This photo is one of my favorites. It was taken by a photographer for the Miami Herald, and featured on the cover of the paper shortly before Valentine’s Day this year, accompanying a story about frugal Valentine’s Day ideas. But the backstory behind the photo is kind of funny — my husband and I had to hold the pose and sit tight for about 20 minutes while the photographer fiddled with his camera settings to prevent the candle’s flames from reflecting all over our faces. Lucky for us, the candles in the photo smelled absolutely incredible, so crouching with our noses so close to them was kind of wonderful. Let me tell you about some of the candles you see flickering before you, and some home fragrance companies you absolutely should check out! Oh, and spoiler alert — there’s a giveaway at the end of this post!

Sacred Glo is a candle company I learned about via Twitter — the creator is a very friendly bella, and from the moment she approached me about her products I kind of knew I’d love them. What can I say; I’m a fool for romance, and massage candles can really ignite the mood!

Sacred Glo candles are all natural lotion candles that come in four divine scents — Sacred Clarity, Almond Glo, Nevis Island Breeze, and Sensual Groove. At $24.99, they’re totally worth it if you’re especially into natural goodness. Made with soy bean oil, shea butter, natural essential oils and eco-friendly fragrant scents, the temperature of the melted oil is just 2 degrees above body temperature, so it’s never hot enough to burn your skin. Light one up, let it melt, and enjoy your loved one rubbing warm massage oil all over you. It’s like heaven, trust! Visit Sacred for yours.

If you love a highly scented, robust, room filling candle (and price isn’t an object), check out Candle Delirium — they’ve got quite a collection of high end home fragrance items. Tocca, Voluspa, Paddywax, and Archipelago Botanicals are all here, but the one my husband loved was Blue Absinthe by Delirium and Co..

It’s described in somewhat florid prose as “Dark, mysterious and regal…capturing the essence of royalty and sophistication, a time when men were brave, suave and chivalrous.” OK then! So how does it smell? The blend of absinthe, vetyver, blonde woods, basil and rosemary is very strong, and very, very manly. This candle smells kind of like I’d like my husband to smell. Does it come in a cologne, too? $38 for a heavy 7.9 oz candle in a translucent, reflective midnight blue glass.

And finally, finally I can shout to the world about MickeyMade! These candles are so sweetly scented, I just want to eat them! The creator (that’d be Mickey) took a hiatus from business but now is back and better than ever. Mickey Made candles are super afforable ($1.75 for a “mini,” 9 oz candles cost $6.50, and big 16 oz candles are just $10.50), and they come in so many fragrances, it’ll make your head spin. Apple Pie, Baby Powder, Brown Sugar, Carrot Cake, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Citrus Basil, Coconut, Cranberry, Dreamsicle, Eucalyptus, Fresh Cotton, Gardenia, Green Apple, Lilac, Mango, Nag Champa, Peppermint, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Rose, Sandalwood, Strawberry, Tangerine, Vanilla, and Watermelon — take your pick!

No, seriously — visit the website and pick your favorite fragrance, because it’s an Afrobella/Mickey Made giveaway! I meant to offer this around the time of my birthday at the beginning of the month, but my birthday present (this wonderful road trip I’m still on) took me far away from blogland. So mea culpa, and please enjoy this belated birthday giveaway!

Five lucky readers will win a 9 oz candle of their choice. All you gotta do is two little things.

First, click here to fill out a brief survey, which will help me know more about you, and will help me make Afrobella even better! And second, leave a comment below telling me what your scent of choice is, and why it’s your favorite.

I’ll leave these comments open till Friday at noon, and will choose and announce winners by next week. And I’ll be back from my road trip by then, and back to regular blogging. Yay!

Good luck, bellas!

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D Mosley says:
March 31, 2009, 8:21 am
My favorite is brown sugar. It reminds me of my great grandmothers cakes
Margaret says:
March 31, 2009, 8:50 am
Mango - it reminds me of summer.
KF519 says:
March 31, 2009, 9:07 am
The chocolate one sounds good...I love the way chocolate smells so having it in a candle would be a way to enjoy the great smell without the guilt.
Afia says:
March 31, 2009, 9:09 am
Eucalyptus or Fresh Cotton- they are such nice clean, pure scents and I love the freshness about them.
T.T. says:
March 31, 2009, 9:14 am
I like exotic scents, so I would go with Coconut or Mango!
Tara says:
March 31, 2009, 9:16 am
I would say Brown Sugar. I always love the smell of brown sugar, because it brings me back to my childhood of rural Virginia (Berryville, represent), picking fruit for my great-grandmother's famous desserts. But of course, the one ingredient that was shared among them all was brown sugar. It also takes me to my "cool cousin's" brownstone in Harlem, where my nine-year-old self would feel oh so grown up using her brown sugar body scrub on our girl's nights, as I got used to pampering my skin and taking care of myself. It's a lovely scent that reminds me of my childhood and smells delicious to boot!
yaya526 says:
March 31, 2009, 9:44 am
peony, that scent makes me smile. :)
Kelly says:
March 31, 2009, 9:50 am
Ok, so maybe it doesn't qualify as my favorite scent, but I would choose Nag Champa because I haven't the slighest idea of what that is and what it smells like. I could become my new favorite scent. How fun is that to try new things?
Ings says:
March 31, 2009, 9:51 am
Rose - it's that scent that you get when you open your windows on the first truly warm beautiful day of spring. It's still rainy and cold in Boston so I have idea when I will actually get a chance to experience this scent again, but I love it !
Gina says:
March 31, 2009, 10:00 am
I think I'd like the fresh cotton scent; there's something really satisfying about the smell of clean linens. In the summer, my mom would hang duvets on the line outside, and they always smelled so good, better than dryer sheets!
andrea says:
March 31, 2009, 10:01 am
pomegranate-simply because it's my favorite fruit.
Pretty Pink Princess on the way to becoming a Gorgeous Glam Queen says:
March 31, 2009, 10:01 am
Lovely picture!
shermi says:
March 31, 2009, 10:15 am
I am partial to fresh cotton, it just reminds me of laundry my grandma did and hung on the clothes line when I was a child.
Niki says:
March 31, 2009, 10:19 am
Mango because I love the fruit and I love the tropical thoughts the smell conjures up during boring days at the office.
Shuggie says:
March 31, 2009, 10:20 am
I would love the Gardenia scent - sweet and flowery is for me. But, I'd take Pineapple as a 2nd. Nothing beats a survey or providing an opinion to make one reflect...
Jamilia says:
March 31, 2009, 10:36 am
Gardenia is my favorite. I love the smell of it. It reminds me of home, we had a gardenia bush in our yard and at night the flowers would be in bloom smell so sweet. I have been looking all over for a gardenia-scented candle too!
fronsaf says:
March 31, 2009, 10:40 am
I would have to choose BROWN SUGAR. After looking at all the options, I came right back to that choice- perhaps because everything associated with it typically brings comfort. Whether it be that homemade batch of chocolate chip cookies you make huddled with your mom in the kitchen, or sprinkling some on that dish of sweet potatoes about to bake in the oven-it always means family, friends and love.
HaitianRoots says:
March 31, 2009, 11:12 am
How surprised was I when I saw that there was a MickeyMade giveaway. I just wanted to give a shout out to my dear friend Mickey!!!! Ladies, her soy candles are the BIZNESS! You will not be disappointed. She truly pours her love not only into the product, but also into the packaging/shipping of said product. Congrats to whoever wins!
tia says:
March 31, 2009, 11:13 am
i just wanted to say that i LOVE mickeymade candles and i'm so happy to see her featured here!
Tanya says:
March 31, 2009, 11:23 am
I love eucalyptus!
Layna says:
March 31, 2009, 11:26 am
My favorites are coconut, vanilla, and brown sugar. I love sweet tropical scents because I can feel like I'm on vacation relaxing on the beach. Cause there sure ain't NO beaches where I'm from. =)
Uptownbrowngirl says:
March 31, 2009, 11:28 am
My scent of choice is Nag Champa. I purchased some incense with this scent last month and decided to burn it Friday, after a late night at work. With music playing softly in the background, the scent helped to relax all of the tension of the workweek. The icing on the cake was the reaction of my love when he walked in the door. This man of few words said, "What's that? Smells great." A scent with the power to relax me AND the boyfriend likes it -- yeah, nag champa has a special place in my heart.
Aubrey says:
March 31, 2009, 11:30 am
I looove the smell of sandelwood. It always reminds me of my father :-)
Nycolette says:
March 31, 2009, 11:58 am
My favorite is Nag Champa. It definitely helps me to relax (which I have a hard time doing), and I get an odd sense of peace and a little bit of joy from the scent. Not to mention that it evokes memories of when I got my first tattoo about 500 years ago (lol), but that's another story for another day. :)
afrobello says:
March 31, 2009, 12:15 pm
Great picture. You should try Archipelago candles too. They're a bit expensive, but pleasing. I haven't had one in a long time, so I can't recommend one in particular.
2bnatural says:
March 31, 2009, 12:16 pm
Vanilla. It is classic,clean smell. Complementary to most other scents, and gives off an air of comfort because it feels like someone is baking in the kitchen.
Stacy says:
March 31, 2009, 12:25 pm
Eucalyptus. Just love the relaxing smell of it.
Laquita says:
March 31, 2009, 12:49 pm
Great post. I love scented candles. Although I love tropical fruity scents I also love chocolate :o) I have one chocolate candle that I have been trying to hold on to - because of the wonderful warm scent. One day me and the girls had it burning while watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and we were in heaven - lol.
Edi says:
March 31, 2009, 2:39 pm
Eucalyptus. I love the fresh, soothing and calming scent of Eucalyptus. It's one of those scents that I have to close my eyes, inhale and have an "ah" moment!
lauren says:
March 31, 2009, 3:37 pm
citrus basil Im not a big fan of heavy scents.(they give me headaches) This scent and other citrusy ones tend to not be overwhelming. I love using citrus body products as well.
Summer says:
March 31, 2009, 3:40 pm
Gardenia - because it reminds me of magical Springtime in the South.
Talis says:
March 31, 2009, 4:54 pm
My favorite is Vanilla. Vanilla reminds me of my family, Dad making the custard of his homemade Ice cream, that he always made for my birthday growing up, or my grandmother and her sisters, their kitchens always smelled of vanilla, from the cakes and pies they were always making for church, neighbors or friends. Vanilla just makes things feel wholesome, and regardless of where I am makes me think of home and family.
L says:
March 31, 2009, 5:40 pm
My favorite is the eucalyptus - it reminds me of foggy mornings on the Northern Cal coast.
Jewelry Rockstar says:
March 31, 2009, 5:58 pm
I would like Brown Sugar because it's so comforting.
Halifax says:
March 31, 2009, 6:01 pm
I like mango scent. It's my favorite fruit and reminds me of home
Jeanine says:
March 31, 2009, 6:07 pm
Fresh Cotton or Baby Powder Love the simple, classic scentS. It reminds me of Saturdays when the house was cleaned from top to bottom and all the linens brought in off the clothesline and the beds were made and under the flat sheets were sprinkled with baby powder. I always thought I slept so well because of all the Saturday work and play, but now that I'm older, I think it was these two things.
bebedee says:
March 31, 2009, 7:33 pm
Hey Lady....hope you're having a blast on your road trip! I'm so jealous - had knee surgery 3 weeks ago & I'm down for the count. Anywhoo, I'd love a coconut candle. It's one of my all-time favorite scents and reminds me of my trips to the Caribbean. I always get a Pina Colada or Miami Vice upon arrival!
Monet Noelle says:
March 31, 2009, 7:48 pm
I would absolutely LOVE a Fresh Cotton Candle. I am going through some transition in my life, from a girl who was all about her man to a woman who is all about herself. But not in a selfish way. I just really understand that solitude does not mean loneliness and that those quiet moments alone better equip you for those times when you are surrounded by others. It grounds you in yourself so that you do not become a chameleon and start acting like whoever you are around. So I would really like the fresh cotton candle to incite my senses during my quiet moments. I LOVE AFROBELLA!
Sabrina says:
March 31, 2009, 7:54 pm
Survey is done! Hope you're having fun on your trip...your tweets look like you're having a ball! I would like brown sugar to keep my house sweetened!
Joy says:
March 31, 2009, 8:12 pm
I am totally sold on Brown Sugar. I saw your post on Twitter this morning about MickeyMade and told all of my coworkers about the site. Oh and I did do my survey:)
ceecee says:
March 31, 2009, 9:20 pm
Bella, I follow you on twitter and you are having way too much fun on your road trip! Pack in all the fun for some of us that can't do it. Be safe!
Davina says:
March 31, 2009, 9:46 pm
That is a great pic of you & hubby! I know mine wouldn't have sat there and held a pose for 20 mins lol (he's so impatient). Anyway, I'd love to try the pomegranate candle. I've always loved poms and i hate that they only have them in the stores here for 2-3 weeks out of the year.
Leslie says:
March 31, 2009, 9:49 pm
First - a huge thank you for all of the great posts and product reviews:) I would choose Fresh Cotton hands down! There's nothing like the smell of fresh laundry. It reminds me of running through the clothes hanging on line when I was a kid- smells like "everythings gonna be alright"....
Jacque says:
March 31, 2009, 10:47 pm
I love reading your blog! thank you!!
naturalglolady says:
March 31, 2009, 11:04 pm
I love anything tropic! That's why I think Island Breeze is for me, I've tried to love classic, herbals and musk scents. I always return back to anything tropical like star flower, orchids, passionfruit, brazil nut, coconut, or citrus. (swoon)I'm going to make a tropical spa oasis for bathtime right
trini4christ says:
April 1, 2009, 12:23 am
I love mango and island breezes because it reminds me of home (Trinidad). Makes me think of the different types of mangoes my grandmother use to grow at her farm and how my cousins would climb up and pick them, and make chutney.
warrior11209 says:
April 1, 2009, 9:50 am
what a beautiful picture of you and you husband!
warrior11209 says:
April 1, 2009, 10:01 am
Baby Powder would be a fragrance that I would love to try . I think it would be clean and soft - not too overpowering - reminding me of that time when my children were babies. This scent would be totally opposite of the usually stronger scented candles that I select.
Shang says:
April 1, 2009, 10:13 am
I would love to try Vanilla by MickeyMade. Cute Picture.
C.Nicole says:
April 1, 2009, 10:17 am
Dreamsicle sounds like a decadent summer treat!!... Could you imagine walking into a home that smelled like a Dreamsicle?? I would never leave the
golden star says:
April 1, 2009, 2:29 pm
Nag Champa. I want that serenity and peace. The survey was difficult. For the life of me, I can't quite remember how I found Afrobella! And, I lost track of time and am not sure just when!
Maya says:
April 1, 2009, 7:22 pm
I love gardenia. They smell sweet and pretty. The scent of white flowers is perfect for spring!
nikk says:
April 1, 2009, 7:35 pm
coconut because it always reminds me of my trips to the bahamas and jamaica....
Zoe B. says:
April 1, 2009, 8:01 pm
Ocean sounds like it would smell good. I also like peony!
ItChick says:
April 1, 2009, 10:12 pm
Mango. Mango because it reminds me of my father's country, Panama. And the happy memories I have, of spending time there. The air ripe with the scent of mangoes, eating juicy, sweet mangoes by the beach and relaxing with my family. Mangos are so good and healthy!
Karla says:
April 1, 2009, 10:25 pm
Definitely mango because I have so many happy memories of eating mangoes with my dad in Jamaica and getting the juice all over my face as a kid... *wistful sigh*
Kelly says:
April 1, 2009, 11:06 pm
I'd love to try tangerine!!
honeybrown1976 says:
April 1, 2009, 11:38 pm
I love the scents of nature (e.g. Sandalwood, Lavender, Amber). They remind me of God's holistic gifts. Sometimes I wish I could go camping and truly enjoy what's surrounding me (I live in Southern CA); yet, time and family constraints hamper the chance to do so. So, I light a candle in hopes that I will get that chance soon. Oy Vey!
Bellenoelle says:
April 2, 2009, 3:45 am
Brown sugar. I like all things sweet. Probably because I'm a sugar fiend and it smells so warm and men seem to like it! I've been trying to branch out, but I always come back to vanilla and sugar scents. Second runner up would be Baby powder.
Kiara says:
April 2, 2009, 2:18 pm
I love fruity scents just because. I don't have a reason Afrobella can I still win?
CurlyBean says:
April 2, 2009, 4:04 pm
Coconut please...I need a Island vacation!
Aisha says:
April 3, 2009, 12:30 am
I love that picture-I came across it on another website about IR relationships. I absolutely love the fragrance of Nag Champa. I have the incense, a body oil, and I've tried the soap as well. Yes, I'm a little obsessed, lol. My last box of the incense was an unexpected gift from a shopkeeper, so maybe I'll luck out with a candle, lol.
va_candi says:
April 3, 2009, 9:29 am
I'm going with carrot cake. It's a great way to enjoy one of my favorite desserts without the calories.
Angela says:
April 3, 2009, 10:27 am
I would love to try the Apple Pie. It's my favorite dessert and I would love to enjoy the scent without having to bake!
Max says:
April 5, 2009, 3:44 am
Your husband is a Cutie girl! That's the real reason you've been hiding him, mmm hmm. (lol!)
Mark says:
September 2, 2009, 1:14 pm
Bella, If you take the time to check out our new product, I bet you'll love it. Palettes by Tod Young. It's worth taking a minute. First and only line of high-end fragrances for the home based on the six basic timeless color palettes people decorate their home in. you can reach me at thanks.
4567fa4782 says:
June 27, 2011, 2:51 pm
Great written article, if only all bloggers offered the same quality of content as you, the internet would be a much better place.


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