The Definitive Guide to Anthropologie’s Classic Candles

updated Mar 25, 2020
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Despite the convenience and ease of online shopping, there are some stores we’ll always brave the lines for, and Anthropologie is one of them. Shopping at any of the retailer’s whimsy, detail-oriented locations is an experience, thanks to the playlist, the visual displays—and, of course, the candles. Who hasn’t noticed how good everything smells in there, or spent time lovingly sniffing a couple different candle options? It’s called self care.

Speaking as someone who worked in an Anthropologie on and off for five years, including in a full-time capacity, I fancy myself an expert in the retailer’s candle inventory. If my shift was in the morning, I loved finding and lighting all those candles; if I worked in the evening, you bet I made sure to blow them all out while anxiously hoping I didn’t miss one (yup, it’s happened). Anthro has new candles introduced to the fray all the time, but there are a couple ol’ reliables that you’ll find in every store and can always depend upon to be in stock. Since I also love to give back to the greater good, I’ve decided to profile these collections and share some of my vast, deeply important knowledge. This report only covers a small sampling, so be sure to browse the entire candle category on Anthro’s site for a more comprehensive overview of all the scents they’re currently selling.

Capri Blue Volcano Candle

The candle that launched a thousand stores. There’s a reason why all Anthropologie shops smell so good, and it’s this candle—in fact, it’s a requirement that stores have one lit at all times. So why is this candle so iconic? According to Anthro’s site, Volcano is a mix of “tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons and limes, redolent with lightly exotic mountain greens”—a.k.a., it brings to mind exactly where you’re not and where you’d rather be. While Volcano gets all the love and attention, Capri Blue has another signature scent that’s been a staple at Anthropologie for just as long: Aloha Orchid. In the many years that I was an Anthro employee, I never once met someone who loved both scents; it was always one or the other (if there are any researchers out there who specialize in smell, the public demands answers). This was always the candle that I directed customers stumped on gifts to, due to its near universal appeal and variety. Not a fan of the signature mercury jar, or don’t want to spend $30? The options are plentiful: try the pearl white, iridescent model, or the smaller (and cheaper) tin. Can’t get enough of it? There’s Volcano-scented hand cream and bar soap for you. Plus, Capri Blue has a few other candles beyond Volcano and Aloha Orchid that come up seasonally (right now, you can purchase the fresh Lagoon scent). Check out the entire collection here.

Buy: Capri Blue Volcano Candle, $32

Boulangerie Jar

I’m not usually one for candles inspired by food, but the Boulangerie collection is a notable exception. In fact, I think my very favorite candle ever is the Sweet Vanilla Cinnamon one featured above, although sadly it’s a seasonal scent and won’t be back in stock until the fall. The year-long staples are just as good, particularly Angel Food and, surprisingly, Whipped Cream & Pear (I know, right?). They’re small in size, but don’t let that fool you: These candles are strong, and quickly fill your entire space with your favorite kitchen smells. Leave it lit for an hour or two and the scent will linger, allowing you to prolong the life of your candle.

Buy: Boulangerie Jar, $18

Voluspa Candle

Voluspa is the elegant, commanding matriarch of the Anthro candle family. While not one to beg for attention like Volcano, Voluspa candles quietly stand apart, drawing you in with rich aromas and lovely glass jars. Basically, Voluspa candles are what I want to be when I grow up. The Baltic Amber scent is the real standout here (a vaguely erotic combo of sandalwood and cedar), but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. I’ve personally always been partial to Goji Tarocco Orange (a fresh scent that’s like a more exotic Volcano), but I’ve also met many happy fans of Mokara (orchid, white lily, and spring moss). These are definitely the most fun to test out in the store, and if you don’t want to commit to the full size (they last a long time), you can also purchase in mini form for only $10. Plus, the jar makes for a great canister when the candle’s burned out.

Buy: Voluspa Candle, $30

Spring’s Eden Tin Candle

The Spring’s Eden candles are a more recent, under-the-radar addition to Anthro’s classics. Bright, light, and casual, they don’t stand out like the others but are charming in their own way. There are four scents to choose from: Red Berry Amber (fresh and bold), Pomegranate Peony (which is basically Essence of Summer), Coconut Milk Mango (the most popular in my experience—again with the tropical vibes), and Wild Honeysuckle (soft and florally; also pretty popular). To me, Spring’s Eden candles are for those who only light candles for company, or who just want something unimposing. This is probably an unfair assessment, as there’s nothing wrong with these candles—they simply just aren’t as exciting as the others.

Buy: Spring’s Eden Tin Candle, $26

Good Natured Soy Jar Candle

Another newer classic, the Good Natured candles have gotten a makeover since my days at Anthro. The upgraded ceramic jar is downright beautiful, and will easily double as decor both as a candle and afterwards as a little catchall vessel. This collection specializes in somewhat unusual pairings that are always interesting and mostly well-received. In my experience, the most popular scent is the Avocado & Mint, a kitchen-inspired combo that is super fresh but not overpowering. Apricot & Basil is one that seems to inspire a lot of conversation—some people love it, but others find the herbal aroma to be a little too strong. Fair warning: These candles burn extra fast due to their small size and three wick design, so if you love them you might want to stock up on a couple.

Buy: Good Natured Soy Candle, $24

This post was originally published on May 10, 2019, and was last updated on March 25, 2020, to reflect current prices and offerings.