Travel Loot

Smells Like Vacation, Volume 2

by Jane Larkworthy
Photo by Manuel Meurisse / Unsplash.

As the possibility of taking that long-distance or remote vacation appears to be postponed — once again, we collectively groan — we present another round of candles that can get you a little closer to all the places you’d like to be. Just bring you active — and olfactive — imagination.

A College Reunion — in Tuscany

Boy Smells Italian Kush
The brand’s popular Kush franchise blends its favored weed note with several classic Italian elements, including cypress, basil, oregano and limoncello. IMHO, you can’t really smell the cannabis much, but the way it captures the breezy Tuscan countryside inn is pure magic. ($32)

Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

P.F. Candle Co. Golden Coast
Warm and woodsy palo santo wangles coastal notes like eucalyptus, sea salt, and cypress in a soothing candle that transports you to one of this famous vacation spot’s rustic cabins. ($15)

A Stone Cottage in the Cotswolds

Jo Malone Pine & Eucalyptus Candle
A strong evergreen note is tempered with a fresh inhalation of eucalyptus. Light it up, close your eyes, and imagine you’ve just settled into Kate Winslet’s cozy lair in the film Holiday. ($74)

A Chic Hotel Upstate

The Maker Spiritus Candle
Given that its owners are the clever minds behind such hit perfumes as Fresh Beauty’s Cucumber and Sake, it’s no surprise that their noses have captured the cozy-chic aura of their latest venture, the glorious Maker Hotel in Hudson, a few hours north of New York City. Frankincense, vanilla bean, and cannabis blend to evoke the “soul of the hotel,” and, given its rather lofty room rates, it truly is the next best thing to sleeping there. ($75)

That Chic Friend’s 1800s Farmhouse (Which Also Happens to be in Hudson)

Apotheke Zio and Sons
Perhaps you prefer spending your weekend in Hudson at a friend’s rustic home, with its white wide-plank floors, farmhouse sink, and rows of copper pots. Apotheke founder Chrissy Fichtl teamed up with Anthony Dargenzio, creative director and interior designer of Zio and Sons, to capture the chill of this artisan town by stirring notes of crushed thyme, sunflower, and lemon in a vessel as lovely as its scent. ($38)

That Yoga Retreat in Thailand

Basik Candle No. 3 Teakwood + Leather Candle
Sandalwood, vetiver, cedarwood, musk, and tobacco entice its user to whisper “Ohm…” once it fills a room. Inside its understated matte black casing, the candle is made with a proprietary coconut wax blend with a 100 percent cotton wick and a wooden lid that doubles as a coaster to protect heat-sensitive surfaces when burning. ($38)

A Christmas Tree Farm in Vermont

DS & Durga Portable Xmas Tree Candle
Only the imaginative clever minds of founders David and Kavi would have the moxie to name their candle this and really nail it. Black spruce, cardamom, nootka cypress, and spiced cones get the task done. That there’s also an electric element to it means it’s sort of like, well, plugging in a Christmas tree. ($65)

Wollman Rink at Central Park

Beauty Pie Hot Chocolate & Peppermint Candle
Inhaling a candle isn’t exactly a sufficient replacement for actually sipping hot chocolate, but after an hour of skating in the cold, only to find the line outside Serendipity too long, this creation is the next best thing. Only, please refrain from sipping. ($26.70)

A Writers Retreat in Maine

Seymour Chwast x Joya “Drafting Table” Candle
The brainchild of illustrator Seymour Chwast and Joya founder/creator (and longtime Chwast fan) Frederick Bouchardy, this limited-edition blend of Texas cedarwood, tobacco, oakmoss, and amber smells like worn wood, paper, and pencil shavings. And as marvelous as its scent is, the original artwork on the vessel, not to mention the limited run of 100, most definitely makes this a keepsake. ($118)

Your First Serious Herb Garden

Esker Terra Cotta Plantable Candle
Speaking of chic vessels, Esker is another brand that gets high marks for its outward appearance, and this lemon balm, white honey, and coriander creation is no exception. Even better, its dust cover contains lemon balm herb seeds that you’re encouraged to plant inside once the burning has completed its run. ($85)

A Nancy Meyers Kitchen set

Otherland Tomato Terrazzo Candle
Tomato-scented candles have been a big trend of late, but what’s nice about this one is how outdoorsy it smells. Instead of tomato sauce, juice, or soup, you get the fruit that’s still on the vine, complete with its green and earthy surroundings. ($36)

Forest Bathing in Your Favorite Forest

Royal Fern Fantastic Woods Candle
The clean scent of the woods and fresh green fern leaves inspired Munich-based dermatologist and skin care creator Timm Golukke to launch this candle, which also has hints of marine notes. If you don’t know what forest bathing is, get yourself to a wooded area, hike well into it, then stop, look around (or close your eyes), and take in its beauty with some deep inhalations. Should you be tempted to strip down and lie among the moss and pine needles in your birthday suit, go for it. After all, it was created by a skin doctor. ($79)

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