Keap, a Brooklyn-based candle company that primarily sells its products online, knows that buying a scented candle is a very personal experience. We each have our own idea of what an ocean breeze or forest cabin smells like, and it may not match the scent that a particular burning wick emits. Since Keap only has its candles in certain stores around New York City, you've probably never smelled its wares, but the company doesn’t want that to stop you from buying—so it's debuting a tester set designed around the Warby Parker model of try-at-home products.
The new “discovery set” consists of four tea lights, one for each of the scents Keap sells. An included guide tells you which candle is which, and the primary notes you will smell in each, in case you don’t know what “hot springs” or “green market” should smell like. (Don’t worry; unlike some real hot springs, the candle doesn’t smell like sulfur.) It even comes with matches.
The idea is that you place each tea light in a different room of your house, preferably somewhere small like a bathroom, and figure out which one provides the smelly ambiance you’ve been looking for.
Unlike the Warby Parker testers, there’s no return packaging required, because you don’t actually have to give the used candles back. But, on the flip side, you’ll have to put some money down. It works out to be free, as long as you follow through and buy a full-sized candle. The tea lights initially cost $15, but you’ll receive a $15 discount on a full-sized candle or a monthly subscription. If you decide you hate all of them, you’re only out $15, a price that’s a little steep for four tea lights, but not crazy in the world of artisanal candles. If you're an aromatherapy aficionado, it's probably a worthwhile trade.
The full candles retail at $35, and come in glass cups designed to be easy to rinse out and reuse as tumblers, small vases, or containers. If you share a photo of your reused candle container on Instagram, you’ll even get $5 off your next purchase.
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