It's Sunday afternoon. You're dressed in classic summer whites (bleached denim cutoffs and a billowing peasant blouse from Isabel Marant's Baptismal collection), lounging on a daybed in your naturally lit apartment. The window is open, letting in a respectfully hushed but still very rich symphony of dancing grasses and birds chattering. They are remarking on the weather, in the language of birds—you can only vaguely hear them over Big Little Lies on Audible. You have a comfortable amount of money in your checking account and are generally at peace with the Now, so you inhale a contented breath, and a scent rushes into your nostrils. It's coming from a spring candle—the ambient, fresh aroma of warmth and joy and possibility and usually gardenia. You open your eyes, which were closed until this point, and you see:
In Thaleia (orange blossom and jasmine grounded in cedar) and Swans (musky iris with sandalwood)
You're Marie Antoinette, and these are the candles you keep in your reading nook (Thaleia) and personal bathroom (Swans). You admire the handpainted canisters but do not fawn over them, as they are merely two additional opulent threads in the sumptuous tapestry of your life.
Sea salt and sage
You're in the Hamptons, staying at a house close to, but not immediately on the beach, which is fine, because the beach is kind of gross, and Sunday Forever Morning is burning nearby. The scent conjures the everything good about the shore—a fresh and briny scent, warmth—without subjecting you to its unpleasantness.
A citrus cocktail based in cedar and incense
You might be a Gemini—at the intersection of astrology and fragrance, there is this TotalBeauty.com slideshow, which says that Geminis like grapefruit, the top note in Pamela Love's Rise.
Palo santo and Japanese florals
You're Gwyneth Paltrow, perhaps, casually lounging at home, thinking about meatballs.
A bouquet of rose, grass, and sea daffodil
You're an unpretentious writer taking a sabbatical in the English countryside, and all you packed for the summer was two sundresses, blue nail polish (this one, specifically), and 30 books that you plan on swallowing whole. You purchase Côte's candle on a whim from a small shop in town, and thereafter, it'll remind you of the year that you discovered your true passion for digital marketing.
You have an eye for design, a penchant for fresh citrus, and a fear of house fires.
Bergamot and lemon underlined by vetiver
You're swimming with a lover just off the coast of Australia, clad in nothing but an understated polka dot maillot and some SPF 35. There is no candle burning nearby—that would be weird, bringing a lit candle with you into the ocean—but if there was, it would be the one from Maison Balzac's collaboration with Matteau.
Yep, cannabis, along with fig, pepper, and assorted woods
You're a lower Manhattan art dealer relaxing one evening with a glass of wine and a joint, but in an elegant way, not a Cheech and Chong way, you get it?
Frankincense, salt, and elemi oil
You're tired of reading these, so we'll just tell you: it smells a very expensive, verdant beach somewhere in Portugal. Light it up and let it take you there.
Photographed by Tom Newton.
But if full-bodied scents are more your thing, cheers—we can help you with those.