Utopia Candles from The School of Life are beautiful candles in matte black ceramic candle pots inspired by Le Corbusier’s architecture, Henry David Thoreau’s idyllic Walden Woods and Plato’s philosophy.
Throughout history, people have designed utopias, perfect worlds that aren’t exactly real and yet that serve to illuminate real needs. Contemplating utopias restores and reinvigorates us by helping us to focus on what things could, and might, one day be like. London’s School of Life created these candles so that lighting them creates a moment in which we are able to reframe, and gain perspective over, some of the problems of our world today.
City Of Tomorrow Candle
Inside this beautifully-crafted jar, is a candle whose subtly blended fragrance helps to evoke the perfect world described by: the architect Le Corbusier, a realm of elegance, lightness and speed.
Elegance, Lightness, Speed
In 1925, the Swiss-French modernist architect Le Corbusier published a book, The City of Tomorrow and its Planning, which described a city made perfect through beautiful, rational contemporary architecture. The City of Tomorrow would be uncluttered, calm and elegantly proportioned.
Technology would simplify life. There would be dignified housing for all and none of the anxiety and stress of our current large cities. Commuters would be propelled from their homes to offices in minutes by high-speed trains. We would keep fit by regularly playing tennis and going swimming. Le Corbusier – who loved flowers – took a particular interest in the design of public gardens. There would be allotments on the roofs of skyscrapers. Offices would be serene, with perfect filing systems and moderate work hours. There would be no slovenliness, no squalour and no garishness.
The scent of freshly cut grass with green pear, rose, lily, jasmine and balsam | Ceramic candle pot | Visitor’s Guide booklet and box | 80 x 90mm
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Inside this beautifully-crafted jar, is a candle whose subtly blended fragrance helps to evoke the perfect world described by the American writer Henry David Thoreau, a realm of nature, beauty and harmony.
Nature, Beauty, Harmony
In 1845, the American writer Henry David Thoreau, then in his late 20s, built himself a small cabin in a quiet, idyllic location among the pine trees on the shores of Walden Pond, in Massachusetts. He wanted to see what it would be like to live cut off from other people, in communion with nature, in a simple hut, without the support of machines and modern civilization. He was to sum up his experiences in a book, Walden: or, Life in the Woods (1854), still the single most inspiring book for anyone wanting to imagine a less cluttered and more natural way of life.
While in the woods, Thoreau went for long walks, read the books he had always meant to read, mended his own clothes, gathered fruit, went fishing and mused on what holds us all back from living in this way.
The scent of wild berries with citrus, geranium, cassis, amber and sandalwood | Ceramic candle pot | Visitor’s Guide booklet and box | 80 x 90mm
Buy the Walden Candle here
The Republic Candle
Inside this beautifully-crafted jar, is a candle whose subtly blended fragrance helps to evoke the perfect world described by Plato, a realm of reason, calm and order.
Reason, Calm, Order
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato (428BC – 348BC) wanted philosophy to be more than an academic exercise, he wanted it to change the world. As he surveyed the city state of Athens where he lived, he was struck by a range of its problems:the politicians were corrupt, pandering to the mob and lining their own pockets. Families weren’t educating their children properly. People pursued money and power rather than self-knowledge and insight. Love and sex weren’t properly understood and artists were keener on thrilling their audiences than making them wise or good.
His solution came in The Republic, one of the most ambitious and thought-provoking of all utopian texts, written around 380BC. The book evokes a community governed by wisdom. Those at the top are motivated only by selfless duty to the common good; their qualification is the depth of their insight into the real needs of others, and they are exemplary for the modesty and simplicity of their habits. The Republic is the ancestor of all modern utopias – a continuing inspiration for those offended by the chaos, ugliness and irrationality of our world.
The scent of warm spices with bergamot, mandarin, nutmeg, black pepper, cardamom, cumin and vetivert | Ceramic candle pot | Visitor’s Guide booklet and box | 80 x 90mm
Buy The Republic Candle here