What Does the Term Luxury Refer To?
Luxury is the application of comfort and elegance, especially as it pertains to expensive items or activities outside the realm of necessity.
We all enjoy luxury daily. Your phone is a luxury item, perfumes, some clothes; even having food delivered to your home is a luxury.
It doesn’t always have to be expensive. Still, it is usually an ‘unnecessary expense’ as these things are not needed for basic survival.
Remember our four basic needs? Food, shelter, water, and clothing. Anything outside of these is usually considered a luxury.
Therefore, by that definition, candles are a luxury- unless it is that you bought those candles to provide light in your house.
As necessary as we find self-care and mental health to be in this new era, they are still not basic needs. We should maybe update that list.
So even though your candle relaxes and de-stresses you, they are almost always treated as luxury items.
And as we delve into this article, we will be looking at precisely what makes candles a luxury.
Expensive candles are pretty standard to see these days. With all the hype surrounding self-care, meditation, and aromatherapy, the demand-supply curve had determined that these items warrant high, sometimes exorbitant prices.
Sure, you can get candles for USD 2.00, but they can also cost up to USD 200.00 or more! Most candle users will spend around USD 35.00 to 50.00 on jar candles.
But the really effective and beautifully designed ones, with terrific scents at that, certainly cost a lot more than fifty dollars.
Two-dollar candles don’t even make much sense to purchase unless the power is out, and you’re only looking for a light source.
As with everything in our world today, healthier alternatives cost more. While soy, beeswax, and other plant-based candles are preferred, they also incur additional costs.
As ever, there seems to be a direct correlation between the price and the quality of the candle.
Quality candles are usually artisan, hand-poured, paraffin-free, with dried herbs or essential oils for flavor.
For candles, quality is determined by the absence of health risk while using, or the presence of health benefits once lit.
Sometimes, both factors are considered before a candle can be stamped with a quality seal by the maker and customers.
Here are some additional tips to consider when determining if a candle is of good variety:
Burn Time: One great way to identify quality candles is Burn Time. Packaging for candles of high standard will include the burn time on the label.
The combination of ingredients listed will ultimately tell you how long the burn is, but the best candles take the guesswork out of it and just put the burn time.
The makers are that confident in their product.
Soot: Good candles produce very little soot. If you are an avid candle user, you may realize a black spot forming on your ceiling or on the roof of your candle holder (if it is one of the enclosed types).
Outdoor candles are the only exception to this rule; the wicks inside outdoor candles are built a bit sturdier to resist being extinguished by stronger winds outside.
Due to this larger wick, the candle produces more soot.
Glass: Many makers choose to present their candles in a glass container these days. Sometimes when burning this candle, the outer edges of the wax does not melt.
You end up with a little pond of melted wax floating around your wick, which may even put out the flame prematurely.
This situation is a strong indicator that the candle is not as good as it says it is. Because having that leftover wax sticking to the glass reduces burning time as well.
Icons: Every product on the market has a relevant authority to provide a stamp of quality. Candles are no different.
Look for a seal of approval from the pertinent authorities like Lloyd’s Register LRQA or BRC Consumer Products certified.
With all these factors to contemplate, it is no wonder that candles are a luxury. Can you think of any other non-basic need in your life that causes this level of deliberation?
If you have found one, that’s probably a luxury too!
When we talk about quantity here, we refer to the size of the candle and sometimes how many are sold together.
Good quality candles of a more substantial nature will obviously burn longer and distribute more scent throughout a space.
For this reason, many people will place larger candles in larger rooms. The size here ups the level of luxury, but not always.
Then some packages come with two or more candles. For expertly crafted candles, this will increase the cost and may mean that you are getting twice the value.
However, it is also prevalent for companies to package subpar candles together and sell them at meager prices (or even moderately high prices at times).
These candles may not meet the quality standard, but they are sold and toted as luxury items.
Have you ever received a really excellent gift of an item you LOVE, but it was from some unknown brand? I bet that took the wind out of your sails, huh? No, you’re not a bad person; you’re just human.
We all have brands and merchants from which we prefer to get certain things. For instance, I get my sneakers from Nike, and if someone brings me a cool pair of Champions, I’d say thanks, but I wouldn’t be very excited over it. That concept can be applied to candles.
If you use candles regularly –or maybe not that often- chances are you gravitate towards candles from makers with excellent reputations and an excellently built brand.
This idea may mean that you get your supply from Jo Malone London or Nest Fragrances, or you support a small business with superb quality candles.
Either way, these are places where luxury items are purchased.
As they say, ‘The truth is in the pudding.’ When buying any product claiming to be natural, the rule of thumb is that you should be able to pronounce the ingredients or have some idea what it could be.
If not, then it probably isn’t that natural. Yes, there are chemical names for everything that occurs in nature.
Still, if you’re buying a coconut scented candle, then the word ‘coconut’ should be written as plain as day at some point in the list of ingredients.
The ingredients are what really make a candle quality, luxurious and expensive. The fact is that quality ingredients do not come cheaply.
And as a result of that candles are not cheap. Even the candles with the most obscure labels, poor burn times, and harsh synthetic scents are luxury items simply because they have ingredients that may be dear at any price point.
The Location It Is Being Sold
In the past, the location of one’s candle store could tell you how luxurious the item is. Candle or spa shops would be located in upmarket areas closer to the upper-middle and upper classes.
It is a luxury less financially blessed people could not afford. While it is true that candles are still marketed to people in specific income brackets, e-commerce has taken away the elitism of a store location.
Everything is online now. And online, design, engagement, and product are what matters.
Candles are still sold ‘uptown,’ and it is evident by the mall they’re in or the spot they occupy that these stores cater to luxury items.
Eight out of ten times, you’ll see a candle on the shelf once it fits in with their displayed inventory.
The Persons Marketing It/ Associated with It
Let’s be honest, Home Depot and Walmart will not be marketing candles anytime soon. Maybe they do on Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, but it is not an item that is pushed in sales year-round.
Places that market candles: Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus. None of these businesses specialize in candles, but they are products available for purchase. Due to the type of customers that shop there, they can expect interest to be shown.
Candles are luxury items because the upper classes more often visit luxury. And boy, do they like candles.
Ask any candle maker for a list of their patrons. You will see doctors, lawyers, businesspeople, hoteliers, and other professionals residing in the middle to upper echelons of society.
By association with these brands and people, candles are made out to be luxurious.
What makes a luxury candle?
In the grand scheme of things, they are a want, not a need. Whether they have great quality or not, just through high prices and association to the right brands and people, they’re given the name ‘luxurious.’
On the other hand, luxury candles are made from top-tier ingredients. The cheaper versions are companies trying to market a luxury item to the general (less financially stable) public.
As a result of that, you have poorly made candles joining the ranks of luxury. Now there is a massive generalization of all candles being luxury items.
Candles are luxurious because they have significant benefits. They are beautiful, high quality, associated with the rich, and cost a pretty penny to purchase.