Editor’s note: This Paddywax has been out of stock for over a year, since we last updated this post in 2019. But recently, our social media manager, Hannah Starke, flagged that Paddywax’s new Black Fig and Olive candle — part of the Vista collection — also smells suspiciously like Diptyque’s Figuier. So we reached out to Paddywax, and they confirmed that their new Black Fig and Olive scent is the same as the one written about here. The main difference is that the candle now comes in a jar instead of a cement block, but you can still buy it at Paddywax or on Amazon.
Diptyque is demonstrably the most iconic candle brand. Four of the 30 famous people in this roundup are also fans. (TL;DR: Beyoncé has her Vanille candles lit, presumably by amply paid butlers, when she’s not home so her pillows smell like vanilla.) This perfumery sits squarely in the Venn diagram cleavage of “evocative to the senses” and “status object.” Its uses are also twofold: Whenever a spent Diptyque jar is cleaned out and used to hold makeup brushes, someone in a fashion-adjacent industry gets their wings.
Because I am not a millionaire, I only buy one Diptyque candle a year. I’m unreasonably precious with it and try to practice good candle form: only lighting it when I have guests over, trimming the wick before each burn, letting the wax melt evenly across the top and then extinguishing it — normal Patrick Bateman stuff. My go-to scent (Victoria Beckham and Meghan Markle’s, too!) is Figuier. It smells like the entirety of a fig tree — not just the fruit — so you get nuances of greenery and bark in addition to pulp. It’s sappy, mellow, and just a touch creamy, so it never comes off as candied. Just green. The wax burns cleanly and evenly with a solid throw, so even when it is unlit on your nightstand, you can catch whiffs when you reach over to turn on your SAD lamp.
But what about when you want a folding-the-laundry candle or a doing-the-dishes candle? What do you burn on a Wednesday night of no real significance or after you’ve baked fish? Paddywax Fig & Olive, that’s what. I was gifted this candle a few years ago at Nondenominational Office Gift Exchange. One sniff and I was sold. Its notes include olive leaves, polar, and fig. That’s greenery, bark, and pulp. Sound familiar? It should. To my average nose, it smells identical to Figuier. Rather than coming in a glass vessel, it comes in a concrete block that could approximate a chunk of the Berlin Wall, so anyone with an industrial aesthetic: Raise the roof! While I don’t find it as strong as its high-end cousin, it performs impressively well for such an affordable candle. That means I can light it when I get home from work, even if I have no one to impress. No one other than myself, that is.
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