My name is Julie and I have a problem.

I reorganized my candle collection and I currently own 100 candles. One. Hundred. I owned less than 10 before July. And I'm currently waiting on...13 if I counted right. With another 96 on my wish list that I'm hoping to make a dent in with the holiday sales. Majority of them are themed around a specific book or piece of media that I love and honestly, I'm just lucky I'm not a fan of Sarah J. Maas because things could be so much worse because there are so many Maas candles.

But with all of that candle shopping, I've gathered Thoughts on quite a few candle shops and policies and scents and I thought it'd be fun for me to share them with you.

My Top 3

Looking at my candle collection, I absolutely have favorites and all of these favorites have a few things in common: they ship quickly, they have a wide variety of scents and inspirations for those scents, they have fantastic customer service, and they have great packaging.

Icey Designs was my first candle love. Hafsah works with her whole family and makes some fantastic candles. They're a bit on the pricier side, but it's so easy to tell why. The candles have some physical heft to them and aren't like the types of jars you see in other stores. The labels are always stunning and well thought out. A lot of the candles have some gorgeous glitter on top. Hafsah is always open to suggestions for scents and for book inspirations and she works fast to come up with them. I've proposed candle ideas and she's had a scent ready in a week or two. She also has amazing customer service; whenever I've had issues, she's been quick to offer to replace the candle or refund me (I always opt for the replacement because they still smell fantastic). And if you want your candles fast, Icey Designs is where you go; the candles aren't listed unless they're in stock and they usually ship out the day after your order, arriving 2-3 days later because of priority mailing.

Owned: The Fallen Isles (8 oz and 2 oz), Over the Wall (8 oz), Warcross (8 oz), Dumplin' (8 oz), An Autumn in Whimsy (8 oz), Touched by the Stars (8 oz and 2 oz), Dimple and Rishi (8 oz), Wonder Woman (8 oz and 2 oz), It's Only a Game (8 oz), As Travars (2 oz)

Wish List: Empress of Feng Lug (8 oz), Reading by the Fire (8 oz), Fangirl (2 oz), The Fallen Isles (2 oz), It's Only a Game (2 oz)

Novelly Yours is another candle shop I've loved for a long time. I wasn't totally sold at first, but they've quickly become a favorite. Brittany has such a wide variety of candles and there are definitely candles I missed out on before I fell down the rabbit hole that have already been retired. She also always ships within two weeks most of the time and comes up with such creative ideas! She even has a new Scent Obsession jar so you can get your favorites in a 22 oz size and yeah...that's gonna happen when some of my stock runs low.

Owned: Stories & Sunsets, Anna's Favorite Cookie, Shipping It, Autumn Ambiance, Summer Love set

Wish List: Autumn Ambiance (yes another), Cress, The Wraith, Shipping It (22 oz because it's so good, some retired scents only available in 22 oz sizes (Anna's Favorite Cookie, Magical Golden Flower)

Flickering Tales won me over with a Pemberley candle that was being discontinued. It was Pemberley and had a lilac smell, so I thought it'd be fun to try! Since then, I've burned through 2 8 oz tins and I have two more in my candle cabinet that I stocked up on. She also has a candle that smells just like chocolate covered cherries that I need a full size of and most recently she impressed me with a limited edition Bardugo box, featuring 5 locations from different Leigh Bardugo books. I had been on the fence with it since I wasn't big on Shadow & Bone and never finished the series and I haven't read Crooked Kingdom yet, but I'm kind of obsessed with these candles and I'm already really sad they're not available in full sizes. I might actually order a custom of one of them in a full size. She's also really great at highlighting lesser known books that are harder to find swag for. In fact, there's a Song of the Current candle that was a limited edition and not in my budget when I ordered the Bardugo box, but if it's still in stock when holiday sales start up....

Owned: Pemberley (8 oz), Belle (4 oz), Romance (4 oz), New Adult (tealight), Bardugo box

Wish List: Romance (8 oz), Current Carry You

Other Shops I've Tried

Canterbury Road Co really focuses on covering lesser known titles - lesser known swag wise, anyway. Shannon is so lovely and while I'm not totally sure her scent combinations work for me, I'm still waiting it out.

Owned: Camp Daybreak, Whimsy's Enchantment, Raven in Peril Raven in Love

Wish List: Over the Sea to Skye

Wanderlights Candle Co is a Canadian company that ships out pretty quickly and is based on locations, including fictional ones. She also has great customer service - I placed an order about a week ago and she messaged me yesterday to let me know there was a delay in some supplies, but she would have it out by next week.

Owned: Tokyo, Paradise Island, Halloweentown (soon), PSL (soon)

Cornerfolds Candles is owned by two women who are in a fan group I'm in. They're located in Florida and when the hurricane was about to hit, they made sure orders were out the door several days in advance or they just held on to them. Mine made it out the door, but USPS decided to hold my candle in limbo anyway. But it was totally worth it because the candle is GORGEOUS and smells incredible.

Owned: The Sanctuary (4 oz)

Wish List: Toil & Trouble, The Sanctuary (8 oz), Wit Beyond Measure

Nerdy Alchemy is a newer, smaller Canadian shop that does candles and some body products for bookish goods and video games (Legend of Zelda fans, you'll be quite pleased) and movies, so it's a really great variety. She's super quick at communicating - the candles I ordered weren't going to look exactly as pictured and she made sure that was okay before sending out.

Owned: Emojis and Cookie Dough

Wish List: Current Carry You

Stub Tail Candle Co is another shop that covers a lot of books that don't see much swag. If there's a book you feel needs more candles, this is a really good place to check (she has a lot of Roar candles, for example). She also donates a portion of all sales to animal rescue organizations.

Owned: Reading Past Bedtime, Daughter of the Dragon

Wish List: Memory World, Glass Snow, King of Crows

Muggle Library Candle Co is a really wonderful little shop with a fantastic line up. Unfortunately, she recently launched a Sorting Hat Candle that changes colors as you burn to "reveal" your house and a bunch of big websites found it, so she's overwhelmed with orders. The only listing in her shop right now is for pre-orders of the Sorting Hat Candle in May. When she can handle making more of her candles, I'll be eagerly waiting.

Owned: Deadly Sunrise, Jewel of Bharata, Ravenclaw

Wish List: Book Boutique, Free Elf, Pumpkin Juice

Geek and Wonder AKA Flickering Fandoms is a shop that was too pronged, but recently merged to sell all sorts of nerdy things - skin care, bath and body products, and obviously candles. A lot of shops tend to use amber and sandalwood and some heavier smells, but both of the candles I have from this shop are really light and clean, which is what I prefer.

Owned: Trident, Amazon Princess

The Melting Library is one of the most well known candle shops. Because of that, it will take at least a month to get any of your candles. Once they ship, they ship quickly and they're a really nice quality. I like the packaging a lot and shipping isn't too expensive - though I do live in the same state as her - and there's just a nice selection. The holiday themed candles are already up for pre-order because she has such a long processing time, so I pre-ordered an Anastasia-themed candle and threw in an Outlander one as well. She restocks some number of candles every Sunday at 12 EST!

Owned: Goddess of Truth, The Autumn Prince, Once Upon a December (soon), Breath of Claire (soon)

Wish List: His Calipha, The Night Bazaar

Wick and Fable is another one of the more popular ones with a large variety. She'll also do multiple candles for the same media so if you don't like a particular scent, you'll likely have other options.

Owned: Isla de los Suenos, Ravenclaw, Most Ardently, Warrior Princess, Honeydukes (soon), October Winds (soon), The Autumn Prince (soon), Autumn Rainstorm (soon), Autumnlands (soon), Whimsy (soon)

Wish List: Inej, Nina, Virtual City, The Spring Prince, Thousand Lanterns, Xifeng, Imperial Palace

Novel Heartbeat Creations is the first shop that created the hashtag candles and has some really great ones. There's also a pretty good variety of book inspirations and a really fun layout.

Owned: #diversebooks, Slay Your Own Dragons, Nightspire, Bookstagram

Wish List: #diversebooks (8 oz)

Wick Worms is one of the companies that makes chunk candles - creating extra chunks of wax in different colors and letting them settle within the main candle. She does a lot of fun bundles that are limited edition, so definitely keep an eye out.

Owned: Book Hangover, Wonder Woman Set

Wish List: Autumn in Whimsy

Belle and Co Candlemakers focuses on ladies. All of their candles are based on literary ladies, mostly classics, but also some more modern and pop culture and literary references. Most recently, she released a limited run of candles inspired by Margaret in North and South and I...had to jump on it.

Owned: Women of Winterfell set, Margaret (soon), Lizzie (soon)

Wish List: Lila, Diana

The Leaky Candle has a lot of fun candles and sets. When I ordered from them, it took over 6 weeks to get my candles and there was little communication about what was happening and why it wasn't just the week or two their website said. I was finally able to get an answer through their Etsy and they explained there were some emergencies and they included an extra candle. So, a little frustrating, but it was (hopefully) a one time thing. And I do like the candles I ordered. She has a bunch of Halloween-y candles in the shop now you can check out.

Owned: Summer Storm, Mo Dunn, Pemberley Woods, Hogwarts Express

Moss & Moon isn't really a bookish candle company, but they are still a lot of fun. The concepts are fun, the smells are wonderful and strong, and I love the labels. The only downside for me is that they're in Australia and the shipping is a bit much for me to order more candles from.

Owned: Citrus Punch, Crazy Cat Lady

A Court of Candles is a shop I don't have a ton of experience with - I only have one small candle from a book box - but I've liked what I've tried so far, so I'm excited to check out some of the other candles. I am not a fan of their website, but they do have an Etsy as an alternative.

Owned: Thymiscera

Wish List: Viktor, Kaz, Inej, Hapee Birthdae

Meraki Candles is a Scottish candle company that I'm...truthfully not a fan of. Again, I only got to try one candle from a book box. The candle didn't smell bad, but it didn't smell great. It managed to have some tunneling, even though it was in a tin (which usually prevents tunneling since the metal gets hot and melts the wax on the edges) and then after about three burns, the wick just...fell into the wax. I can't use the candle unless I cut out more wax or melt...around the wick? Somehow? I just wasn't impressed and I won't be placing more orders.

Owned: Phoenix Riders

Flick the Wick has some of the most stunning labels in all of candledom - which is why Angeline also has a bookmark shop! Her candle scents are really close to the description and the colors are just so stunning.

Owned: Emergency Dance Party, Dimple and Rishi

Wish List: Dimple and Rishi (8 oz), Goddess of War, Bookstagram, Bibliophile, Ketterdam

Liber de Stella has a huge variety of candles and all of the ones I ordered smell amazing...but they also tunneled. It's an easy thing to fix and not a big deal, but it is kind of frustrating. I might give her shop another try - maybe go for the smaller sizes - but I'm not in a rush to do so.

Owned: Mountain of Adamant, Gauri's Garden, The Night Bazaar, Her Yellow Dress

Library Lights is another Canadian based company that makes candles (and a lot more). It did take a very long time for my order to ship out, but they're so simple and pretty and the smells are incredible.

Owned: The Promise of Tomorrow, Caliph of Khorasan

From the Page is a really fun shop with some cool options. They do a lot of cool, unique sets and some fun inspirations for their candles. Right now, they're having a sale where they're selling 8 oz jars of some of the scents they made for sets in 2 oz and I snatched one up from the Disney set.

Owned: Disney set

In the Wick of Time is another one of the really popular candle shops. The one candle I have is a very strong rose scent, which usually gives me headaches, so I can't really burn it, but that's a me problem, not a shop problem.

Owned: Pemberley

Wish List: Once Upon a Time, Jane Austen's Writing Desk, Amazon Warrior

Other Eras Candles isn't really a bookish shop, but whatever. She does a lot of really great packaging and she does some charity candles and she also has a couple of art prints. And her scents, at least in the candle I have, are really strong too, which I tend to appreciate.

Owned: French Lavender

Wish List: Autumn, Stand with Women

This isn't even close to all of the shops out there - there are many, many more on my wish list I want to try out - but these are some shops I have feelings about. If you'd like, I can make this a monthly-ish or quarterly thing, where I go through and just talk about the different candle shops I've tried. Or, if you'd like more details about any specific shop, let me know that too.