But with the indigenous candle business worth an estimated €25-€30 million, it is an area of Irish design where several key players have carved out a niche for themselves, some competing on a global stage.
Part of the appeal is the rise of Scandinavian chic, simple contemporary interiors, with bare blond floors underfoot and much of the atmosphere coming from accent pieces; casually thrown sheepskins and rugs and candles burning at multiple levels.
It’s a look that translates well to Irish homes, says Joan Woods of West Cork-based boutique organic fragrance house Waters & Wild, who recently opened her first shop in Glandore. “At this time of the year candles provide a beautiful, warm, homely glow.”
That ambiance is reinforced by the popularity in pop culture of the Danish word hygge, used to describe cosy and/or charming along with the Swedish word lagom, which describes the Goldilocks idea of a space being in perfect balance or just right.