It’s Candle Time with Nadia Kim

When it comes to candles, Nadia has got you covered.

When I think of my friend Nadia Kim, I think of how she smells- does that sound weird? Yes. Nadia is my go-to in terms of who to ask when it comes to anything scented, especially candles. When Nadia and I were roommates, I always admired her perfectly curated selection of candles on our window sill. Although we are roommates no longer, as she has traveled back to her home country of Korea, I still admire her selection of candles neatly placed on her apartment window sill from afar via Instagram. To give you the scoop on all things warm and beautiful, Nadia has weighed in on her favorite candles and the best way to burn them.

In Korean, Hyangsoo means both perfume and nostalgia. Although I’m sure it’s a coincidence, I associate memory with scent a lot, and thus I consider it the most personal and intimate sense. Having moved at least once a year to at most three times a year, I longed for a method to make my room feel more homey. Out of all home fragrances, including sprays, diffusers, and incense, candles are my favorite. The scent and the flickering warm light give me the relaxation I love at the end of the day. 

My favorite scents are floral scents that are good to use all season and basically foolproof. But, I stay away from overly artificial and sweet fruity scents, since they give me a headache. I also recently started to get more items with woody scents like sandalwood and vetiver.

My current favorite is Le Labo Santal 26. I first met this scent when using a tester for the perfume. It reminded me of a mix of a library and a cozy bonfire. Although this is a unisex fragrance, it was a bit woody and masculine, and I didn’t have the courage to use it myself, so purchased the candle. Since September, this has been my absolute favorite. The woody note gives it the perfect coziness for fall nights, and the hint of vanilla balances out without making it smell too intense.


The candle is made of soy wax and is hand-poured. So don’t be alarmed if you see imperfection- even in the image, a bit of wax is lifted off the glass but don’t worry. The smaller size candle is in a tin can, which is also manually distressed, so each container is different. Even the labels are manually attached, and you can customize the message that you want. A sweet message for a gift would make it extra personal, and funny messages for your sister to not use it without your permission could be the perfect message too.

Nadia’s Favorite Candles 

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Soohyang Secret Garden

If you want a candle that gives off a strong floral scent.


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Diptyque Londres & New York

If you want a candle that you can use as an interior decoration item as well.

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Boy Smells Hinoki Fantome

If you want a candle with an incense-like scent making you feel calm.


How to Best Burn a Candle

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1. Get a candle warmer lamp.

Something new candle users often mistake is to blow out the candle before the wax has melted evenly. Candles remember where they are burned until and only burn wax in that small area, resulting in wax around the edges left and wasted. This is referred to as tunneling. To avoid tunneling, manufacturers advise to let the candle burn for two hours or more for the first use, depending on how fast the wax melts. 

While we want to use every bit of wax we paid for, we’re always worried if we’re using it too much. Situations like this are when a candle warmer comes in handy. The bulb emits light and heat that evenly melts the surface of the wax. Thus your candle will always have an even surface, not to mention no tunneling whether you’ve burned it for ten minutes or the whole day. Also, there is are no actual flames! Although not ideal, it would be safer to leave a candle warmer on all night rather than a candle.

2. Trim the burnt wick 

Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 9.18.25 PMHave you ever heard popping sounds after you lit your candle and a thick black smoke? It’s because of the already burnt part of the wick, that popcorn looking round tip. So, before you light your candle again, trim this bit. It’s also more convenient to do this after the wax has hardened from your previous use, so if the cut bit falls into the candle, you can just hold the container upside down to get it out. 

If you want to be extra and go all out, niche brands like Diptyque sell wick trimmers, but you can use ordinary scissors for it. 

3. Don’t blow out the candle. Instead, use a lid to cover it.

So, we’ve just made the room smell all nice, but when you blow out the candle, it quickly makes the room smell smokey- not in a good way. Instead of blowing out the candle, cover the candle with the lid. Once there is no more oxygen, the fire will extinguish soon with a minimal amount of smoke contained under the lid. Just make sure that the lid is safe to use with fire. Avoid ones made of plastic or paper, or any other flammable material.

4. This is also another item that might make your bougie collection a bit more boujee *wink, wink*

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When the candle jar is too deep, this lighter does the trick in lighting your candle without burning yourself and its definitely a show stopper, sure to impress your friends. 


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