Subscription boxes can be a great way to treat yourself each month or surprise a loved one with a thoughtful, curated gift. As we spend more time at home than ever, these monthly boxes can break up the monotony of daily life, too. With sustainability and affordability in mind, Vellabox delivers candles and eco-friendly goodies to your door, and it is a perfect little act of self-care. Plus, who doesn’t love the coziness of a freshly lit candle this time of year?
Vellabox is a Columbus, Ohio-based company that offers handmade, natural wax candles in its subscription boxes. Each month, new scents are available in 4- or 8-ounce glass jars with metal lids that are 100% reusable or recyclable. Prices range from $10 to $30, with the $10/month box offering a 4-ounce candle and sustainable product, the $20/month option offering an 8-ounce candle and gift, or the $30 box offering a 4-ounce and an 8-ounce candle plus the surprise gift.
Related: How to make soy wax candles for a cozy, autumnal home
The Vellabox packaging is simple and sustainable. The cardboard boxes have no packing peanuts or bubble wrap; instead, the candles are secured in cloth bags in perfectly sized boxes to keep them safe. Every element is reusable or recyclable. The only plastic in my first box was the packaging for the sunflower seed butter.
I tested the Ignis Box ($20/month) and the Vivere Box ($30/month) and was honestly impressed with both. The Ignis Box included a large Pumpkin Spice candle by Aster Candle. I’ve smelled a lot of pumpkin spice candles in my day, and I loved that this one struck the balance between too spiced (I’m not a huge fan of the overpowering scent of cinnamon) and too sweet. Truthfully, this one was less potent in smell and didn’t dissipate throughout my home as much as the other candles I tested, but it still smelled lovely. The company, Aster Candle, is based in Rhode Island; the owner, Catherine Kwolek, hand-pours each soy candle, and the cotton wicks are lead-free.
My Ignis Box also included a package of 88 Acres Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter. While the taste wasn’t exactly my cup of tea on its own (coming from someone who definitely enjoys a spoonful of peanut or almond butter on the regular), I blended it into a dark chocolate-cherry smoothie as recommended on the card included in the Vellabox package, and it tasted great this way.
The second box had two candles by Lustre + Bloom. The larger of the two was an Aspen Woods scent. I’m picky about woodsy scents, as they can often be too strong or too musky for my taste. Honestly, I was bummed when I saw that scent in the box — that is, until I unscrewed the lid and took a whiff. It smelled like a walk through a forest in the best way. All the elements you’d expect here — leaves, moss, bark — blend beautifully with a touch of spice. Lighting it made a dreary day in the city feel slightly more in tune with nature.
The second, smaller candle was a scent called Greenhouse. I wasn’t sure what to expect; I’ve definitely never encountered a candle with the scent of a greenhouse, but it turned out to be my favorite of all the Vellabox candles I tested. Greenhouse reminded me of the very specific smell of eucalyptus in the shower, although the scent profile is technically “agave, aloe, chrysanthemum, green leaves.” It’s earthy and peaceful. This candle was the strongest of all three; even sitting across the room with other candles lit, I could only smell Greenhouse.
Lustre + Bloom is a natural candle company based in Denver, Colorado. Mandy Candice, the shop owner, started making non-toxic candles after her son was born. She wanted to ensure she was only burning candles that were safe for the family.
With these two candles came a bundle of Lunchskins, which are compostable, toxin-free sandwich bags meant to replace single-use plastic bags. When I was heading into the office every day, I always packed lunch and often used reusable silicone bags for my sandwiches. I actually have no immediate need for sandwich bags these days, but I’m excited to try these out, perhaps on a picnic or long drive. So far, I love that they have a cute avocado print across the bag.
Although I received these boxes as editorial samples, I’ve already subscribed to the Vivere Box (I’m a sucker for natural candles, what can I say). I also have a few people on my list that I’ll be sending gift subscriptions for the holidays. Overall, I am thrilled with the candles. I loved all three scents despite being picky about candles, and the smells, especially Greenhouse, carried better than many of my other candles and wax melts. Although I was a little iffy on these particular bonus gifts, I am looking forward to seeing what other surprises are included in my future boxes.
Images via Paige Bennett / Inhabitat