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If you know anything about me, you probably know that I really, really, really, really, really, really like candles, Carly Rae Jepsen style. Yes, I’m obsessed with her lately. No, I don’t want to talk about it unless you’re as Dedicated as me. I’m getting distracted.
What is about candles that I love so much? Is it the fire? The symbolism of burning away the money earned in late stage capitalism? Perhaps it’s due to the fact that in my nomadic lifestyle, I can get this wonderful thing that I enjoy for a while and then it goes away, freeing me of the burden of carrying more junk around with me? Maybe the smell? You’re right, it’s probably the smell.
I am That Bitch squirming her way through the tangle of scent-hungry humans deeply inhaling every thirty seconds in a Bath & Body Works on candle day. If there’s a candle for sale at a store, I’m probably going to buy one. If it’s local, I’m definitely going to buy one. Literally five different people received candles from me for Christmas. Anyway. I think you get the picture.
So when I found out about Evil Queen, I was immediately intrigued. This took a little bit of a leap of faith for me since you don’t get the pleasure of an olfactory sample before taking the plunge. But they did one hell of a job with their marketing: an Instagram ad showed me their cute sayings, told me they were woman owned, handmade, vegan and long-lasting. This was pretty much all I needed to know before I decided I would get a few candles for myself, you know, as a treat.
I started safe: Basic Candle “for the basic bitch in your life #blessed” which features notes of vanilla, pumpkin, and yoga pants; and Dream Chaser with the promise “anything you can dream, you can do” which features notes of lavender, sandalwood, and positivity. As you can see, the third ingredient they list is not actually a scent but more of a “mood”, to give you an idea of what the candle is supposed to invoke. In my experience, these were pretty spot on. Or maybe it was the power of suggestion. Either way, I immediately fell in love with both candles and Evil Queen. The only downside? Each candle is $20 a piece for a single wick.
Now, to be fair, they really do last longer than any other candles I’ve ever used. A single wick Evil Queen easily beats out a Bath & Body Works three wick candle by at least 12 hours. Which, when they aren’t on sale, cost just shy of $25. Of course, they’re basically perpetually on some sort of sale plus if you didn’t know, you can actually haggle with the Bath & Body Works employees. If they’re not busy, I recommend trying it – bundling one or item more than the sale and seeing if you can get a discount. It usually works. The more you get, the better the deal.
With Evil Queen, though, you get the moral high ground in terms of materials used, people you’re supporting, and animals you’re not making suffer for your pleasure. My one major qualm with Evil Queen from a sustainability point of view is the shipping. I’ve been trying extremely hard as I get older to limit my carbon footprint, which has included cutting out almost all of the shipping I used to get. Amazon Prime, you evil subscription, you were so goddamn convenient. I hate you but I miss you.
Of course, you could just be more efficient about it. After all, you do get free shipping if you spend $100. This was the logic that I used when I decided to re-up after my first two candles met their inevitable demise.
Something I haven’t mentioned yet is the experience of opening your candles. As you can see, they’re labeled “Warning: Contents May Contain Attitude” which is already pretty cute. On the inside, however, there are two small, square, black and white card stocks inside: one with the name of who packaged your candle (similar to the sticker labels you’d see on Lush products, except signed by hand), as well as a cute motivational saying. Although I know with utter certainty that I have some of these rolling around because I couldn’t bring myself to throw them out, I can’t find them now to take a picture unfortunately. They’re pretty active on Instagram though and I’m sure if you search the #EvilQueenCandles tag you’d find what I’m talking about.
I never got a scent I didn’t love. The only thing that ever made me sad about them was that my nose would adjust to the scent and I would cease to appreciate it after an hour or two. I’ve since come to the realization that that’s just the nature of the business. Oh, how incredible the apartment would smell as soon as you walked in, though. And none of the scents were chemical-y in the very least – I will never walk away from candles made with essential oils. They’re just so much more pleasant smelling.
Now, despite my desire to reduce the amount of shipping I got, I couldn’t resist the words “exclusive candles” and decided to briefly try their subscription service. $20 a month for a single candle may seem a bit silly to others but you read my small love letter to candles above. I had to try it.
I had the subscription service from October through December and loved each one. My husband Nicholas, a fellow candle admirer, ended up stealing Ghosted from me he liked it so much. For November, we had a wonderful fall scent called Food Coma and December featured a scent I’d compare to what I imagine the peak of a mountain to smell like called Omg Chill.
Truth be told, the main reason I canceled the subscription was because I felt guilty about the shipping. Otherwise, I really do believe that if you truly love candles, you will feel like the subscription is worth it.
In the months that I’ve been in Grand Rapids, I’ve tried every local candle shop I could find. Nicholas and I made our own, I found one made here in town, and one made an hour south of us in Kalamazoo. None of them held a candle to Evil Queen (ahahahaaaaa end my suffering). The experience of making your own candle is fun for the novelty but you end up realizing why some people have this as a job. None of the four candles we made ever smelled as amazing as the Evil Queen ones we got. As for the pre-made local candles, one costed $35 and was just okay while the $16 one literally wouldn’t even light! Once we run out of Bath & Body Works candles that we got from the sale, I’ll probably buy another $100 order of candles from Evil Queen so I can both get free shipping and feel slightly less guilty about my contribution to climate change.
Just because the planet is becoming inhabitable for humans doesn’t mean I can’t have nice things, right?
As you can probably tell, I give Evil Queen candles a 5 out of 5. They cost a bit more than I would necessarily prefer to spend but I absolutely understand why. Using sustainable resources and paying people living wages (especially in LA), is expensive. I dream of a day that they become available in a retail format though I don’t know if that’s a plan they have for the future. I can’t wait to see what scents they come up with for spring. Oh! And if you’re an astrology slut like me, their zodiac candles are lit. Heheheh. Okay, last pun, I swear.
What’s your favorite candle brand? Talk to me about your favorite scents, too! Comment below and give me some suggestions for things you’d like me to review.