The 17 Best Scented Candles AT Editors Are Loving Right Now

updated Jan 28, 2021
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(Image credit: Boy Smells)

For something so small and simple, we ask a lot of our scented candles. They should be strong but not overwhelming, personal to our home and style but also delightful to everyone who comes into contact with them. Finding the best candle is a major undertaking, so we’ve tested dozens of options, from the budget-friendly to the treat-yo-self expensive, to come up with our top picks. Here are 17 editor-approved scented candles we think you’ll love as much as we do — and before you light things up, check out our top candle care tips below. Have a candle you swear by that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!

How to Make Candles Last Longer

  • Trim the wick before burning. Trimming your wick about a quarter of an inch before burning your candle will result in a more controlled flame that won’t lick the rim of the jar (and thus create black stains!).
  • Allow the entire top surface of the candle to melt. This will prevent tunneling, which is what happens when the wick and its surrounding area settle lower than the rest of the wax. Be sure to let the entire top surface melt before blowing out your candle for each use.
  • Only light for four hours at a time. Any longer, and you risk the wick forming a “mushroom,” (aka a lot of embers stuck up at the top), which will create more soot and smoke.

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A favorite of our Founder & CEO Maxwell Ryan, Santal 26 is a lovely sandalwood scent that can also be purchased as a fragrance, diffuser oil, and even a scented notebook. "Le Labo candles are made with a ton of care and attention," says Maxwell. "You can really tell that they use high-quality ingredients — the scent is richer than any other candle I've tried. Definitely worth the high price!" It's also rumored to be Beyonce's favorite candle, in case you needed more incentive to check it out.

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P.F. Candle Co.

It's almost impossible to pick just one scent from P.F. Candle Co., with some staff favorites including Piñon, Amber & Moss and Teakwood & Tobacco. Ultimately, the fresh Los Angeles candle came out on top. A favorite of Lifestyle Editor Ella Cerón, who recently picked up a bunch when she found herself homesick for the City of Angels, this scent features notes of redwood, lime, jasmine, and yarrow that are immediately reminiscent of the sun-drenched shores of the West Coast.

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It's no surprise that the famous (and oldest) French candle house made our list. All of Cire Trudon's candles honor a piece of French history — Cyrnos is a Mediterranean citrusy scent named after a late-19th-century villa in Provence. With notes of lemon, myrtle, thyme, black fig, lavender, pine, cashmere, musk, and patchouli, this candle instantly transports you to the French countryside. The price is definitely not on the affordable end, but it's worth it if you're looking to invest in a truly high-quality luxury candle.

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Boy Smells

Created by two men (hence the brand's name), Boy Smells is an example of a company with too many good scents to choose from. That said, one of their newer scents, Fleurshadow, is a standout, with notes of incense, wild geranium, rose absolute, violet headspace, patchouli, labdanum, and benzoin making up the sultry scent.

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A classic if there ever was one, the Capri Blue Volcano Candle is easily recognized as Anthropologie's signature scent. A mix of tropical fruits and mountain greens, Volcano is (according to very unscientific research) the candle that almost everyone can agree on. If you don't like the mercury glass jar or the $32 price point, you can snag this candle in a variety of other jar types and sizes starting at $12.

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Neiman Marcus

No candle roundup is complete without Diptyque, whose best-selling Baies scent is almost as well known as the brand itself. The blackcurrant and rose-scented candle smells like a fresh bouquet without being overpowering. "When I light these candles in my bedroom, it's officially ME time," says Account Executive Camey Hess. "Time for #selfcare." The Diptyque arsenal is pretty vast, so if you don't like Baies there are several other popular options, including Vanille, Feu de Bois, and Santal.

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Swedish brand Byredo has a range of luxury candles, including this library-inspired scent. A blend of plum, peach, and vanilla, this candle happens to be a favorite of a slew of celebrities, including Kendall Jenner, as well as our Design Editor, Arlyn Hernandez. "I'm partial to the Byredo brand," she says. "Their scents are really unique (think deep, woodsy fragrances), and their signature black wax is also totally chic."

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Harlem Candle Co.

Named after beloved jazz artist Duke Ellington, this candle is a warm, sensuous blend of bergamot, cinnamon, sage, and musk. Harlem Candle Co. is a staff-favorite black-owned business that celebrates the Harlem Renaissance, and each candle indeed feels like a piece of cultural history. Other notable scents include Savoy and Josephine.

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Soy Into You

The most affordable pick on this list comes from the female-founded candle company Soy Into You. "'I've been hooked on these candles for months and have built up a collection of scents," says Assistant Shopping Editor Britt Franklin. One of her go-to's is the delectable Bonfire Nights. Inspired by weekends spent around the fire with friends and family, this candle has notes of fresh cedar wood, smoke, cigar, tobacco, and vanilla.

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Made with perfume-grade fragrance oils and a high-quality soy-wax blend, Apotheke's Signature Charcoal Candle is a well-deserved AT favorite. "This candle has a slightly smoky scent that makes it especially nice on cool days," says Commerce Director Mark Marino. "Just like a fireplace, it creates a warm, relaxing ambiance that makes my apartment feel so much cozier."

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Thistle and Fig

An eco-friendly favorite, Thistle & Fig's Sera candle is inspired by "a chilly morning at the farmers market," with notes of lemongrass, pear, coriander, musk, and fig leaf. Each candle is handcrafted from 100 percent domestically grown soy wax, features an organic hemp wick, and all candles are paraben-free, phthalate-free, dye-free, and cruelty-free. The best part? A portion of all Thistle & Fig sales are donated to nonprofit organizations across the United States fighting for racial equality, LGBTQIA+, and immigrant rights, as well as organizations working to end homelessness.

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For a sustainable approach to candles, Home Director Danielle Blundell loves this plantable pick from Esker. "[It] smells great and can be instantly upcycled into a planter with the included seed paper," she says. A multi-purpose dream, the hand-poured, soy-based candle features a blend of palo santo, rock rose, and cedar notes.

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Anecdote Candles

We're big fans of Anecdote Candles and the witty ideas behind each of the brand's scents. Their latest showstopper? The I'm Speaking candle. Referencing Vice President Kamala Harris' iconic 2020 debate moment, this candle is "inspired by the subtle strength of femininity," with notes of citrus, vetiver, violet, jasmine, angelica, sandalwood, and amber for a warm, complex scent.