I'm not entirely sure I'm comfortable with the level of pretentiousness involved in having three favourite fig candles, but I'll go with it because I can't deny my obsession. Ever since I discovered the joy of a scented candle a couple of years ago, they've been my guilty shopping pleasure, and if I ever need a pick-me-up, buying a new one of these babies is a sure-fire way to get me in a good mood. I don't have the budget to try all the brands I'd like (Jo Malone is next on my list), and so far I've only bought one Diptyque, but I have tried quite a few cheaper candles and definitely learned which are good value for money and which simply don't smell at all. The above five are guaranteed to give you maximum aroma for your pennies.
1. Diptyque Figuier candle / £40
I disagree with Space NK's description of this fragrance as fresh and fruity; rather it's green, woody and quite masculine. Not one for the faint-hearted. But it is oh so sophisticated, and started my love affair with all things fig (including the actual fruit, which is now one of my favourite snacks). A lot of money, yes, and doesn't last particularly long, but looks and smells just divine, plus you can wash out and re-use the jar (mine now holds my make-up brushes). Next on my list of Diptyque scents to try is Baies.
I discovered The Body Shop candles a couple of years ago when they released limited edition Christmas candles. I fell in love with the Candied Ginger one and am quite distraught that it hasn't been available since. Nevertheless this light, floral, feminine fragrance is a very good substitute. It's also great value: you get 60 hours of burning time for a mere tenner and a good, solid scent.
If you're someone who doesn't like really overpowering scents then I'd definitely recommend House of Fraser's range. They're very reasonably priced (and more often than not on a 2 for 1 offer) and the scent is very much a background one, which can be exactly what you need sometimes. Some of the scents are too sweet or heady for me, but I really like Wild Fig & Vanilla (sweeter and subtler than Diptyque's fig, and a serious contender for my all-time favourite candle fragrance), as well as Moroccan Rose.
4. John Lewis Seagrass Linen candle / £10
I have to admit that John Lewis have redone their own brand range of scented candles recently, so I can't 100% vouch for them anymore, plus they seem to have discontinued the rose scent, which used to be my favourite. Nevertheless I had the old version of the Seagrass Linen scent a while back and really liked its freshness (think clean sheets). Hopefully it still delivers because it's a well-priced range with a wide variety of fragrances.
5. Muji Fig candle / £10.95
Muji's candle line is my newest and most exciting discovery. For less than £11 you get a range of very sophisticated scents which really deliver (not for those after subtlety). Predictably, I went for the Fig (note: not the Green Fig, which was altogether too sharply woody) and it's really not far off Diptyque. Next up I want to try Seashore, or maybe Old Rose.
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