My candle is better (and more expensive) than yours: are designer candles worth the splurge?

My candle is better (and more expensive) than yours: are designer candles worth the splurge?

So. Candles. Growing up, I always associated candles with either prayers or romantic dinners (though not together).


There’s something about candles that makes things more mysterious, alluring even. The dim lighting, the flickering flame that casts a shadow, and in most cases nowadays, the subtle scent that leaves your living space smelling divine.


But that really got us wondering – are normal, generic scented candles any different from the designer luxury candles that are becoming increasingly easy to find in Malaysia?


Designer candles have specially-created scents.

The first argument is that designer candles’ scents are unique to the brand. Take Diptyque, for example – its bestselling Baies, a mixture of summer berries, roses and blackcurrant leaves. Ever since it was launched, it’s stayed as a firm bestseller, and during festive seasons, Baies candles are said to be a perennial favourite as gifts.


Designer candles are made from better raw material (?)

Compared with paraffin wax or beeswax, soy wax is said to burn 50% longer than regular candles, and give a more even burn so that you get more out of your candles. They are also non-toxic and produce less candle soot. So the next time you’re buying candles, check the type of wax used.


Designer candles come in beautiful jars/containers which you can keep.

These unique, high-quality containers come in handy if you’ve got a knack for home décor and/or floral arrangements because they’re classier, more ‘luxe’ and better-looking than your run-of-the-mill glass bottles.


Designer candles are easily 10 times more expensive than normal scented candles.

We made a comparison between three candle brands: IKEA (duh), Yankee Candle and the crowd favourite, Diptyque. As candles are often categorised by size and burn time, we took the liberty of calculating how much it would cost per hour.




(from left to right)

IKEA SINNLIG, 7.5cm height, 25 hours, RM5.90

Yankee Candle, S Jar, 45 hours, RM96

Diptyque 70g mini candle, 30 hours, RM175



large candles

(from left to right)

IKEA LUGGA 2-wick candle in jar, 50 hours, RM39.90

Yankee Candle, L Tumbler, 85 hours, RM124

Diptyque 190g regular candle, 60 hours, RM 249


It all boils down to… Are designer candles worth the splurge?

If your time at home is sacred and precious, or if you want to create a different mood for your living space, it might be worth a try. I have friends who religiously collect candles from different brands because they say burning a candle in the evening helps them wind down and relax. However, before deciding to part with RM150 (or more), do a smell test with the people you live with (whom you care about), so that difference in opinions don’t arise after buying your candles.


Candle-prep tips:

1. The first burn is important in ensuring the rest of your candle burns evenly. Burn the candle for 2 hours so that the entire top layer is liquid. This prevents tunnelling.

2. Trim the wick before lighting your candle so that the container doesn’t turn black from the candle soot.

3. Instead of blowing out your candle, invest in a candle snuffer, which extinguishes the candles without damaging the wick. Some candles that come with lids can also be put out by covering them with the lid.


Other choices for candle lovers:


Jo Malone Scented Candle, RM270



Voluspa 3-Wick Candle in Tin, RM168.50



Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle, $22.50 (approx. RM94.92)



Tocca Candela Luxe, $54 (approx. RM227.82)



MOR Emporium Classics Candle, AUD49.95 (approx. RM148. 46)


(Images:, and from respective brand websites)

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