I'm a candle expert – I can tell how RICH you are by how you place them & Jo Malone won't fool people

BURNING a fancy candle may feel like setting money on fire.

One expert claims she can tell by the way candles are displayed in your home if you're actually living in the lap of luxury, or putting on a show to impress houseguests.

Author and comedian Selena Coppock hosts the podcast Two-Wick Minimum, where she interviews everyone from professional perfumers to award-winning writers about their favorite candles.

She exclusively told The Sun what candle scents say about your personality, but Coppock also revealed that where you display candles in your home also signifies something crucial.

"People don't want to admit it, but it’s an indication of where you are financially, for certain candles to be very visible in your space," Coppock said.

She recalled a guest on Two-Wick Minimum who had worked at a talent agency, and who was under strict instruction from her boss to burn candles at all times.


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"The head of the agency needed to have three candles, all the same scent, burning at the same time in the bathroom," Coppock recalled.

Even though it seemed frivolous, it made a big impact on clients and business partners.

"It is a signal that says, 'look, we have money,'" she said.


When it comes to your own home, Coppock explained that having nice candles is a show of good taste, but putting your priciest find front-and-center on the mantel might seem desperate.

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"The thing to look out for is what people will display in a space where they know it will be seen by others," she said.

In other words, the $125 candle you were gifted for Mother's Day shouldn't sit like a trophy in the living room.

Actually, the secret to displaying your candles in a way that doesn't seem "cheap" may be counterintuitive.

If you have an expensive, coveted candle, like Diptyque or Cire Trudon, don't make it the center of attention – instead, place it in a low-key location.

“Is this Diptyque in the guest bathroom? Is this for show?" Coppock asked.

"Or is it casually displayed in the main bathroom you or your family uses?"

Putting a fancy candle in your bedroom or personal bathroom says "I like enjoying nice things for my own sake," Coppock said.

Trust your guests will notice when you give a tour of the home or direct them to the spare bathroom.

Don't forget to keep candles somewhere they can actually be used, too.

"There is some value to the 'curb appeal,' but it makes no sense when you only see it on the makeup shelf," she added.


Another telltale sign that you're using candles to try and seem "classy" is a perfectly intact wick.

If you've never burned a "fancy" candle, Coppock said, it will look strange to visitors, or make it seem like you're trying to save the only "nice" addition to your collection.

Coppock pointed out that when the same name-brand candles appear over and over in acquaintances' Instagram posts, she notices.

In some homes, she's even spotted a layer of dust on the top of the candle, which just makes her sad that the candles aren't being enjoyed.

The purpose of candles is to enjoy the smell and give yourself "a luxury treat," Coppock said.


And just like you shouldn't hoard fancy candles that sit unused, you shouldn't cling to a pricey find if you absolutely hate it.

"I had a friend who worked in candles, and he was gifted a giant Jo Malone candle," Coppock remembered.

The scent was discontinued and very sought-after by collectors.

"He told me, 'I really don’t like this scent, but I know this is such an expensive candle,'" Coppock continued.

Eventually, her friend burned the candle exactly one time – and then he finally re-gifted it, and regretted letting the candle languish unused in his home for so long.

"Don’t try to trick people," Coppock said. "Only invest in expensive things if they suit your taste and what you want for your home."


Coppock is a devoted Yankee Candle fan and said that "basic" candles often bring her the most joy.

If you aren't able or willing to spring for fancy candles, buying exclusively from one brand or keeping your home filled with one signature fragrance note can create a sophisticated scent story.

"You want to decide if you want to be cohesive or show a range," she added.

A "basic" candle doesn't automatically equate to a "cheap" lifestyle, especially if you use them as a subtle accent throughout your home.

The trick, Coppock said, is demonstrating intention, rather than loading up on name-brand candles you scored at a discount.

"People will enter your home and think 'here’s someone who’s thoughtful,' instead of thinking you heard a rich person say 'oh, go buy this,'" she added.

Ironically, Coppock's simplest trick for using candles "like a rich person" is probably the cheapest.

"I love a tall taper or a tall, plain jar," she said. "It feels very Phantom of the Opera.

To impress guests, mix unscented tapers on the dinner table with small tea lights burning in other parts of the house.

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The trick screams "dinner party" without necessitating a hefty investment.

"I think there’s a lot of value in really being thoughtful about what you put where," Coppock concluded.

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