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The Best Smelling Candles We’ve Found

The Best Smelling Candles

A couple years ago, Alex and I went out to dinner, and both of us couldn’t help but notice that the tiny restroom smelled ridiculously good. It turned out they were burning this candle from Keap, a company that I’ve loved ever since…

Keap was born from the idea that candles are an easy way to help disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with ourselves. The founders, Steve and Harry, needed a respite from cubicles, commutes, and the other stressors of everyday life, and found that the simple act of lighting a candle each night helped them find it.

The Coziest Candles

I’ve been brainstorming ways to stay cozy and cheerful this winter, and stocking up on Keap candles is right at the top of the list. Everything they make is full of thought and care, from their raw materials to the zero-waste packaging.

Keap Candle Sampler Pack

Because everyone’s preferences are different, Keap makes it easy for you to try their scents with their samplers. Each of the two samplers comes with a set of four mini candles, so you can see which ones you like the most. (My favorite, of course, is green market, which smells like mint, cucumber, and freshly cut green stems. But this one is a close second.)

The Best Smelling Candle

If you’re a candle lover, their candle subscription lets you choose a scent preference, as well as whether you’d like to receive one or two candles each month, or every other month. (There is always an option to skip, as well.) Wouldn’t it make a wonderful gift? They even put a handwritten note inside every subscriber package, which is such a sweet touch.

Bonus for all readers: If you’re interested in trying it out, Keap is offering 10% off a new Keap Subscription using code CUPOFJO. Thank you so much, Keap!

(This post is sponsored by Keap Candles, a company we love and use at home. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)

  1. Eloise says...

    Coming back to say that I am so glad I ordered the sampler – the scent I thought I’d love was my least favorite but the Grapefruit+Yuzu more than makes up for it. I didn’t purchase the sampler actually thinking I’d subscribe but the great wonderful scent – smell combined with the one candle every two months option and the subscription discount makes it doable! (Also, the site’s link about possible shipping delays makes favorable note of Cup of Jo readers: https://www.keapbk.com/blogs/keap/shipageddon-a-note-on-shipping-this-november-and-december)

    • Courtney says...

      I did the same thing! I ordered the sampler thinking that might be it, but I couldn’t resist subscribing after smelling the delicious scents. The hardest part was picking the scent I wanted to order first! I too LOVE the grapefruit but ended up getting the Green Market.

  2. L McGill says...

    Put them in the freezer! The wax will pop out easily. Then wash and use for mini bouquets or organizing bathroom drawers, etc.

    • Megan says...

      Such a helpful tip!

      I just signed up for a subscription, looking forward to my first installment (and though not Keap, I have to give a shoutout to my current favorite candle, burning next to me at my desk: Santa Fe from Brooklyn Candle Studio)

  3. Samantha says...

    Just subscribed. While pricey, each candle drops to $35 with the subscription discount plus COJ discount. Yes, absolutely still a splurge for most of us (myself included) but It doesn’t end up being $50 per candle. This is the only blog I read and since it’s free and I love candles, I don’t mind treating myself and pitching in to support the COU and their great work.

  4. Margaret says...

    Need this! I try to light a candle every morning, especially in fall and winter, Usually, I just try to buy big and low cost at places at Home Goods but sometimes the scent is awful and the kids make me blow it out. I’d love to hear about what to do with all the pretty glass and waxy containers.

  5. briana says...

    Charlotte, first, thank you for your comment.
    Second, I’d like to point out that I was not passing any judgment against *people* who buy the cheap plastic crap, but rather the mass quantities of the cheap plastic crap being manufactured and sold, ruining our environment. Im happy to see a small company making a quality product with a low impact to the environment, as well as paying workers fair wages. That is the very thing you are hoping the world achieves in your statement. I’d also like to point out that Wendy immediately passed judgment on the price, without even considering why it might be higher than a similar low quality candle, but I’m not here to point fingers.
    It would also do well to mention that I probably wouldn’t buy this candle for myself, as I like to keep a minimal lifestyle, but it would be a great gift to someone who may not buy it for themselves. The point here is that items exist in many many different price points, and people have the freedom to choose which suits their life best.
    There are a lot of different paths that would allow or not allow a person to afford a $50 candle, and yes, there is a huge income inequality issue, but be mad at the systems that keep others down, instead of the average hard working person who wants to buy something nice for themself or a loved one.
    One last thing that is very important to remember, is that the “mass produced cheap material bad quality plastic everything crap” may be affordable to someone with a lower income, but that is also at the cost of someone else not being paid a fair wage to produce it, perpetuating the poor cycle.

  6. Shannon says...

    Would love a similar post on the top air fresheners for cars! I purchased a Big Sur scented one from one of your older gift guides and it was incredible. A full list of amazingly aromatic car fresheners would be sensational.

  7. Michaela says...

    I don’t usually buy things linked in blogs right away, but seeing the sample set (combined with the utter panic and overwhelming exhaustion I feel about the impending election) made me decide to do it right away! I got the sample set of all scents as a gift for my partner, who is extremely anxious about the outcome of the election. We light a candle every night while we chat and get ready for bed, as a way to unwind and de-stress, so I got the gift set (and added a cute note) and (gasp) even paid for shipping so hopefully it’ll be here on Tuesday to help bring a little peace. Thank you always, COJ team, for supporting small businesses and bringing joy in your writing.

  8. Cynthia says...

    I don’t burn candles because my husband has a sensitive nose, but if you enjoy candles, by all means burn them. Spend your money in ways that reflect your values. My take-away from this post is that if you like candles, they can make your home feel cozy, especially since the days are growing shorter and the weather is getting colder.

  9. Kylee says...

    Reading this blog everyday is my little slice of solace. Thank you for providing this space to escape to! Take good care xoxo

  10. AMK says...

    Just bought my former boss the sampler set. She can’t travel due to Covid and health complications. I am hoping to bring the outdoors to her and may they brighten her day the way she brightens everyone else’s.

  11. Ann says...

    The little tester set is such a sweet housewarming or thank you gift. I bought 2! If you find out what scent your friend likes you can bank it for a nicer present later! Can’t wait ‘till it arrives!

  12. Stephanie says...

    Hi there! I’ve just recently relocated to Berlin, Germany and am now in-search for the best nontoxic, clean-burning candles in Europe. I checked, and unfortunately Keap doesn’t ship internationally. Any and all recommendations would be so greatly appreciated!

    • H says...

      Your best bet is honestly probably beeswax candles.
      You can find really nice ones at most bio stores in Germany

  13. Claire says...

    Okay so I might be the only one but I actually find this comment section kind of inspiring! So many people giving voice to their values—whether that’s fighting against inequality or advocating for small businesses like Joanna’s and this candle company’s. In a way, it’s nice that all of these simmering issues and contradictions are being talked about. And it’s amazing that this blog continues to provide a platform for that discussion, free from trolls and spam and everything else that’s so common on the internet. (Thank you, CoJ!!!)

    How can we focus on supporting sustainable small businesses while still recognizing that they won’t, by themselves, fix inequality and climate change?

    What does it mean to “vote with your dollars” when not everyone has the same number of dollars?

    Are little luxuries like candles a distraction from the bigger issues or a harmless sanity-savers—or both? Does this change depending on the candle’s price point?

    How can we create spaces that are truly inclusive without catering to everyone, all the time? (I think CoJ does a great job of this, actually.)

    These are not easy questions, and I love that this community is talking about them.

    I am allergic to fragrance so I won’t be buying a candle for myself (though they sound so lovely!). Perhaps I will buy one for a friend. There is something so magical about walking into a restaurant bathroom that is beautiful and cozy and quiet and smells nice, for sure.

    • Sara says...

      You’re definitely not the only one! I feel the same way – it’s heartening to see so many people grappling with these questions. It’s the responses that want to shut the conversation down that I find most wearying, but I do understand they’re likely coming from a place of fatigue. I like candles *and* insightful critiques of late stage capitalism.

    • So well said, Claire!
      And agreed, CoJ sponsored posts are done really well. Also, they’re what allow all of the other posts to happen. Do I have the money to spend on candles like this? No, but it doesn’t bother me. I feel like I *might* be a little bothered if it wasn’t a sponsored post.

      PS I’m ALSO allergic to fragrance :(

  14. Rebecca says...

    Fun tip for this subscription – if you don’t need another candle during a month, in addition to just skipping, you can also update your address and have it sent to a friend. I find it a great option if I know a friend is celebrating something or even going through a bit of a rough patch and needs a bit of joy!

    • Laura says...

      I love this idea!

  15. Jacqueline Lendrum says...

    Is the discount code working? It doesn’t seem to be for me. Great company and great ideas for some early Christmas shopping!

  16. Clare says...

    Thanks Jo+Team for featuring a company I’d never heard of. I’m intrigued.
    Question for you existing Keap customers – have you ever had a headache from a different scented candle? Does Keap also give you a headache?
    I was trying to go all cozy earlier in the year and opened up a candle and it just… wrecked me. I don’t get headaches, I don’t get migraines, but this hurt for the whole time it burned and after I blew it out. Is that a scent thing? An ingredients thing? I haven’t been a candle person before, but this house needs a pick-me-up and I’d love to consider nabbing a sample pack of these candles. Thanks internet friends!

    • Cat says...

      I’m a capital C Candle person and have also had this happen before! Some very strong floral candles or ones with lots of spicy notes can give me a headache. Same thing happens with a couple of perfumes I’ve sampled. I think it’s very person + scent specific so totally worth trying a different candle!

    • jane says...

      most fragrances are synthetic chemicals and smelling them takes those chemicals straight into your brain. I only use beeswax – which naturally smells like honey – for this reason. Candles that use pure essential oils do exist though!

  17. Elliesee says...

    Well, I am looking for candles alternatives, and the problem is not the price or the popularity, but I dislike fire hazards, breakable glass, the smoke and perfumes I am allergic to (most of them) and to a lesser extent dust collecting. I do want my house to smell less like food sometimes, does anyone have luck with nice smelling spray or essential oils? I already put lavender in my bedroom and cupboard.

    • Erin says...

      I love essential oils in my diffuser. I like Liquid Sunshine and Unwind from Saje.

    • jane says...

      Trader Joe’s has a GREAT all-natural room spray, (for 1.99! ), made with lemon myrtle oil, a lovely scent, (and a great tasting herbal tea with a lot of health benefits, btw). They really should make it into a candle as well.

    • Cat says...

      For stubborn food smells, set out a bowl of white vinegar for a day. It’s a natural way to remove smells in the air. Then your essential oils will be easier to enjoy!

    • Elliesee says...

      Thank you all! Yes the cat is another problem, maybe that is why he doesn’t like my bedroom.

    • TC says...

      Ohhh check out Brittany Vasseur’s video on YouTube “how to make your home smell amazing”. Hope this helps some!

  18. Silvia says...

    A good candle just changes the room – so nice! I just discovered scented candles recently, and it makes me so happy to light one.
    We bought a candle from Dingle Candle in Ireland on our honeymoon. Their candles are very affordable (12€ per Candle, and it should last around 30 hours); and they ship internationally! (Although that may bring up the price significantly for deliveries to the US I admit; but maybe readers from the EU might want to check them out.)

  19. Friends these candles look and sound beautiful and as someone living in Australia where Aesop just launched its first candles at AU$135 each!!! they seem very reasonably priced. I’ve made candles… I do not understand how they can cost $135! It made me extremely sad as we’re just coming out of a three month lockdown in Melbourne so times are tough for many people. But it’s all subjective. People will queue up here for a $12 croissant. I pay an extortionate amount for vegan cheese so I’ m definitely part of the problem. Much love CoJ community xx

  20. LTaylor says...

    Candles can be expensive but so as therapy. I have never bought candles and just put in an order for some samplers for holiday gifts. I really appreciate COJ for great content over the years. I think your sponsor posts are very tasteful even the ones I can’t afford.

  21. Michelle says...

    Thanks—I just ordered the complete sample back, and was delighted to learn this company is my new neighbor here in Kingston NY.

    • Tina Crisas says...

      So y’all LOVE kim and caroline’s posts/writing, fawn over toby and anton, but don’t want them to make a living? Let their mum be able to pay her employees and make a living as well for them? It’s just an ad. We see a billion ads every which way we turn. Some we can afford, some not. Hasn’t it always been like this regarding ads? What’s the big deal? I just buy my candles from h&m and zara home and move on. (Europe based here). However, i would like to purchase a byredo or a jo malone one at some point to sniff (unlighted!) on my bedside table.

    • Tina Crisas says...

      Oops, I’m in the wrong spot.

    • Claire says...

      Kingston, NY? I went to high school there. I may also purchase just for that sentimental reason, although I don’t live there anymore. Which also reminds me to keep an eye on the Karina dress website. Thanks for mentioning this!

  22. I have never tried Keap, but it sounds like a really nice company. I love the sampler idea and just ordered some for gifts. I’ve tried perfume samplers before too and it is such a good way to try scents and decide what I like, especially in these times when I don’t want to go into stores and try things.

    I’m excited to share those sweet little candles. Thank you.

  23. Diana K. says...

    My favorite candle is Flamme Warm Tobacco. I’ll buy any tobacco candle, frankly- it almost always has a tiny hint of vanilla. I don’t understand this subscription model with every product under the sun. Who needs new underwear, a new candle, new workout clothes, every month?

  24. Meghan says...

    Oohh! Look like nice scents. Thanks for sharing. xo

  25. Cass says...

    You would think that Mercury was in retrograde 5 days before the most anxiety inducing election in history and this candle debate is going to make or break our collective wellbeing…..

    that said, COJ team, I hope the love you feel far outweighs the critique and cranky vibes here. This would make me want to take my ball and go home… I do wonder- given this thoroughly over-litigated topic of sponsored posts- if you have thought of creating a membership fee for readers with the means and inclination to opt into. Like a $3/8/14 monthly recurring contribution. It may provide a steady stream of support from your many admirers, diversify your revenue sources and alleviate some of these dynamics. I “subscribe” to a handful of newsletters I love this way and I suspect others here would be happy to cheer y’all on this way too.

    • trish says...

      i’ve wondered the same thing, how do we support the work – happy to support cup of jo’s work – and provide a more stable income. that said, i love how sponsored posts are done at cup of jo, and this one in particular has me excited. big hugs to everyone

  26. Sara P. says...

    Sometimes a candle is just a candle.

  27. liz says...

    love keap!

  28. SH says...

    Me too!! Favorite place on the internet, both the posts and the comments.

    • Cait says...

      I was introduced to Keap through CoJ and my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed a year’s subscription. Having a wonderful smelling, ethically made candle to light after work (we have very stressful jobs) was actually a pretty affordable luxury compared to the cost of booze, takeout food, etc. Thanks to the CoJ team for introducing us to awesome companies!

    • Cait says...

      Ugh sorry didn’t mean to reply directly to you!

  29. erica says...

    Thank you for this post – just ordered ALL the samples and cannot wait for my nose to test drive them.

    Funny, but CoJo has led me to some of my most beloved scents 1) the Byredo Tree House candle that was mentioned (and enthused over in comments) on one of your house tours and 2) the Cinnamon Projects incense.

    XOXO …extra love to you guys

    • Gina says...

      I just ordered all the samples too! Going to look up that Tree House one now, thank you!

  30. A says...

    I remember being at a friend’s housewarming gathering. Many of her coworkers were there, most of whom I had never met. I was holding my drink and introduced myself to a small circle of women. One asked what I did for a living, I told her what that we have a small farm, she then asked where she could buy the meat we raise and how much it cost etc. When I told her, she guffawed at our prices, her voice progressively getting louder as she went on about how it seemed we were doing good work yet in actuality contributing to the climate crisis and food insecurity, as how could any normal person afford the food we raise. I stood there, breaking into a cold sweat, choking on my tiny cheese cube, trying to stutter out a response about how we graze our animals, use organic, non-gmo feed, and contribute weekly to the local food bank yadda yadda yadda. Not a word would come and I left feeling ashamed.
    Some people choose to spend their hard-earned money on the food we raise, some think it’s extravagant. Some may think these candles are excessive, another may save $25 over a couple of months to buy one because they love good candles. No one should be judged either way.
    Let’s just all be a little softer with each other.

    • Janet says...

      Unlike that twerp, I DO want to know about the meat. Will you tell us if/how we may buy the meat your farm produces (if you are still doing it)? I would like to learn more about a local farm from a real farmer. I used to be part of a farm share for veggies and was impressed with the insane volume of vegetables. It also felt good to be closer to my food source, understanding who is feeding me, how I am feeding them (by subscribing to food share). Yeah, you pay more, but if you are lucky enough to shop local (which is not possible for many people due to location or funds), you’re actually REDUCING your carbon footprint because of reduced transportation.

    • Tara says...

      Here, here!!

    • Monica says...

      I’m sorry that happened to you…..and yes, definitely, let’s all be softer with each other! My mom used to say “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. And while I’m all for people voicing their opinions – can’t we do it in a kinder manner?

    • Amy says...

      I’m so sorry this happened to you. We would all be having better conversations, if we didn’t stick so fervently to our talking points and relying on soundbites. The guest certainly sounded like a piece of work, and I’m sorry that none of the other guests jumped in. Keep doing the good work!

  31. Meg says...

    I have the concern that if every sponsored post turns into a comment section of people arguing about affordability versus sustainability versus economic instability vs etc., are future companies even going to want to pay CoJ for sponsored posts? This is a website the employs superbly talented writers who create free content for us, and the small tax we pay for that are occasional advertisements which are done, in my opinion, very tastefully.

    I don’t shy away from debate on important topics, but let’s not jeopardize the whole business model here, folks.

    • SIH says...

      THIS! 100% agree.

      This is my favorite corner of the internet and it’s important these talented writers get paid.

    • Liz says...

      THANK YOU. Agree 100%

  32. Marisa says...

    I personally, couldn’t care less about candles or scenting my home with their aroma, BUT I know someone who does! I’m thrilled to be able to support Cup of Jo by buying my daughter these candles, as I will be giving her things for the holidays anyway. Win- win! :)

  33. Jessie says...

    You’re doing a really good job, COJ team. Thank you!! I wish I said that more often. This blog is one of the highlights of my days.

    • Julie says...

      I second that!

  34. Emily says...

    First, I’d like to quote a meme I saw last week: “Due to the national coin shortage, I will no longer be accepting people’s $0.02”

    That said, this comment section and the recent comment sections on CoJ make me sad. I’m a 31-year-old law student and thus could not be more broke. In fact, I bought 3 $5 candles at Target last week and agonized over spending the $15. I would KILL to drop $50 on a candle. But am I butthurt about it? NO. I read CoJ for the great content and aspirational NYC lifestyle that I will probably never know as a future public interest attorney (read: still broke, now just wearing suits!). Do I feel left out of the demographic or like I’m not the target audience? NO, because I am the target audience just on the basis of my age and interests, even if I don’t fall in line with the incomes/lifestyles portrayed here! I mean really, people. Do you read Vogue or your local big-city newspaper and get offended that you can’t afford their advertising partners? No…you read the articles you came for and move on. Seriously, I can’t even with some of these comments, smh. CoJ ladies, keep up the great work. You deserve to be paid for your content just as much as the rest of us deserve pay for our respective jobs, and I wish I could afford to buy something to help support you. But alas, I cannot, so instead I will continue to devour your content every day and wish that I lived in Brooklyn <3

    • Colleen S says...

      I don’t read those magazines so that I don’t have a cow over their suggesting I spend $600 on a fur coat.

    • Katy says...

      1000% agree with Emily. Well said (from a fellow attorney).

  35. T says...

    Firstly, I adore the Keap Wood Cabin candle. I had a subscription but realized it was a little cost prohibitive for me long-term (I burn candles all day long) so I had to discontinue, but I cherish the special scents.

    As a long-time reader (think 2008), I am really tired of people using comments to express their ‘outrage’ about posts that either feature items they can’t afford or don’t fit their bodies or lifestyles. Since when does everyone need everything catered to them at all times? This is a blog, not your elected official. It’s embarrassing and narcissistic, and I feel people misdirect their anger about the state of their own situation at this team (who always handles it with grace and thoughtfulness). If you don’t like a post, move on. If you don’t want to buy a fancy candle, don’t!

    • A says...

      True. I am a queer non-binary person, and I was listening to Queery, (a podcast) the other day, when a guest said that we will be in a better place where people don’t have to try to be everything to everyone all of the time, when we can accept our differences and celebrate them, without people constantly judging or assuming bad intent.

      Does it bother me that this blog caters largely to cis women? No. Does it bug me that I can’t afford most of what’s promoted here? Again, no. I appreciate design and supportive community. If something no longer serves you, move on. Use your critique for more important things than candles.

    • Molly says...

      Yep, right there with you T! I completely agree with your thought, “Since when does everyone need everything catered to them at all times?” Maybe folks should just get back on their Facebook or Instagram page where the content has all been directed to be exactly what you already know & like 24/7.

    • Emily says...

      “This is a blog, not your elected official”. Haha I love it and completely agree. Choose your battles, people.

    • liz says...

      Yup. It’s getting old.

    • Brenna says...

      And it’s so arbitrary! Many people have zero disposible income: should this blog feature exclusively gifted or scavenged clothing? It’s not so rare for people to weigh more than 500 pounds or be less than four feet tall: what distance from average marks the “ok to ignore” line?

      For the level of commitment some commenters expect, I hope they’re also bringing casseroles to the writers when they’re sick ;)

    • Joyce says...

      Agreed! I think sometimes it makes sense to comment if you want the brand to see it and perhaps change — e.g. I remember commenting that I wish Everlane carried size 11 women’s shoes. That felt constructive and specific. But I wasn’t OUTRAGED. Lol. I am under no delusion that everything featured will work for me specifically. Do all these outraged folks wear size 9 shoes or something so have never seen something offered that was inaccessible to them?? We all have different budgets. “If you don’t want to buy a fancy candle, don’t.” I feel like this could be a metaphor for a lot of things!!) I believe in DISCERNMENT. This includes discerning what I choose to get outraged about. I salute you, COJ team, for the work you do! Xo.

    • Helen says...

      YES to this: “Since when does everyone need everything catered to them at all times?” Like you said, if you don’t like a post then move on. I don’t understand how people can get so angry about these ads or whatever Jo and her team include in their lists of things to buy. I remember one comment saying “$x amount for a sweater? No thank you” and someone commented saying “Looks like this sweater isn’t for you.” I loved that response because every post and every suggested item to buy is not going to be for you just like how the motherhood posts are not for me because I’m not a mother. I will move on if I don’t like the post topic or it doesn’t apply to me. Please, let’s just let Cup of Jo do their sponsored posts and recognize that it’s a necessity for their survival.

  36. Jen says...

    I just bought the subscription (one per month) and I’m not sorry. I have “candle time” every night and, frankly, paying $39 for a well-made candle that will burn for 45 hours is a pretty good deal. I know it will be a monthly gift to future me.

    I’m so dismayed by some of the comments here. There are some really sanctimonious Debbie Downers who require every single post to pass a purity test. There are so few things in life that are purely good (puppies, Mr. Rogers). CoJ does not have to save the world with every post.

    • Audrey says...

      Totally agree with T’s sentiment.

  37. Alex Pearl says...

    Just ordered the full sample set! Can’t wait for this to come and lighting each little candle will be like a mini adventure – something new in Groundhog Day :)

    Also, a side note about the comments on nearly all posts lately. Just want to shout out to Joanna and everyone on the team – these are really hard times for everyone and a lot of the unfairness and inequity in our entire country is being made VERY apparent in these comments. This is one of the largest problems we face as a nation, a society, a community. It’s important to be open and receptive to all who are suffering and from where I’m sitting, it really comes across that you’re putting in the hard work with an open heart and mind and for that, thanks! It must be really hard putting content out there for so many people to pick apart, but I really love my daily dose of interest from COJ. Thank you!

  38. Lynn says...

    Remember when COJ was come for the posts, stay for the comments?

    Take your 2020 negativity and anxiety out on a free or low-cost mental health app and let this be a safe space for window shopping and looking at pretty things again in between real life episodes of the handmaids tale this world is fast becoming.

    • Erica says...

      100%!!!

    • Nora B says...

      Amen. Huge round of applause, COJ team. You are a lifeline to me, esp. nowadays.

    • Elle says...

      Truth! Right now, I need to think about nice things, like candles (see Handmaid’s Tale reference, above). I looked up all the scents and their ingredients. They sound great, especially the Wood Cabin and Northwoods ones. I love candles that make my apartment smell like the fireplace needs cleaning. But I had sort of a candle-hoarding problem some years ago, when the woman below us cooked extremely smelly meat every night and her kitchen exhaust vented directly into our bedroom. Candles were a form of self-defense. But even though I have dozens of candles I never use now (good neighbor/good cook moved in downstairs) I was PERFECTLY HAPPY reading about these lovely, expensive candles.

  39. Laura says...

    I have been wanting to buy a nicely scented candle but don’t want to go to the stores right now to smell candles! I plan to put this in our entryway so the house smells nice right when you walk in. Thank you for the recommendation!

  40. Courtney says...

    I’m always looking for great scented candles! Can’t wait to try out the sampler.

  41. Annie says...

    I have nothing against this candle, in fact I’m considering it as a housewarming gift for someone. And I love this blog. But why are any anti-candle comments bothering so many of you that much? Lol. Just sniff your candle and be joyful about it but don’t try shut down valid critique about the socioeconomic divide in this country that is even more glaring now than ever before (some don’t even have $50 for food let alone a luxury item) and leaving many people feeling angry and vulnerable. Let’s leave that discussion open always even if it makes you super uncomfy .

    • Cat says...

      Embarrassingly, I’ve been on the verge of freaking out in response to some of these anti-candle comments myself. I’d like to say it’s because my husband is about to be deployed and nice candles feel like the only comfort in my soon to be completely empty apartment. But really, it’s probably deeper and nastier than that and I found it helpful to revisit this piece by Tressie McMillian Cottom on the “meltdown crisis” of early quarantine. Others feeling, as you say, “super uncomfy” might want to visit it as well. https://medium.com/more-of-a-comment/the-meltdown-crisis-dda5c3ff51a5
      “Stuck in the middle between the righteous and the willfully clueless, these people are the “wannabe rights”. They want to do the right thing, if someone will tell them what it is, and it does not affect them too much to do it. They want to vote and buy the right things and say the right words. These are the working class and middle class and upper middle-class people who will wear a mask but, please god, just want someone to come get these children, clean this house, make this food, set things back to right because they are exhausted…. Right now millions of white people are feeling their class position. Without consumption to perform their class aspirations, those white people are spinning out… White consumption responds to a deep psychological and social function. The white consumer is fighting for their very lives, as they experience them. If they are not consuming, then they may not exist as they imagine they exist: good, hard-working Americans that are one right decision removed from their rightful place of benevolent superiority.”

    • J says...

      Thank you, Annie. Well said.

  42. emily says...

    My favorite candles are by PF Candle Co (in the pretty brown glass jars). The Golden Coast scent is divine and takes me right to the CA coast where I grew up!

    • Samantha says...

      I love PF Candles too and Golden Coast is a favorite. I’ve pretty much always lived on the California coast (SF, LA, and now San Diego) and there really is something evocative about that candle! I love all of their scents, though.

    • Thanks for this description. I ordered one of the Golden Coast candles. I have great memories of the CA coast and could use a scent fix.
      (Also ordered a couple of Keap’s sampler sets, which look great.)

  43. Mefi says...

    Thank you Cup of Jo.
    Excited to try these scents.

  44. LS says...

    Hi all – I hear you on a $50 candle. Not something I’ve ever bought for myself or really even considered for a gift. However… I really like supporting Cup of Jo, especially around the holidays. I figure I’m going to spend the money anyway.

    I decided to order two of the $12 try at home packages (which come with free shipping). I’m thinking I might keep one for myself (eight hours of burn time for $12 isn’t that bad!) and give one away as a Christmas present. If I’m really blown away, I might give one to my mom or mother-in-law with a gift card attached to buy a full priced candle.

    Just an idea for those that aren’t in the $50-candle-income-bracket, but want to see what the fuss is about and support the blog we all love. :)

  45. Heidi says...

    So much back and forth here in the comments… eesh. How about a funny SNL sketch about the Christmas Candle? Come for the fur coats and french tip nails and hilarious ladies singing about re-gifted candles. (Not that I’d regift a Keap candle… they look fantastic!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L5Xkb78KxY

    • Lindsey says...

      ahahaha just gave a friend candle and lotion for her birthday last weekend. Whoops!

  46. Johanna says...

    To everyone getting really worked up over this post:
    Take a deep breath in. Now let it out slowly.
    Tell yourself:
    “This is an ad. This is not a personal attack on my values or my finances. This ad is here so I can continue reading this blog FOR FREE.”

  47. Eloise says...

    Perfect timing – I’m currently burning a brand new, large and unfortunately unsatisfying candle. Keap sample set(s?) are next up – am most intrigued by the ones with wild fig and grapefruit.

    • Eloise says...

      Candle giving me a headache 15 minutes after I blew it out – so I didn’t wait. Just ordered one of the samplers. Am excited – thanks for the recommendation!

  48. Betsy says...

    This company looks amazing, and I just ordered the full sampler. The pick-me-up I TOTALLY needed today! (Even though it’s nearly 80 degrees and pretty steamy here in Atlanta…fall is coming, I know!). Thank you, COJ. Love y’all!!

    • hey!!! Fellow atlanta resident here! Hope you made it through the storms last night just fine!

    • Meghan says...

      oh hi, I’m also in ATL!

  49. If you feel dejected about the price points of some of the sponsored posts, here’s a reframe: the people who can afford it and buy via those links are helping Cup of Jo create free, quality content that we all get to read. So yeah, the candle’s expensive, but 1. I don’t have to buy it 2. Whoever can afford to buy it is indirectly (or, well, not indirectly, probably directly) allowing Cup of Jo to keep their content model free 3. Win for all!

    • Amrita says...

      Well said!

    • Emily B says...

      What an excellent perspective Catherine! Thanks for sharing.

    • ARC says...

      Absolutely. Thank you for phrasing it so well.

    • Sara says...

      *clap clap clap*

    • NW says...

      Great point!

    • V says...

      Love learning about new candles! I order the full sampler set for our new home :)

  50. Robin says...

    These candles look amazing, and I’m sure the scent is good. But as someone who goes to a lot of hot springs, I can tell you that they smell like sulpher (rotten eggs, farts, etc)… so I laughed when I saw they named a candle after hot springs!

  51. embarrassed for all of you says...

    ya’ll are opinionated AF! get outta the comments section and go help someone… my goodness!

  52. Denise says...

    I love the sampler option. I don’t always like scented candles but it’s a reasonable price to try em out & any I don’t like I can wrap & re-gift. The samplers would make great stocking-stuffers too. Who doesn’t love a tea-light sized candle? Thanks!

  53. Lucy says...

    Keap candles smell SO GOOD and my favorite part is that you can use the jars afterwards–they make for really chic wine glasses!

  54. Aria says...

    I love Keap! I’ve enjoyed their subscription for a year now. Candles are a luxury, and if you’re in the place where you shop for them Keap is really a joy. They’re great to deal with, the candles are made well (and good for the environment), and they are definitely fantastic gifts.

  55. whatever says...

    OMG people. It’s a candle. The fate of the world and the path of social justice do not hang in the balance over the purchase of a candle, and posting a critical comment here does not constitute activism.
    Buy it, don’t buy it, but quit outsourcing your agenda and conscience to this blog.

  56. Betsie says...

    I don’t pay to consume the content of this blog and neither does anyone else commenting, so I don’t begrudge the CoJ team any sponsored posts, since it means their team gets paid for the work of creating and running the site. If the products being promoted aren’t for me, I just won’t buy them! It’s that easy, friends.

    As Tabitha Brown says, “Have a good day, and if you can’t, don’t go messing up nobody else’s!”

  57. Katie says...

    I just read all these comments lately and think man I want to give the CofJ team a hug, they are really getting it from all sides. Here are this group of women trying to stay afloat, create great content, make sure their employees keep their jobs and manage the major sh*t storm that is 2020 personally and professionally. I’m sure y’all have thick skin, but know at least from this reader I think you’re doing a great job.

    If I go on Instagram and a picture of someone’s living room makes me feel bad about my own, guess what I don’t message them and tell them there living room is too nice or it’s ridiculous to be posting interior design shots when the world is falling apart. I take a break from Instagram or that account and say this isn’t a good match for me mentally right now. I feel like people are asking this lifestyle blog to be all things at all times. I don’t go to the produce shop and expect to find my steak. Just sayin’.

    • Sara says...

      AGREED! This is such a great site and I absolutely love the content. The CoJ team is incredibly talented and we get to enjoy their work FOR FREE. Thank you, thank you, thank you! There’s reasonable criticism (which CoJ does a fabulous job of responding to!) and then there are these comment scenarios where CoJ just can’t win. I’m glad CoJ is able to distinguish between the two.

    • Meg says...

      Well said, Katie. I concur.

  58. Megan says...

    YOU ALL. Y’ALL. CoJ wouldn’t be here without sponsored posts from companies that can afford to advertise here. Full stop. Grateful that CoJ has the choice to only support brands they like and use! Let’s appreciate that while we continue to enjoy all the amazing and thoughtful (non-sponsored) content that makes this place so special.

  59. Caitlin says...

    LOVE KEAP! For those of you on the fence, or who are aghast at a $50 candle (which I know, is a lot) I’d like to give a ringing endorsement:
    My friend gifted me one for my birthday last year after we both fell in love with the scent at June Wine Bar in Brooklyn. It’s the first candle I’ve ever encountered that has a strong and lingering scent even when it’s NOT BURNING. Just walking into my bedroom you can smell it! Since quarantine I’ve burned countless candles trying to make my apartment feel cozier and they all are either not very fragrant, burn down too quickly, or just generally not great. After resisting re-buying for so long because of the price, I can honestly say it’s worth it over other cheaper but sub-par candles.

    • Sara says...

      So true! Candles are a get-what-you-pay-for situation. The ones that are truly transcendent cost a bit more.

    • K says...

      ahhh your comment convinced me to at least get the sampler pack to try out lol. thanks

    • Megan says...

      Which was the scent from June? So curious!

    • Sydni Jackson says...

      True!! Good point. I bought my mom an expensive candle in France and she doesn’t even light it, it just sits on her nightstand so she can smell it all the time. There is definitely a difference between cheap scents and higher quality candles. I’ve also noticed that with my Anthropologie candle, it only needs to be lit for about 30 minutes to fill up the room with fragrance. Then I can blow it out and save it and the room still smells great.

    • Caitlin says...

      Megan, it was Wood Cabin. It’s incredible and really does transport you!

  60. K says...

    I really love this post and I’ve been thinking a lot about the criticism lately on this blog, so I just wanted to share some thoughts.

    COJ needs sponsored posts. Sponsored posts are one of the ways they pay people we admire and appreciate who provide us content. A company that can afford a sponsored post on a blog that provides this level of free content (these great of writers) is likelier to have a higher price point product (what’s the ROI for a post — if a company is selling a $3 candle, it would likely be difficult for the company to make back the funds spent on the ad unless they sold a whole lot of candles, maybe more than a single post can sell). This post is great to me because it finds a way to bridge this issue — while I’ve never paid $50 for a candle, there’s a $12 item I can afford.

    • Rachel says...

      K, this is a great point. I love the essays I read and community whose stories I’ve heard on CoJ, and even if I often can’t afford these products (or can only afford smaller items like the $12 samples), these posts allow the blog to keep running, and I’m grateful for that.

    • Anne says...

      Well said K!

      Also, CoJ has always had an aspirational element. Maybe I won’t buy a $50 candle, but I like to dream about a life in which I did. If Joanna were shilling for Yankee Candle, it wouldn’t be the blog I know and love.

      Carry on Jo+team!

  61. Lindsey says...

    Why are we all so fired up (pun intended) about candles?? Candles!! We cannot allow ourselves to devote energy and mind space to this fight. Please let’s take a deep breath and acknowledge that what we are really upset about is (insert horrid world event or injustice here) and not lovely CoJ and her candles.

    • courtney says...

      Lindsey – haha, yes! Take a deep breath, *light a candle*, draw a bath, relax, and determine to fight the more relevant battles.

  62. Trish says...

    these sound amazing! at this point they don’t ship to canada which is a bummer – but hopefully one day!

    • Amy says...

      Oh shucks – I was all ready to buy a sampler pack but I’m in Canada too! I just ordered a couple big packs of tealights from IKEA; they’re nothing fancy, but a candle or two makes an evening off work extra cozy and relaxing. I also love lighting 4-5 on the bathroom counter during a shower with the lights off; something about showers just resets my brain for a bit and the warm gentle lighting only helps.

    • Kim says...

      same :(

  63. Caroline says...

    Love Keap so much! My friend gave me a subscription for my 40th birthday, and it’s one of the best gifts ever. On this rainy day of virtual learning, we lit Hot Springs, my favorite, and the apartment smells amazing. The kids know that any time it rains, we light a candle to stay cozy;)

  64. Maywyn says...

    Lovely website. I didn’t find a cinnamon candle.
    Pricey , yes, but the total cost of other scent sources, for a candle that has solidly good aroma that lasts, the price feels more reasonable.

  65. Lauren says...

    You must have been at June! I had the same experience, I walked into their bathroom and was like wow what is that amazing smell…. wrote down the name of that candle. I also noticed they wrote “property of June” on it in Sharpie, probably because everyone has the impulse to steal it, haha. Then a few weeks later a girlfriend was telling me about this amazing new candle she splurged on…. turns out she was talking about the same one that she also noticed in that bathroom! Very good marketing placement for Keap!

    • Christina says...

      I also was enamored with this candle from my experience in the June Wine Bar bathroom <3

  66. Melanie Bell says...

    I love Keap! First heard of them last year during the COJ Xmas gift guide – and put them on my list. The sampler is fabulous. I’m working my way through Wood Cabin right now – but my first was the Wild Fig. So yummy!

  67. Ari says...

    Agree with Emily and Wendy here. Being eco-conscious can’t only be for wealthy people and aspirational brands – it must be accessible for everyone, or it will miss the mark and continue to widen disparities. I hope CoJ finds brands that are environmentally friendly AND accessible. Our approach must, *must* be intersectional. These posts also make me feel like I’m not the intended audience for the blog, like another poster said above. Finally, CoJ, you know millions of people are out of work right now, yes? Please read the room. A $50 candle is not it.

    PS – Encouraging folks to read more about the environmental justice movement.

    • Being eco-conscious shouldn’t only be for wealthy people or aspirational brands, you’re right. But the reality of socially responsible production is that the cost IS higher, and that’s reflected in consumer prices. The goal shouldn’t be for a brand to lower their price so everyone can afford to buy 10 candles.

      You’re also right that millions of people are out of work right now. That doesn’t mean people who are still employed should feel like they’re bad if they want to spend $50 of the money they earned on a nice candle. It also doesn’t mean you can’t spend $50 on a candle and still do good by people who are less fortunate than you. This, coming from a person btw, who just donated $200 to my city’s local diaper bank to help unemployed families of babies and toddlers.

    • Calla says...

      Totally agree, I think there’s an inherent and difficult to resolve conflict between caring about sustainability and needing to produce revenue through products. To me being eco-conscious is much more about behavioral and lifestyle changes than products. And it always irks me to see consumerism blended with vaguely environmental sensibilities as I find those things very much at odds.

      Personally, I like to see more of a separation between buying things and social and environmental movements. If you have the capital to buy luxuries, by all means you should go for it and enjoy them. But just refrain from using purchases as way to assuage guilt about climate change, plastic pollution, social injustice, etc.

    • Andrea says...

      If I’m employed and making enough money to buy a $50 candle, doesn’t that money help keep someone else employed? Are you saying i shouldn’t spend my money in solidarity with those who are struggling because yeah, that makes no sense. My husband and I are fortunate to have jobs and I’m making a conscious effort to buy more (hopefully non-Amazon, locally made, eco friendly)products so I can do my part to help others (while donating and volunteering too).

  68. Wendy says...

    Yes, Briana. I must. This is quite negative for me, I do agree. But I have grown weary of these “good” companies. Let’s put our money toward real change instead, rather than supporting bourgeis affectations. I love pretty things, too, and I really love this web site. But I am weary. Weary of the people who think this is how they are being a “good” person, by buying $49.50 candles from a “good” company. You may not agree, but I suddenly just needed to put this out there.
    And thank you, Joanna. I wondered whether you’d even post my comment. It’s nice to see that you let us debate and comment whether or not you agree.

    • Why does it have to be one or the other though–either putting your money towards real change OR supporting a company with so-called bourgeois affectations? What if someone is just on the hunt for a really nice candle, so they pick this brand over the many others because it has the added bonus of trying to be more socially responsible?

    • Sandy says...

      Thank you for this follow-up, which is respectful while emphatic. I love candles and I enjoy overspending when I can on things that matter to me/that I enjoy, because I’m privileged enough to be able to. But it stinks of guilt/unease to semi-hide behind how ‘good’ the companies are. They’re companies clever at marketing to make money. Like I said, I’m happy to spend it when I can and when I want, and I try never to lose sight of the fact that I can do what many can’t, BUT give me a break with making this anything other than a nice purchase that some people can make. Buy the candle. Enjoy the candle. Smell the great smells. But don’t kid yourself that you’re helping anyone but yourself and the company owners. (which is fine! just accept it! purchasing doesn’t always have to be a stand.)

    • Susan Magnolia says...

      We need the world to change. That is why we have unsettled feelings about purchasing to make us to feel good. It is not working anymore. I like Cup of Jo very much but I don’t think I can stomach anymore pro capitalism views when people are not okay. The environment is not okay. Candles are frivolous.

    • courtney says...

      This is all so complex to me! I absolutely agree, and think you noted well, that people like to “support bourgeois affectations”. And doing so may make it easy for people to think they’re ‘making change’, when in reality, if you want to make change, rather than, say, making a $50 purchase from a company that gives 1% to ‘the environment’, one could simply donate $50 to an environmental organization.

      At the same time, that doesn’t make these folks making candles a bad company, or those buying them bad people! Some people really value nice household things, and may be happy to spend their money on candles. At least they have the option of decent companies like this. Way better for the environment than buying $10 candle that puts toxic junk into the air you’re breathing.

      For my part, I do want to stay aware that real change is needed and I need to be an active player in that – I do not have notions that when I buy a chocolate bar that donates a portion of proceeds to endangered animals, that is a sufficient way to support endangered animals. But I’m still going to buy that chocolate bar :) And so when I do buy the thing I want, at least I can be comfortable with where it came from.

  69. Kari says...

    Some of the criticism in the comments lately has left me scratching my head a bit… Readers are unhappy when CoJ links to Amazon or highlights a Shopbop sale (owned by Amazon), asking Jo to feature more small businesses. So here we are, featuring a small American business, and that catches flack too. If an item from say Zara or H&M is profiled, there are inevitably comments about needing to feature more sustainable, higher quality products. Then, not long ago, CoJ featured some gorgeous sweaters made by a small business and people were aghast at the prices. Can’t win. So, all of this to say, you keep doing you CoJ team! xx

    • Lauren E. says...

      I’m with you! I’ll gladly pay a bit more to support a small business that makes quality goods. I think we’ve gotten so used to paying pennies for things that come from fast fashion stores that anything slightly more expensive seems outrageous.

      Also I think sometimes people just like to complain.

    • Sid says...

      I agree completely with Kari. Jo and her team are saints for graciously handling the constant, unhelpful criticism that comes up in these posts.

      No one is making anyone read about or buy this stuff. Perhaps start your own non-lifestyle blog where you can have a proper philosophical debate about whether it’s possible for capitalism to ever be truly ethical. Hint: it isn’t.

    • Thank you for this. I am feeling the same way about the comments lately. I come to Cup of Jo for a break from the bleak internet. I’m not a Mom and so many of the posts aren’t things I relate to but I love reading them because it’s different from my life. I think it’s important to realize that in order to have a blog that supports real human beings you have to have sponsored posts. The COJ team can’t be doing all of this for free. I don’t think every post has to be everything for everyone . That’s just not possible. If the post doesn’t resonate with you that’s okay move on to the next post. The negativity and criticism in the comments lately is exhausting and it makes me worry that the COJ team will throw up their hands and give the whole thing up because there truly is no “winning” whatever is posted. I have lost all of my work but I can still enjoy learning about a new candle because I want to celebrate small businesses who are surviving right now.

    • naseem says...

      couldn’t agree more, Kari. Keep on keeping on Cup of Jo team, this place is the best on the internet!

    • Emma says...

      my thoughts as well! thank you Kari.

  70. Katherine says...

    I got myself this subscription for my birthday in July and the shipment is something I look forward to every month! Especially during quarantine, where I’m focused on making my home cozy and pleasing to be in all day, every day, their candles/scents have been such a treat. I also love that their packaging is sustainable and they provide instructions on how to get all of the remaining bits of wax out of the vessel (game changer!) to reuse them as drinking glasses. If you’re thinking about the subscription, I would highly recommend it (I’m burning their Isle of Jasmine candle as I type this!).

  71. Samantha says...

    This is the kind of company I want to support! I love that Keap is a B Corp and 1% for the Planet member.

    There are only so many glasses i could repurpose, so I am so thrilled to see that they can be returned to the company! What an amazing idea!

  72. Rach says...

    I had the Keap subscription-I loved the candles for myself and as gifts. Great company

  73. Alex says...

    I am relying on candles to get me through this long winter. Thanks for the discount coj!

  74. Calla says...

    Wow, cute packaging but so far out of my price range. I really wish I could help support cup of jo through sponsored posts but the consistently aspirational price point makes it hard to do so. I totally get that some things that are sustainable, or hand made or high quality are going to be expensive. But the sponsored posts make me feel totally out of step with cup of jo and the audience, like maybe I am too young/not affluent enough to participate in the same lifestyle.

    • joanne says...

      Same. I’m definitely feeling on the wrong side of the tracks looking in over here.

    • H. says...

      Just want to say SAME. I’m not even that young (33) but I work for a non-profit and live in a city and still have student loan debt, so basic living expenses eat up a ton of my paycheck. I think my 2021 resolution needs to be to stop checking lifestyle blogs because the lifestyle they’re selling is unfortunately always going to be a bit out of reach for me… And that’s not a criticism of the blogs, it’s just the reality of my life (which I am genuinely very happy with UNTIL I read blogs like this that make me feel like I’ve done something wrong because $100 sweaters and $50 candles aren’t in my budget).

    • Katie says...

      I think if you read the comments on sponsored content you’ll see you aren’t alone! I imagine finding brands they actually want to work with and support (and who are willing to spend their advertising capital here) can be super challenging, and am always happy to see the brands that they partner with even if they are often out of my price range. This one definitely has me thinking about buying some more affordable candles to make my apartment extra cozy this winter!

    • Sophia F. says...

      Yep. I love the ethos of the many wonderful companies that support CoJ, and don’t begrudge any form of sponsorship when it’s ethical and brand-aligned with a site that I love, but I do wish there were more price diversity. It’s hard to see CoJ and so many other lifestyle sites become increasingly for the quite wealthy, even as they espouse the importance of social justice and progressive causes.

    • Dana says...

      I feel this way often, too, Calla, that I’m a bit of an outsider looking in on a dreamy lifestyle. I can get a little dejected when I see the price tags. Usually I just let these posts be wistful window shopping and look forward to all the other great content that keeps me coming back each day.

    • AE says...

      I feel like we have to all get to a place where we can acknowledge that other people’s financial realities are just different from our own. Expecting every post and company to be immediately relevant or attainable to you is the height of coddling and narcissism. There is A LOT going on right now. And as we all fight our battles against capitalism (and how some people can afford jet planes while others starve), we can make room for the reality of a $12-40 candle that is probably attainable for most COJ readers. Further, none of the western world is at the point where eco- conscious brands and blanket affordability go hand- in- hand. Even thrifter jeans at $5 can be too much for some people. That is our reality. The complaints are valid but I don’t know that *this* is where those complaints should be lodged. Jo uses this blog to feed her family, and keep a bunch of other ecosystems alive. You can be indignant at both the small, ethical but expensive brand posts AND also the large, inexpensive, unethical conglomerate posts. Or, you can. It just doesn’t make sense here.

    • K says...

      Just want to echo the sentiment that it’s out of my price range right now too, but I still enjoy reading about nice cozy candles and being reminded that it’ll be a great idea to stock up for the coming winter. Now I’ll be on the lookout for more affordable candles that smell nice and hopefully look cute too. While I understand the sentiment of reading about things you can’t afford, it really doesn’t bother me that much. I like looking at fashion blogs where the designer clothes are absurdly unaffordable but it’s just fun to see what high-end fashion is doing right now…or reading Architectural Digest or blogs about women living in rural France in a seemingly perfect fairytale. What’s it matter if it’s not my life? My house is mostly thrifted and hand-me-downs with a rare splurge here and there, but I love it still, because it’s my aesthetic and in my own budget. I find pretty, expensive aesthetics are fun to just gaze at and be inspired by, even if you can’t specifically recreate it.

    • Anne says...

      “maybe I am too young/not affluent enough to participate in the same lifestyle”

      Based on her beautiful home in the heart of NYC, I suspect most of us aren’t affluent enough to live the same lifestyle as Jo and her family. And that’s okay!!! Reading this blog is a choice that every one of us makes. If reading aspirational lifestyle blogs is no longer working for you, then don’t read them.

    • Calla says...

      Thanks to everyone who is feeling the same way. I don’t really feel like I should have to clarify my position further to everyone who is saying I should just keep my feelings to myself but here goes; I of course understand that other people make more and less money than I do and will therefore have different buying preferences.

      What I am trying to express is a feeling of isolation that sometimes comes from wondering if I am living a very different lifestyle from the majority of other readers, whom I consider my community.

      I am not trying to dictate what type of business cup of jo partners with, but rather to reach out directly to other readers in order to regain some of that sense of connection and find people who might be sharing my feelings. It’s very disheartening to be called “coddled and narcissistic” when I do so and not at all the reason I come to this blog.

    • AE says...

      Calla, all of us long time readers consider COJ a community. That said, this is a digital community of strangers. It IS entirely possible that most people here don’t have the same financial constraints as you. Does that change the way you feel about the community? It feels like you’re down about not being “in step” with a bunch of strangers, based on an assumption entirely your own. Why? That doesn’t make sense. A much better way to gage where you are in life- if that’s what you’re hoping to do- is to connect with the real people in your life and compare notes there. This whole conversation reminds me of reading Money Diaries. If making assumptions about other people’s finances trigger you, then recognize that and don’t deep dive into comments or discussions about money with internet strangers, even if they feel like you actually know them. That serves neither party well. It’s digital keeping up with the jonses.

    • Calla says...

      AE your unsolicited advice is disheartening and I feel you are deliberately misunderstanding me. I was looking for other readers who might have had a similar experience as me, and I did and it was lovely (a common experience for me on this site). I’m not sure why you think it is necessary to come in and tell me how wrong my feelings are and how wrongly I am living my life. I’ve never had such a bad experience on this site. I think perhaps you are right and it is no longer the right place for me . I’ll leave it to so you needn’t be bothered by people without the same financial constraints as me.

    • S says...

      Calla, I’ve been reading COJ since I was young and couldn’t afford any of the sponsored post items, ever. Now I’m older and have a little more wiggle room, and some items are within reach and others still aspirational (or don’t align with my internal sense of how I want to spend my money). I think it is totally okay for you to enjoy the blog without feeling that you have to be able to buy sponsored items. There is no shame in being financially responsible, which it sounds like you are being. Please don’t let that make you feel unwelcome. It’s a bit like reading a magazine with ads for expensive things—someone out there might be able to buy them, but it is ok if it is not you or me right now.
      Also, I read somewhere that even click throughs “count”—I hope that is not a false rumor but you might actually be helping CoJ even if you’re aren’t buying anything, just by bringing more traffic to the sponsors’ sites.
      Anyway, I think of coj as a place I come to learn and think about how I might want to live my life, even if it is not the same as the featured lifestyles, and I think there is space for all of us here, including you :)

  75. Just take all my money…..these are amazing!

  76. Emily says...

    I finally got past my hesitancy to spend money on candles when I realized how much I use and enjoy them every day. (I also can’t stand cheap candle scents – they make me physically sick.) The daily joy they bring me is worth the cost.

  77. K says...

    I love the sampler idea! Definitely holiday gift territory ($12 is totally affordable for this little set).

    • Jo says...

      Yep, I came here to say that I clicked through just to gape at the prices and was pleasantly surprised to find that the sampler set is only $12 (a true $12–free shipping and no tax). I am not down to buy a $50 candle without knowing I’m going to absolutely love it, but if I find from the sampler set that one of them is delicious enough to take a tiny bit of the sting out of not being able to spend holidays with family during this garbage year, then for me and my budget, that’s worth the splurge.

      I appreciate that the CoJ team has as much love for $1.99 Trader Joe’s seasoning blends as they do for escapist splurges. I also appreciate that they are upfront and unapologetic about what content is sponsored. Good job CoJ!

  78. Maryn says...

    My husband and I are fresh out of student life so this kind of thing isn’t something we’d be able to afford, but I still love, love, love seeing all the ways companies like this are innovating and bringing joy to people. Thanks for sharing inspiring companies like this with us! Even if they’re out of my price range, I still enjoy the discovery and admiring them from afar. :)

    • Katie says...

      Definitely with you, Maryn! A full candle might be out of my price range (considering the sampler though!) But this has definitely inspired me to find some other festive candles in my price range for winter. There’s always something good to take away from the sponsored content here (shout out to the amazing CoJ team!) and its a shame that its always followed with a deluge of people being upset that it either isn’t in their price range or isn’t sustainable or environmentally friendly enough. Even if a sponsored post isn’t “for me” I’m always happy to read them.

    • Kari says...

      Totally agree, Maryn and Katie! It reminds me of anytime blogs feature anything from Target… I’m a Canadian and we can’t order Target here! I might not be able to purchase whatever item is being featured, but doesn’t mean I still don’t enjoy seeing it and maybe I’m inspired to find something similar here. :)

  79. Megan says...

    Love this CoJ rec. Candles have become a light in the quarantine/WFH darkness for me (no pun intended. . .well, not wholly). Burning candles at the office, NEVER. Now I light one at my desk at home every morning, it’s such a nice way to ease into the day.

  80. Bruna says...

    I haven’t been able to visit my family for over a year now because of visas (they are in Barcelona, I am in California) and pandemic reasons and I am truly sad about the idea of another Christmas far away from home. I miss my sister so much… But I’m also determined to make it a nice fall and winter nonetheless. I have been lighting unscented candles every dinner for a month, and it’s such a simple thing and it makes dinner feel like something else. I will be going all in to make this fall and winter extra cozy and special!

  81. Jane says...

    Ordered as a treat to myself in what is about to be a crazy election stress fueled week. Thanks CoJ for the rec!

  82. Lauren H says...

    Wow! I think I just found my Christmas gifts for this year. Those sample packs look like a great option. I serve as a volunteer coordinator and have been thinking that it would be nice to recognize the hard work the women I oversee have been doing. I was considering sending a $10 gift card to some big chain (since we are scattered over a regional geographic area) but for only $2 more, I can send these women a cute sample pack. I love it! Also a great options for sweet gifts to honor my girlfriend’s bdays (who are also scattered). Thank you for introducing me to this company!

    • Sarah says...

      Great idea! Thank you for being so specific in your comment. It didn’t even occur to me how close this price is to the amount I’ll spend on some friend gifts. I may do the exact same purchase!!! Thanks Lauren!

  83. Lesley says...

    I have loved keap for years!

  84. ordered the sampler! what a fun cute affordable treat.

  85. Wendy says...

    $49.50 for a candle? No thanks.

    • Emily says...

      Yeah, come on you guys. I love so much of the content on CofJ and I’m having a shit day so maybe I wouldn’t negative comment otherwise. You guys do a lot for the community and I realize you gotta make ends meet with sponsored posts, but $55 (with shipping) for a 7.4oz candle? This morning I drive by a bread line more than half a mile long in our “upper middle class” suburban town… dozens of families waiting 3 hours for $50 worth of groceries. Makes you think.

    • briana says...

      wendy. must you?
      these are high quality candles and the company does some really good things for environmental and social issues. check out their website, its cool! mass produced cheap material bad quality plastic everything crap is what got us into this mess. please let people spend fifty dollars on something that makes them happy, with a low impact to the environment, without judgement.

    • Charlotte says...

      Briana, the judgement you have towards people who can’t afford anything other than “mass produced cheap material bad quality plastic everything crap” is the issue at play here, not the other way around. If you’re wealthy enough to afford a $50 candle, I’d be genuinely surprised if the shade you get from those you can’t would put you off buying it, especially if you believe in their mission. So buy the candle, but that doesn’t solve the issue.

      The fact is, for the vast majority of people, purchasing goods that match their ethics isn’t an option. Unless we address the income inequality that plagues us, your tirade against cheaply produced goods is moot. Having a world where a few can buy sustainably sourced goods and the majority cannot will never be sustainable, no matter how much we rail against cheap crap– ensuring that everyone has the means to make sustainable choices will.

    • AE says...

      If we all stopped buying candles from this small business, you just might the owners in that bread line. What’s your solution here?

    • Vicky says...

      Charlotte, your response is unnecessarily unkind. If this candle is not in your price range, that is completely understandable but just move on – there doesn’t seem to be much value in making others feel bad because it is in theirs. We can all see income inequality, and there is a time and place for that discussion (and action!), but CoJ is a lifestyle blog. Calm down and let people have a small piece of happiness in a crazy, uncertain time.

    • Calla says...

      Well put Charlotte. I think it’s great for everyone to strive towards consuming less overall, but it does sting a bit when people are so disparaging about low-quality items when that’s what you can afford.

      And I’d just like to point out that if you were already planning on buying something, and can afford a “sustainable” version of that thing you should go for it. However, if you weren’t, or already have another version of the item in question, etc. then the sustainability argument shouldn’t be used to justify purchasing it (I think of this mostly in terms of clothing but applies to many things).