My Favorite Olive Oil Brand Made a Candle That I Can’t Stop Burning

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I cook a lot—like a lot a lot. We’re talking the good, fragrant stuff: garlic, curry, cauliflower. But after I sauté some spinach for lunch or reheat my Thai leftovers, my entire tiny apartment smells for days (or at least, it feels that way). It’s the type of aroma that gets in my towels, my curtains, and sweaters. It goes beyond the expected few-hour, post-dinner linger. As in, I’ll hop out of the shower, expecting to envelop myself in a laundry-fresh towel, but then—sautéed mushrooms?! I’ve tried to leave windows open, run a ceiling fan, and even bought plants to get the air moving. Nothing. That telltale cumin scent stays for hours. Nothing like inviting a few friends over for drinks to a place that smells like steamed broccoli.

All this to say, when I heard about the new Brightland Digestif candle that promises to banish kitchen odors, I jumped to try it. You simply light after cooking to clear any of those funky dinner smells that might be overstaying their welcome.

The critic in me was highly skeptical at first. How was a candle really going to get rid of the aroma of chorizo? So I ran some tests on the smelliest culinary culprits in my kitchen rotation. I’m vegan, so my most serious stink offenders tend to be cruciferous vegetables, curry, and garlic. I was impressed at how easily it cleared the steamed-kale air. Same for the sautéed garlic and shiitakes that I love so dearly. And I knew a Jamaican-inspired curry was going to be tricky for the candle to beat—and it was—but I found after just an hour or so, with the help of open windows, the candle still did the trick.

Since I only eat plants, I called in a favor from my omnivorous boyfriend to put the Digestif candle to the ultimate test: fish. Much to our surprise, that fried fish taco smell that typically lasts until morning decreased to a faint fishy whiff by bedtime. I loved how the fish scent pleasantly dissipated, and instead of my kitchen reeking of a weird mix of floral-meets-fried, my apartment smelled of a delightful combination of peppery, fresh herbs with just a hint of orange blossom.

If you don’t already know Brightland, you should. The company was founded by Aishwarya Iyer, who says she was inspired to make her own when she was unable to find a quality olive oil to use in her home cooking. When I first tried Brightland’s olive oil, I could tell it instantly upgraded my homemade champagne vinaigrette with an herbaceous butteriness that was craveable and extra dunkable with a freshly baked focaccia. So, I was thrilled to see their expansion into candle-making because, according to Brightland, using a high-quality olive oil extends the lifespan and scent-throw of a candle. When I first lit the Digestif candle, I found that to be true. The candle’s scent infused my entire apartment, not just the kitchen. The herbaceousness from their original oil that I tasted in my vinaigrette carried over to this kitchen candle, providing a grassy undertone that was unfamiliar, but very welcome. How was I to know that notes of neroli, black pepper, orange blossom, and vetiver were exactly what my kitchen needed? It works so well you’d think it might be too much at times, but it’s not overpowering, and instead is always delicate and balanced. 

The Digestif looks great, too. I love the glass vessel it comes in. It’s a frosted white, instead of clear glass, and I’ve repurposed mine as a bud vase. Most importantly, it really works! It’s nothing like burning your favorite floral or woodsy bedroom candle in your kitchen. In fact, it seems that over the past year and a half, the kitchen candle has broken out as a new must-have accessory, since I now see them popping up everywhere. With everyone cooking at home, working at home, and doing just about everything else from home, this candle helps freshen the post-meal kitchen and transform the multi-use space back to my WFH office/living room/hang-out space. The candle clears any unwanted smells—not in a covering-up, perfume-y way—but in a palate-cleansing way. The candle’s notes don’t just mix with your kitchen’s to create a kinda-sorta-okay smell; they suck the cauliflower right out of the air. One catch: Just know that the candle does not work instantaneously. It takes 20 to 60 minutes to work its magic. Still, with a 40-hour burn time (maybe even longer), what’s not to love?

I love the scent so much that I’m guilty of no longer reserving it as a post-dinner refresher. The blend of neroli, vetiver, and black pepper is a balanced savory-sweet fragrance that I’m burning in the bath or will light in the morning to start the day. In my house, this candle is doing double-duty as aperitif and digestif.

Brightland Digestif Candle

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