Diptyque candles have a cult following. They have nice scents. They last for ages. You can buy them from Space NK for £40 a pop.
Can you tell that I’m struggling to sound enthusiastic here? The truth is that a decade after Diptyque came into vogue, I am still agog that people will pay that much for a chuffing candle. £40?! It seems downright tragic to spend that on a blob of wax in a glass, just to give the sitting-room an occasional floral pong.
So if you like Diptyque candles but, like me, cannot thoil* them, I have a proposal for you:
Go and check out the Flower Garden range of candles at Waitrose.
I discovered these by accident, just yesterday. I was ducking out of the Waitrose store near to work after picking up a late lunch (£5 sushi reduced to 99p a box after 2pm – you can’t knock it), when I caught a whiff from the display close to the door. Holy Moses: it smelled amazing.
I ended up buying two candles: roughly the same size as the Diptyque candles, I think, and in brushed glass pots painted with pictures of the flowers.
Honeysuckle & Sweet Pea. The equivalent Diptyque scent is Chevrefeuille. Honeysuckle is one of my two favourite fragrances: a bright, subtle, delicately honeyed scent filling a warm summer night. (OK, I pinched that last bit from the Diptyque description.)
Lily of the Valley. The equivalent Diptyque scent is Muguet. Lily of the valley is my other favourite fragrance, but a lot of the commercial lily of the valley scents put me off because they are too sweet and cloying. This one, though, is just right: delicate and fresh.
The honeysuckle candle is pale pink, and the lily of the valley candle is pale green.
And how much did they cost? Well, the Diptyque candles cost £40 each… and the Waitrose candles are a snip of the price, at £6 each.
If you have a candle crush, I recommend checking them out. Cunning Waitrose, putting them by the door: they must be selling like hotcakes. I wanted a second lily of the valley candle for Frugal Grandma, but I’d grabbed the last one so the store is ordering a second candle in for me.
If you don’t have a Waitrose nearby, you can always check them out online. The candle size I bought (second row in the picture above) isn’t yet available on the Waitrose website, but the website is stocking the large, three-wick Flower Garden candles for £10 each, along with candles in tins for £5 apiece.
One final point: the Diptyque candles are supposed to last for 50-60 hours once lit. Small print says the Waitrose candles will last for 35 hours. I haven’t tested this out yet, but I will post setting out some thrifty tips and tricks to make your candles last longer.
*Thoil is an old Yorkshire word, and I like it a lot. If you are wondering what it means, click through and find out…