BASIK - Hero Image

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The latest candle in our lineup is called No. 5 Mediterranean Fig Tree, made by Basik Candle Co., a relatively new candle company based right here in San Francisco. We met the founder at Indie Craft Fair over the summer, and he told us he had been working on the company for about a year before officially launching in March 2017. The opening collection includes 5 “classic” scents, with a recent introduction of 2 special holiday scents.

Basik’s booth at Indie Craft was clean, simple, and showcased the candles well. Likewise, the candle packaging is simple and clean, in a refreshing, “basik” way. Its simple black box with white type is classic with a little edge. It features a sticker that not only names the scent, but also does double duty in sealing the box and ensuring your candle has not been messed with. The company’s manifesto is printed on the back, highlighting the use of clean burning coconut wax, and a “less is more” approach. The candle itself is in a thin, matte black vessel, and weighs in at 6 oz. Our favorite little touch is the mango wood lid, which warms up the black & white packaging with its beautiful, rich color. We suspect it might also come into good use as a coaster as the candle burns low, as the glass vessel is quite thin on the bottom and you may need to protect your furniture from the heat!

The first burn went well, with the wax burning evenly and cleanly. Subsequent burns continued to burn cleanly, and the wick remained centered. The scent is very pleasant; it’s a little bit sweet with notes of citrus (grapefruit, orange, and lemon), but grounded in a warm undertone of sandalwood and patchouli. The scent throw is OK, making it a great backdrop scent - not too opinionated but still warm and not too sweet. The “stickiness” factor also leaves a little to be desired. At the office, we only really noticed the candle when we left the room and came back in. And, although the name “Mediterranean Fig Tree” is descriptive and cool, there is no actual “fig” in this candle, or at least none is described on their website. But hey, we get it, almost every candle line has a fig candle, so why not join the club?

Overall, this candle has a very cool look and a nice scent. The matte black vessel with mango wood lid is great and would look nice on any console or side table. At $26 for the 6 oz. vessel or $38 for the 13 oz vessel (with 2 wicks), this is an affordable luxury candle.

You can purchase your own candle here. Dimensions: 2.75"W x 3.25"H, 6 oz.


AYDRY & CO. - Hero Image

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This week we are reviewing a candle by Southern California company AYDRY & Co. We met AYU Carlton, founder and creative director of AYDRY & Co., at San Francisco’s Renegade Craft Fair. We were immediately drawn to the clean look and modern feel of the brand, particularly its unique hexagonal shaped packaging. Inside, the thin black glassy vessel is a stark contrast to its clean, white box. Another one of the candle’s differentiating features is its wooden wick, which results in a crackling sound as the candle burns. We happened to be at the craft fair on a warm, Sunday morning, and found it only fitting that we purchase a candle called Champagne Brunch.

Aydry & Co. was founded in 2016 and, though young, has already gained a following with stockists like Anthropologie, Rejuvenation, and Pottery Barn. All of the candles are hand poured in Southern California by AYU and her small team. The line’s scents are light, fruity, and, for the most part, feminine. AYU’s Japanese heritage comes into play with scents like White Tea, Cherry Blossom, and Japanese Yuzu.

The Champagne Brunch scent is fruity, with hints of peaches, strawberries, and of course, notes of sweet champagne (or even moscato). We could see this scent gracing a bridal shower or another all-female occasion, while also being popular within subsets of the younger population - young ladies in their teens and 20’s. All-in-all, it was enjoyable in small amounts, but ultimately a little too sweet and fruity for our palates.

The first burn was on point. The subsequent burns were also good, yielding a nice and even burn, without tunneling. The wooden wick must be trimmed like any other candle wick, and, though the wooden wick is a nice touch, we found it slightly distracting. Perhaps we are an office of worriers, but when we first heard the wick crackling, we were worried that we had started a fire! We also noticed some soot gathering in the wax, which we suspect is due to the burning of the wooden wick.

At $36 for the 8 oz. size, this is an easy candle line to try if you’re curious!

You can purchase your own candle here. Dimensions: 3-1/8"Dia. x 3-3/8"H, 8 oz.


KEAP - Hero Image

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This week’s review features Keap’s Wave candle. We enjoy the fresh and cool branding of this candle line, in particular, its contemporary and symbolic logo. The Wave candle evokes a happy summer day, reminiscent of open shores and bright skies. Its very distinctive, clean linen scent mixes with the smell of the outdoors. Its six primary aromas comprise of sea salt, galbanum, seaweed, star anise, clone, and cyclamen.

Our experience starts with the packaging. We love attention to detail, and so did the designers behind this candle. The Wave comes bundled with a set of matches and a small booklet containing information about Keap. The candle’s lid completes the experience as it also serves as a small coaster to hold neatly the candle’s outer glass vessel. The vessel also includes Wave’s symbolic, monochromatic logotype.

The Wave offered an exceptional first impression; however, the experience changed when we lit the candle. It snuffed itself out constantly due to the fact that the wick burned down quicker than the wax could evaporate. In an attempt to solve this issue, we trimmed the wick and lit it again only to run into the same issue. A candle’s first burn is most crucial – setting the boundaries for the melt pool. Because the melt pool never reached the perimeter of the vessel, the wax caved in and the wick blew out.

As we surrendered to the snuff and took the candle off the table, we found the packaging difficult to reopen. Initially thinking that the box was a perfect square, we found that it was actually thicker on one side. This small difference only allowed one to way to open and put away the candle. So be careful – if you cap it on the wrong side you may need help opening it again!

This candle line was created by two founders who set out to create accessible ($35), uniquely scented, and environmentally friendly candles. They certainly have creative and thoughtful branding, and, while the scent of the candle is very pleasant, the self-snuffing element and hard-to-open box were details we couldn’t overlook.

You can purchase your own candle here. Dimensions: 3"Dia. x 3-3/8"H, 7.4 oz.


no155 HERO IMAGE cropped.jpg

This week, we are enjoying a candle called No. 155 New York, from the White Company. A friend of ours visited the new White Company store in New York shortly after it opened, and was thoughtful enough to bring us back one of their exclusive location candles! This deliciously scented introduction to The White Company will certainly have us seeking out this store the next time we are in London!

The packaging of this candle has a classic feel, and the box itself looks like the New York flagship store. The vessel is a kind of mirrored silver glass, with a nice thick glass bottom (about 1”). The label is very simple and elegant - sparse almost. The candle is a little larger than our typical candle, and thus has 2 wicks. The scent is The White Company’s translation of what 5th Ave is to them. It’s warm, sophisticated, and has become one of our favorites. A rich, flowery, smoky scent - it’s pretty divine, and quite intoxicating. The highlighted ingredients are Cinnamon, Tonka Bean, Oud and Coffee Beans. Though I have neither smelled nor consumed Tonka Bean before, it must be the star of this candle. The FDA has banned Tonka Bean because it has a chemical compound, coumarin, that has been banned since 1954 in the USA. Some people liken the scent of the Tonka Bean to the smell of Opium.   

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The first burn went well enough, and the next couple of burns left a lopsided wax footprint. The double wick can be tricky when it comes to an even burn, but after about half way through the candle, the wax was burning evenly and cleanly down the sides of the vessel. The scent is quite sticky, which is lucky for us, because we can’t seem to get enough of it! At $56 for the 9.8 oz. candle or $48 for the pack of 2 votives, this candle would make a nice gift for a friend, hostess, or for yourself.

You can purchase your own candle here. Dimensions: 4"H x 3.5" Dia.



This week, we are reviewing Terre Noire, or “Black Earth”, by Mad et Len. We first encountered the line at Gump’s in San Francisco, and were drawn to it because of its unique container - a hand forged iron vessel and lid. The craftsmanship and “hand feel” easily stood out amongst the more “normal” glass and ceramic vessels, and opening the lid and experiencing the scents was sheer luxury. The Terre Noire is earthy, sensual, and smells like what we imagine a French Château on a crisp fall evening to smell like.

The husband and wife team behind Mad et Len, Sandra Fuzier and Alexandre Piffaut, were tired of their city life, and wanted to make something with their hands. They bought a place near Grasse, France, the fragrance capital of the world, to be close to the artisans who would play a role in developing their candle line. The name Mad et Len is a play on Proust’s madeleines. Genius. Fragrance is a strong trigger for memories, and the name captures all of that and then some.

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The candle itself has a strong fragrance - you can tell they use a lot of essential oils. The fragrance is what we call, “sticky”, lingering long after the candle is blown out. The top of the scent is very perfumey, and the last scent is bright, like citrus. Our first burn for three hours was great; the wax burned evenly to the side of the vessel. But as the wax cooled, it looked kind of gnarled. The following two times we burned it, the wax continued to dry in a gnarled fashion. We’re not really sure why this happened, but we will stick a pin in it for another time. Then, as the candle was burned about half-way down, the wax began to cool smoothly, as we would have expected. The wick remained close to center.

The cost of this candle is another thing. At $110 a pop, this is probably not your everyday candle. It would make a good special occasion gift, or a nice splurge for yourself. We purchased ours locally at The Human Condition, where they also carry the rock potpourris and larger size candles.


Welcome to Project Candle - a blog where we review luxury candles, meet makers, and share what we find with you! Whether it’s the packaging, scent, or brand that draws us in, something will compel us to “buy and try” these candles. As interior designers - we set out to create spaces that are perfect for our clients, and fragrance is a powerful tool in that mission. We are KIND OF OBSESSED with candles and scents, and are always burning them at the office, and in our own homes as well. When you can feel a big day coming on, the simple act of striking a match and lighting a scented candle has an instant soothing effect.


This week, we are reviewing a candle by True Grace, a company hailing from the UK. The scent out of the box is sumptuous and rich - feels like a cold day kind of candle - which, in San Francisco, is a lot of days. The first thing you smell is Bergamot and Jasmine, and the end of your big breath in gives a rich but slightly sweet scent of Vanilla and Musk (Amber and Myrrh are also there, but less prominent). The packaging is handsome - a sturdy black box with an orange accent label. The container is a smoked glass and contains a creamy colored wax. We let the candle burn for three hours, and the wax melted quite evenly and nicely - perfect for a first burn. After a couple more burns, the scent continued to be pretty fragrant. Mid-way through the candle, the wax burned a little off center, but that's pretty normal. Although mostly a clean burn, it did leave a little residue along the sides (you can see this in last photo below). Overall, this candle is great for a cozy feeling - super warm with the amber and musk base, plus the more floral “top” fragrance.

Click HERE to purchase your own!

Click HERE for a glossary of scoring criteria