Have you heard about the candle that shoppers going wild about this summer? It’s a budget version of the Jo Malone ‘Pomegranate Nioir’ scented candle and it’s available – wait for it – in Aldi. But how good can this low-cost replica really be? Of course, as a thrifty blogger, it’s down to me to do some research into the matter and I think the only way to be sure is with a classic ‘sniff test’ to compare the scents myself. To make it a fair test, I’ve added another bargain version by Julian Charles into the mix, to find the best deal for you guys. Here’s how I got on with all three:
Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone
Well, here’s a candle that I wouldn’t buy again. Now, it’s not because it doesn’t smell nice – it’s a delicate fruity scent – it’s simply because of the price. This tiny 60g ‘travel candle‘ costs £23 and the biggest in the collection costs an eye-watering £300! Sure it’s prettily packaged in a gift box, but that all goes in the recycling when you’re actually burning a candle, doesn’t it? I’m not sure that the scent is that much better than the two budget candles in this sniff test that it warrants being priced so much higher. Let’s face it, you’re just burning money now, aren’t you? In fact, the other scents in the mix – casablanca lily and guaiacwood – make it smell a bit musty, like when you’ve left something in a cupboard for a while, so it’s not really my cup of tea scent-wise.
Pomegranate by Julian Charles
Lovely packaging? Check. Milky-coloured candle in a minimalist glass? Check. Want-to-sniff-it-again fragrance? Check! I have to say, this pomegranate candle was my personal favourite of all three. And that’s probably because it was the fruitiest scent of them all. While it’s not trying to replicate the slightly fusty ‘Noir’ aroma, it’s going all-out with a gorgeous burst of pomegranate scent instead. Sure, if you want that Jo Malone-esque smell, you’re probably better off with the budget Aldi version (but more on that one in a minute), but if you just want a sweet fruity candle with plenty of oomph, this is the one for you.
At £10 it sits in the middle price-wise, and size-wise too, so it’s not the bargain basement version, but it IS one that I would buy again in the future. In fact, I keep opening up the box for another sniff while I’m writing this, which shoes me how good it is.
No 3 Pomegranate Noir by Aldi
And finally, on to the famous Aldi candle that broke the internet and had people going crazy in stores. With exactly the same name as the Jo Malone candle, and some very similar branding (with that tin lid and packaged in a cream box), the candle is clearly trying very hard to be the bargain version for us thrifty shoppers. And, I have to say, at £3.99 it’s not a terrible replica. It’s actually pretty close when you give it a good sniff. Although, I think it’s much more fruity and a little less musky than the original, which I personally prefer.It has two wicks (so will burn faster) but is about 5 times bigger than the travel candle (so will last longer). The only problem with this candle is that it’s hard to get hold of. Store are constantly sold out, so if you see one, grab it while you can. They’re even being sold on Ebay for twice the price, that’s how in-demand they are.Of course, I can’t report on how long the candles burn for or whether the scent fades over time, as I haven’t burnt them down to the bottom to be able judge this. Plus, they are different sizes, so it wouldn’t be a true test. But at first-sniff, I can say that if you’re looking for a candle with a lovely scent (that you don’t need to take out a mortgage to buy) I’d be happy with either of these budget versions. If you’re already a fan of the Jo Malone scent, you’ll probably enjoy the Aldi replica, and the £3.99 price tag means you can buy 5 of them for less than the price of 1 mini branded candle so it’s worth giving it a try. But if you’re into more zesty, fruity scents like I am, you’ll be onto a winner with the Julian Charles candle. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products yourself and how you got on with them – I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!