The Spa Spy blog

Winter Treat: home massage candles

Winter indulgence doesn’t come much more decadent than a massage candle. It is romantic, magical and utterly Hygge-luxe.

It’s basically a scented candle, but one where you can pour the warmed essential oils directly onto your skin. The sensation of warming oil feels blissful, especially on aching or chilly limbs, and there’s something enchanting about lighting the candle, lying back on your bed or bath and inhaling the lovely scents before applying the oil to your body. It feels like a proper spa ritual instead of just a product.

I had my first and only massage candle treatment  this time last year at The Spa at Bedford Lodge, and loved it.

However, having a trained ESPA therapist pour hot candle oils onto my body is one thing. Allowing my other half to do it seems romantic on one level, potentially foolhardy on others.

Thus, I tentatively tried the candles on myself first (not that I’m a control freak), and discovered that home massage candles don’t get scalding hot. They say heat them for around twenty to thirty minutes depending on how much oil you need, then blow out the candle flame and allow it to cool down for one to two minutes, although you might want to dip your finger in first to test - everyone’s pain threshold is different.

At first I poured the heated oils into my hands then massaged them straight onto my shoulders and legs, but as I grew braver, I poured directly onto my body. The consistency is a mix between balm and oil, so it doesn’t slop all over the place – you won’t necessarily need to place towels beneath you, unless you plan to get expressionistic.

It’s fun to play around with while testing your comfort zones, and I imagine I will get more creative each time.

I couldn’t find that many spa brands that do home massage candles. NEOM was the first I came across, and then I saw on the Natural Spa Factory website that their little tin massage candles are one of their best-selling products. I gave both a go with these results.

Neom Intensive Skin Treatment Candles

NEOM’s Intensive Skin Treatment Candles -140g £36

First Impressions:

Beautifully packaged in a white box with lovely white porcelain candle holders and a decadent drip of gold at the spout. Generously proportioned to see you through the winter months and beyond. As you open the box, you experience a wonderful bouquet of scent.

Ingredients:

There are two scents – Real Luxury with Lavender, Jasmine and Brazilian Rosewood, and Tranquillity with English Lavender, Sweet Basil and Jasmine.

Use:

I burned the Real Luxury candle for 30 minutes but it produced too much oil for one – not that it matters, as it hardens and can be used again and again. The consistency is of thick, warm honey inviting long, luxuriant strokes as I rubbed it into my skin. It is particularly rich, so you don’t need to go overboard otherwise you might be left feeling buttered - pouring directly onto my skin then massaging felt rather sensuous and daring. Afterwards, I lay inhaling the fragrance and letting the oils work into my skin, trying to keep my oily hands off the bedclothes.

Value:

It’s cheaper than their candles! You are paying for Neom’s exquisite concentration of essential oils as well as the beautiful packaging. They are a luxury product for a reason.

Verdict:

I use this whenever I want a good night’s sleep (the scents are designed to relax you), or have an ache in my shoulders that won’t go away, or if I need some sensual healing. My skin feels fabulous for hours afterwards.

Natural Spa Factory Massage Candle

Natural Spa Factory Massage Tin Candle - £8

First impressions:

It’s a cute little tin with a candle inside. The smell of the rose and fig candles was lovely – not so keen on the honey, which was a little over-sweet. NSF packaging is very plain, but in a trendy, gender-neutral way, so this would make the perfect stocking filler for male, female or anyone who prefers minimalist style over luxury.

Ingredients:

Soya bean and coconut oil, beeswax, and parfum.

Use:

Burn for ten minutes, blow out the wick and leave for about 20 seconds (testing first of course). I poured it into my hands to apply to my aching shoulders, but then got a bit braver and poured it directly onto my stomach, chest and thighs before massaging it in. The smell is more subtle than Neom, lighter and fresher: I can imagine taking this with me when travelling as it would be a lovely way to unwind after a stressful journey.

Value:

It’s a bargain – and it lasts for weeks.

Verdict:

This lacks the indulgence and essential oil-mix that makes Neom feel so luxurious: it’s more of a practical (if perfectly lovely) stress-saver in a tin, or an ingenious novelty spa gift. I can imagine it becoming a regular fixture in my overnight bag.