9 Wintry Candles That Aren’t Pine- or Peppermint-Scented

published Nov 25, 2021
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Breakfast With Books And Sweater On Window Sill At Home
Credit: Getty Images/ Maria Kovalevskaya / EyeEm

Winter is coming, and one of my favorite parts of winter is curling up next to a fireplace — perhaps with a blanket wrapped around me, a coffee mug in hand, and a good book by my side. 

Nice, right? One problem: I don’t have a fireplace in my apartment. But I believe curling up on the sofa next to a good wintry candle is the next best thing. A “good wintry candle” is hard to define, and there are A LOT of festive candles to “add to cart” out there.

Personally, I do not like evergreen-scented candles because they remind me of those tree-shaped car air fresheners, nor do I like I don’t like super sugary candles that smell like dessert because they make me hungry and give me a slight headache.

So I thought it might be helpful to compile a list of non-pine and non-peppermint candles that are just as festive. (Please note: If the peppermint swirl is in food or drink form, feel free to send it my way.) The most knowledgeable candle experts I know, my Apartment Therapy colleagues, absolutely came through. Here are some of our favorites:

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Queer Candle Co.

I’m really excited to light Queer Candle Co.’s Dark Plum Soy Candle this winter. It’s deep and rich and smells wintry, but not stereotypical. “Luxurious and warm, this scent is ideal for the cozy winter months,” the Queer Candle Co. website says. “Notes of citrus and black cherry brighten the sweet plum undertones of this fragrance,” and “amber and vanilla highlights reinforce a sweet scent profile, while earthy amber balances the overall aroma.”

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Yankee Candle

I’m also interested in this jasmine-, amber-, and almond-scented option from Yankee Candle that’s new for 2021 and “reminiscent of hanging that first string of twinkling lights making the holiday season come to life,” according to Haneen Kawasmeh, a spokesperson for the brand.

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The Grace Effect

Graphic designer Laura Hoerner's pick is the orange peel- and clove-scented candle from The Grace Effect, a perfect choice to light while crafting a dried citrus garland.

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Bath & Body Works

Home Director Danielle Blundell and News and Culture Director Tara Bellucci love Bath & Body Work's Frozen Lake, which has notes of lavender, eucalyptus, and juniper berries. “It's clean and fresh but still nuanced — it doesn't just smell like laundry, which is how most brands do ‘fresh,’” Danielle says.

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Stonewall Kitchen's Ski Lodge is “cedary but not piney, and the juniper gives it just a little bit of spiciness,” Danielle adds.

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Bath & Body Works

Bath and Body Works’ Frosted Cranberry candle is managing editor Terri Pous’ favorite for the winter season. This three-wick option has notes of cranberry, red apple, blonde woods, and tonka beans.

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Sicily Hill
was $79.00

"You know that cozy feeling you get when you step into a warm café on a cold day? This is that, but in candle form," commerce writer Sarah Vasquez says of Sicily Hill's espresso-scented Cappuccino Candle. "I tend to stick to hot drinks only in the dead of winter, and this candle’s caramely coffee goodness immediately transports me to my favorite cafe with a warm drink in hand. Absolute bliss."

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Pink Olive

Freelance editor Sally Tamarkin is obsessed with the Hot Chocolate Soy Candle from NYC’s Pink Olive right now. If there’s one thing that’ll get me closer to my vision of a sipping a warm beverage from a mug by a fireplace during wintertime, it’s this candle.

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Santa's Naturals

Santa’s Naturals' Winterberry Christmas Candle makes commerce editor Britt Franklin think of holiday cooking. It’s not overly sweet or dessert-y though, because it’s a blend of spices. Hello, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, oranges, and cloves.

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Campfire and fireplace lovers, this section’s for you. Lifestyle editor Ella Cerón’s pick is the Feu de Bois wood fire candle from Diptyque. “Basically I want my apartment to smell like something is on fire without actually setting the place on fire,” she says. Here are two more of her reccos for a cozy, hearth-y smell: D.S.& Durga’s Portable Fireplace and Boy Smells’ THÉ FANTÔME.

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Anecdote Candles

Tara picked another warm and fiery candle, too. Anecdote’s Bonfire Blaze brings “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” to your living room with its infusion of whiskey and chestnut. It smells “like flickering flames and drunken disclosures,” according to the label.