Gift Edit 2023

The Splurgy, Editor-Favorite Candles I Gift to Everyone I Know (And They’re Up to 30% Off!)

updated Nov 28, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
wrapping presents
Credit: Erika Layne

This feature is part of Apartment Therapy's Gift Edit, our editor-curated collection of gift ideas. Need more inspiration? Check out all our guides here.

When it comes to shopping for gifts, my mom has always been the question mark on my list. She is difficult to buy for — partially because she is one of those women who insists she doesn’t know what she wants and that she would be happy with whatever you get her. Sorry mom, but the latter is not always true, even though she gives her best acting performance with an “aw, thanks honey!” To avoid a repeat of that whole situation, last Christmas I tried something a little different when it came to my mom and my sister’s presents.

As a shopping writer, I’ve become an expert on candles. I had tested upwards of 30 by last winter and knew from other friends that Otherland was the crème de la crème of brands (commerce managing editor Tamara Kraus agrees with me). The scents were unique, perfectly balanced (not too weak or too overwhelming), and the candle lasted for months at a time. I didn’t fly through them like the other candles in my testing pile. I had burned a few of their spring scents at that point in time and adored them. Otherland had just launched a luxe Gilded collection that looked like my dream candles. The packaging was sublime and the candle names (Fallen Fir, Silk Pajamas, Old Fashioned, Moonstruck, Black Velvet, and Sacred Dusk) just drew me in instantly.

I knew that I needed to gift them. At $40 a pop — now only $32 during its Black Friday sale — they seemed a bit like a guilty pleasure purchase. My sister was a staunch Yankee Candle fan and usually shopped during their big sales, so I knew she would appreciate receiving a more upscale candle to have in her home. My mom also frequently had a candle lit, but I knew she hadn’t been exposed to the newer, trendier candle brands out there — this candle was basically home decor in and of itself, too.

I decided on the Fallen Fir candle for my mom. She really likes winter imagery — deer being one of her favorites — and the smell of our live pine Christmas tree. I figured she could burn this candle after the Christmas tree dried out to get that cozy, holiday vibe back into our home after my sister and I had gone back to our respective cities. Fallen Fir had notes of balsam fir, musk, and winter spice.

As for my sister, I decided to pull what I thought was the most unique candle from the collection into my cart. I settled on Silk Pajamas, which includes some beautiful artwork (my sister is an artist) and smells of crystal ginger, bergamot zest, and spiced yuzu. My sister was particularly exhausted by the time Christmas rolled around, because she had just filled a ton of Etsy orders, so I knew she’d appreciate being able to turn her apartment into a post-holidays oasis.

On Christmas morning, these candles were both big hits. There was no acting involved. My mom even lit the Fallen Fir candle while we finished exchanging gifts, which is maybe the fastest she’s ever used a Christmas present. No returns here! My sister took hers back to Kentucky, where she lives. She lamented that I had made her fall head-over-heels in love with Otherland, and it had displaced her love for Yankee Candle. She took advantage of one of their sales this year to stock up on some more.

Because of the enthusiastic response I got, I have given these candles out to friends for birthdays and housewarmings. And I don’t only gift these to family and friends — I have a pile of them in my own home. I’m currently burning the Dessert First candle from Otherland’s Adorned Collection. So, when in doubt, I always go to Otherland — so stock up while everything is up to 30 percent off!

Buy: Otherland Gilded Collection Candles, $32 (normally $40)