no denying the power of fragrance—we’re all familiar with the way that a certain perfume can transport us to a certain time or place, lift our spirits, or get us in the mood for a night out, but what’s often overlooked is the fact that the same effect can be achieved in the way we scent our space. Whether you want to create an atmosphere of relaxation or refresh the energy of a room, then you truly can’t go wrong with a scented candle. Ideal for bringing ambience to your bedroom, masking lingering odours in your dining room, or creating spa-like vibes in your bathroom, the best candles serve not only to make your home smell amazing, but also to boost your mood—and of course, multitask as decorative features.
For me, arriving home after a long day, washing my face, changing into comfy clothes, and lighting a candle is one of life’s simplest but most enjoyable small pleasures. The right candle at the right time can do anything from helping me to focus when working from home, to getting me in the mood for a deep clean, or creating an atmosphere of calm to relax my mind before sleep.
When it comes to choosing the best candles, there are
tons of options to choose from—spanning the offerings from luxury fragrance houses to more affordable budget home fragrance ranges—altogether, making it a tough category to sift through. Fortunately for you, between my career as a beauty editor and the genetic predisposition towards buying candles that I seem to have inherited from my mum, I’ve tried my fair share of candles over the past few years…
To help you to narrow down your options, I’ve rounded up an edit of the best candles I’ve tried. From cult classics (think:
Byredo, Jo Loves, and Diptyque) to not-so-well-known candles from some of my favourite indie fragrance brands (such as Ostens and Good Candles), I can guarantee that every single one of these candles will make your home smell incredible.
Calling all bibliophiles! If you’re obsessed with the smell of new books or your idea of heaven is whiling away hours in an old library or secondhand bookstore, look no further. Warm, smoky and papery, this candle will be the perfect accompaniment to your next read.
I couldn’t not include a Diptyque fragrance—the struggle was in choosing just one. In the end, I’ve settled on the brand’s bestseller, Baies. It’s an aromatic blend of blackberries and rose.
With contrasting warm, earthy notes and lighter fresh notes of mandarin and rosemary, there’s something beautifully nostalgic about this scent. What’s more, Boy Smells candles are always impressively long-lasting.
When it comes to gifting, Jo Malone candles are always a crowdpleaser. This is a lesser known but (in my opinion) hugely underrated candle which sees sweet, soft neroli off-set with green notes of basil.
Tomato leaf might sound like an unusual choice for a candle, but if you’re into vibrant, green scents that remind you of summer, you’ll be a huge fan. This candle smells just as good as it looks, seriously.
Perfect for masking lingering smells in your kitchen or dining room, this candle is a bright and sparkling delight for all the senses.
When I need to be in the mood to clean or tidy my house, this candle is my go to. Reminiscent of the smell of clean, sun-dried laundry, it’s warm, fresh, and impossible not to fall in love with.
Fresh, crisp, and vibrant, this candle positively screams winter. It’s an essential festive-season burn.
Scents with woody notes are always a great option for home fragrance. This candle blends scents of sandalwood, cedarwood, and vetiver seamlessly with sweet vanilla.
This fragrance, with base notes of amber and patchouli, middle notes of leather and rum, and top notes of bergamot and plum, is one of my personal favourites—both to wear as a perfume, and to scent my space.
With notes of zesty bergamot, bright orange, and creamy coconut, this scent will transport you to far-flung islands.
Warm and soothing, if you like the scent of amber, this luxury candle will make for a beautiful addition to your collection.
With notes of coconut, vanilla, bamboo, ylang-ylang, and sandalwood, this candle’s scent is reminiscent of an island breeze.
This candle has a really subtle, delicate fragrance—it’s great for scenting spaces where you don’t want anything overpowering.
This candle combines some of my all-time favourite fragrance notes, including bergamot, mandarin, and basil—but mostly I’m obsessed with the packaging. Once burned through, it will make a gorgeous storage container.
All of Soho Home’s scents are winners for us, but this rich, oud-based blend is perfect for an evening burn. And it’s well worth the price considering that you’re left with a statement piece of room decor.
When it comes to home fragrance specifically, herbal scents are my weakness. I think they’re perfect as a spring or summer burn, or for scenting living spaces like the kitchen or dining room. A potent mix of lemon, rosemary, and pine, with hints of thyme, green tea, and basil, this vibrant candle is one to burn when you feel your energy levels depleting.
Formulated with relaxing scents to calm the mind, this heavenly smell will send you right off to sleep. Just be sure to blow it out first…
Rose is often deemed a ‘love-it-or-hate-it’ note and isn’t typically one I’m drawn to, but in this Ostens candle it’s deliciously fresh, jammy, and very modern.
Perfect for burning during autumn, winter, or evenings, those who love dark, smoky scents will appreciate this candle, which combines notes like pine, sage, and patchouli.
Capturing the comforting scent that arises after a rain storm, this candle has notes of magnolia and eucalyptus—it’s fresh but also surprisingly comforting.
I have to admit that I’ve never actually burned this candle, but I have smelt it (in store) enough times to know I’d love it. Trudon candles make for a luxury addition to any stylish home, and it’s not due to their design. They’re notoriously strong-smelling and long-lasting, so you get what you pay for.
Burning this candle is essentially the home fragrance equivalent of wearing Le Labo’s iconic Santal 33 perfume. It may have a high price point, but rest assured Le Labo’s scented candles live up to the hype.
Before you’ve even opened the box, the scent of this candle will fill a room. Burn it to immerse yourself in a rich, smoky scent with notes of orris, amber, and sandalwood.
A gorgeous scent in an equally gorgeous heavy glass holder. Key notes of cardamom and sandalwood are chosen for their healing and mood enhancing properties.
I’m yet to burn this candle for myself but if the description is anything to go by, I think I’m going to like it: “Go island hopping in the Indian Ocean with this memory of sparkling seas, white sands and palms. Coconut Grove gives a shout-out to wanderlust and brings adventure to your mood.” Sold.
With a woody, earthy, green fragrance, this forest-inspired candle smells just like your favourite country walking spot.
This delicious floral combines notes of jasmine and mango—it’s fresh, vibrant, and will fill your entire house with scent.
Spicy and fruity, this cult favourite combines notes of bitter orange, bergamot, pomegranate, rose, musk, and patchouli.
Habitat’s candles (also available in Sainsbury’s) are not to be missed, and this is one of my favourites for burning during summer. Fresh green geranium, warm basil, and a touch of sweet mint come together in this divine candle, which smells far more expensive than it is.
Everyone’s favourite fragrance note, fig, takes centrestage in this summer-perfect candle.
Rest assured, this candle doesn’t actually smell like school dinners—but in buying it, you’ll contribute 10% of the price to food banks. Meanwhile, your home will be scented with a fragrance reminiscent of warm sponge cakes, toasted bread, and maple syrup.
You’ve probably seen Glossier’s candles on Instagram at some point, but have you smelled them? Now’s the time. This version has the same creamy, floral scent as the brand’s bodycare range.
This heady, floral scent has notes of bergamot, amber, lemon, and neroli—perfect for warm, summer evenings.
Blending notes of tomato leaf, figs, cedarwood, and pine, this candle is instantly uplifting. It’s a great one to light for an at-home spa day.
If you haven’t got a garden, this is a great way to bring the scent of a fresh summer day inside.
Again, I’ve yet to smell this one, but if, like me, you’re into cosy, library-inspired, woodfire scents, this is one to add to your wishlist.
Aromatherapy has proven effective in calming the mind and relaxing the body, and that’s the magic behind this soothing blend. It makes for the ultimate bedtime candle.
With a refreshingly accessible price tag), Zara’s extensive candle collection features some real gems—including this warm and spicy blend of amber, cedarwood, and ylang-ylang.
This article was previously published at an earlier date and has since been republished.
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