My two weekly luxuries are fresh flowers and scented candles… It’s like the cream cheese to the bagel — you can’t have one without the other. I mean, you can, but why would you when enjoyed together, they are so satisfyingly delicious?
So because of my love of candles, through trial and error, I have sourced my favorites in a labor of love. The discernment process comes down to two main things — the scent and the vessel. Nothing else matters but the scent. The pleasure offered by the scent, when you walk into the room, should be like no other. But to have it housed in a simple design that complements the room and is quality made, well, that is hard to top.
I like to imagine the jar or container’s reuse as the ultimate testament to its quality; the true win on the part of the candle-maker. In fact, I have a whole set of casual wine or juice glasses left over from my Votivo/Red Currant days. I love the idea of enjoying the olfactory pleasure, wafting through my home or office, and then letting the memory live on through the joy of re-use.
Diptyque and La Labo are my other two favorites. And so one might think that I really don’t have the need to find any other brand. After all, I have journeyed through this life and I know my go-to’s. (You know when you hit that stage in life when you declare, “No new friends!” It’s like that, too, with candles.)
Well, that’s the fun thing about life — it surprises you.
I fell immediately in love with a108 candles. Like, I flipped and immediately had an affair on my current Diptyque obsession. The onyx vessel is gorgeous. It snatched my breath. I mean, they took the vessel game up to a whole other level — the many things one can do once the candle has burned are endless — thus making the value worth it for the vessel alone.
But like when you meet someone fine, you pray they are also about something. It takes getting to know them better to find out whether their inner beauty matches the vibe. Well, I was nervous that I may not like who they really are. But the scent is equally divine. I am known to not burn a candle, even one in a cute glass, if the smell isn’t right. But this one lingers, and with its infusion of CBD, its properties even offer some healing. Quick — where is the “Add To Cart” button?
Then I found out that a Black married couple were the creators behind a108. I just waved my hand in the air like I was there when Aretha Franklin recorded her “Amazing Grace Live” at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church… And I didn’t just think about myself, I wanted to spread the gospel… and thought you might also want to enjoy a life of luxury while supporting this Black-owned business offering up such thoughtful excellence.
So in the spirit of putting you up on my finds, and to honor my mother’s birthday (73 candles for her today), I’m sharing an opportunity for you, too, to fall in love with a108 candles at a discounted price.
Now get to know my latest MUSES:
a108 Co-Founders, Isaiah Andrew & Rachel Brooks
Here are a few of the couple/business partner’s Favorite Things:
Favorite Seasons: Fall in Brooklyn and Summer in Chicago.
Favorite Childhood Memory: Going to church service at Howard University’s Chapel. We got to hear some of the most important leaders, activists, and brightest minds speak, as well as to get a glimpse of the amazing Black culture on Howard University’s campus.
Favorite Neighborhood in LA: Highland Park. We love the young energy, culture, and diversity of the neighborhood, which makes the community feel like an authentic LA experience.
Favorite Scent Profile: Bergamot, Blackberry & Rose, which is similar to our Fragrance No. 1 candle scent profile.
Ritual to Inspire Creativity: Traveling to Baja California, Mexico, to enjoy the quiet, calm, and beautiful beach towns.
Comfort Food: Home-made chocolate chip cookies.
Way to Wind Down: Sitting in our backyard with the fire pit burning, while enjoying a nice cup of tea or one of my home-made Old Fashioned’s.
Artistic Medium to Work With: Charcoal and vintage newspaper for our charcoal-based drawings.
WORDS: Mara Brock Akil
PHOTOS: Courtesy of a108 Studio