Under normal circumstances that might come from a romantic minibreak, but, as we’re all stuck at home, we’ve got to be a little bit more creative.
Massage candles are a perfect way to bring some intrigue into the bedroom. They’re physically small and relatively inexpensive to buy, but are sensual and luxurious to experience. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love a massage?
Over the course of a month, we tested these candles on separate days and assessed their scent, the moisturising properties of the oil, the ease of use that the candle’s jar provided and the quality of the wax.
There are a few dodgy internet retailers who will sell massage candles that burn at a temperature which could burn your skin. All of these candles burn around a safe 38C, which is the same as a hot-ish bath. Any candles which burned too hot, or had hard wax, were immediately discarded.
We poured the wax from each candle at a variety of heights to check that it was nicely piquant from a short distance, or luxuriously warm from a height. It should go without saying, but be sure to read the instructions before you use a massage candle and, of course, don’t leave it unattended. The presence of a fire engine doesn’t usually improve a romantic night in.
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Yesforlov bewitching massage candle
It’s probably no surprise that the French make some of the best massage candles around – they’re just better at these things. Yesforlov make versions in two scents, bewitching (sweeter) and titillating (spicier). They both come in pourable jars with ceramic lids and Yesforlov claims that the wax will wash out of your bedsheets – helpful because massage candles are rather less sexy if you have to put an old towel down before you start. It also arrived with a variety of lubricant samples, which was a nice touch.
Buy now £25.67, Yesforlov
Lelo flickering touch massage candle
When it comes to sex toys, Lelo is well-versed. But, happily, the brand is also clearly very astute when it comes to skincare. The flickering touch candle strikes a perfect balance between sexy and functional. The wax burns at just the right temperature, so it feels safe but sharp when poured close to the skin, or luxuriously warm from higher up. The scent is rich and sweet without being sickly, and it has a 36 hour burn time. It rivals its more expensive competitors easily. The only thing missing is a spout, which can make handling the wax a little easier, but it’s also perfectly possible to pour without one.
Buy now £24.90, Lelo
Oskia rose de mai massage candle
The Oskia candle is more on the skincare end of the massage candle spectrum, with a clean, classic design and a rich rose smell. But not all massage candles need to be heady in their fragrance or overtly sexy in their design. The pouring spout makes using the candle a doddle, and it’s probably the best body oil of all the products we tried. The scent lasts for hours and really promotes soft, supple skin. Oskia is a perfect choice for anyone who would really like to be spending Valentine’s weekend at a spa.
Buy now £49.00, Oskia
My Viv bergamot massage candle
This My Viv candle is one of the least expensive on the market, but it didn’t disappoint. It’s got a fresh bergamot scent, which is great because there’s a tendency of sex products to assume that everything has to be musky. The wax burns a little hotter than that of the more skincare-orientated candles, which is great if you’re interested in exploring the pleasure/pain continuum. Its makers are keen to state in the instructions that it’s not suitable to be used as a lubricant, which seems like a sensible reminder and applies to all of the candles mentioned here.
Buy now £20.00, Boots
Neom real luxury intensive skin treatment candle
Like the Oskia candle, the Neom massage candle is branded more for skincare than sex. But, happily, it’s equally great for both. The formula is designed with parched skin in mind, using six nourishing oils, including baobab and jojoba, to give your body a big drink. But it’s still perfect for a couple’s massage. It’s got a pourable spout, making life easy, while the oil is rich and burns on the cooler side. It’s also an innocuous-looking candle that could be displayed in plain sight without embarrassing even the most prudish of visitors.
Buy now £40.00, Neom
Elemis massage balm
Admittedly, this isn’t actually a candle. But, if the idea of pouring warm oils on each other is a bit nerve-wracking, this is a lovely way to bring warmth into the massage experience without the risk of pouring wax on your sheets. The scent is light and fresh – more classic than heady – and it comes in a generously sized tube that should see you through several very generous applications.
Buy now £42.00, Elemis
The verdict: Massage candles
It might be a cliché to pick the French product, but if you’re hoping for a romantic night à deux, the Yesforlov candles are the perfect choice. On the other hand, if you’re a beauty junkie looking for a combination of romance and skincare, the Oskia candle is an absolute dream.
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