by Sophia Jactel
What exactly characterizes the South? A rich history, a tradition of hospitality, renowned comfort food, but especially scents. Sugary blooms in the summer and crisp Georgia Pine in the winter are only the beginning of a myriad of fragrances that characterize our little corner of the world. So why can’t we have all of them, all at once, right at our fingertips? We put together a list of our top choices for scented candles made by Southern artisans.
Brown Sugar Fig
Indulge in this magical, complex blend that is warm, cozy, nurturing and sexy. Strong top notes of peaches, passionfruit and fresh figs are intertwined with hints of vanilla, caramel, maple sugar and musk. “It makes you want to snuggle close to something or someone that you adore and is a great reminder of all things in life that offer us pure bliss!” says Yo Soy creator Leslie Abrams. The Brown Sugar Fig is one of the top sellers in her collection, especially in the winter. “Our scents are unique and intoxicating,” she continues. All candles are handmade in her Cabbagetown studio, using ingredients so pure they can be put on the skin without hesitation. But what really sets these candles apart is the message behind them: “Yo Soy Candle’s mission is not only to fill your space with a unique aroma but to also empower you to replace negative thinking with positive affirmation,” Abrams says. “Each fragrance is intentionally paired with its own very specific 'I Am' message that can be used for your own special purpose. The affirmation is invoked every time you set your 'I Am' on fire and breathe in the aroma.” The candles can be found at HodgePodge Coffee House, Petworks at Krog Street Market, and numerous other locations in the metro Atlanta area.
Yo Soy Candles
I Am Following My Bliss: Brown Sugar Fig Candle, $20 for 12 oz.
Nothing screams the South more than our state’s own signature fruit, the Georgia peach. This candle brings the sweet scent right into your home, promising a clean and even burn time of over 45 hours. Hand-poured and made with a soy wax blend, the sulfate, colorant and paraben free candle is an environmentally conscious choice. Plus, the decorative packaging is 100% recyclable and has gift-giving in mind: “We have not seen anything on the market like it,” says Cari Phelps, founder and creative director. Salacia Salts is a Savannah-based brand that focuses on being green when creating its natural beauty products. When talking about the peach candle, Phelps describes it as “a fragrance that makes the room uplifting and lively. Our brand embraces a unique blend of the coast and our company's Southern roots here in Georgia.”
Georgia Peach Signature Candle, $32
There’s truly nothing like the smell of rain. This unique candle is brisk, clean, fresh and packs in a sweet punch of nectarine and pine. Enjoy its slow, clean burning (completely soot-free) for a minimum of 70 hours and be reminded of the green Southern landscapes and the refreshing spring air. Georgia Soap Company is a family owned business based out of Columbus, Georgia. All of their candles are handmade out of 100 percent soybean wax — one that it so pure you can clean out the jar once the candle is fully melted and safely drink out of it. It’s a two-for-one deal: a delicious candle and a drinking glass - or whatever other nifty use you can make out of it.
Georgia Soap Co.
Georgia Rain Soy Candle, $16 for 12.25 oz.
You can’t go wrong with botanicals: they’re a crowd pleasing classic. This one packs in a hint of jasmine alongside sparkling lemon and golden sage for a spark of refreshment. The signature oval glass jar packaging makes for an elegant home accessory, encasing the candle while it burns cleanly and evenly for up to 110 hours. Colonial Candle is considered to be the first candle business started by a woman back in 1905. The North Carolina-based company’s products are now sold by local retailers all over the country. Find a store near you or shop online by visiting their website.
Southern Magnolia Scented Candle, $25 for 22 oz.
Hot cider, anyone? Here it is in candle form. This mulled spiced scent is full and bold. A unique combination of cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg come together to create a punchy blend that is simultaneously warm and energetic. Burn it in the kitchen for an appetizing morning aroma or in your bedroom for a cozy evening kick. The sleek, simple jar is versatile yet streamlined, allowing the abundantly satisfying fragrance to be the star of the show. All Heritage Candles products ship straight from their manufacturing facility in Tucker, Georgia. Shop their website for more yummy options.
Mulled Cider Candle, $10.95 for 16 oz.
Southern food and beverage is worldly famous, especially sweet tea. The iconic refreshment is the olfactory inspiration for this candle that is generously infused with tea leaves, honey nectar, zest of lemon and cardamom. It comes in a repurposed glass jar, packaged in a classic style with a burlap exterior and garnished with a little cotton bale embellishment. Anna Spruiell, representative of The South candle company that is based in Birmingham, Alabama, says the “Sweet Tea Candle's classic style is suitable for any space — similar to the ever-present pitcher of tea at any proper southern event. Burn this candle year-round and your heart will always return to the South.” A 60 to 80 hour burn time allows you to indulge in the heavenly aroma for much longer than if you were just to sip a glass of real tea. Having this scent immortalized in a candle is something we consider pure genius.
Sweet Tea Candle, $30 for 14oz.
Wild Honeysuckle and Jasmine
Two fragrant vine flowers work in harmony to create this special candle. “Graybill and Downs harks to the fine perfumeries of London and Paris,” creative director and CFO Paul Byron Downs says. “It was named after my grandparents who are from the Savannah area. With my southern heritage in mind, I was able to create a truly unique fragrance combination like our Wild Honeysuckle and Jasmine to introduce to our customers.” He describes the scent as a perfect blend of sweet and sultry — think late spring/early summer honeysuckle wafting through fields at dusk and jasmine in full bloom at night. All products are hand-blended and poured in Georgia using a special soy wax blend that allows the candle to burn for 65 hours. Each one come packaged in their signature pewter, linen-embossed box with satin gray ribbon, all set for gifting.
Graybill & Downs
Wild Honeysuckle and Jasmine Candle, $45 for 10.5 oz.