We don’t know about you, but when Earth Hour is celebrated every year, turning off our lights for that one hour and sitting in darkness is a very therapeutic exercise that we never fail to look forward to. Looking back at the times when we used to be out and about freely, one of the main things that calmed us almost instantly is the pleasant scent of a candle when it’s lit up, which breathes a completely different life into our bodies in that few minutes. However, with the lockdown (or is it half-lockdown?) still in place, it’s almost impossible for us to seek for this experience outside. So, for a change, why not go create that same experience at home?

Photography: The Creative Exchange/Unsplash

In an article published on travelandleisure.com, Chryssa Chalkia, an accredited clinical psychotherapist and cognitive behavioural therapist explains, “The soothing effect that candles have is based on how the brain processes smells. The smell of scented candles stimulates our limbic system, the part of the brain that is home to our memory and emotions. Hormones like serotonin and dopamine can be produced to help regulate mood. Therefore, our emotional state is influenced by the relationship that exists between scents, memories and emotions.” So if you’re still considering if you should invest in that scented candle that make your eyes (and nose!) light up, then the answer is a resounding yes! Before you decide on your next candle purchase, check out six of our favourites that the team has used at home throughout this lockdown which has helped to calm us down and bring back some good ol’ memories.

1. Crate & Barrel Ilaria Tall Ceramic Scented Candle, RM186

Photography: Crate & Barrel

“I’ve been burning this candle almost every day ever since this WFH routine started. It has a very clean, fresh and lasting scent which makes it worth every penny! Some days can be extra stressful for me as I have to juggle looking after my toddler while trying to get work done, so to wind down, I’d light this up after he goes to bed. As the scent envelops me, it allows me to truly relax and enjoy the rest of the evening with my husband. Not to mention, the design of this candle is unique and its clean lines work very well as a deco piece in my living room.” – Angela De Souza, Associate Marketing Manager

2. Bath & Body Works Gingham 3-Wick Candle, RM140

Photography: Bath & Body Works

“I’ve always liked subtle, earthy aromas with a hint of warmth as I find them to be both preppy and pleasant. The combination of blue freesia, fresh clementine and white peach with a hint of citrus in this one brings back memories of my gardening and picnic days, which always put a smile on my face. None of the ingredients in this candle is too strong but its fruity and floral notes are ideal to fill up your space. This is definitely my go-to scent after several hours of being glued to a corner when I’m working or meditating.” – Asha Kesotra, Content Writer

3. Lilin + Co Lychee & Black Tea Candle, RM25

Photography: Lilin + Co

I received this candle from a PR package for an event early this year and it’s become one of my favourites ever since! I love sweet fruity scents, but they can get a little overwhelming sometimes. This one, however, fills the space with a subtle and relaxing aroma, which I think is all thanks to the black tea leaves infused in it. I’ve been burning it almost every day and even used it to accompany my yoga sessions!” – Rachel Dulis, Content Marketing Executive

4. Bath & Body Works White Barn Eucalyptus Mint 3-Wick Candle, RM108

Photography: Bath & Body Works

“If you know me well, you’d probably know that I’m always on the go and that I live an extremely hectic life, more so during this lockdown. The word ‘relaxing’ isn’t in my dictionary, and even if I want to, it’s very hard for me to get myself to just chill. It was a blessing in disguise when a close friend gifted me a box of Bath & Body Works aromatherapy candles recently, and this particular one stood out. The highly-concentrated essential oils in the candle never fail to put me in a relaxed state instantly and change my mood from *grrrr* to *smiley face*. As eucalyptus is known for its holistic ability to detox the mind and body, this is the closest that I can get to going to a spa. Blended with spearmint which is a good stress reliever, it makes me feel like I’m in heaven whenever I light this up (and I think I will be for a very long time as the candle burns slowly and steadily!).” – Samantha Yap, Chief Operating Officer

5. Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia Home Candle, RM189

Photography: Sephora

“Oftentimes, when WFH becomes overwhelming, it’s almost impossible for me to not feel trapped especially since I’m unable to go out during this pandemic – and I’m a very social person! One of the best places that I’ve visited in my life was a beach in Indonesia called Nihiwatu, and from the entire trip, the outdoor bathroom in the resort (from the scent to the calming music and sound of fresh water running) is what I’d consider as relaxing. A candle I found that closely reminds me of my whole experience in Nihiwatu is this Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Home Candle, which smells like the combination of honey and flowers. Although I don’t have an outdoor bathroom at home, I decided to recreate a similar experience by making some adjustments.

For a change, I’ve stopped turning on my bathroom light every time I go in. Instead, the light from this candle is more than enough for me to take a shower! Step two involves me turning on my Spotify and having some classical Indonesian tunes play in the background when I take my “royal” showers. After a long day, standing under the cold running water accompanied by the subtle aroma of just-ripe pears mixed with amber, patchouli and white musk is probably the only thing I need to get back on track and start over the next day. In a nutshell, these are the little happy things that I’ve been looking forward to daily without having to fork out extra cash outside. I’d consider this candle a good investment as I’ve had it for over a year now and despite using it everyday, I’ve still got half a jar left! #win” – Vasenta Selvanayagam, Digital Content Producer

6. Fresh Life Scented Candle, RM250

Photography: Sephora

“It’s not easy for me to pick just one favourite candle when I’ve got a long list of ’em (especially if you’ve read about my penchant for collection Diptyque candles (here and here), so I’ll let you in on my current favourites instead: Fresh Life. Also available in the form of the brand’s iconic oval soap, body lotion and Eau de Parfum, the long-lasting Life scented candle was something that I picked up during my travels, when I couldn’t seem to put it down after taking a whiff of it in a Fresh store (and luckily I did, because this goodie’s always sold out everywhere!).

The citrus scent is a mix of natural oils and everything ‘fresh’ that easily comes to mind – the crisp morning air, the sparkling sun, a clear blue sky, a quiet walk in nature, stepping out of the shower, a batch of clean laundry and then some. While it’s powdery, light and relaxing on one hand, it gives off a very likeable, sensual and comforting appeal on another, which makes it perfect to light up in the bathroom when I want to enjoy a long soak in a spa-like ambience, in the study when I want to create a conducive environment to get work done, or in the living hall when I want to make the space more inviting. I wish the candle comes in a bigger size so that I’ll never run out of it, and as a mini set so that I can bring it on my future travels and gift it to friends on special occasions!” – Yang Mei Ling, Chief Editor

Featured image: Alisa Anton/Unsplash

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