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Our Favorite Candles for Every Occasion

Martha Stewart Living, November 2009

Candles always set a festive mood. But with so many available, which ones to choose? Here are some of our top tapers and more, along with tips for ensuring a brilliant display.

Beeswax Tapers 
Natural beeswax candles have a warm color and emit a honey scent as they burn. They may cost a little more than other candles, but they burn more slowly. The honeycomb-patterned candles, left, have a pleasing texture; the tapers are simplicity defined. 

Colorful Tapers 
When we're looking for a specific shade, we turn to these hand-dipped tapers -- they come in 44 colors. And they're unscented, which is ideal for the dinner table, where you don't want fragrance to mingle with the aroma of the food. 

Artful Pillars 
Make a centerpiece by arranging pillars on glass or silver plates or trays, which reflect the flickering flames. We love the mottled look and subtle colors of these pillars

10-Hour Votives 
Votive candles provide lots of shimmer for little money -- cluster them on trays or line them up along tabletops. These come in glass holders and should last the evening. 

Taller Tea Lights 
At 1 1/2 inches tall, these candles burn for seven hours -- up to three more than standard versions. 

Resizing Tapers 
Base too thick? Shave it with a vegetable peeler. Too narrow? Wrap with tape. Too long? Trim with pruners.

Holding Firm 
To secure a candle in its holder, work a small piece of prop wax into a circle, and adhere to base.

Protecting from Drips 
If your candlesticks lack a ring to catch melting wax, use glass bobeches.

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