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Let the Light Shine

by Rona Berg

Tis the season to succumb to the allure of beautiful flickering light: twinkle lights, tree lights and especially candlelight. Lighting a candle and basking in its mesmerizing glow can take us back to a kinder time, when days passed more slowly and people were able to slow down or even stop what they were doing to enjoy it. 

When you think about it, isn’t that what the holiday season is all about? Taking a pause to slow things down and relax with family and friends?

Candles create a mood for a romantic dinner, a bath by candlelight, a candle on a bedside table. I like to try an experiment, sometimes, and see what it’s like to read by candlelight. (It's not great, I have to admit.) But since a candle is an indulgence, it has to be just right. Here are some of our new favorite discoveries! 

Lafco Absolute Collection 

This elegant new collection, in hand-blown glass vessels inspired by the Italian expression “macchia,” which means “spots of color,” houses candles made from soy wax. Each candle features layers of pigment and shards of glass interwoven for a shimmering effect that reflect the light beautifully. Lafco uses ethically sourced ingredients, sustainable manufacturing processes and environmentally friendly practices. The collection features six concentrated scents–Rose De Mai, Balsam Black Pepper, Clary Sage, Orange Blossom, Lavender and Forest Oakmoss–made from absolutes, similar to essential oils, and free of dyes, propellants and synthetics. 

Salwa Petersen Scented Candle

Made with certified fair-trade African shea butter, this beautiful new vegan candle–with gorgeous top notes of cumin, elemi, clove, saffron, and chébé, inspired by Petersen’s home country, Chad–also helps improve the livelihoods of the rural African rural women who collect and process the shea nuts in the age-old methods.

Petersen learned to make incense and fragrances with age-old recipes from her ancestors, and also incorporates rare raw materials such as Ethiopian rose, Indian sandalwood, Sudanese cloves, Somalian myrrh, Egyptian jasmine, and Chadian chébé in her phthalate-free scents.

The glass packaging is recycled and recyclable, and decorated with images of some of the original rock art paintings from the Ennedi Plateau in the Sahara. 

Les Deux No. 1 

A luxurious candle made from soy wax, the Les Deux No. 1 is a blend of phthalate-, paraben- and sulfate-free scents with sultry notes of Jasmine, Incense, Cardamom, Brazilian Rosewood, Vetiver, Tobacco Leaf, Cedarwood to transport you to a faraway land. The matte black container–with metal lid to extinguish the flame without smoke–can be upcycled or reused. 

Clean Reserve Winter Pine Candle

This sustainable candle–with notes of lavender and French sage–will transport you to a snowy pine forest. Made from soy wax, with a 100 percent cotton wick, it features a lovely reusable and recyclable glass container, with an FSC-certified box, printed with soy- and water-based inks.

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