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The phrase “unscented candles” may sound like a bit of an oxymoron—isn’t the point of a candle to make your space smell great? But of course, candles were used exclusively for light many hundreds of years before they were ever used for aromatherapy, and not everyone's nose appreciates strong-smelling fragrance.
Even if you like scented candles, their unscented counterparts are still a worthy addition to your space. Not only are they back in style, but they tend to be really, really pretty—not to mention cozy. While most scented candles come poured inside glass jars or ceramic containers, unscented candles come in all kinds of styles, from whimsically-shaped taper candles to colorful tea lights to sculptural pillar candles that look like small statues. Truly, the sky's the limit when it comes to decorating with these fun pieces.
Here, the best unscented candles that double as décor, so even if you never light them they’re still worth adding to your space.
Lex Pott Twist Candle
Lex Pott’s Twist Candle does the work of two taper candles and two candle holders—all at the same time. The Instagram-favorite piece consists of two matching taper candles that are connected together by a matching S-shaped base. The base sits flat on the ground, allowing the candles to stand up on their own—no candlesticks necessary. It's not just a practical choice, but it's also an incredibly pretty one, too. Score the eye-catching favorite in a range of fun colors depending on where you shop—but hurry, because they're selling out!
: Areaware Totem Candle
Areaware’s Totem Candles look great on their own, but they look even better together. Each pillar candle is intricately carved to reveal notches, shelves, and curves, yet these details are rendered so crisply that the overall vibe is sleek rather than ornate. (The pared-down palette, which includes tangerine, forest green, and sandy white, certainly doesn’t hurt either.) Mix and match the candles by color and size to assemble a collection that suits your space perfectly, or find one you love and stock up on it in droves.
Beehive Alchemy Beeswax Tea Light Set
Tea lights are usually unscented, but this vibrant set from Beehive Alchemy is too pretty to pass up. The set comes with 24 tea lights, all of which are crafted from natural beeswax and poured into clear polycarbonate cups, and you can opt for goldenrod, blush, or charcoal colors. If you can't decide, you can buy a set of each, scattering them in mixed-and-matched bunches all over your home. They'll look great dressing up a dinner table, lining a bathtub, or even clustered on a tray in your bathroom, so feel to have a little fun.
Urban Outfitters Ombre Taper Candle Set
Looking for taper candles that have a little personality? Urban Outfitters’ Ombre Taper Candle Set is just what you're looking for. The set comes with four two-tone candles, each boasting different shades of lilac, orange, light pink, and pale yellow. Mount these eye-catching candles in some pretty candlesticks and make them the centerpiece of your next dinner party, or line them up on your fireplace mantel.
Unlike similar candles, these tapers won’t drip wax down the side. Instead, they offer the clean burn you’d expect from a more traditional taper candle, and have a burn time of about 15 hours, gradually shrinking down the longer they’re lit.
Bonam Kim’s Hannah Candle is a pillar candle that doubles as a work of art. (Really—this is one you might not ever want to light.) Kim is a Brooklyn-based sculptor, so it's no surprise that her sculptural candle looks like a miniature version of what you’d find in a museum. The Hannah Candle is available in an array of pretty shades, from lavender and sage to ivory and black, and is made to be displayed prominently, whether that's on your vanity, coffee table, or bookshelf.
Nordic Light Candles Bloktagon Candle Set
Nordic Light Candles’ Bloktagon Candle Set is colorful, eye-catching, and totally fun. The set is made up of five stout candles that have been carved to resemble geometric prisms, and each candle is rendered in a toned-down but spirited color—think light yellow, bubblegum pink, sky blue, mint green, and pale lavender. Though these candles are small, each one burns for about 8 hours, each in its own unique way. Pro tip: Nordic Light Candles recommends placing each on its own pretty plate to cut back on any messiness.
Anthropologie Constance Botanical Taper Candle Set
Anthropologie’s Constance Botanical Taper Candles are eye-catching enough to make a statement, but versatile enough to find a place in any home. Each set includes two matching taper candles, giving you the opportunity to stock up on your favorite—or to mix and match the sets you like best. They're available in three different variations: notched pewter gray, notched bright orange, or a sleek ivory spiral. The colors and textures look beautiful together, making it easy for you to compile a candle collection that feels varied but cohesive.
Lex Pott for HAY Pillar Candle
Lex Pott’s Pillar Candles are vibrant, pretty, and totally eye-catching. Display one on its own, and you’re sure to have a statement-making accent; collect the entire set, and you’re in for a seriously head-turning display. The candles come in an array of sizes, and each one has been carved to reveal crisp, structural tiers that are rendered in different colors.
Shop the smallest candle, and you’ll find a teal votive sitting atop a lavender pedestal. Shop the biggest, and you’ll find bold cylinders of lavender, aqua, and red stacked on top of each other. Each candle boasts a different palette, but the colors are complementary enough that if you do decide to pair them, they’ll play well together.
Crate & Barrel White Ball Candle Set
Looking for something different from your typical tall candle? Crate & Barrel’s White Ball Candle Set comes with two matching candles, both of which are simply a white sphere of paraffin wax with a small cotton wick poking out of the top. Cute and minimalist, these candles are a fun alternative to old-school tapers, although pairing the two styles together results in a very cool, modern contrast. Your dining table's décor scape will never be the same, but that's a good thing.
HAY Spiral Candle Set
Ready to embrace the spiral trend? HAY’s Spiral Candle Set may be exactly what you’re looking for. The set comes with six taper candles that have a thicker shape and fun spiral design. While the green and blue palette is calm and soothing, there are a few other options to choose from—if you’re looking for something warmer, you can opt for the ice blue, light pink, and coral combination, or you can go deeper with the mint, navy, and light pink set. And if you find yourself totally in love with all of them, you can buy every single set and mix and match the different colors.