Our review of the most unique candles you’ll see this year
A sepia tinged photo, the edges frayed by the passing of time…a mysterious message that beckons exploration…an obscured history enveloped by an alluring scent… These are just some of the enigmatic elements used to create the stunning line that is Manifest Destiny Luxury Candles.
Created by Meike Kopp, who’s own background is as fascinating as those of her characters, these beautiful candles are the debut products from Manifest Destiny. They were developed after Kopp realized she wanted to turn her stories and history of aromatic guided journeys into an offering of “neo-vaudeville style” candles.
Packaged within each gorgeous black box (as seen above) is a soy based candle encased in a metallic votive that will burn for 80 hours. To date, there are two collections of candles; Series I and Series II and each Series contains four distinct candles ($40 each) inspired by an actual antique photograph.
From these vintage photos Kopp imagines a character and a fable (an enclosed booklet includes a teaser of each fable and each can be found in its entirety on the website). In turn, each fable intersects with the fable of another candle’s character creating multi-layered, intertwining stories.
Embracing both masculine and feminine sensibility, these candles are meant to offer more than just an array of delicious scents. The key ingredients found within the candles matches those within their corresponding fables; enchanting elixirs like spilled vermouth, night blooming jasmine and pouch tobacco abound.
The moment you smell one of these candles and read the coinciding tale, you’ll immediately feel immersed in a past that somehow feels comfortable, familiar and a little haunting… and they leave you aching for a memory. A memory with fragile, yellow pages of musty, tattered books, a quiet open plain where shadows of passing clouds dot the landscape, the weight of a rusted cold skeleton key, the gentle clatter of alchemist bottles, the smell and feel of dirt, rough cotton linens and burning oil lamps.
I was the happy tester of series II candle Nouvelle Orleans with scents of absinthe and Spanish moss and an image of two young girls holding hands. I soon found myself lost in the world of young Byrdie Walker, daughter to a slave and a Cheyenne Indian woman. Her strange visions lead her down a path of discovering who her father was and in turn give her a sense self.
Not only was the story fascinating, but also I was immediately drawn into the candle’s heady aroma of an almost creamy spiciness and subdued earthiness. Potent but not overwhelming, it filled the room with a deep, sensual, muskiness.
The wht team was fortunate to receive Manifest Destiny candles from both series to test, including :
• Nouvelle Orleans Hymns of spirit and surrender – absinthe and Spanish Moss.
• Frolic An evocative romp into your childhood senses – grass, bees and wind.
• Hunter’s Reign Waiting for the moment, the moment is here – bourbon, moss, leather and pouch tobacco.
• Vintage Velvet A vaudevillian act in 5 senses – cognac and amber.
• Sea Flyer The Great Bird Descends - North sea wind, wild heather and salt marsh grass.
• Dark Forest Baptized by Nature’s breath - incense cedar, crushed violets and sequoia.
Wow. How many of you are scrambling to order right now based on some of those mind blowing note blends?
If these amazing candles weren’t enough, Kopp has created “Oracles of Destiny,” a line of 10 greeting cards featuring similar vintage images with a message or “oracle.” The card I received of a young boy dressed in lederhosen and smoking a pipe with the message “Embrace the sophisticated child within” definitely made me smile. Beautiful and amusing, these cards are a fun way to send a bit of mysterious wisdom to a loved one.
Does Manifest Destiny have you intrigued? Unsure of which candle’s winding journey you want to explore? Then read on through the comments to hear more about our other testers’ experiences of tales and treasures unveiled.
Kari is a Minneapolis based artist who drinks too much coffee and enjoys taking pictures of the strange foods she eats. She’s always running 10 minutes behind despite her clock being an hour fast. You can find her musings on art, music and food at her blog, Tuna Fish Casserole.
Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.