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If the idea of burning a scented candle in the summer makes you balk, you’re doing it wrong. This time of year—more than any other, really—is open season for aromas in a man’s space. Some of them (like a fresh breeze coming in through open windows at night) are pleasant; others (your gym shorts sitting unwashed in a hamper for a week) aren’t.
But a scented candle isn’t meant to be a bottle of Febreze. It’s not there to cover up what you don’t want your guests to notice. It should, according to Myriam Badault, the global creative director of the French home-goods and skincare brand Diptyque, enhance every room of your home.
“It's really linked to what you want to express,” Badault told us at an event celebrating Diptyque’s recent 34 collection in Brooklyn. "And your mood also. Sometimes, if you're in a bad mood, you will look for a more exhilarating or exotic scent.”
So how do you strike the right note and find the candle that’s best for you? Read on for Badault’s expert advice.
1) Consider Your Space
You wouldn’t wear just one color head to toe every day, because that would be boring and possibly inappropriate. By the same token, Badault advises that you not burn the same candle in every room of your house. She burns Diptyque’s Thé scented candle in her kitchen but opts for the house’s Ginger and Orange Blossom diffusers in bathrooms.
But you also want to choose a fragrance that aligns with your general vibe. “It's really linked to decoration and what you want to express,” Badault said. If your space is all blues and grays, go for something herbal. If you have exposed brick and other shades of red, choose something woody.
2) Mix Things Up
Fact: You can (and should) burn more than one candle at once. “In my home, when spring is coming, I will use a blend in the living room of rose and ivy, because it's very fresh,” Badault said. The goal is to find scents that complement each other. Diptyque’s Santal candle, for example, pairs well with amber fragrances like Opoponax and Benjoin.
3) Never Go Floral
Don’t think floral scents are just for women. You might find yourself drawn to lilac or tuberose when you’re shopping for a candle.
“Once I had a very funny experience,” Badault said. “I was working over Christmas in one of our shops in Paris, and a man came in and he wanted to buy a candle for himself. So I began with very typical masculine scents, and he said, ‘No, no, that's not what I want.’ And so I moved to a floral one and he said, ‘That's it.’ ”
To that last point, you should be open to a variety of different fragrances. When you’re trying to find the right scents for your space, the most important thing to do is “experiment,” Badault explained. “It's fun, really.”
5) Stick with What You Love
That said, once you strike the right balance, stick with it. It’ll eventually become a signature that people will remember when they visit your home. Badault, who leads development of new products for Diptyque, says her favorite of their candles is an old standard, Musc. “It's very special because it was the first Diptyque candle I bought, like, 25 years ago,” she said. “So it's still one of my favorites.”
6) Stick with What You Love
7) Stick with What You Love