|No 8 appears to have shifted in transit...|
No, it is more that when I own a scented candle I tend not to light it, because I am very, very shaky - nay, wobbly - on wick care. I am dimly aware that there is a whole skill involved in maintaining wicks at an optimum height, not unlike a barber indeed with his Number 3 and 4 cuts, and I have never quite grasped it. On the odd occasions when I have burned candles, they often gave up the ghost after only burning a few mm, because I have accidentally managed to pull off the wick somehow, or bury it below the surface like a troublesome splinter, never to be prized free again. I have also had issues with 'smoke burn' (I may have made that term up), affecting the previously pristine white surface of the candle, along with something I will just refer to gnomically as 'hot bottoms'.
So dotted around the house are a number of examples of my 'very lightly burnt' scented candles, the complete combustion of which I have eschewed for one or more of the reasons above. And I also have a Roja Dove Sandalwood one which looks way too fancy to ever get cosy with a match. It has remained swaddled in bubble wrap for some years now. But as with wool and perfume, of which I have a glorious glut, sometimes I override all the mental brakes and levers telling me I don't need more examples of an item, and go and buy one anyway. Or in the case of the aforementioned Aldi trio of luxury scented candles, several!
|The pineapple is also a candle!|
Yep, for £9.99 you can buy three substantial, pleasingly heavy candles in glass jars, with chrome lids, with a cream and black label that screams 'Jo Malone'. The names are not merely cheekily similar to actual Jo Malone scents, but downright outrageously identical. My three pack comprises Red Roses, Wood Sage & Sea Salt, and Orris & Sandalwood. I have no idea how they even get away with that.
I hadn't noticed these candles myself, even though I shop at Aldi, because the multipack was being merchandised amongst the melee of non-food stuff in the middle of the store, where I don't tend to look, though I did get some bargain free weights and yoga socks there at Christmas! It was my good friend Lizzie who tipped me the wink, when I went round to her exquisitely decorated new home and spied one on the bathroom ledge (the only light in the room in fact, as she was waiting for an electrician to visit the following day ;) ), one on the dining room windowsill, and one in the living room fireplace. They were all burning away merrily, their unimpeded wicks clearly the result of expert trimming...and on closer inspection, they smelt delightful.
Which leads me to the point that these candles do not project their scent unduly - is there a word for the candle equivalent of 'sillage'? - but they look very classy in situ as they burn and have a lovely subtle scent when you are within range. And I really cannot stress enough how pleasantly surprised I was by just how high end the fragrances smelt. For the price it was truly uncanny, and as with some of the Lidl perfumes I have comprehensively covered on here down the years, I would like to shake their (doubtless highly covert!) perfumer by the hand, for he or she has done an extraordinary job with a minimal budget. Which is not to say that the ingredients - whether the wax itself, or the aromachemicals - will have cost the same as a proper Jo Malone, but at £3.33 a pop vs £45 the choice is a stark no brainer. And as I say these Aldi candles are streets ahead of other budget kinds I occasionally dare sniff in the likes of Home Bargains, B & M and Wilko.
I mention the wax possibly being different because of the intriguing warnings on the back of the box, the like of which I don't remember reading before. First and foremost, we are advised: "WARNING: CANDLES CAN CAUSE FIRES". Crikey, I would never have considered that. But that is just the start of it...We are also told:
"May produce an allergic reaction"
"Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects"
"Avoid release to the environment"
But hold on, how does one go about burning a candle in the first place without releasing its smoke / emissions to the 'environment' of one's living room? Or does the advice relate to the great outdoors? Are they saying it is okay to gas yourself and your goldfish quietly in the comfort and fragrant ambiance of your own home, but not to allow noxious particles to escape in your street for passers by to inhale? It's a conundrum. Interestingly, Red Roses is NOT deemed harmful to aquatic life. I just toss that titbit out there in case you were considering investing in a three pack and splitting it with friends. Give the fish owners the rose one, that would be the smart move.
I also learnt that you are meant to snuff out a candle, not blow it. I am not sure I have snuffed a candle out in my entire life. I thought that was something the Victorians did with special long handled metal snuffers. They are the sort of people who also used letter openers instead of ripping their post open with their bare hands like us modern folk. And you are meant to "keep the wax pool clear of matches and other debris to avoid flaring". Hmm, I think I may have had this flaring thing happen in the past, which could be what leads to my 'smoke burn'. But only from fragments of dead matches falling in there - and never deliberately allowed to fall in there - let alone 'other debris'. I wonder if people chuck used tissues on burning candles or exactly what "other debris" the manufacturers had in mind.
All of these warnings have rather served to reinforce my wariness around the whole tricky business of interacting with a candle, as there appears to be a strong safety dimension on top of my functional failure one.
And yet I shall light one of these candles when the weather properly goes over! I am feeling reckless. And keen to work on my wick whittling. Plus I have no fish! And even if I had, thanks to Truffle I wouldn't have them for long.
Finally, it says on the box that these candles are a limited edition, so I suggest that if you are not put off by the unnerving Health & Safety aspects, you hie thee to an Aldi sharpish before they are all gone. Bearing in mind that you may have to rummage amongst an eclectic mix of other household items to find them, as is the way with the discounters. But at that price it will be worth it, trust me.