A Fragrance Guru’s Guide to Creating a Home That Looks, Feels, and Smells Good
P.F. Candle Co. co-owner Kristen Pumphrey shares the staples that brighten up her home, from piñon incense to disco balls.
A DIY ethos encompasses everything Kristen Pumphrey does. A self-taught candlemaker, she launched P.F. Candle Co. as a one-woman Etsy shop in 2008; today, the company has expanded their wares far beyond candles, cultivating a devoted fan base along the way. Based in Los Angeles, the company develops and produces all of their products in Southern California from vegan, cruelty-free, and phthalate free ingredients.
Last year, Pumphrey and co-owner Tom Neuberger debuted their first book At Home with Fragrance: Creating Modern Scents for Your Space, a treasure trove of DIY projects to make your own customized candles, room sprays, and more.
On the heels of this launch, we asked Pumphrey to share the latest and greatest products that spark joy in her home.
"I burn a lot of incense and love cool incense holders, but for everyday use you need one that will actually catch all the ashes. This is where a bowl comes in. I put a small holder inside the soapstone bowl (I got mine from our shop, but this one is similar), but the CB2 shape is good too. Bowls are also great for paper incense."
"I can't stop talking about this paper incense from Papier d’Armenie. You fold it up into an accordion, light the end, blow it out, and then it burns for about five minutes with a warm, powdery and floral fragrance. The short burn time makes it perfect for my morning routine."
"Stick incense is my go-to on a weekend or before guests come over. I like our piñon scent because it reminds me of one of my favorite places, New Mexico. It’s nice and light."
"I learned how to make rolled candles like this as a kid, and included the project in my book, but recently it’s taken off via ASMR videos I post on TikTok. These candles are so simple to make (no special tools required!) and it’s really a pleasure to take ten minutes off of a digital world and just make something (that you can then light on fire)."
"These are the hand towels I use in our shared bathroom. The smiley face is so fun and playful, which is key since we live with a five-year-old. Can’t be too serious with your design choices!"
"I know what you’re thinking, seriously—a dish? But I have FIVE of these around my house for various uses. I keep one at each sink for dish soap, hand soap, or lotion. It catches drips beautifully. I use them as a candle coaster. I put small vases with flowers on them. They can be a catch all for keys."
"Stick lighters are crucial for getting the most out of your candles, and this one is rechargeable so you can use it again and again."
"We released this scent earlier this year, and it’s heaven in a jar. It’s inspired by a road trip to Ojai—think lavender with a citrus punch. My friends and family are always getting candles from me, but selfishly, this is the scent I always keep for myself."
"Every room in my house and a few in my office have rainbow sun catchers in the window. These are the best on the market because they throw BIG rainbows across the room. I like that it has a suction cup that allows the suncatcher to be moved throughout the seasons, depending on where the sun is in the sky. This is one of those trivial things that brings me joy when I see it."
"I keep disco balls in my window sills and on my kitchen table. The mirrors catch the light and reflect it all over the living room or kitchen for a couple hours a day. Atmospheric magic."
"These linen sheets are instantly soft and I love the ochre color, which is a bright goldenrod yellow. Brooklinen has never steered me wrong in terms of quality. They're meant to be rumpled and lived in. It kinda takes the pressure off of being perfect—just throw the sheets up over your bed and it's ‘made.’"
"There is nothing more joyful than seeing this smiling ball of sunshine every morning and evening. I just found out they made a tiny version of this so I’m going to need to get that one for my desk."
"I splurged on this lamp for my daughter’s room for Christmas and it is an absolute delight. Frankly, I’d like one for myself. It has a very soft glow and just the right amount of whimsy for the fairy-forest-cottage-core vibe we’re going for in there."
"I have a big collection of vintage and handmade mugs since I kick off every morning with an americano. I’ve picked up a bunch of mugs at craft fairs that we showed at over the years. My favorites are from my friend and ceramicist, Gopi Shah. I’m partial to her poppy stuff since that's my daughter’s name too."
"If your partner is always annoyed that you leave your shoes all over the house, this expandable shoe rack helps get your life in order by making a proper home for discarded shoes. Full disclosure, it’s me. I’m the partner that leaves their shoes all over the house."
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