Looking for the best scented candles to buy for yourself or a loved one? We've got you covered with our tried and tested picks.
Who doesn’t love a scented candle? Not only do they make a great gift for someone, if you can bear to part with it, but they’re a relatively inexpensive buy that can feel really indulgent. So, what is it that makes them such a little luxury? Perhaps it’s the pretty flickering light that creates a magical ambience? Maybe it’s that they make a great decorative accessory for that all-important shelfie? Or, more likely, it’s the fact that when lit, the fragrance can have you feeling relaxed, invigorated, or conjure up nostalgic memories with just one sniff.
Whether it’s a tropical scent that takes you right back to a sunny holiday, the smell of cinnamon, frankincense and fir for the festive season, or a spa-like smell that helps you instantly unwind, your chosen scent can provide the ultimate escapism and instantly change your mood. As with a perfume, the scent you choose is very much a personal thing, and what appeals to one may not make it onto someone else’s wish list.
How to choose the best scented candle
You may well already do so, but if you want your candle to go the distance then it’s worth checking out the burn time before you buy, as some last a lot longer than others. In many instances, the longer the burn time, the better quality the candle is likely to be, with some of the more expensive candles able to burn for up to 800 hours!
Then there’s the size of the candle you go for and how many wicks it has – multiple wicks tend to be used on larger candles and can release a more intense fragrance. The scent will consist of three levels: top, central and base notes. The top notes are the ones you’ll notice instantly, while the central notes act as the foundation, and the base notes are the strongest but take the most time to develop.
When a candle is able to fill a room with its fragrance, it’s said to have a good ‘scent throw’ and you’ll find that the larger your room, the larger the candle you’ll need in order to this.
There’s also the type of wax your candle is made from – if you’d like an organic or eco-friendly design, then choose ones made with cotton or wood wicks and with natural ingredients like coconut, soy, rapeseed or beeswax.
Caring for your candle
There’s a few rules you can follow in order to keep your candle burning bright and for many hours. Firstly, if you trim the wick each time you use it, before lighting, you’ll find that it helps avoid the sides of your glass candle holder turning black from smoke.
Secondly, when you light your new candle for the first time, make sure you leave it burning long enough that the top of the candle turns to liquid (molten wax). The reason being, if you put it out too soon, the next time you light the candle it will only burn to the same diameter (as when it was put out), meaning it burns unevenly and you’ll be left with a candle that has a hole in the middle, which will then tend to smoke.
Lastly, if your candle has a lid, use it in between burning to keep the wax dust-free. Ready to get shopping? Then read on for our pick of the best scented candles on the market…
The best scented candles to shop right now
The best scented candle for most people
Think of candles and in particular, candle brands, and it’s likely that Jo Malone will spring to mind. Synonymous with indulgent scents and a range of candles, perfumes and body products, Malone’s large collection is inspired by the very best of British, with a beautiful selection of floral and fruity scents. One of the more recent fragrances, Orange Bitters is a heady mix of sweet orange and ripe mandarin, finished with a splash of bitter orange to reveal rich prune and a base of sensual sandalwood and amber. A sophisticated blend that’s perfect for adding a winter-inspired spicy scent to your home day or night, this candle features the usual classic Jo Malone branding and can be layered with the matching diffuser and cologne should you choose.
Best premium scented candle
A fabulous candle that doubles up as a luxurious body oil means we are most definitely fans of this product. Packaged in a beautifully simple white ceramic pot with an elegant bronze ring around the top edge, the pot itself has a small spout so it’s easier to pour the oil once melted. It’s ethically sourced and contain no harsh chemicals, no artificial colours, no paraffin or mineral wax and uses only 100% natural fragrances. With main notes of lavender, jasmine and Brazilian rosewood to eliminate stress, the fragrance also combines 21 other essential oils to create a woody and herb-like scent. Once you’ve appreciated the smell of the candle, it’s time to use the oil. Let it cool a little, then massage onto your skin for an intensive treatment that’s a wonderfully luxurious alternative to your regular body oil.
Best budget scented candle
Create a home ambience that sets the scene for the evening and reminds you of evenings out spent sipping the famous coffee-inspired cocktail. This candle has a grown-up scent, with a beautiful blend of chocolate, coconut and coffee, and a mix of cognac, caramel and vanilla – we like that it’s sophisticated without being too sickly. The gold lid is a nice touch, as is the coloured jar, which make the candle feel like a more luxurious buy than it’s affordable price suggests. If you’re not a coffee-lover it probably won’t appeal, but for those of you that like your caffeine fix, this is a great way to achieve it.
Best scented candle if you want a gift for yourself
We love a candle that looks as luxurious as it smells, and this botanical beauty fits the bill perfectly. The wax body has leaves peeping through for a touch of greenery, which means you can enjoy its appearance much as its scent, as it slowly burns down over time. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the soft aroma of fig and ginger too, as the candle burns for up to 72 hours, with a high-quality fragrance blended into a mineral wax and a natural cotton wick. Beautifully presented – it comes cello-wrapped with a ribbon – this one makes a lovely gift for others or yourself.
Best scented candle for an indulgent purchase
It’s no secret that when it comes to luxury candles, Diptyque are ahead of the game. Known for their stylish design, the brand is also famous for having never used synthetic fragrances in its products – and the Geranium Rose design is no different. Intoxicating, heady and beautifully packaged, this fruity, floral scent has a burn time of up to 60 hours, making the higher price point justifiable. Named after the citrus-scented leaf of the queen of flowers in Provence gardens, we dare you to find a better floral.
Best for a summer holiday vibe
The next best thing to laying on a beach in the sunshine? Reminiscing about laying on a beach in the sunshine! Light this Caribbean Waters design and be transported to the turquoise seas, steel drums and azure skies of St Lucia. The fragrance? A citrus cocktail of lime, bergamot and lemon, with creamy tropical coconut and base notes of amber, musk and patchouli. The packaging is simple and modern, and the candle itself is made using 100% coconut and rapeseed wax with a pure cotton wick. Just one of the scents from FYG’s ‘Memories’ range, if the Caribbean isn’t your bag, why not try other ‘destinations’, such as an Amalfi, Arabian Nights, Aussie Outback or even an SW19 fragranced candle?