Photo-Illustration: The Cut; Pictures: Retailers

When you’ve spent what feels like a small fortune on a candle that smells like the most expensive place you’ve ever set foot, you want it to last. So instead of using it occasionally when you have guests over, like an expensive dinnerware set, we have some tips from expert Eduardo Valadez, Marketing Director at Diptyque. (While this applies to branded candles, it’s also pretty universal advice for candles.)

First of all, the preparation of the candles is the key. Before you even grab your lighter, you need to cut the wick to about a quarter inch in length. “By making the wick shorter, you allow it to burn more slowly and also avoid unsightly black smoke marks on the edge of the glass,” says Valadez.

Valadez suggests that the first time you burn it, keep it burning for at least two hours until the entire top is liquid wax. “This will help your candle burn more evenly the next time and prevent the wax from cupping around the wick.”

After extinguishing your candle, you must be sure to realign the wick and trim it before use to prevent smoking and prevent the wick from falling out. Valadez recommends burning your candles no longer than four hours. Here are a few worth checking out.

Diptych Berry Candle

This candle is a favorite of style director Jess Willis because Carrie burned it in the fourth episode of season four of Sex in the city. “When I got my first apartment in New York, it was the first candle I bought to feel the essence of Carrie,” she says. One of their most popular scents, Baies, is a blend of black currant berry and rose notes. The smaller size (70 grams) will give you around 20 hours of burn time. There is also a large version.

Candle The Mamounia object n°28

It’s a personal favorite because it smells very very good even if you don’t turn it on. The fragrance has notes of May rose, Moroccan rose absolute, geranium, leather and amber. What sets it apart is the Limoges porcelain and brass container, instead of the usual glass, which makes it a prettier piece to reuse when you’re done. With this you will get around 90 hours of burn time. If that’s a little too minimalist for you, check out their maximalist options with similar scents.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Candle Red 540

Fans of the cult scent can purchase the fragrance in its much more affordable candle form. With the same floral and woody notes of jasmine, saffron, and cedarwood, you’ll get approximately 55 hours of burn time from this subtle yet luxurious fragrance.

Le Labo Santal 26 Classic Candle

Photo: courtesy of the retailer

Like Diptyique’s Baies candle, Le Labo candles have delighted fans. Offering a burn time of approximately 60 hours, you can opt for the soy wax candle in any of your favorite scents, including Santal 26, a smoky and leathery blend.

Holo Anthurium Overose Candle

I bought it just for the packaging, and a year later it has a handful of makeup brushes on a shelf. In fact, many of Overose’s candles are just ridiculously pretty and come in cool packaging. That aside, it is a stronger floral scent with hints of cassis berries, dewy rose petals and fresh lychee, with the rose scent being the most apparent.

Maison Margiela Replica Candle

The replica candles are very chic and minimal with fragrances that are straight to the point. Beach Vibes smells like the beach with notes of exactly what you’d expect, a fresh scent with hints of coconut milk and bergamot.

Tom Ford Rose Spicy Candle

Similar to the Baccarat Rouge 540, this is a bargain, considering that a Tom Ford perfume can cost you between $200 and $500 for a standard size. This is a spicier floral scent with hints of May rose, Bulgarian rose and Sichuan pepper, if that’s what you like. As someone who personally loves Tom Ford perfumes but not how they smell on me, I think the candles are worth it. The seven ounce candle provides approximately 50 hours of burn time.

Candle Maison Louis Marie No.04 Bois de Balincourt

Chic, minimal and affordable, these candles are a favorite of many employees. Most scents, like this one with notes of bergamot and white ginger, are light and have a burn time of around 60 hours.

Byredo Library Candle

Byredo’s candles are another favorite you’ll find in the home of any candle or fine fragrance lover. “I’ve been a fan of these candles for a long time. The jar and candle wax are sleek and black and the scents are sweet yet bold,” says Willis. Her favorite is this woody blend of patchouli, vanilla and violet.

Loewe Home Scents Ivy Scented Candle

These candles from Loewe are both the candle holder and the holder. Willis says they’re a fun option for alfresco dining and have a sweet scent that transitions to burning. The candle has notes of ivy and about ten hours of autonomy.

Candle August & Piers Muse

These London-based candles come highly recommended by associate editor and candle enthusiast Joanna Nikas. Composed of a mixture of paraffin-free waxes, they are poured by hand into a reusable ceramic container. August & Piers standard candles give approximately 60 hours of burn time and have a lovely scent; this one has notes of vanilla, bergamot and geranium.

Candle Vyrao Rose Marie

Very few brands have an energy healer involved in the creative process, but that’s pretty much the norm for Vyrao founder Yasmin Sewell. With notes of Turkish rose oil, violet leaf and patchouli, this one is meant to promote self-love, and you’ll get around 40 hours of that supercharged good energy from the company’s go-to healer , Louise Mita.

Dior 30 Montaigne Candle

Another pick from Nikas are these artisanal perfumes from Dior. Created by the best perfumers in the business, these candles are every bit as luxurious as expected. There are several scents with different intensities to choose from, and they all fit into these minimal containers.

Costa Brazil Vela Jungle Candle

Besides looking amazingly cool on your table or shelf and smelling great, this candle features a blend of notes to uplift your mood and relieve stress. The uplifting notes are Brazilian vetiver, cypress root and wild jungle flora. You get around 60 hours of burn time and you can keep and reuse the container very fresh forever.

Voluspa Gold Candle Wick Trimmer

Pro Tip: Buy a fancy wick trimmer that will allow you to get the most out of your candles.