Ellie is a chemist who works for a perfume company. She is working on a signature fragrance for a pop artist superstar that will make her career if it passes muster with the young influencer and propel her to Paris, the City of Light. This is a pun, as you will see. While she is waiting for the young diva to try her creation, she goes home to New Hampshire for Christmas. Her family has been in the candle-making business for 150 years but when she gets home she finds the business all but in ashes. Since the death of her mother, who was the brains of the operation, her hopeless father has not been able to keep the business afloat creatively (his wicks are crooked) nor business-wise (he writes important orders on the backs of old receipts.) To make matters worse, the recipe for their famous wish-granting “Christmas Candle” has been lost with the death of the mother. It is a measure of Ellie’s character that she doesn’t murder dear old dad or literally light a candle to the business and collect the insurance money. She takes things in hand and soon she has pulled her legacy back from the brink, except for the one thing that can secure its future: the secret ingredient to the Christmas Candle. Meanwhile, the young pop diva has a hysterical meltdown when she gets a whiff of Ellie’s perfume. Apparently, it contains pine and she hates pine because she was trapped in an Ikea store as a child. It gets a whole lot more complicated and I haven’t even mentioned the love interest who is a peripatetic journalist who is doing a piece on the family candle-making business. Or the family legend regarding the magical Christmas Candles. The rest of the movie proceeds with the journalist and Ellie on a quest for the secret ingredient, which, when found, turns out to be the perfect scent for her young client. Then the big conflict happens.
This was just meh. Nazneen was fine as usual, the love interest was competent if somewhat of a non-entity who seems very lackadaisical about his job. The ending was super-cheesy and doesn’t bear a lot of scrutiny. The future of the romance and her career seemed to be a little vague. I prefer things nailed down. On the other hand, The candle-making aspect was interesting and I don’t think it’s ever been done before. A welcome break from bakers, vintners, and confectioners.