Incredibly aromatic but seriously underrated, Stylist’s beauty director Shannon Peter makes a case for tomato-scented candles.
I’ve long been a fan of a summer candle. Less cosy but still as comforting, scented candles can turn an otherwise muggy, sweaty or cloying space into a sanctuary of soothing smells. But unlike the winter, which calls for heady, opulent notes like smoke, spice and leather, the scented candles fit for summer are all about freshness.
And no scented candle manages to capture freshness quite like a tomato-scented candle.
Thankfully nothing like the sour tang of ketchup, tomato candles (well, the good ones, at least) capture all the luscious scents of a real life tomato plant at its most bountiful. Yes, there’s the slightly bitter hit of the skin and the sweetness of the pulpy fruit, but what’s most prominent is that fresh green lusciousness of the tomato’s stalk and vine. In fact, the best tomato candles smell more green than they do ‘red’.
They were once a particularly rare breed but luckily for tomato candle fans like myself, more and more perfume houses and candle brands have begun experimenting with the note to varying degrees of success. As for the best ones? Let me run down my favourites below.
Boy Smells Gardener Candle
Not too sweet, not too bitter, Boy Smells’ ode to tomato has the perfect balance of notes, mixing tomato, honeysuckle, petit grain and white tea.
Loewe Medium Tomato Leaves Candle
Okay, this one is admittedly opulent. And I would never suggest spending £145 on a candle if it wasn’t for that pot. Ribbed earthenware in the perfect shade of plum tomato red? Just imagine all the uses it could have once the wax has all but dissipated: an utensil holder! A make-up brush holder! A pen holder!
Carrière Frères Tomato Scented Candle
With this candle from posh French perfume house Carrière Frères you really experience every inch of the plant from the sweet fruit to the dew-soaked vines.
Jo Malone London Green Tomato Vine Townhouse Candle
Jo Malone London’s Green Tomato Leaf was my first segue into the tomato candle world and it’s a good one. Warm and tangy, the scent lingers for hours even after you’ve blown it out. And while the regular size version is no longer available, the scent alone makes it worth investing in the larger ceramic version.
Malin and Goetz Tomato Candle
Most of Malin and Goetz’s scented candles are pretty polarising. Tobacco, for instance, is hugely popular; but, for me, it’s just too strong. Tomato, on the other hand, is delicious. Alongside the headline note, there’s mandarin, cedarwood and green pepper which give the overall fragrance an edge.
True Grace Vine Tomato Tin Candle
Surprisingly potent, I burned this candle-in-a-tin in one corner of my living room and within around 15 minutes, the entire space was filled with incredible fragrance.
Earl of East Greenhouse Candle
Punchier than most, Earl of East’s take on tomato brings in basil leaves and parsley seeds, transporting you directly to a cottage garden in the height of summer.
Zara Home Tomato Aromatic Candle
The most affordable way to hop on the tomato candle trend is via Zara Home’s tinned version. It has the added touch of basil which gives it a particularly herbaceous tang.
Images: courtesy of brands