Thanksgiving is hands down my absolute favorite day of the year, it’s the official start (well to me anyway) of the holiday season.  Just the mention of Thanksgiving, and so many memories come to mind, being a child with all nine of us cousins at the kids table, sticking olives on all of our fingers, that weird canned cranberry sauce that got sliced once it came out of the can, the goopy green bean casserole and my aunts bizarre Jell-O salad that was made with sour cream.  Back then, every year at Thanksgiving my mother would start to slowly put out the Christmas decorations.  There were three candles, one was a glittery white snowball, and the other two looked like candy canes. The snowball came out of the storage box for Thanksgiving and stayed on the coffee table until after New Year’s Day. It was by far my favorite and probably the beginning of my candle fascination.  The strange thing is, it was never lit, never-ever, not once.  Same for the two candy cane candles, every year they made an appearance, and then went back in the storage box on January 2nd and were not lit once.


Needless to say, things have changed a lot since then. Now, the olives are fancy varieties that have the pits still in them (not the black ones from the can that you can put on the ends of your fingers), the cranberry sauce is homemade, the green-bean casserole is made with fresh green beans and Gruyére cheese, and there is no Jell-O salad, although truth be told, I kind of miss it.  But as much as Thanksgiving is about the food, for me it really isn’t.  It’s that special day when I get to be with the people I love most in the world, family and friends.  And it’s also about the atmosphere, the whole mood and vibe.  Where I live in California, we sometimes need to try extra hard to create that cozy ambiance that is easier had in colder climates, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than with candles.


Scented candles are of course a fantastic way to set the mood and of course we all know there is an abundance of uh-mazing Pumpkin scented candles.  NEST Pumpkin Chai, LAFCO Pumpkin Pomander and my personal favorite Linnea’s Lights Pumpkin.  But what do you use on the actual Thanksgiving dining table?  I know I know “the experts” always say to steer clear of scented candles around food, but I don’t necessarily agree.  If the fragrance of the candle mixes well with the meal, why not?  I’m a bit of a rule-breaker anyway, and don’t like being told what to do, so I’m all for having scented candles around food if it works for you.


My favorite way to set the Thanksgiving table is with a combination of votives and tapers and some tealights.  Simple votive glasses strewn throughout a garland centerpiece of fall foliage and little pumpkins running the length of the table makes an impressive statement. Trapp makes an extensive assortment of votives, I love the No. 07 Patchouli Sandalwood, No. 68 Teak & Oud Wood, and No. 14 Mediterranean Fig as all of those would be great Thanksgiving options.  Or go ahead and splurge on the NEST 10th Anniversary Discovery Votive Set, there are several in there that would work great for the occasion.  For tapers, Northern Lights Premium Tapers can’t be beat, and they are available in a nice array of colors.  Or, you can simplify things and just get the Northern Lights Autumn Harvest 12” Premium Taper Candle Set.  For tealights, grab a box of Northern Lights un-fragranced tealights.


Wishing you a lovely candle light filled Thanksgiving!

Lynette Reed, Fragrance fanatic, founder of Illume Candles, Izzy Sayan Perfume, Fluid Fragrances, and creative consultant to many high-end fragrance brands.