Confession time: I love scented candles.
No, not like that—not like a casual candle appreciator who whacks one on the coffee table because the color looks nice with the carpet, or the impulse buyer who sniffed a certain scent and opts to bring it home.
I love scented candles.
I love cheap candles, expensive candles, artisanal candles, and grocery-store brand candles. I love bright scents, warm scents, spicy scents, and fruity scents. I have a whole shelf in the kitchen dedicated to my candle hoard (much to my husband’s delight)!
Most of all, I love seasonal candles. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than curating a season’s sequence of candles, creating the perfect progression of scents, colors, and luminary designs.
Here’s the thing—I’m not a natural candle lover. I came to my candle obsession when I was pregnant with my second child. We moved into a new house just a couple of weeks into the first trimester, and I was so hypersensitive to what I perceived as the previous owners’ smells that I invested in scented candles for the first time ever, filling every room with the scents of blue spruce and vanilla cookies and winter candy apple (whatever that is). Thankfully it was the holiday season so I had lots of good options available. More than that, though, my first foray into candle world taught me an important lesson—that sometimes the most frivolous, fleeting things in life are the most necessary.
That’s certainly the attitude of Noa Jacob, the heroine in Home for Hanukkah. Noa runs a thrift store-turned-gift boutique, Second Chance, and is a purveyor of inessential essentials. She’s a believer in adornment, in decadence, and in unadulterated joy—none of which, it turns out, prove particularly profitable. She finds an unexpected ally in Zach Strauss, a failed biotech entrepreneur with more experience in curing diseases than decorative cushions, but his dreams for Noa and her shop may even exceed her own.
Zach’s head is in the clouds while Noa’s feet are firmly on the ground, but they join forces to become purveyors of unadulterated joy. I’m more Noa than Zach, and that’s why my silly scented candle collection is so vital. By spending money on objects that are all form and no function, and by their very nature cannot and should not last forever, I’m investing in my own happiness, and reminding myself that joy in all its forms—including and not limited to an overpriced pumpkin spice candle—is always worthwhile.
Are you also a scented candle lover? Or is there another way you like to indulge yourself in ways that are beautiful and fun and completely, unapologetically frivolous?
About the Author
Rebecca Crowley inherited her love of romance from her mom, who taught her to at least partially judge a book by the steaminess of its cover. She writes contemporary romance with smart heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, and never tires of the happily-ever-after. Having pulled up her Kansas roots to live in New York City, London and Johannesburg, Rebecca currently resides in Houston.