I Can’t Stop Buying, or Talking About, This Cozy Candle


As creatures of comfort, we’re resurrecting ELLE.com’s Cozy Week. In order to armor ourselves for 2021, we’re prepping you during the hazy days between Christmas and NYE, covering all things sweatpants, bath goods, and all the feel-good content we deserve to close out the year.

A lifetime ago, otherwise known as October of last year, my best friend and I decided to treat ourselves with a night out at Olmsted, a Brooklyn restaurant that’d been on our bucket list for months. It was a bit on the expensive side for a casual Thursday meal, so we decided to tackle the menu with our living-on-a-media-salary-budget strategy: bypass the main entrees in favor of appetizers and dessert. Turns out, the most expensive thing Olmsted convinced me to buy didn’t even show up at our table.

OK, yes, it was a candle. (The headline gave me away!) Before we left, my friend and I both made trips to the bathroom and returned raving about the warm woodsy scent that turned the restaurant’s powder room into a full-on sensory experience. We made it out the door before doubling back to ask the hostess what was on display. Thus began our obsession with the Apotheke charcoal candle. Here’s why I love it:

If you plan to spend most of your pandemic winter nights horizontal on the couch, might I suggest you do it with this burning on your coffee table? The candle’s aesthetic—a chic matte black tumbler with all-black wax—is a mood in itself, and the scent—cedarwood and sandalwood with notes of smokey amber—will transport you to a cabin in the Catskills with a roaring fireplace and a collection of sweaters nearby. (I predict this will be an especially helpful tool as we try not to yearn for the glory days of socially-distanced summer outings.) If I had a dollar for every time someone in our apartment has yelled, “It smells so good in here,” while this candle was burning, I’d go ahead and buy the three-wick version.

Hear me out: In my efforts to reuse the items I buy instead of tossing them out, I try to salvage as many candles as possible. This means when I’ve burned a candle down to its dredges, I’ll pop it in the freezer for a day and then use a knife to scrape out any remaining wax, leaving me with a new, usable container. I can speak from experience that the Apotheke candles respond to the freezer method extremely well, plus the container’s packaging is simple yet beautiful, making it perfect for reuse purposes. And while maybe that’s not traditionally “cozy,” a little DIY does make me feel fuzzy inside.

According to Apotheke’s website, the company all started in founder Chrissy Fichtl’s kitchen. She created Apotheke in 2011, and her husband Sebastian Picasso became the company’s production lead in 2012. The two started out selling at farmers’ markets and then brought their soaps and candles to flea markets in Brooklyn; they still pour their candles and bar soaps in the borough. They’ve also given back to the community through their work with NYC’s Bowery Mission.

As for the product, the charcoal candle is described as vegan, non-toxic, cruelty-free, and made with a soy wax blend. And while $38 is an admittedly high price to pay for a candle, this occasional indulgence has made the perpetual indoors feel just a little more novel.

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