People get very angry about scented candles. The good ones cost a fortune, the cheap ones only smell nice for the first fifteen minutes or so, and all of them get wasted if you have to blow them out too soon on the first burn. Who knew one little jar of wax could cause such problems?
This is why I love the Yankee Candle Company. They straddle the middle ground between your once every five years Diptyque indulgence, and those cheapo pound shop candles that seemed a good idea at the time until you got them home and your flatmate told you they smell like B.O. There is a Yankee Candle in just about every scent imaginable, and if you use them properly, they're as economical as you're going to get for a candle that keeps its scent until the very last inch. Some people may think they're an unnecessary expense, but if you have an open plan kitchen and living room like I do, something to diffuse cooking smells is a must.
And I'm not the only one that loves them - in fact Yankee are currently celebrating getting 1 Million fans on facebook with a big competition and some special limited edition versions of their bestselling Vanilla Cupcake candle. Here it is, in situ with my current collection...
Yankee succeed, I think, not just because they are more affordable, but because their candles really do smell exactly like they're meant to. Vanilla Cupcake is a sickly sweet confection. Christmas Tree is rich and piney. Freshly Cut Roses smells like a florists shop.
But it's when they let their imagination go wild that things get interesting. Take the My Favourite Things range, inspired by the song from The Sound Of Music. Crisp Apple Strudel remains my favourite Yankee of all time - others were a little more surprising. Do you know what Brown Paper Packages smell of? How about Warm Woollen Mittens?
So as a die-hard member of the Yankee fan club, what would I recommend to a newbie? You can't beat the classics and anything in a white jar is a safe bet - Clean Cotton, Midnight Jasmine, Baby Powder. This Summer, Black Coconut has caught my eye, and I'm a big advocate of any of the foodie scents, especially the cakey ones. If you're not a fan of sweet scents, opt for something crisper. Whichever you choose, their prices are fantastic - the medium candles are just £16.49 and have a burn time of 65-90 hours.