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There's nothing like the warm ambiance of a candle to set the mood for a dinner party, bubble bath, or even laundry day. It makes even the mundane feel special, as your favorite scents transport you to new places or ground you in your rituals. And whether you're an avid candle collector or you're just getting started, finding the perfect scent is a real game-changer.
Scented candles are a little luxury, and depending on the price point it's easy to try a bunch of different aromas to help you narrow down your favorites. From floral to woodsy to fresh, there are tons of fragrance families to explore until you find your ideal aroma.
Ahead, find the best smelling candles.
Otherland Rattan Candle
Some candles are so precious—and expensive—that you may want to savor them. But Otherland's fragrances were designed to be enjoyed every day, and after one whiff of their Rattan candle, you'll be glad they were.
Rattan balances warmth and beachy vibes thanks to its blend of sandalwood, amber, and musk. It's the perfect year-round scent that smells equally great on summer days and cool fall nights. And, like all of Otherland’s candles, the soy wax blend is designed to burn clean and is made in the USA.
Brooklinen AM to PM Candle Set
Perhaps Brooklinen’s best-kept secret is that, in addition to buttery-soft sheets, they also have gorgeous candles. Each of the four candles in the AM to PM set is named after a different time of day—you start out with “Wake,” inspired by the ocean; then “Magic Hour” is an evening flower garden; and then “Dusk” brings to mind a crackling cabin fire. Finally, “Nightcap” is an old fashioned in a candle: bourbon and orange.
Light them at their times of day to set the mood, or use them seasonally—use Wake in the spring and enjoy the warming scents of Dusk in the winter.
Outdoor Fellow No. 7 Rosa Moschata
Floral scents don’t have to remind you of your grandma’s perfume. Take Outdoor Fellow’s musk rose-inspired scent, Rosa Moschata, which includes a mix of florals with a base of patchouli and amber for warmth. The mix of scents is equal parts spicy and sweet, making it an intriguing smell you’ll want to light again and again. The candle’s minimal design is made to blend in anywhere, so all you'll notice is the beautiful scent.
Brooklyn Candle Studio Maui Escapist Candle
Brooklyn Candle Studio's Escapist collection is meant to evoke some of your favorite places around the world, and Maui is at the top of the list. The Hawaii-inspired scent blends hints of bergamot and ylang ylang, sea moss, and driftwood for an aroma that'll transport you straight to the beach. The scent makes for an ideal daytime fragrance, as the essence of ocean breezes and fresh florals is sure to help you unwind and relax through a busy day.
Boy Smells LES Candle
Boy Smells is known for its intriguing name, unique smells, and chic packaging, and their LES candle is no different. Inspired by Manhattan's Lower East Side, the fragrance offers a unisex scent that'll transform any space.
The LES candle includes notes of fruit, flowers, wood, and even rice powder for a unique and intoxicating scent. It's made of a coconut and beeswax blend and comes in a glossy black tumbler you can reuse once the candle burns through.
Witchy Wicks Candle Co. Saturday Morning Cartoons Candle
There are plenty of candles that evoke sea breezes and rose gardens, but what about a bowl of nostalgia? Witchy Wicks’ Saturday Morning Cartoons candle doesn’t just remind you of watching Nickelodeon on a Saturday morning, the candle actually smells like cereal. If you like your scents playful and a little off-kilter, you’ll love this Etsy cult favorite.
Anecdote Candles Laundry Day Candle
If you like scents that tell a story, Anecdote Candles is the perfect brand for you. From farmer’s market trips to libraries, each candle is inspired by scenes and places—and sometimes, they're even inspired by everyday chores, like Laundry Day.
There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh linens, and this candle evokes just that. Notes of lily and white musk will immediately make your space smell as clean as sinking into a newly made bed feels. Plus, it's made of a coconut-soy wax blend, has a cotton wick, and is hand-poured with natural ingredients, so you'll have a burn as clean as it smells.
Le Labo Santal 26 Candle
For hardcore candle fans, there are a handful of scents that immediately lead to nods of recognition. High on that list is Santal 26, an intoxicating blend of smoky, spicy scents (26 scents to be precise—it’s where the name comes from).
Beyond its fame, this candle makes itself known in other ways too—the smell lingers long after you’ve blown the candle out so you can fully enjoy the fragrance. It's worth noting that it's quite a splurge, but you can personalize the label and box so you can treat yourself or a loved one to a little luxury.
Paddywax Mandarin Mango Candle
One of the most disappointing parts of a candle is when you burn through it only to realize you can't reuse the container. Not Paddywax, however—the brand sells a wide range of candles in an assortment of styles, all designed to be reused. Especially the Mandarin Mango scent, which is garden-inspired in more ways than one.
The fragrance includes a blend of notes, like mandarin, grapefruit, mango, berry, and peach nectar. Combined, it's a fruity scent that'll make you feel like you're out in your garden—or actually get you out there.
P.F. Candle Co. Amber & Moss Candle
For an affordable candle you'll want to burn every day, consider P.F. Candle Co.'s Amber & Moss scent. The floral and woodsy candle evokes the feeling of being up in the mountains, even if you're just lighting it in your at-home office.
The candle includes tons of sage, moss, and lavender, a blend of aromas that won't overpower your home. The candle is available in a 7.5-ounce jar that's perfect for a bathroom or nightstand, but if you really love it there's also a 12.5-ounce size as well. Both come in the same apothecary-inspired amber glass container that'll work well with any décor.
Cadence Candle Co. Levitate Candle
If you like lighting a candle to set a mood, this may be your new spa-day BFF. Levitate is meant to help you feel refreshed and calm, with notes of bergamot, thyme, ginger, and white tea. The scent can also help you relax and wind down—light it before a bath for an instant spa experience, or before you medicate or do a yoga session to get in a zen state of mind.
Jonathan Adler Tomato Pop Candle
Tomatoes may seem like an unusual candle scent, but hear us out—if you only get tomatoes from the grocery store, then you’re missing the intoxicating scent of the vine itself. Fragrance notes include tomato leaves, rhubarb, basil, crushed thyme, and sandalwood—a unique blend intended to transport you to an Italian summer. The best part is that it comes in a vibrant red vessel that's sure to pop in any space. And, when then candle's finished you can even use it as a planter or vase.
Harlem Candle Co. Speakeasy Luxury Candle
If you’ve ever rushed off a busy street into an intimate bar, you know how it can be like entering another world of hushed conversations, clinking glasses, and floating jazz notes. Evoking all that and more, the Speakeasy Candle from Harlem Candle Co. is inspired by mysterious, intoxicating nights at Prohibition-era speakeasies. Smoky top and middle notes combine with spice and sweetness for a candle that will make you feel like you’re having your last nightcap.
Byredo Altar Candle
Byredo’s striking monochromatic candles feature black wax in a black glass container. It's the kind of look both minimalists and maximalists will appreciate—but there’s nothing minimalist about the scents.
Altar is inspired by founder Ben Gorham’s winter memories of Stockholm. With notes of clove, woods, and flowers, it’s perfect for lighting in chilly months when you just want to cuddle up at home. Though it's a bit of a splurge, the candle has a 60-hour burn time so you're sure to get good use out of it.
Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Candle
Peonies have a short blooming season, but you can bring their effervescent scent into your home with Jo Malone’s Peony & Blush Suede Candle. The aroma will bring the feeling of spring cheer into any space no matter the time of year. Like many of Jo Malone’s scents, it’s distinctly English, inspired by an “extravagant English ballgown shimmering in candlelight.” Fragrance notes include red apple, peony, and suede—a winning combination for a welcoming, relaxing scent.
Overose Anthurium Scented Candle
Overose candles are the definition of feminine cool—and they're proof that floral scents don't have to be sweet. Take the Anthurium Candle, for instance, which comes in an eye-catching container and features a floral aroma unlike any other.
Anthurium will fill your space with juicy blackcurrant berries, lychee fruit, and rose petals, for a fruity-floral scent that still packs a punch. The candle scores bonus points for its unique holographic container, which adds a playful touch anywhere you put it. It's also worth noting their signature holographic candles are designed to have both a hot (while burning) and cold (blown out) throw, so the candle is always working in your favor.
Cire Trudon Abd El Kader Candle
With nearly 400 years of history behind it, Cire Trudon once supplied candles to the court of Louis XIV. Their candles are bucket-list items for serious scent lovers, and the scent descriptions alone read like fine literature.
A notable example is their Abd El Kader candle, which is inspired by the Arabian Ouled Naïl tribe. The candle evokes the aroma of mint tea and has fresh, citrus notes with a base of sweet vanilla for a balanced, luxurious smell.
Illume Boulangerie Jar Whipped Cream & Pear Candle
Sometimes, sweet-inspired candles can be quite overpowering. But if you're going to give one a shot, it might as well be one from Anthropologie—the retailer has long specialized in fragrances that leave an impression without giving you a headache (or a toothache).
The Whipped Cream & Pear candle is the perfect example, balancing the freshness of the fruit with whipped cream and a hint of apple peel, it’s like stepping into a bakery you won’t want to leave.
Cavo After A Good Cry Candle
If you want to know what to expect from After A Good Cry, you can read the scent notes, which include bourbon, vanilla bean, and rainwater. Or, you can just listen to the playlist inspired by the scent. A little moody, a little hopeful, this scent is instantly familiar, and you don’t need to have just felt some heartbreak to know the kind of rainy-day vibes it captures. Even better? The candle is made with 100 percent organic soy wax and comes in a reusable glass container.
Diptyque Baies Candle
Diptyque’s “dancing letter” labels are nearly as iconic as their candles, but legions of fans also swear by their signature scents, like Baies (AKA berries). A perfect fresh candle for warmer weather, it’s the kind of candle you’ll want to light on the first day you open your windows for a fresh breeze. Floral without feeling perfume-y, it’s a cult classic for a reason.
Italic Black Currant Bergamot
Italic’s direct-to-consumer goods are made in the same factories as coveted designer finds, so you know this candle is bound to be chic. The Black Currant Bergamot scent has an intoxicating fragrance that'll set the mood in your home, no matter where you place it.
The budget-friendly candle mixes notes of fruit and florals for a warm and balanced scent that's perfect for summer. Plus, it comes in a minimal, heavy-duty glass jar that'll look gorgeous on an accent table or mantle.