New York really has everything. Except for space. And working fireplaces. Come winter, how nice would it be to gather ‘round a crackling fire? Or have a toasty hearth to dry our mittens on after a friendly snowball fight? Or a welcoming blaze to sit by with a cup of hot chocolate, while the smell of burning wood drifts through the air (everyone grew up in 1950s suburban America, right?)? Not to sound ungrateful, but there are some things a radiator just can’t replace, chief among them the scent of a delightful winter afternoon. And for that, we have only “fireside” candles to trigger that old olfactory miracle of making this city smell like “home.” Depending on how festive you want your flame (from waking-up-on-Christmas-morning to manly- campfire), the size you’re looking for, and the ever-important packaging, trust that there is a candle for you.
Let’s begin with the tried, the trusted, and the infallible Diptyque Feu de Bois. Smelling just like a log freshly placed on the fire with a hint of frankincense, it’s the failsafe option. I mean, the name literally means “wood fire.” For something a little more pine-y, and impressive in size yet smaller in terms of fragrance heft, Penhaligon's Maduro Leaf is your best bet. Its impressive size also earns this candle the Best Gift title of the lot for any forthcoming or current holidays (Happy Hanukkah!). And how cool is it that this woodsy candle is set in a wooden box? The Brits, man. They're good.
For the equestrians among us, Catbird Campfire' s notes of leather will satisfy your longing for a tack shop right in your living room (which is maybe also your kitchen and bedroom?). Ahh, long-lost smell of saddles, welcome (to our) home. Or maybe you’re searching for a slightly less feminine, more manly candle— a mandle, if you will—that will not only leave your apartment smelling of a (contained) fire burning in a log cabin full of family history, but also help you and all your guests grow that extra hair or two on your chest. See: Pendleton's Wood Smoke. Wood Smoke’s cloth container also comes with matches, so it’s a two-in-one purchase, really.
As for the scent that best conjures a Christmas morning, replete with stockings hanging on the fireplace, a light-festooned tree, and an array of perfectly wrapped presents? It’s Ski Haus Fireside & Tobacco. Are those snow-covered conifers outside? No. It’s just your awesome new candle.
So, while this December may have begun with unseasonably warm weather, let’s hope for some cooler temperatures (if only for our planet’s sake) and invest in some wood-burning wax to bring that eau de fireplace to wherever our hearth is.
Photos by Mathea Millman.