I Found My New Fave Candle at a Fancy Japanese Restaurant, and It’s $13!

published Nov 19, 2023
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My phone’s camera roll is home to an alarming amount of photos of candles flickering in restaurant bathrooms. Whenever I discover a new scentsational fragrance, I snap a photo, look it up with reverse-image search, and hold my breath. Sometimes the candle is $80 (Nest’s Autumn Plum, for example), and I have to take one big inhale to remember it because it’s too expensive, and other times, like when I was having an omakase at Sushi Tama in Beverly Hills, it’s surprisingly affordable. 

In fact, I did a double-take when I discovered the crackling wood candle beside the Toto bidet-adorned toilet there was from Threshold, Target’s in-house home brand. The Applewood and Amber Candle, which appropriately comes in a reusable amber glass jar, costs just $13 for a single-wick candle (9 ounces with a 36-hour burn time), and the three-wick behemoth (23 ounces with a 48-hour burn time) is only $26. My mom actually gifted me the larger candle for my birthday on October 13, and after burning it almost every day for at least a few hours, it’s still going strong, almost a month later.

What first attracted me to the scent was its subtlety and lack of complexity; sometimes I just want a simple candle that doesn’t overpower the room but still delivers a vibe. This one’s gently sensual with amber that’s complemented by a hint of sweetness from the apple that actually smells like gently spiced cider — both warm and cozy, and light and refreshing at the same time, somehow. It’s one of those scents that you really enjoy when you first light a candle, then again when you walk out of the room for a second and head back in. And although the apple fragrance and the calming, crackling wood wick make it seem more appropriate for colder months, I can see myself keeping this candle in my year-round rotation. At least until I stumble upon another new scent in a restaurant bathroom.

Buy: Threshold Amber Glass Applewood + Amber Lidded Wood Wick Jar Candle, $13