the perfect candle

The Perfect Candle for the Agony, I Mean the Blessing, of Having Your Period

Photo: Britney Gill/Courtesy of On Our Moon

When you think of a period candle, what comes to mind? A candle with blood-scented red wax that comes in an underwear-shaped vessel? And the vessel is made of some sort of material that soaks up the red coloring of the wax as it burns, so when you’ve finished burning the candle what you have left over is a vessel that looks like blood-soaked underwear and now you can use it to hold flowers? And Cire Trudon makes it? Or what?

Yes, that is also what I imagine. Sadly, this candle, “The Ritual” from On Our Moon, is a different sort of period candle. You’ll have to make the one I mentioned yourself in a ceramics workshop, before giving it to your boyfriend. On Our Moon describes this candle as, “An encouragement to slow down. To get still. A reminder to check in, and check up. To tune in and listen to every ounce of wisdom within.” And here’s what it smells like:

The blend of sandalwood, tobacco, rose and patchouli is grounding, meditative and supportive to whatever you need when you light it. Proudly hand poured under the California moon, The Ritual is 100% coconut wax with an even 40 hour+ burn.

Ah, that certainly sounds meditative and supportive to whatever I need…

But is it? Let’s see.

Is the candle good?

It’s very normal. I showed the candle to a co-worker and she described its scent as, “the regular scented candle scent.” This is true — sandalwoody, patchoulish, heavily candle rather than vividly something else. (Not to be very down on it; it’s a fine scent.) I reached out to Alexandra D’amour, the candle’s creator, to see if the scent blend was supposed to somehow aid in menstruation, and here’s what she said:

I wanted the scent to be grounding and meditative vs. making lavish claims about being able to heal menstrual cramps or polycystic ovary syndrome. There are too many products out there making claims to be all sorts of things when they’re not, and no scent in a candle can really help heal anything menstrual related. So instead of using lemongrass or clary sage (which we tested for months) we decided to go with a grounding smell that can be used to slow down, and hopefully feel meditative.

I say the candle isn’t a solution but my hope is that it feels like a conversation starter — with yourself and your body — about what cycles mean to you, menstrual and otherwise. 

The conversation between me and my body during my period is generally, “Please stop doing this to me, oh my God. Please. Why are you doing this to me, please stop!!” But I trust other women maybe have a better, more meditative, relationship with their cycle, that perhaps could be bolstered by this candle.

Regardless of its non-period-healing abilities, it probably is nice to have a candle to light specifically for your period. A little thing to make yourself feel like you’re actively creating a nice space for yourself, at least, rather than passively wanting to destroy a (cis-)man for never having to experience this full-body horror even once in his entire life.

How much does it cost, and how long will it last?

It costs $36 and will last 40 hours.

When should you burn this candle?

So rarely do candles come with built-in suggested burning windows, but this one does: you burn it during your period.

Can you also burn it other times? Great question. According to On Our Moon: “You don’t need a period candle to bleed. And there’s no such thing as getting your period ‘right’. And, you don’t need to bleed to use a period candle. Because it’s about having a conversation with yourself and defining what cycles mean to you.” Incredible.

Who should buy this candle?

Maybe you can buy this candle for your daughter when she gets her first period. She’ll be like, “Mom, please!!!!!!!!!!! STOP!!!! MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!” but then at least she’ll also have a candle.

The Perfect Candle for Your Period