When Ronethea Williams lights the wick of the candle in her Fairmount condo, she exhales. Williams looks to her midnight-orchard Mount Airy Candle Co. candle for stillness — its aromatic scent and the subtle flicker a respite from her challenging job as an executive for a hiring platform.
“Lighting the candle is the beginning of my relaxation,” she said. “I can anticipate the sense of calmness to come.”
Whether you’re seeking a tool to aid in relaxation or the finishing touch to your living-room decor, the Philadelphia region is a honeypot of candles for any need, if you know where to look. The options can be overwhelming, so we’ve organized our guide by affordability, fragrance, decor, and wellness.
Located in Reading Terminal, this candle merchant might be hard to find, but the deals make it worth your while. The shop regularly offers specials, such as four for $20 on its 9-ounce jar candles and three for $10 on the 4-ounce jars. With more than 85 scents — blueberry, honey, rose, citrus basil, eucalyptus, and peppermint — you’ll find a scent you like. It also offers a large selection of pure and scented beeswax candles.
$5 to $50, 51 N. 12th St., 302-222-0189, beenaturalllc.com
A 6-ounce tin candle will set you back only eight bucks. The online shop, which takes orders through Etsy, features combinations like woodsy black pepper and cardamom or sweet peach and blossoms. All the candles are locally poured and made from soy wax.
$8 (plus shipping), etsy.com/shop/MtAiryCandleCo
Malika Wilkins, the woman behind this online candle store, crafts her soy-wax products in her West Philly home. Honey’s has a large collection, with fragrances like creme brulee, berry-peach bellini, and fresh linen. Wilkins designed the scents of her soy-wax candles to carry across rooms, especially her 11-ouncers. The $13 candles have two wicks and are advertised to last 45 to 50 hours.
$7 to $13 (plus shipping), honeysnaturalcandles.com
Word has been out for some time that this East Falls flower shop-cafe is a great place for plants and floral design. But its stock of locally made candles is also worth a look. It carries Malvern botanicals producer Zoet Bathlatier and Philly-based aroma experts dilo, which Vault + Vine collaborated with on two scents: white tea and bergamot, and sandalwood and fig.
$12 to $36, 3507 Midvale Ave., 267-331-6292, vaultandvine.co
Philly resident Emerald Hill marries her love of food and candles in this online business. Her site specializes in candles that smell like food and drinks: mint mojito, butter crumble apple pie, pineapple sage, and cabernet sauvignon, to name a few. She also offers monthly subscription boxes for the adventurous.
$8.50 to $34 (plus shipping), gourmetcandle.org
Co-owner Sara Evancho says the ingredients in the candles at this Center City body-care and fragrance boutique are “so clean you could eat it.” The shop’s candles are made with natural fragrance oils, soy wax, and soot-free cotton wicks (which promote a long burn time). Though she’s partial to the earthier, woodsier scents, Evancho recommends the lemongrass and lavender option for spring.
$21 to $30, 117 S. 13th St., 215-834-7226, durossandlangel.com
Shannon Maldonado’s carefully curated Queen Village shop stocks housewares that can double as art. She recently launched her own line of scented candles, which includes Secret Bikini, with a blood orange and neroli scent, and Fourth Street, which smells like white tea and leather. Each candle is labeled with the story of what inspired the scent. “I wanted to lead with more of a feeling,” Maldonado explained.
$17 to $35, 716 S. Fourth St., shopyowie.com
$8 to $98, 1801 Walnut St., 215-568-2114, anthropologie.com
This home decor and apparel boutique opened in Northern Liberties last fall, offering several options for candle lovers, particularly for those who want to make a statement. Looking for a hand-shaped candle? Maybe a chocolate-colored glass candle? How about a locally sourced beeswax candle in the shape of a pyramid? Trunc can help.
$14 to $48, 929 N. Second St., 267-559-1604, trunc.net
North Philly has dozens of botánicas (spiritual wellness shops) that sell prayer candles at good prices. La Botánica is a good place to start. Along with incense and candles, the store is rife with spiritual guides covering Christianity, Wicca, astrology, Santería, and more. The candles come in various sizes and scents (even coffee and garlic) and can represent saints, spirits, and good wishes.
20 cents to $12, 2726 N. Fifth St., 267-687-2615
Candles from the Germantown-based web store Healing with Oshun are meant for people who want to manifest, says owner Daraisa Selby-Adebisi. Her “catch a new love” candle is for “not just an ordinary love. Like, soulmate kind of love.” Her “be sweet to me” candle is for “support[ing] feelings of sweetness and affection” in interpersonal relationships. The Yoruba priest makes each herself, requesting birthdays, names, and intentions to further personalize them.
Harry’s World is a go-to for spiritual supplies. Sage, palo santo, crystals, incense, and prayer candles are all in full supply here. There are thousands of items for sale, but the staff know exactly where things are. Have them show you the candles.