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A Candle the Whole Food52 Team is Obsessed With

January 19, 2016

If we were to pick an exact moment when our obsession with the Hawkins New York Hudson candle started, it would have to be when we took a company field trip to its namesake city in September. Instead of arriving at the office one Monday, we piled into a bus bound for Hudson for a break from the city and our desks, an excuse to poke around a charming place in upstate New York, and a chance to meet some of our Shop's makers, Nick Blaine and Paul Denoly of Hawkins New York.

Hi Nick! Hi Paul! Photo by Genevieve Garruppo for Lonny Magazine

Not only did Nick and Paul set up an incredible lunch spread for our entire team in the old Hudson opera house, we also each got to take home a Hawkins candle in the smoky-sweet "Hudson" scent, as a gift and souvenir of the trip.

But that was just the beginning.

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We didn't realize just how deeply we all felt about the candle until December, when we started comparing holiday madness self-care routines: It turned out that at the end of a long day, almost everyone looked forward most to lighting their Hudson candle (and pouring a glass of wine). "It somehow manages to be both earthy and floral," Amanda Hesser explained in one of many odes to the candle, "a scent that's generous without demanding too much of your attention." We all agreed that it's the perfect backdrop for unwinding.

Jojo Feld, our Shop's director of buying and product development and our original Hawkins devotee, first came across the candle during a July 4th jaunt up to Hudson. "I made my friend drive us 45 minutes [out of our way] and across the Hudson River to pay the Hawkins New York store a visit for the first time," she said—and headed straight for the candles upon arrival ("I'm a total nerd for great fragrances").

Of Hawkins' three signature scents (woody Marfa, beachy Wellfleet, and Hudson, named for the town—all of which you can find in our Shop), it was the Hudson candle that Jojo really fell for.

I personally tend to gravitate towards a 'masculine' scent—nothing too fragrant or overbearing, something that isn't too sweet but has a little musk, a little edge, and makes a statement.

All of Hawkins New York's candles are made from soy wax and have a 60-hour burn time (thank goodness!). Photo by Bobbi Lin

The candle's scent—with slightly campfire-y notes that puts it right up Jojo's alley—was inspired by a walk down the town's Union Street. Nick conjured up the scene for me: "A slight chill in the air and smoke from chimneys curling into the fall sky, the sound and smell of leaves underfoot, and the fading perennial gardens that line the sidewalk."

The Hawkins Hudson candle what we burned in the bathrooms at our Holiday Pop-Up Market, the candle we "gave" to our partners in hopes of enjoying some of the burn time ourselves ("I bought the candle under the guise that it was a gift for my boyfriend," our community manager Kaitlin Bray admitted), and the candle we light when we're putting up our feet after a long day.

Jojo calls it "a must for gatherings"—but she also lights it when home alone: "Just me, the Hudson, a good read, and a glass of red wine," she muses, "really makes for a plush habitat."

Do you have a signature scent? Tell us about it—and tell us why you love it—in the comments.

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Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.

1 Comment

mrslarkin January 19, 2016