My favorite place to travel is home. Not the Maldives, not Fiji—just my parents' house in upstate New York. I think it's because I crave regularity: I want my space, my bed, and all my things to stay the same, no matter where I am. I'm needy—so sue me. Of course when I do have to travel (usually for work), I make myself as at home I can be. This can be time consuming, as I start unpacking every single the thing the minute I arrive; using the hotel drawers (beware bed bugs, guys); stashing my suitcase in the closet; bringing my own coffee; and setting out a travel candle. That last one is key. Sometimes hotels don't allow them, but rules be damned. I always take along a votive-sized version of the candles I burn in my apartment to feel a little less homesick. There’s always room in my dopp kit for one small candle and a lighter—two little things that can create almost all the atmosphere I need. Because you can’t really anticipate what any given place you haven’t been to before will smell like, it’s good to be prepared. Summer's taking me to wedding weekends and family trips outside of the comfort of my apartment, so I'll be taking any of these:
Roses, Figuier, Baies; the holy trinity of fancy-yet-approachable candles, travel sized (!) and discounted (!!). Even in pint size, Diptyque delivers on what they always do: crisp expensive smells, ready to fill your suitcase with Nolita Elizabeth Street vibes. Now, to figure out what the jar can store after it burns through—Q-tips, maybe?
An artisanal indie brand, founded by a Brooklyn husband and wife duo, reasonable price point, matching hand creams—check check check. These are great because you can use the lids to snuff out the flame before setting off any smoke alarms.
These tins were what got me searching for other travel sized candles! Tarot Deck smells like incense and smoky fire and Rooftop, Saturday is citrus-floral and equally amazing. These are very cozy, worn-in scents. Which is kinda what you want when you’re far away from home.
A huge range of scents, for one. My favorites are Tuberose, which is very clean, and Firewood, which is self-explanatory. The packaging is a little OTT, but I like it that way. For as much as I know of Henri Bendel, I suppose it makes sense.
These are slightly bigger than votive-size and are maybe best reserved for a long trip. The scents are amazing though: Le Marquise smells like sour gummies that were handmade in a French castle, and Solis Rex smells like the wood panelling of Versailles—makes sense, it's inspired by the Hall of Mirrors. No matter which one you choose, though, don't forget to blow it out when you leave. Airbnb security deposits are no joke.
Photographed by the author.