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.

Kristen Pumphrey is the cofounder of P.F. Candle Co.

Kristen Pumphrey is the CEO, creative director, and cofounder of P.F. Candle Co.

Photo by Grant Puckett

"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."

CB2 Black Terra Cotta Incense Burner

Formed on a potter's wheel using locally sourced clay, this stoneware dish gives your favorite incense a bit of finesse. Each burner is completely unique, thanks to the matte black finish. CB2 exclusive.

Shamans Market Soapstone Smudge Bowl

This smudge bowl is made in India from soapstone. The natural color of the incense burning bowl varies from brown to terra cotta to greens.

"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."

Papier d’Arménie Arménie

Older than the Eiffel Tower, Papier d’Arménie was born in Paris in 1885 as a result of the experiments of a chemist and a scientist. The idea came from a travel to Armenia, country where the benzoin resin, derived from the bark of trees—the major ingredient of the booklet—was used to purify the air. Incense, myrrh, woodsy, and vanilla scent, created in 2006 by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian.

"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."

P.F. Candle Co. Piñon Incense Sticks

Our charcoal-based Incense is hand-dipped in our studio and packaged in kraft boxes. Incense quickly transforms a room: transformative smoke uplifts the space while our signature scents linger for hours even after extinguishing.

"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)."

Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candle Making Kit

Made in the USA. Includes ten full size 100% beeswax honeycomb sheets in a rainbow of vibrant colors.

"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!"

Baggu Hand Towel Set of 2

Everyone talks about hand washing, but no one talks about hand drying, do they?

"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."

Blomus Ceramic Soap Tray

Crafted from durable ceramic with a luxurious silicone finish that feels sleek in the hand, this soap tray immediately elevates the powder room sink.

"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."

USB Lighter Company Rechargeable Lighter

We all love to have a lighter handy for candles, incense, birthdays, and the like. And no matter which one you may have on hand, this rechargeable wonder is sure to be an upgrade. It’ll give you up to 300 uses on a single charge from your USB port, and—bonus—it’s completely butane-free. It’s slim, elegant, easy to slip into a drawer or a pocket...no wonder our founders are fans!

"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."

P.F. Candle Co. Ojai Lavender 7.2 Oz Soy Candle

A calming vortex surrounded by sun-drenched fields, orange groves and lavender farms, jagged mountains washed in a rosy, sunset glow. Aromatic, herbal, citrus. Pixie tangerine, blue lavender, coyote mint.

"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."

Rainbow Symphony Axicon Rainbow Window Suncatcher

The Axicon Suncatcher starts with laser technology and ends with pure spectral color. It has never been easier to bring the beauty of rainbows into your home. Simply hang your Axicon Suncatcher from any window that gets direct sunlight, and your suncatcher will transform the sunlight light into an explosion of multiple hues. When the sun hits your Axicon Rainbow Suncatcher, pinwheels of vibrant color will fan your room, splashing walls, ceilings, and floors. Forty-eight spokes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet will dance about the room, leaving everything awash in a mesmerizing shower of rainbow color. The effect is absolutely spectacular!

"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."

Alytimes Mirror Disco Ball

Eight inches in diameter.

"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.’"

Brooklinen Linen Core Sheet Set

Effortless elegance and casual style inspire our washed linen sheets. Light yet cozy, our Linen is perfect for warm days or cool nights. Each piece is washed and dyed in small batches, giving this collection a playfully unique and individual character.

"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."

Mr Maria Smiley Lamp

The happiest roommate you could have! This joyful globe shines a cozy light and can be placed anywhere you like. He'll fit by your bedside, on display in the living room or as a smiley colleague in your (home) office.

"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."

Egmont Medium Mushroom Lamp

Transform your little one's room into a magical world with this lovely lamp from Belgian company, Egmont. Warm, soft light emits through its body and holes on top creates a warming atmosphere that will gently guide your little one to dream land. Made with durable resin, it is safe to be in any nursery or children's room and and become a cuddly companion. Most of all, its whimsical design makes it a great addition to any decor.

"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."

Gopi Shah cappuccino mugs in her Speckled Poppies design.

Gopi Shah cappuccino mugs in her Speckled Poppies design.

Courtesy of Gopi Shah

"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."

Yamazaki Home Line Expandable Shoe Rack

Shoe rack or accordion? Tired of looking for the shoe rack that fits the exact dimensions of your closet? This shoe rack expands and contracts smoothly to fit your space. Clean, minimal lines will perfectly pair with any modern dwelling. Try one in an entryway or at the foot of a closet.

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