A big candle review: Illume, Voluspa, and Diptyque

Written by Jenny Wu
Jenny Wu

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  1. I’ve yet to try Diptyque, but have been really tempted to get some of the limited edition scents. I’ve also been suckered in by Fresh candles (love the simple packaging). Thanks for the introduction to Ilume and Voluspa – I definitely want to try both!

    • Jenny says:

      Diptyque’s limited edition candles are beautiful – both packaging and scent-wise! Though I didn’t have the best of luck with Diptyque I’d love to try other French candles for the very reason you stated!

  2. Laura says:

    wow, this is impressive collection :) I love using candles on winter x

    Pink Frenzy

  3. Susan says:

    I love this post! I just started growing an insane love for candles this year and Illume sounds like something I’ll really enjoy (kinda sucker for all things coconut)! I love Diptyque but can’t really justify the price either, so I’ll def look into the Illumes.

    le jolie

  4. You have such an amazing collection! I love love candles. I literally have candles in every single room in my house, including bathrooms and kitchen. The ones currently on my wish list are the Jo Malone and Diptique candles. I need to try those badly. Lovely post! xo

    Ann-Marie | http://facetocurls.com

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you so much lovely :) I try to have candles in every room as well, now I just need to make sure I have a lighter in each room so I can actually light them. Jo Malone candles are on my wishlist as well, I’m obsessed with their fragrances!

  5. Liv says:

    I just went on DIPTYQUE’s website to look at their candles and IT’S SO NICE!!! Their design is so elegant and the packaging has got me blown away. Must be why the price is skyrocket high. The only candle we have in my house is a Yankee Candle … I definitely feel cozy when my mom lights it up but it’s been there for years and there’s still so much left!

    • Jenny says:

      Haha, I think the look of their candles might be an even bigger selling point than their scent, at least it’s definitely that way for me :P I have a Yankee candle in the Christmas Cookie (something like that) scent, and it’s a super cozy scent too. And they really do last forever!

  6. Kathryn says:

    I love having candles around, so this post was perfect in reviewing different brands! You definitely nailed the description on Bath & Body Works candles – fun scents, great throw, but also almost sickening if you burn one too often, LOL. One of my favorite candles is actually from Target. They just seem to be good at everything!

    Kathryn • simplykk.com

    • Jenny says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting Kathryn! I’ve found that BBW candles definitely work best in a large open space, otherwise the scent can get nauseating. I’ve bought a few candles from Target before as well and they were solid! Unfortunately I don’t remember the brands though, so I didn’t share them here :(

  7. Oh man, candles are a bit of hit and miss for me. I can’t justify spending the $$$ on candles when it feels like I’m just burning cash. So like you, I was the biggest anti-candle user ever! I started getting into them through BBW (I haven’t been there in a while but their marble candles are SOOOOO beautiful!) and bought the Voluspa one recently.

    I’m trying to stick to more soy based candles as they burn better and is less harmful to breathe in in general. I’m (really) glad to hear that Dyptique is not all they’re cracked up to be. I’m sure they’re wonderful but for the price!??? I’m sticking to diffusers these days to keep my area smelling nice and clean!

    • Jenny says:

      Right? I was so shocked when I saw the BBW candles, I might buy them just for the packaging, much better than spending $$$ on Diptyque! I try to stick to soy wax as well, which is another reason I moved away from BBW, especially for smaller spaces. But for my main living area (which has an open floorplan), I’m ok with burning a non-soy wax every once in a while, especially BBW since their throw is ridiculously strong!

  8. Amy says:

    Love these candles. I’m a sucker for Diptyque, if for nothing else than their scents. Have you tried local candle companies on Etsy? They tend to be cheaper, are natural, and have amazing service. I highly recommend!

    xx, Amy

    • Jenny says:

      Thanks Amy! I haven’t considered Etsy yet, but I do love the idea of supporting small businesses! I’ll definitely check out candles on there next time, but if you have any seller recommendations, please let me know!

  9. Tara says:

    I am not fond of candles because I also feel like I’ll burn the house down LOL I much prefer the flameless candle like Scentsy! I did have it for a while, but I guess candles — with or without flame — are just not my thing. Or maybe it’s because my parents aren’t too into it. Maybe if I have my own place, my mind may change :)

    • Jenny says:

      Lol, I feel like that’s the number one reason people don’t burn candles, though I think the chances are a lot lower than you think :P I used to use Scentsy as well, but I think I’ve outgrown the look of my burner. Maybe I’ll find a nicer burner as I do love how strong the scentsy bars are!

  10. emily says:

    I love the new Bath and Body Works marble candles! I find with B&BW you have to find subtle scents so they’re not overpowering. They are the most affordable with the biggest selection I can find around me.


    • Jenny says:

      That’s a great idea about BBW candles! I’ll keep that in mind next time I go, I do love how large their selection is and how they’re always coming out with new scents!

  11. Esnath says:

    I have to say I am banned from buying candles for a while, I am obsessed favourite high endish are Jo Malone mid range and all time favourite is neom candles, the white company every now and again when I find a scent I like. I also top up every now and again from TK Maxx. Even though I love dyptique fragrance I am not a fan of the candles as the scents I like are not available in the candles. The rest of the candles you mentioned I am yet to try.

    • Jenny says:

      I’m on a candle ban now too, especially after that Diptyque splurge. I’m in love with Jo Malone’s fragrances so now I’m super curious about their candles! Hopefully their throw is better than Diptyque’s! I haven’t heard of Neom or The White Company before, so thank you for those recommendations. I’m going to check them out now!

  12. Brandy says:

    I’ve only ever bought Yankee candles. Never really tried anything else. I’ll definitely try some of your recommendations!

    • Jenny says:

      I’m wondering if the Yankee candle I got from TJMaxx was a dud too, I should give the brand a second chance. Hope you enjoy the scents from the other brands!

  13. Gloria says:

    Your collection is beautiful! I guess you could say I’m currently in the anti-candle stage, for the same fear of burning the house down ???? Although now I’m tempted to get a Voluspa candle, the packaging is so pretty! What are some of your favorite scents from them? Floral isn’t really my thing but otherwise I love most scents that aren’t overwhelming (ahem Bath and Body Works). Thank god Diptyque isn’t on the favorites list- I adore the packaging but the price is ridiculous. I can kinda see why your husband lost his mind ????

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you so much Gloria! <3 For Voluspa, I really loved Creme de Peche, but I think they discontinued it :( Another fruity option is Santiago Huckleberry and it's not too sweet. I tend to lean towards floral scents, so I don't have many non-floral options, sorry! I'm going to try burning the limited edition Diptyque candle next and see if it has better throw, I wonder if they vary by scent.

  14. Elisa says:

    every time i see candles, i will definitely without a doubt be reminded of famous fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers. i don’t know but candles are something they always, ALWAYS be addicted to, isn’t it? Lol. sorry for the generalization but there have been proofs surrounding this ….theory :P

    i’ve always wanted to have candle in my room too just because i’m curious about why people are so addicted to having candles. i have pretty sensitive nose and am very picky about fragrance but some of these caught my attention. for instance, i’m not a fan of drinking coconut water but coconut milk scent? dang, that thing must have smelled divine!
    the voluspa candles have such pretty packaging omg! diptique candles look really sophisticated too imo. after watching quite a few beauty / lifestyle youtubers, i see that almost every single one of them will have at least one diptique candle haha.

    i wouldn’t think of myself as anti-candles. but i’m a clumsy person and i have quite a lot of things in my room. plus, i don’t have lots of space so having a candle might actually lead to fire LOL

    p.s: i can’t stand bath and body works store at all. i can’t stay in there for hours because the scent is too overwhelming. everything smells floral-ish and so intense (sometimes intensely sweet) that i just can’t take it.

    • Jenny says:

      Lol, Diptyque candles are all over Instagram and blog photos, though to be fair they make beautiful photo props :P I honestly wonder how many bloggers/instagrammers buy a few just to try it out and then save the container as props, haha.

      The coconut milk is amazing, and I think it really comes down to picking the right scent, and you can get a pretty good idea from sniffing the candle. Though it’s really hard to tell how strong it’ll be once you light it, that really depends on the brand. BBW candles are super strong, and are definitely better for large spaces!

      I used to feel the way about candles, but they’re not as scary as I thought. As long as it’s on a stable surface and you don’t have a bunch of flammables right next to it, you’re totally fine :P

  15. TJmaxx is like Winners for Canada and yes, I agree about the candles from there. I bought two duds too, literally nothing, not a whiff. I’m not familiar with most of the brands you mentioned here, the ones I know are Yankees, BBW and Diptyque so thank you for the introductions.

    • Jenny says:

      You’re welcome! Hopefully your experience with Voluspa and Illume will be nothing but positive (if you ever decide to try them!). As for those dud candles, makes you wonder how long they’ve been sitting on the shelves at TJmaxx/Winners :/

  16. Beatriz says:

    You have quite the collection!! Diptyque candles are my favorite! Great post! xx

    Beatriz // http://www.beatrizcarvajal.com

  17. Cat L. says:

    Oh Jenny, I am a self-proclaimed candle hoarder so this post is right up my alley! My favorite candles are from Jo Malone and of course, Voluspa (nothing beats their packaging). I have tried Diptique in the past but somehow I can’t seem to warm up to and appreciate their strong scents. I also purchase the occasional Bath & Body Works (Balsam Fir is a seasonal favorite of mine) but their scents do have some synthetic hints to them. Great post Jenny!

    ~ Cat L.

    • Jenny says:

      Yay, so glad to hear you enjoyed it Cat! Oh my goodness I just visited Jo Malone for the first time yesterday and their scents are incredible! How is their throw? I’m super weary now because of my bad experience Diptyque :( I agree about the Bath & Body Works candles, they definitely smell more synthetic than other higher end brands.

  18. Emily says:

    Interesting thoughts on these candles! I have to admit, I was really excited to read this, especially the part about Diptyque. I always wonder if they are REALLY worth it. I have some candles at home, and I forget what brand they are, but I think they sell at Urban Outfitters. They are a little pricey at $18 a piece, but not TOO bad. And omg, they smell the ENTIRE house in minutes. They are the most bang I’ve ever gotten for my money. Totally worth it, just wish I knew what they were called! I am going to check out a few of these others now, as I’ve never heard of them!

    -Emily http://www.coatandcoffee.com

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you Emily! A part of me was secretly relieved that I didn’t love Diptyque that much, definitely saves me money in the future :P Ahh those Urban Outfitters candles sound amazing, and $18 is very reasonable! I should check out their store to see what kind of candles they carry!

  19. Jessica C says:

    I LOVED reading this post!! YOu’re such a candle expert now! I only have a few Diptyque ones and it’s only because i’ve been brain washed by Instagram. I’ve seen and touched and smelled Voluspa at Anthropologie and other stores I’ve ALWAYS been tempted to buy them but I’m kind of wary of the chemicals from the scent (since I already can’t avoid nail stuff, makeup stuff, hairspray and all that good stuff. don’t we just live in chemicals as women??) so I always end up putting them back. You may have just changed by mind!!!

    Jessica || Cubicle Chic

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you so much Jessica, so glad to hear that! :D Haha, I wouldn’t call myself a candle expert as I’m horrible at describing scents , but a candle collector? Yes :P

      I think voluspa and the more expensive brands use better ingredients (e.g. Essential oils and soy wax) so I do feel better about burning them. Give voluspa a try next time, I think you’ll really enjoy it!

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