Kelly Bertrand reaches peak elder millennial and tries to figure out the youth’s latest perplexing trend – the candle warmer lamp.
Is nothing sacred anymore?
I can handle the dance challenges. I can tolerate the unboxings. I can even deal with the fact now everything has to be an ‘era’ or some kid of ‘core’ and that they think bringing back low rise jeans is a good idea even though we’ve BLOODY TOLD THEM.
But I can’t get behind Gen-Z telling me to stop lighting my candles.
In this week’s ‘it’s going viral on TikTok and I don’t understand why’ (not a regular series but just give me a few more grey hairs and a bottle of chardonnay and we’ll be there), our plucky younger pals have decreed that the era of lighting candles is over, and instead, we should be buying candle warmers.
And not just a candle warmer. A candle warmer LAMP.
Racking up almost 80 million views on TikTok (or #candletok as the kids say and I have to admit, I’m interested) there’s a specific candle warmer lamp that’s gone viral, inspiring a slew of copies and dupes on Amazon that right white ‘Vanilla Girl Aesthetic’ influencers have lapped up in droves.
So the idea is that you pop your candle under the candle warmer lamp, which melts the wax at a slower rate and without the flame.
Users reckon the wax melts more evenly, and due to this, lasts longer, and the halogen bulb is strong enough to get the wax liquid enough to release the scent.
Now, I’ll concede that this candle warmer lamp is a good idea if you have small children – safety first – or if you’re so scatterbrained you frequently turn your house into a fire hazard and forget to blow your candles out.
But surely, SURELY, one of life’s great joys is a gently flickering flame with a gorgeous scent – a candle isn’t just a candle. It’s a VIBE.
Candlelight is one of life’s little pleasures for me – a reminder to slowdown, to refocus, to enjoy something so simple as a happily dancing flame.
Can you really get this from sticking your candle onto a glorified hotplate?
Well according to the youth, yes – especially, they argue, as the lamp is dimmable, so therefore able to be adjusted to meet your required vibe. “So, so pretty, and safer than burning candles. The light can be adjusted to create just the right ambiance,” says one TikTok user.
However, even the most ardent fan admits they’re only really good for small spaces, with the scent throw weaker than the traditional flame.
I SHOULD love these. I have a house full of expensive candles that I’ll never light because they’re too nice (much to my partner’s annoyance because for my 30th birthday he bought me a sickenly pricey Tom Ford candle that I think he expected me to light and think of him, but I just stare at it happily which makes far more sense to me).
If I’m home, there’s always a candle lit. Hell, Capsule runs annual Scented Candle Awards, such as my (and co-founder Emma Clifton’s) obsession.
But this is a step to far. To quote Prodigy, I’m a firestarter.
And the irony is that no-one from Gen Z will ever get that reference.