Best scented candles: our top picks for all budgets

Shopping around for the best scented candles? Find out the fragrances we’re loving right now

Best Scented Candles
(Image credit: Neom / Jo Malone London / Diptyque)

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 vacation, the smell of frankincense and fir for the festive season, or a clean, spa-like aroma 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. 

So let's take a look at the best scented candles on the market, shall we?

The best scented candles to shop right now

Best all-around scented candle

Orange Bitters candle

(Image credit: Jo Malone)

Jo Malone Orange Bitters candle

A classic design that packs a punch with its fragrance

Specifications
Dimensions: H6.35 x W7.5cm
Burn time: Approx 45 hours
Weight: 200g
Wicks: One
Lid: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Consistent burning+Zesty scent
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Citrus fades to woody smell

When you think of candles, and in particular candle brands, 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 Britain, 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 scent to your home day or night, this candle features the signature Jo Malone branding and can be layered with the matching diffuser and cologne should you choose.

Best multitasking scented candle

Neom Organics Real Luxury Skin Treatment Scented candle

(Image credit: Neom)

Neom Organics Real Luxury Skin Treatment Scented candle

A scented candle that doubles as a bath oil

Specifications
Dimensions: H.4 x W7 x D7cm
Burn time: Up to 26 hours
Size: 140g
Wicks: One
Lid: No
Reasons to buy
+Chic packaging+Use as a bath oil
Reasons to avoid
-One scent available-You prefer a sweeter scent

A fabulous candle that moonlights as a luxurious body oil means we are most definitely fans of this product. This Neom Organics scented candle is packaged in a beautifully simple ceramic pot with an elegant bronze ring around the top edge, and 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 colors, no paraffin or mineral wax, and uses only 100-percent 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 skincare treatment that’s a wonderfully luxurious alternative to your regular body oil.

Best budget scented candle 

Baylis & Harding Fuzzy Duck Espresso Martini candle

(Image credit: Baylis & Harding)

Baylis & Harding Fuzzy Duck Espresso Martini candle

This cocktail-inspired fragrance is ideal for party lovers

Specifications
Dimensions: L4.21 x W4.21 x H3.94inches
Burn time: 40 hours
Weight: 860g
Wicks: Two
Lid: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Stylish looks+Budget-friendly
Reasons to avoid
-Acquired taste-Not the longest burn time

Create a home ambience that sets the scene for the evening and reminds you of nights out on the town spent sipping the famous coffee-inspired cocktail. This Baylis & Harding 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 colored jar, which make the candle feel like a more luxurious buy than its affordable price suggests. If you’re not a coffee lover it probably won’t appeal much to you, but for those of you that like your caffeine fix, this is a great way to achieve it. 

Best "treat yourself" scented candle

Sophie Allport Fig and Ginger Botanical candle

(Image credit: Sophie Allport)

Sophie Allport Fig and Ginger Botanical candle

A high-quality botanical candle with a soft fragrance

Specifications
Dimensions: Dia 10cm x H10.5cm
Burn time: Approx. 72 hours
Weight: 690g
Wicks: One
Lid: No
Reasons to buy
+Great presentation+Long burn time
Reasons to avoid
-Needs a heat-free surface-Stronger scents available

We love a candle that looks as luxurious as it smells, and this botanical beauty from Sophie Allport 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 wrapped in cellophane and finished with a ribbon—this one makes a lovely gift for others or, better yet, yourself.

Best splurge-worthy scented candle

Diptyque Geranium Rosa candle

(Image credit: Diptyque)

Diptyque Geranium Rosa candle

A fruity floral for design-conscious homes

Specifications
Dimensions:: H9cm x W7.5cm x D7.5cm
Burn time: Up to 60 hours
Weight: 190G
Wicks: One
Lid: No
Reasons to buy
+Long burn time+Heady aroma
Reasons to avoid
-More expensive-Floral isn't for everyone

It’s no secret that when it comes to luxury candles, Diptyque are ahead of the game. Known for their candles' stylish design, the brand is also famous for having never used synthetic fragrances in its products—and the Geranium Rose option is no exception.

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 "summer vibes" scented candle

Fyg Caribbean Water candle

(Image credit: Fyg)

Fyg Caribbean Water candle

Designed to ignite memories of tropical beach destinations

Specifications
Dimensions: H9.2cm x D8.3cm
Burn time: up to 45 hours
Weight: 250g
Wicks: One
Lid: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Good burn time+Eco-friendly
Reasons to avoid
-Mid price option-Not for citrus haters

The next best thing to laying on a beach in the sunshine? Reminiscing about laying on a beach in the sunshine! Light this Fyg 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-percent 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?

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 are 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 the sides of your glass candle holder from 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 (a.k.a. molten wax). The reason being that 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 burnings to keep the wax dust-free.