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Breathe it in: The scent of tomato—and tomato leaves—make for a fresh and not-too-cloying candle.

While you’re waiting for your garden to grow, bring the scent of summer (sun-warmed tomato, still on the vine)  inside.

Christine Lennon  – April 21, 2021

Last week, when I was prying weeds out of my vegetable beds with my Hori Hori knife and wondering where I stowed my kneeling pad, I realized that I am “I’d-rather-be-gardening” years old. It’s possible that I’ve been in denial about this fact for a few years now. The writing was on the wall 14 years ago when I broke my bedrest protocol, just a couple of weeks before my twins were born, to hit Tomatomania, So Cal’s favorite heirloom tomato selling pop-up, and came home with my favorite Early Girl and Sweet 100’s seedlings. This year, while I’m waiting another 60-odd days to harvest the Momotaros and “micro dwarf” cherries I’ve planted, I will sit here at my desk inhaling my favorite new candle: Lycopersicon Esculentum, a.k.a. Tomato, from Carrière Frères that’s been pouring wax in the Cire Trudon factory since the late 19th century (and selling them for considerably less).

A John Derian garden matchbox is the ideal companion for…

John Derian

John Derian matches
   
A tomato candle by the French fragrance masters at Carrière Frères

Carrière Frères

Carriere Freres Tomato Candle at Nordstrom
   

I was first introduced to the oddly fresh and green tomato aroma back in the mid-1990s when I met the founders of Demeter Fragrance while they launched their now infamous scents like Dirt and Tomato. (Click here if you’re curious about why tomato is designated as a fruit, and want a quick history lesson about tariffs and produce imports). While I’m not in a hurry to smell like a tomato personally, I do love the green tang of a candle that smells like the fuzzy leaves of the vine and the ripe fruit at the same time.

Fellow pomodoro nerds will be happy to know that there are a variety of lovely tomato leaf candles, all subtly different, to choose from. Here are a few of our favorites, just in time for Mother’s Day.

Simple & Sustainable

Kobo Tomato Vine Candle has hits of clover and fresh herbs.

Goodee World

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This hand-poured KOBO candle is made responsibly, with eco-friendly soybean wax, high-grade oils, and a cotton wick. One part fresh grass, one part warm tomato, it hits the right fresh notes without being too sweet. The biodegradable packaging is embedded with tomato seeds that (might) grow when planted.

KOBO Wild Tomato Vine Candle
   

A Bougier Bougie

Seattle-based Antica Farmacista Tomato candle. A room spray is also available.

Antica Farmacista

Balanced with spicy black pepper and basil, this version by Antica Farmacista has summer-in-Sicily vibes, and is also available in a room diffuser and a room spray.

Antica Farmacista Tomato Vine Candle
   

Earthy Riser

Woman-owned, ethically sourced, small-batch made with soy wax—Linnea Heirloom Tomato is a candle you can feel good about.

Terrain

Linnea is known for their double-wick, ethically made candles, and their social conscious. This beauty smells like tomatoes in the dirt—in a good way.

Linnea Heirloom Tomato Candle at Terrain
   

This Will Burn for Longer than 15 Minutes

It doesn’t get more meta than a candle pretending to be a tomato soup can pretending to be a Warhol.

Amara

Worth it for the packaging alone, but the scent of this Warhol-inspired candle is heavy on herbs like mint and basil.

Ligne Blanche Andy Warhol Tomato Leaf Candle, at Amara
   

Read the 2021 Gardening Issue

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