I Smelled Trader Joe’s New $4 Candles and Yeah, You’ll Want to Buy a Bushel of Them

published Oct 16, 2019
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Credit: Tara Bellucci

In case you haven’t stopped by your local store in the past few weeks, consider this your alert that autumn is in full swing at Trader Joe’s. The grocery chain really leans into the seasonal items, and ever since the fall products began popping up at stores last month, we’ve been stocking up while there’s still time.

I’ve been to my local TJ’s more than I care to admit lately, and on a recent visit, I picked up the store’s two seasonally-scented travel candles. Did I need more candles? Most certainly not. Had I successfully walked by them on multiple visits, only to realize that I’d eventually fall victim to their fragrant autumnal siren song like a moth to a candle flame (plus I could justify that I was doing it for the #content)? You bet. And they were only $3.99 each. And like this post from r/traderjoes points out, it’s basically like they were laughing at me trying to resist.

Now that I’ve lit, burned, and sniffed both candles, here’s what I think of them.

Credit: Tara Bellucci

The Honeycrisp Apple scented candle ($3.99 for 5.7 oz) smells like the popular apple variety, sweet yet tart, like spending an afternoon traipsing around an orchard. And I’d know—the day before I bought it, my friends and I spent a few hours picking apples and posing for autumnal photos. As I write this, I can’t tell if I’m smelling the above pictured bowl of fruit, or said candle. Perhaps it’s both.

Credit: Tara Bellucci

The Vanilla Pumpkin scented candle (also $3.99 for 5.7 oz) is a little more subtle than the Honeycrisp. It’s not heavy on the spice, so if you’re anti-PSL, this could be a fall candle you can get behind. It’s also not too sweet-smelling, as some vanilla-scented things can be.

Though the tins are small, they’re three inches wide, so it’s best to burn them for at least three hours at a time to maximize their burn, according to Nick Rabuchin, founder of Vancouver Candle Co. “A general rule is to burn your candle for one hour for each inch of the diameter of the vessel. Ensure the melt pool reaches the edge of the jar before extinguishing the flame.” 

As I mentioned previously, both scents would make a great host gift for any fall travel or holiday plans. And while they’re not year-round like Trader Joe’s succulents, I love to give candles as housewarming gifts, too.

Have you sniffed Trader Joe’s fall candles? What do you think?