Have you ever considered pairing your favourite Clare Makes candle with an Australian film? You'd be surprised how well they go together.
Here's my list of favourite Aussie films and scents you can burn at the same time. Bookmark this list for your next movie night - you might discover a new film, or take the opportunity to revisit an old classic.
Dorothea: Southern Florals + The Dry (2020)
Our landscape is nothing if not punishing. Dorothea Mackellar's poem "Our Sunburnt Country" and it's namesake candle is perfect to burn while watching Eric Bana return to his drought-stricken home town in this compelling murder mystery.
Miles: Australian Wildflowers + My Brilliant Career (1979)
The Miles candle was named after Miles Franklin, who wrote My Brilliant Career in 1901. In 1979, Judy Davis starred as Sybylla Melvyn, born to poverty on an outback farm. Determined to fulfil her life and have not just a career, but a 'brilliant' one, this moving and dramatic love story follows her early years and the writing of her novel. It was nominated for 11 awards, including Best Costume Design at the Oscars.
Clyde: Kakadu Plum + Australia (2008)
A candle scented with Kakadu plum, one of the most classic NT scents, must of course be paired with Baz Luhrmann's epic, set in Darwin. This movie is a somewhat controversial, but with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman... You really can't go wrong.
Effie: Blue Mountain Air + Ladies in Black (2018)
A movie set in Sydney, with a few filming locations in Katoomba, this film is set in Sydney in the summer of 1959, against the backdrop of Australia's cultural awakening, breakdown of class structures, and liberation of women. It's a feel good, coming of age story, set at a department store that follows a young girl as she opens her eyes to the world beyond her limited experience. Light a winter scented candle alongside it, and that's your Saturday night sorted.
Matilda: Eucalyptus & Fresh Berries + The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
This scent is so unique that the only logical pairing was the flamboyant drag queen film of the decade, Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce are masters at their craft, and movies don't get much better than this.
Ellis: Ghost Gum Breeze + The Castle (1997)
Ellis Stones approach to Australian plants, was all about making your home your... castle. Pairing that candle with Michael Caton's masterful performance in the Castle is a no-brainer. This movie is endlessly quotable even 25 years later.
Louisa: Wild Boronia Flowers + The Nightingale (2018)
A film whose main character shares my name might be an obvious choice to include in this list, and it probably is. But the Nightingale is a highly nominated, dark revenge film set in Tasmania, which is where the boronia flower grows, given how many awards it won, it's definitely worth watching if you haven't seen it.
Quong: Lemon Myrtle & Ginger + Mao's Last Dancer (2009)
A candle named after a Chinese immigrant, and a film about a different one. Mao's Last Dancer traces the story of Li Cunxin from his roots in China, to decision to dance in Texas. Li Cunxin subsequently married an Australian and became a principal dancer at The Australian Ballet. The candle and movie paired together will have you reflecting on how far migrants have come in and the important contribution they have made to shaping Australian culture.
Elizabeth: Lilly Pilly & Frangipani + Wolf Creek (2005)
Look... If you're going to watch one of the most compelling and terrifying horror films ever set in Australia, you should balance it with a beautiful, floral candle. Fun fact: I saw this movie on a first date, many moons ago. Yikes.
Henry: The Wattle + The Drover's Wife (2021)
A searing reimagining of Leah Purcell's play and Henry Lawson's classic short story, The Drover's Wife is paired beautifully with a candle named after Henry Lawson. The film itself is a thriller, set in the Snowy Mountains, where a lonely bushwoman struggles to run the farm and raise her children while her husband is away.
Banjo: Australian Bush + The Man From Snowy River (1982)
Based on Banjo Paterson's poem of the same name, The Man From Snowy River is classic coming of age film, set in the 1880s and starring Kirk Douglas.
Constance + Penguin Bloom (2020)
After suffering a spinal injury in Thailand, Naomi Watt's character Sam Bloom and their family take in an injured magpie which makes a profound difference to their family. The Constance candle and its medical namesake go well with this film, and who doesn't love a feel good movie on a Saturday night? It's based on a true story as well.
What's your favourite Australian film? Tell me in the comments below.