Le sigh: France has just gone back into lockdown mode, making the magical country feel even more out of reach. For your friend who had their Paris trip cancelled this year, or the pal who can't get enough of Emily in Paris (controversial!), bring a bit of France to them, in the form of one of these candles — from ancient Parisian candle houses to France-adjacent or -inspired brands.
Although made in L.A., handbag and accessories designer Clare Vivier has always channeled French aesthetics with her goods. Her signature perfume — which is now available as a candle — feels undeniably Parisian with a base that's heavy and traditional and a finish that's light and green.
Talk about legacy: Cire Trudon was founded in 1643 and provided candles to Louis XIV. Today, Cire Trudon is a luxury gift equally famous for its opulent packaging — each candle comes with a gold insignia. Beginners can start with the Cyrnos candle, scented with fig and pine.
In many French households, Papier d'Arménie (or Armenian paper) has been used as a classic deodorizer. Now in candle form, the signature Arménie scent is woodsy, spicy, and masculine. For something more femme, try the Tradition, a candle that's powdery with a touch of incense-like fragrance.
From French decor and furniture designer Sarah Lavoine comes this candle with a modern shell and an amber scent. Next time you're in Paris, stop by any of her numerous stores scattered throughout the city.
Made in Los Angeles but with roots in France dating back to 1792, Maison Louis Marie's Bois de Balincourt candle features a scent that is so chic, (a mix of earthy and green notes) and smells so expensive (yet the price tag is surprisingly not bad).
As far as French candlemakers go, Diptyque is a classic and easily available in the U.S. Their Baies/Berry candle is a top seller, with a tangy, fruity aroma reminiscent of black currant.
What began as a perfume boutique in Paris in 1979, L'Artisan Parfumeur eventually rolled out candles and they are, as the French say, magnifique. The Constantinople candle is a robust aroma, meant to evoke the scents of a spice market.
This French brand has been going strong since 1884, with candles inspired by natural oils "that fascinated the botanists and explorers of the 18th century."
Kerzon's candles are inspired by some of Paris's most notable locales — like the Luxembourg Gardens, the Tuileries, or Île St. Louis.
When in Paris, a stop at Buly is a must — the apothecary-like store in the 6th is crazy gorgeous and they'll even package your purchase in a box with custom calligraphy. One of their stately candles, housed in a marble vessel, should tide you over until the world is right again.
At first the combo of fragrances used to create this France-inspired candle sound a bit odd: butter, coffee, lavender, tobacco. But it somehow all works together brilliantly for a blend that's both sweet and perfume-y and a bit like fresh laundry.
Leonora Epstein is Hunker's Senior Director of Content. She has previously served as Executive Editor at HelloGiggles and as BuzzFeed's Deputy Editorial Director. She is the co-author of "X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story" (Abrams, 2014). Feel free to reach out at email@example.com.