In Discussions, Shopping, Style

Are luxury products like Diptyque candles really worth the money?

Diptyque sells very expensive candles.

They look sleek, modern, and very stylish, and apparently smell heavenly.

The price of them is about $65 USD per candle, and I have been curious (of course I have been) to smell them, but can’t really bring myself to pay $65 USD for a candle.

It is literally like burning money. I would smell burning money, that’s what I’d smell.

https://shopstyle.it/l/YkKs

I posed the question on Instagram in one of my stories, and two responses intrigued me (yes, you can message me DIRECTLY on Instagram!) and here it is:

Overpriced for sure

I had a business making hand poured candles in high school and I can tell you that’s insanely overpriced.

It’s ridiculous. They don’t even use dye in their candles. It’s a basic glass jar, wax, and oil (scent). I’ve never seen the oil cost more than $25 for a 16 oz. bottle and you only add about an ounce of oil for every pound of wax.

Basic chemistry limits the amount of fragrance that can be added because there comes a point when it will no longer bind with the wax.

Maybe the oil is expensive?

Highly unlikely though I’m sure it is good quality. I’m sure you could order similar oils and make your own for a fraction of the cost.


I used to work for the company that made the perfumes for those candles. They made everything from high end fragrance to the scent for toilet cleaner. The fragrance in those candles costs <£3 (or $4 USD).

“I can tell you that a lot of manufacturers are guilty of only scenting the top layer of wax. So it smells good the first time you burn it.”

I got curious, so I read an article (also sent to me by lovely reader E.M. from IG whom I would name but am not sure she would want me to) about why posh candles are money up in smoke and apparently Diptyque was “worth the hype” in their opinion, so perhaps they don’t scent just the top layer of wax but the entire candle itself.

Then I thought about it some more, and realized it is like anything else in the world.

Take Starbucks for instance.

Hot milk, some coffee (what, you can’t make that at home yourself?) and some syrup. $6.

Real cost at home, is $1.50 at best, per cup.

A whole litre of organic milk (not even what they use at Starbucks) is $4! That makes at least 4 MASSIVE cups of the chai lattes I love to drink, and yet I still buy them.

This is a luxury thing.

It is all about the feeling you get when you own something so pricey, or drink something so “luxurious”.

Your enjoyment of it, increases than if you made the cup of the best coffee in the world.

Convenience, matters.

Couple that with luxury and it means you can just throw or burn money, and it doesn’t really make a dent in your finances or your life. You aren’t gasping to yourself when you burn your $65 candle. You’re enjoying it. It’s a treat.

That said, even though I understand it psychologically, I think luxury candles are where I draw the line unless they’re electric like this one:

…but even so!

What do you think?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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16 Comments

  1. Gigie

    I love candles, but the ones from bath and body works are $25 full priced, and $15 on sale. They smell great all the way through (the one I’m burning now is almost done) and can fill the living room in most houses with scent. So I don’t really see how a $65 candle will function any better.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      So I have been schooled on this and apparently it is the fragrance itself that makes a difference – there is a certain scent to Diptyque candles that cannot be replicated in fragrances like Vanilla, or Cherry… To each their own. I see it as money burning but some people really enjoy the smell enough to pay for it.

      Reply
  2. Xin

    I’d be fine with the Diptyque candle price if I had a lifestyle right now that gave me the time to enjoy scented candles at home (since it’s good to burn then for long enough to melt the entire top layer of wax during each session to avoid tunneling/allow for an even burn/melt – which should take at least 2 hours with a candle the size of the $65 Diptyques). I used to have that kind of lifestyle while I was in school, when I’d often settle in for long study sessions at home or be able to relax at home for a few hours at a time, each for several days a week. These days, that doesn’t really happen now that I’m working! Plus, now that I live with K, I’m not sure he’d enjoy the same scents I do, so I just avoid the expense of scented candles entirely.

    Back in the day when I did use scented candles, I never quite got around to trying one from Diptyque, but like Jodie, I really liked Voluspa and thought they gave a good balance of price and good value relative to how much I liked the scents and how strong the scent was. (I do find a noticeable difference in the strength of the scent between Voluspa candles and much more affordable ones I’ve encountered in the past, the scent disperses through the room much better with the Voluspa ones.) I also had the chance to try one Jo Malone candle from a secret Santa gift, and I thought the scent was stronger/there was a clear quality difference where the Jo Malone one was higher quality in terms of scent dispersal. That particular Jo Malone scent (their Red Roses scent) was a bit one-note, however, the actual scent wasn’t my cup of tea.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      My friend loves Jo Malone, but I have never purchased a fancy candle to burn in my life…

      Reply
  3. Financial Orchid

    That totally reminds me of those Jo Malone candles https://amzn.to/2CvmqU2
    You know what i’m talkin’ about.
    I mean they smell nice but it is sure luxury. My super pretty, influencer level Korean coworker first told me about it and I just shrugged when I heard the price tag.

    Then I somehow ended up at a rich friend of a friend’s BBQ in West Hollywood and omg there they were again the Jo Malone candle. Her boyfriend tried to cook marshmallow with it and she flipped out.

    But I can see how candles/aromatherapy/soap are a favorite amongst ladies. I am guilty too.
    I’m still not sure if it’s worth it persay but omg the Orange Blossom is divine.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Hmm I need to smell these things.

      Reply
  4. Emma

    I really love Diptyque candles, so they are worth it for me 🙂 I mean, they are 100% not a necessary purchase and they are probably overpriced. But they smell heavenly until the very end, and I re-use the packaging as storage for make-up brushes, pens, hair ties, etc – just seeing them in my home brings me joy. It’s one of those things where I know it’s futile but it makes me happy. And I never go to Starbucks since I own a lovely expresso maker, so at least there’s that! I think we all have our little splurges, and as long as we can also pay the bills and save for retirement, it’s all good.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      The container is super pretty for holding things afterwards

      Reply
  5. Jodie Bierbrauer

    I buy my tealight (small and large) candles from IKEA. They burn pretty clean and come with various scents or standard unscented. I stock up when I go there. They have other candles as well with various scents depending on the season. And don’t forget TJ Maxx for candles. Sometimes they have a good selection.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Ikea candles I find, lose their smell after a few minutes when the first layer burns off…. I have never tried a fancy one

      Reply
  6. Jodie Bierbrauer

    Voluspa candles are my candle splurges. I stock up at Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale. I frequently have a candle burning in fall, winter and spring when the days are short. I think Voluspa offers a good bang for the buck. You can also pick them up at Anthropologie where they have quite a variety available.

    I have never been one to splurge on coffee. I prefer buying my own beans and making a cup at home to take with me. I splurged when I snapped up my Saeco Intelia cappuccino machine at Williams Sonoma six years ago that was bargain priced on the clearance rack. It’s definitely paid for itself since then and I hope it lasts forever because I wouldn’t pay full price for a replacement.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      We all find our little luxuries.

      Reply
      1. F

        Ikea candles scks!

        Reply
  7. Yet Another PF Blog

    I don’t value candles, so it is no surprise I think it a ridiculous price.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      That’s probably why I don’t care about candles either. I don’t see the point.

      Reply

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