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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