I’m a creature of habit: I get in to my house, walk to the fridge for a snack, sit at my desk, and then reach for a candle light. A decade ago, I was your classic “saver”—a hoarder of the “trophy” candle. It would arrive as a gift, get unwrapped and remain on a shelf gathering dust but gleaning compliments from houseguests. I’m not sure what changed, but these days I’m the polar opposite. I can’t be in a room without burning one.
They relax me, help me stay focused, uplift my mood, and mask aromas I’d rather not aerate around my compact open-plan flat (usually post-takeaway). They also come in handy when someone asks you what you’d like for your birthday/Christmas/anniversary present. It’s really not that hard to go wrong with a candle. Especially if it’s a Jo Malone one, because let’s face it, they’re the sign you’re a real candle lover. Clock one of those in someone’s lounge and it’s like a silent nod of approval. But how much of a Jo Malone fan are you?
Here are 10 facts you can dish out when you next spy one sitting on someone’s shelf…
1. Pomegranate Noir is the best selling candle.
2. The amount of Jo Malone London home candles bought in December would burn for 740 years if they burned consecutively.
3. It takes 16 artisans to produce each candle.
4. Each candle is made and hand-poured in the English countryside.
5. No two wicks are the same. All are 100% cotton, but each one is a different weave or width depending on what will give the best burn performance for that fragrance.
6. There are over 400 different kinds of cotton wick to trial when designing a candle.
7. Sometimes discontinued fragrances make a comeback. White Lilac and Rhubarb was such a popular limited edition that it’s returning this July and joining the collection of charity candles that aim to grow awareness of mental health.
8. 75% of every charity candle sold is donated to Jo Malone’s charity partners.
9. Peony and Blush Suede ($36) is the most popular wedding candle.
10. Jo Malone candle vials are often repurposed. The most popular uses are stationary pots, makeup brush holders and cotton bud jars, although one customer reported using an empty Luxury Candle ($495) for her Christmas trifle.
Want More Stats?
It isn’t just Jo Malone candles that are trending. Mintel reports that 43% of Brits used a scented candle last year and that two in five air care launches were candles. In fact, 60% of people use them to create a cozy atmosphere, 33% rely on them to get into the spirit of a season such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day and 24% see them as a de-stressing tool.
Or, if you’re like me, all of the above—in my candle cupboard, there’s a distinct divide between mood, fragrances, and different rooms. Anything floral or sensual gets sectioned off to the bedroom zone, leathery or green scents are ideal for the lounge and communal living areas (as they have big enough notes to waft through open-plan areas), while zesty or fresh notes get aired in the office to keep me feeling alert and revitalized.
Rachel Parker, brand manager at The Eclectic Lifestyle Company, says “zoning” is key when fragrancing your home, as you can use your sense of smell to create a mood and atmosphere: “In the study, you may want a fragrance that’s motivational, such as peppermint or lemongrass, but for rooms where you want to be able to 'chill,' you should go for a scent that promotes calmness through natural scents, such as lavender or sandalwood. There’s no real 'rule' about which fragrance works best in a room, but there are general guidelines you can use for creating different moods through fragrance.”
She suggests relaxing notes like lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood for the bedroom, or florals if you’re feeling romantic. For kitchens, citrus is well known for cutting through “unsavory” smells, and Emma South, Jo Malone London’s fragrance and lifestyle expert, flags the zesty, herbaceous Basil and Neroli ($67) or Grapefruit candle ($67): “Both neutralize the air after cooking and awaken the palate.”
As well as kitchens, bathrooms can often need an aromatic refresh depending on what’s been occurring beforehand. Clean or ozonic fragrances like sea salt or marine notes that conjure up the outdoors work well.
Finally, there’s the living room, which is where you can get your most creative. Although, think about what it’s being used for before you strike a match. “It serves so many different purposes—whether it’s a place to relax or somewhere to entertain so choose a fragrance that’s not too intense or only carries notes from one fragrance family—floral fragrances, for example, can be very polarizing,” warns Parker. And if all else fails, light up that Pomegranate Noir ($67). The entire Jo Malone fan club can’t be wrong.
Shop our favorite candles below:
This is an all-natural soy wax candle made with hand-blended botanicals and hand-etched concrete. The bold yellow packaging and citrusy scent make this a better kitchen accessory than a sous chef.
This one’s a blend of tuberose and rose. If you want your boudoir to become a sanctuary of calm, light this and wait for the soft florals to radiate the room. Since it’s made from essential oils, when you blow it out, dip your fingers in the warm melted wax and use it as a skin nourisher.
This subtle looking, subtly scented candle is a real crowd pleaser, which makes it perfect for lounges and living areas. Extra points for the on-trend copper lid that you can pop back on when it’s unlit so it won’t gather dust.
Just like communal spaces in the home, you want candles in a crowd to be inoffensive. This floral bouquet is romantic without being cloying or old fashioned and is why brides-to-be go gooey-eyed over its aroma.
There’s something delicious about minty-fresh breath, which is why fashion designer Anya Hindmarch wanted to re-create it in a candle. Spearmint and peppermint combined with grapefruit and rhubarb clears the head and disguises unsavory aromas. Bathroom ready.