It takes work to find the right candle to fragrance your home but the process is worth it. What’s more of a bummer, though, is finding candles you love and then finding out they’ve been discontinued. If you were ever a Bendel Girl or just curious about Henri Bendel candles, you might wonder if they’re any good. Like, is it worth it to hunt for them online?
As of now there aren’t any new Bendel scents available. But even though the company has folded, you can still find some Henri Bendel candles scattered across the Internet. Since candles don’t expire, and they retain their scent so long as they’re stored properly, you can still enjoy Henri Bendel fragrances within your home.
Continue reading to learn about the scents I discovered along with a possible Henri Bendel candles plot twist.
All About Henri Bendel
Henri Bendel was a legacy brand that was in business for over 100 years. In their 123rd year in business, all 23 of their stores were closed due to slowed sales. Their website, and even their flagship Fifth Avenue location in New York City, all went dark in January 2019.
Originally founded in 1895 by Henri Willis Bendel, the fashion designer and businessman from the south created a subculture around fine jewelry, handbags, accessories, gifts, and home fragrances for women. Their tagline being, “Become a Bendel Girl.”
Mr. Bendel had training in millinery and became a pioneer of department stores. There were lots of firsts, like hosting his own in-store fashion shows, offering customers in-store makeovers, and Bendel was even the first retail store to sell its own fragrances.
His store was also one of the first to take focused efforts towards branding. Their signature brown and white striped retail bags and boxes were as iconic as Bloomingdale’s kraft brown bags in small, medium, and large.
Another first, in 1913, Henri Bendel was the only U.S. retailer to carry Coco Chanel designs. No doubt his fluency in French gave him an edge. After a sudden death at home in 1936, Bendel’s nephew whose first name was also Henri, stepped in as company president until his retirement in 1954.
More firsts followed when Geraldine Stutz became president in 1957. Because of her, Henri Bendel was the first retailer to showcase new talent like Ralph Lauren and Perry Ellis. She is also known to have launched a new approach to in-store merchandising.
Rapid Expansion to Slow Decline
For over a century, Bendel’s Fifth Avenue store was their only retail location. But in 2008, they began opening retail locations nationwide until the number grew to a total of twenty-nine, including the Fifth Ave location.
A year later, they stopped selling apparel at their stores. And within five years, they would only sell Henri Bendel products. In five more years, early 2019, the business had completely dissolved.
It’s rather sad, really, that this historical company seemed to have been a casualty of profit. But I guess markets and companies evolve over time.
Their parent company wanted to grow their younger, trendier companies, like Victoria’s Secret. Henri Bendel had been purchased by L Brands back in 1985. This is the same parent company that owned Victoria’s Secret, The Limited, Bath & Body Works, and more stores. The luxurious Bendel brand had become a financial burden and L Brands decided to sever its cord in order to further grow their more profitable companies.
But as of August 2021, L Brands no longer exists as one entity. It’s been divided into Bath & Body Works, LLC and Victoria’s Secret. All other associated companies had been sold off over the years. Only these two remain.
Within the Bath & Body Works brand, you will find that they have distribution rights to C. O. Bigelow Apothecaries, which creates upscale beauty products and White Barn Candle Company, which specializes in premium scented candles. I’ll mention more about White Barn later.
Bendel Girl Scents
Henri Bendel candles were well loved when the company was at its height. Being a Bendel Girl meant that you fully stepped into yourself as a woman. Whether you were sporty, chic, glamorous, quirky, or a fashionista, you could always find the perfect accessories and scents to match your personality.
Bendel knew his girls. There was a scent assigned to every “Bendel Girl” profile. The Glamorous Bendel Girl might be most drawn to White Orchid candles while the Fashionista might prefer Black Currant.
These are just two examples. Of course there were many more scents to choose from and any of the women taking the assessments could have preferred a different scent. I just think it’s worth noting that this iconic brand went to great lengths to get to know their customers in order to create a complete experience for them whether in or outside the home.
Henri Bendel Candles
Customers continue to cherish Henri Bendel candles. Amongst their home fragrance offerings, they sold signature, 4 oz travel tin, luxe candles, and also fragrance reeds. Their single-wick signature candles were in 9.4 oz frosted glass that looked like votives, and examples of their scents include:
- Silver Birch
- Blush Suede
- White Orchid
- Mint Julep
- Blackberry Fig
- Tomato Vine, and
- Water Lily
Henri Bendel triple-wicked Luxe candles were a 24 oz soy wax blend poured into angled frosted glass containers and came in scents like, Lemon Verbena, Lavender Leaves, Vanilla Bean, Peony, and Fig. They were even packaged in coordinating cylindrical boxes with a cute striped bow on top – perfect for gifting.
So Long for Now: Henri Bendel Comeback?
On the Henri Bendel website, visitors are greeted with an iconic illustration and the words, “So Long for Now!” They could have instead used the phrase, “So Long, Farewell” or something similar, but does “for now” suggest that they knew that folding the company in 2019 would be a temporary decision?
Rumor has it that Henri Bendel candles are again available but this time, within White Barn Candle Company stores. This seems to be a very new development, and I have not found confirmation elsewhere, but Bendel candles were so beloved that it makes sense, and I’m sure customers would be happy to welcome these candles back into their homes.
In the meantime, though, you can find Henri Bendel candles on eBay, a few ecommerce websites here and there, and also on Amazon.
Henri Bendel Signature Candles Review
Bendel fragrances were formulated by master perfumers using only the finest blend of signature ingredients. Below are six candle scents that I was able to find that might fit well with the mood you want to create within your home.
Since all of the candles are in the same collection, here are some facts that applies to them all:
- Ounces: 9.4
- Wax type: soy-based blend
- Burn time: 50 hours
- Wick: all natural, lead-free
- Number of wicks: one
- Scent source: fragrance oils
- Container type: frosted glass
- Diameter: 4 inches
- Height: 4.5 inches
No doubt for the Glamorous Bendel Girl ready to pop open a celebratory bottle. This candle is fruity and fresh, made with a combination of grapefruit and pineapple mingling with sweet musk. This scent could definitely add a bit of sparkle to your day.
Compared to other luxe brands whose candles are less than half the volume, the cost of this candle is rather reasonable.
- Lasting fragrance
- Elegant container
- Inexpensive luxury
- Very few exist
I don’t think I ever realized that there are different types of amber but this candle was created from three types: white, golden, and sweet. It’s fragrance is carried further by sweet jasmine and gently white rose floral notes. This amber candle has a pleasant aroma that wafts throughout the home long after you’ve blown out your candle.
- Scent fills the room even when unlit
- Excellent throw when lit
- Long, slow burn
- Hard to find
If you don’t have a fireplace but love to cozy up to the smell of burning firewood, then this is the candle for you. Birch, sandalwood, and cedar fill your home with a smoky, woody aroma that is enhanced by leathery vetiver. Hints of resinous amber helps unite the whole experience.
This candle will bring you down to earth after a long, stressful day.
- Wonderful scent
- Earthy, grounding, relaxing
- Complex and calming
- In scarce supply
- More expensive than the others
- Woodsy scents are not for everyone
This fresh lavender fragrance is accompanied by rose and eucalyptus floral notes along with herbaceous sage and the citrusy sweet unique scent of bergamot with a hint of spice. Leafy green stems mingle with the sweet floral fragrances along with hints of a cool glass of iced black tea.
- Unmatched delightful scent
- More complex than the typical lavender candle
- Lasting burn
- Few available for purchase
- Higher price than normal
Another earthy fragrance, but less smokey than the firewood candle. This sandalwood scent is strong without being overpowering. It’s a combination of cedar and sandalwood with sweet, herbal cashmere musk fragrance notes. This one is a little warmer and subtler than firewood.
- Scent travels throughout the home
- Gentle, not overwhelming
- Earthy but not smokey
- Not many available
A velvety floral fragrance, Henri Bedel’s Gardenia candle is a sure win for those of you who love to light botanical scents in your home. But Henri Bendel candles are never that straight forward.
In addition to the stately gardenia flower, you will also smell lemon and orange blossoms. The hints of orange are derived from neroli, which also carries leafy and spicy fragrance notes. Rounding out the scents, you’ll discover sugary sandalwood and white cedar.
- Delightful fragrance
- Complex, yet gentle scent
- Hardly available anymore
TAKEAWAY: You might notice a wide range of prices. Since the candles are so scarce, prices fluctuate for the same product. Most customers express that they don’t mind paying extra because they know it’s a high quality candle that they might not find elsewhere in the future.
Customer Opinions About Henri Bendel Candles
- If you’re able to buy these candles, it’s such a great present to give to someone who understands how much of a rare find they are.
- Customers state that fragrance from Henri Bendel candles tend to linger long after the flame has been blown out.
- Their long burn time helps to make them worth the price and the throw is a huge plus.
- Henri Bendel created complex fragrances and there aren’t many brands that have been able to replace them.
The only complaint about Henri Bendel candles is that they are no longer widely available. Apparently, the candles were pulled out of and returned to Bath & Body Works in the past.
It’s not clear if Bendel candles will return for a longer period this time or if a random store simply came across this inventory and wanted to sell off their remaining boxes. It would help if Bath & Body Works would release a statement or somehow clearly communicate whether or not Henri Bendel candles are gone for good.
Although it’s somewhat difficult to find Henri Bendel candles, you may be able to pick them up in stores again soon. And it’s likely that (if the rumors are true) you might find them on Bath & Body Works website in the White Barn section.
In the meantime, follow the links to try them out and exercise your olfactory senses for their upcoming release (fingers crossed). My favorite scent for you to consider is Amber and another one you might want to try is Gardenia.
Bendel candles are such a treat that I’m excited to see in which direction they plan to take the brand this time around. If they are re-released, I’ll be sure to share another review with you.
If you can get your hands on an Henri Bendel candle, I’m certain you’ll be pleased with it. Happy candle shopping!