Candle Review: Common Good, Lavender and Bergamot
The latest edition of The Hairpin’s popular candle column.
“Ask and you shall receive.” Jesus said it, and it’s true. You might remember that in the inaugural edition of this candle column, published earlier this month, I hinted delicately that if candle companies wanted to send me “review” candles so that I might evaluate them fairly according to a number of rigorous standards, well, I wouldn’t be opposed. Just a few days later I received a message from a new friend who works for Common Good, a fancy, environmentally-friendly household cleaner brand I sometimes buy by mistake at the grocery store when I forget how much it costs. She asked if I’d like her to send me candles.
Common Good no longer sells these candles. Was I was offered these candles because the company has a bunch of them lying around and they don’t even sell them anymore so what else are they going to do with them? None of your business. Luckily, the fact that they are no longer available for purchase provides a pure environment for ethical candle reviewing untethered to commercial promotion. It also means that I have something you can never have, which I enjoy.
The scents are Lavender and Bergamot, and they are described this way:
“50 hour herbaceous lavender soy wax candle with a fresh, camphoraceous top note, hints of eucalyptus, a floral middle note of lavender and a slightly woody herbaceous undertone.”
“50 hour citrus and wood, bergamot scented soy wax candle with bright citrus top notes of lemon and orange, middle notes of petitgrain and a slightly spicy, woody base note.”
Obviously I don’t know a number of those words, but the words I understand make the candles sound good as fuck —
— But are they? Let’s see:
DO THEY HAVE A GOOD SMELL?
Yes. Each of these candles has a good smell. The lavender one smells like “lavender.” The bergamot one smells “lemony.”
ARE THEY WINTER CANDLES?
No, these are not winter candles. The bergamot candle is a “clean” candle. The lavender candle is a “relaxing” candle. They are season unspecific. While this isn’t a negative aspect of the candles, I am forced give these candles a non-check in this category simply because of the way the evaluation system is configured. My hands are tied.
HOW MUCH DID THEY COST?
From what I can find online, these candles cost either $30 or $15. For me they cost nothing because I am a professional, a fact that leaves you seething with jealousy but one which, I’m sorry, I cannot help but restate for the purpose of full transparency. In either case, $30 or $15, it is a far less embarrassing amount of money to admit to spending on a candle than the amount of money I typically have to admit to spending on a candle. That is a plus.
ARE THEY WORTH $30 OR $15?
They’re good but I don’t think they’re worth $30. I do think, however, that they are worth $15. Maybe even $20 (!).
WAS THE LADY WHO EMAILED YOU ABOUT THE CANDLES VERY NICE?
DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT THE CANDLES?
BUT ISN’T IT TRUE THAT READERS CAN STILL TRUST YOU?
DO THE CANDLES LOOK NICE?
They do. As you can tell from the top image, the candle’s box has a simple, pleasant design. The candle itself also has a simple, pleasant design. A little match. My one critique is that it is maybe too simple. “Could that not also be a critique of the reviewer herself?” Incredibly rude.
ARE THEY HEAVY?
Hmm. They’re not very heavy, no.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS CANDLE TO A FRIEND?
If I were at the store with a friend during the period of time when these candles were available at the store and we saw these candles and she said to me, “I’ve been looking for a good lavender or bergamot candle, should I get this one?” I’d say, “This one is pretty good, yeah.”
- Seven checks
- Three non-checks
- One plus
Maybe your company’s luxury candle?