With the nights still long, there is nothing more comforting than lighting a candle to add a warm glow to a room.
Once, we might have used tealights or pillar candles, but now the trend is for quirky candles in the shape of classical busts, modernist forms or humorous trompe l’oeil.
‘It’s always fun to inject some personality into your home and unique candles are an easy and affordable way to do this,’ Vanessa Riding, founder of The Waxness, says.
Melting marvels: Candles are being created in playful shapes and sizes but with some examples costing over £100 you might want to put the matches away
It’s a growing trend. ‘On Etsy [an online marketplace], we’ve seen a 149 per cent increase in searches for sculptural or decorative candles,’ says Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy’s trend expert.
‘These artful, sculptural candles are not only functional as they provide light and warmth, but also double as artwork.’
Of course, the point of candles is that you burn them. But with some waxy sculptures costing upwards of £100, they might be strictly for viewing pleasure only — just keep them away from the radiator.
An easy way into the sculpted candles trend is choosing beautiful twisty shapes that elevate a normal table candle.
Lex Pott’s Twist Candle Light Blue (£28) is double ended and eliminates the need for a candlestick as it loops to support itself.
Meanwhile, lockdown-founded brand Viisiions’ hand-sculpted ‘wigglers’ (£24) aim to bring ‘fun magic and eye-candy into our daily lives’.
For a take on the pillar candle, try Sculpture Candles by Octaevo, which are inspired by ancient mythology (£34) or the ‘adorable blob’ that is the Goober Candle from Brooklyn designers areaware (£29), which comes in a range of colours.
The whole point of this trend is to have fun — so candles shaped to give you a double take fit the bill.
Instead of bringing flowers to a dinner party, how about a candle looking like a plant in a flowerpot — the Flowerpot Candle, £10.
‘It’s a great way to bring the outdoors in without having to worry about watering it,’ Riding says.
Loewe’s Honeysuckle candle, developed by Jonathan Anderson and perfumer Nuria Cruelles is designed to look like a candle and candlestick in one (£80).
Or fancy a sweet treat without the calories? Try a cupcake candle made from soy wax and fragranced with Cherry berry oil for £7 by BarnardsNatural on Etsy.
If you can’t afford a Roman sculpture, try a tasteful nude in candle form instead. The Caia brand, which takes its name from the Roman goddess of fire, Caia Caecilia, has a range of nudes, including their 500g Drusus Candle (£35), a male torso.
The female Roman bust candle from Anthropologie (£34) has artfully draped robes and carefully styled hair.
It’s not just the ancient world that has inspired candlemakers: Cire Trudon celebrates 18th-century French Queen Marie-Antoinette in candle form (£110).
For a modern take on the naked form, Etsy has a mind-boggling array of options, from the Naked Body Candle set (£9 by DecorCandleUK on Etsy) to Blossom Soul’s Booty candle, £6.80.