If you had asked, I would have said there was plenty of choice when it came to candle scents. There’s apple cinnamon and pumpkin spice in the fall, beach-inspired scents in the summer, and all types of florals year round.
But if you stop to think about it, does a strawberry shortcake candle mean anything to your mom or your sister? Does a pine tree scent bring back memories of cozy winter nights if you grew up where there were no pine trees? The sense of smell is the most connected to memory, which gives candles a power beyond the obvious.
Enter Scrumptious Wicks, owned by Sonya Malani Panchal and featuring candles that resonate with South Asian connections. Just reading the names of her candles is delightful: Indian Monsoon, Cardamom and Pepper, Cinnamon Chai.
“The candles draw on my memories of growing up in an Indian-American household — the woody aroma of incense sticks burning or the spicy, warm scent of masala chai brewing on the stove — these are scents that evoke feelings of comfort and home to me,” Sonya says.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Sonya is a self-described candle obsessive. She loves and has always burned candles. Her now-husband made sure there were tons of candles at the proposal, and there was no lack of candles at their wedding.
We ordered Scrumptious Wicks candles, and there was actual swooning. Indian Monsoon, featured in the Love Always Gift Box, is so clean and refreshing with a hint of what it’s like after a torrential downpour clears the air. Ginger & Red Saffron is sensuous and rich; even the name evokes spicy, sultry romance. Mango Lassi brings a familiar, beloved reminder of the classic drink, whether you tasted it overseas or at your favorite Indian restaurant. The scents are old and new at the same time — with absolutely no artificial or false notes.
“One of my favorite things is watching my mom and our friends open and smell a candle and then they just get this look in their eyes as the scent brings back memories,” Sonya explains.
Sonya’s candles are hand-poured in small batches in the United States. Every candle is made with renewable and natural soy wax (from U.S. soybean farmers), lead-free wicks, and phthalate-free fragrances infused with essential oils. They are also dye-free. The high-quality ingredients mean the candles have a longer burn time with virtually no soot or smoke.
Masala My Life loves the value that Scrumptious Wicks brings to our gift boxes. We’re so glad Sonya turned her obsession into something we can all enjoy.
-- By Anu Mannar