I Found a Fancy Candle That’s Not Obscenely Expensive

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They’re actually inspired by an exiled French nobleman.

The scented candle is a risky proposition. Your weird aunt probably owns several dozen jars of cheap wax that are designed to evoke the aromas of “birthday cake” or “funeral lilies.” On the other end of that spectrum, your boss probably has some sort of minimalist — and obscenely expensive — pillar of eucalyptus-infused soy. Finding a candle somewhere between those poles of cheap and elegant is rare.

I’ve tried everything from candles at Family Dollar to labels like Diptyque, but no option has ever satisfied me. But one day, at an overpriced clothing store, something caught my eye next to a jewelry display. The candles I spied (and promptly bought) are produced by fragrance house Maison Louis Marie. Launched in 2013, the company’s goal is to create candles and scents inspired by the founder’s ancestor (an exiled French nobleman with a gift for botany). Although we can agree this is a ridiculous corporate anecdote, the candles actually live up to the aristocratic hype. They’re simple and stylish — and I have yet to find a scent I dislike.

The current front-runner is one called No.02 Le Long Fond. Like all of the scents, it’s not abrasive, but rich and warm. It’s the sort of fragrance I could imagine wafting through a chalet in wintry Gstaad while I count the diamonds on my fictional tennis bracelet. For the far-off summer months, I would probably recommend No.10 Aboukir, the lighter alternative to Le Long Fond, with its spice notes balanced by lemon, carnation, and jasmine.

You may be wondering if you’ll have to forego eating this week to buy these candles, but the good news is that a candle from Maison Louis Marie costs about the price of a SoulCycle class. While it’s definitely no bodega candle, it won’t bankrupt you either (I’m looking at you, Cire Trudon).

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I Found a Fancy Candle That’s Not Obscenely Expensive