I used to think the best candles were always uniquely, powerfully scented. In my early twenties, I was tied to one candle in particular: Diptique Baies or bust. At the time, most of the “cooking” I did was really just assembling, and “entertaining” usually just meant drinks.
Now, when people come over I actually feed them. And while there is still a scented candle on the nightstand, my kitchen and dining room are filled with unscented ones to ensure that no perfumey smells interfere with the scent of the miso-swirled soups or apple galettes I’m feeding my guests.
Lighting a few candles can elevate even the most basic one pot meal to something worthy of lingering over. But all candles are not created equal. Here are a few tips on what to look for a kitchen or dining room candle (yes, there’s more to them than color and smell) and a few of my favorites available online.