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Best scented candles: Relax at home with these luxurious smelling candles

Ellie Davis
·11-min read

It will come as no surprise that there has been a huge surge in the scented candle industry from the beginning of lockdown.

As we’ve all spent more time in our homes than ever, we’ve come to realise that it’s the small changes that can make a big difference.

Scented candles can work wonders in transforming your space, setting the ambiance with the warm glow of a flickering candle, and transporting you to far-flung destinations without leaving your living room.

With working at home firmly affixed on the agenda for the next few months at least, the new crop of candles are helping us come to terms with it, specifically designed to banish the doom and gloom outside by creating a cosy, warm and inviting atmosphere.

Scented candles have been used for centuries to promote healing, meditation and remove negative energies - which, let's face it, we could all use right about now. Rose notes can help de-stress, while amber offers fatigue-busting results. Earthy and woody fragrances are reminiscent of crackling log fire, brining home all the autumnal and winter feels.

Beautiful scents will boost your mood and can even become a nightly ritual, help you feel zen from the outside in.

We’ve gathered the latest and greatest below, all with olfactory-pleasing fragrances and aesthetically-appealing designs.

Soy, beeswax or paraffin candles – which should I be using?

The wax used in candles falls into two categories; paraffin and natural.

Paraffin is derived from petroleum, shale or coal. It burns faster than natural wax and is most commonly used as a lower cost alternative.

Then there is natural wax; beeswax, soy and palm. Soy is the most common and is derived from vegetables. It is slow burning, smokeless, non-toxic and all-natural.

At the bottom of this list you will find our top tips on how to make a candle last, how to avoid black soot and what to do once the candle has been blissfully burnt off.

As with any candle keep it away from curtains, bedding and other flammable materials at all times. Also, be aware of placing candles on shelves or bookcases.

See our pick of the best scented candles here.

Diptyque The Graphic Collection

Diptyque has given its instantly recognisable aesthetic a graphic redesign with an optical illusion pattern that only adds to the covetable nature of its candles. The limited-edition collection sees each of the bougies adorned with a thousand black lines that creates a unique, hypnotic shadow when burned. There are four designed to awaken the senses; Roses, Tubereuse, Figuier and Baies. In the French perfume house’s signature way, each of the aromas are as captivating and room-filling as the previous.

Diptyque
Diptyque

£56 | John Lewis

Oskia Rose de Mai Skin Smoothing Massage Candle

Oskia is best known for its range of health, wellbeing and skincare essentials - all of which have been crafted with pure and natural ingredients. The same is true for its candle line that boasts room-filling and long-lasting fragrances. The delectable floral Rose de Mai aroma combines coconut oils, may rose, soy and beeswax that, once burned, can be applied onto the skin as a moisturising oil that will leave you feeling soft and smooth all over. It’s a win-win for all the senses.

Oskia
Oskia

£49 | Space NK

L'Objet + Haas Brothers Mojave Unicorn scented candle

The L’Objet candles are not your typical burners. The brand injects fun into each and every one to give you an home ornament that is anything but ordinary. Created in collaboration with LA-based label Haas Brothers, who are known for their creature sculptures, the porcelain vessel resembles the playful mystical horse-like figure with a touch of luxe gold detailing. A true statement piece, you will be elated to learn that once you remove the top of this Unicorn design, you will be treated to a deliciously-scented candle. The interior is a four-wick bougie with the brand's Mojave Palm fragrance that boasts woody notes of juniper and cypress with frankincense.

L'Objet
L'Objet

£475 | Net-A-Porter

Boy Smells Kush Candle

If you haven’t yet explored the mood-boosting selection of Boy Smells scents, you’re in for a treat. The LA-born label has been changing up the candle game since its inception with unique and hugely addictive aromas. It’s hero - the Kush candle - takes inspiration from the cannabis flower with a warm and unsurprisingly floral note. The scent has been synthesised with coconut and beeswax and touches of cannabis, suede, white musk and tulip with a woody base of amber.

Boy Smells
Boy Smells

£36 | Space NK

Malin + Goetz Mojito Candle

No holiday on the cards? No problem. The Malin + Goetz Mojito candle is on hand with its transportive scent that will take you directly to a far flung beach bar with sun-drench skin, music blaring and cocktail in hand - no flight necessary. The scent combines notes of lime, rum, mint leaves, basil, spearmint and Chinese mint with eco-friendly bees, vegetable and soy wax.

Malin + Goetz
Malin + Goetz

£44 | Space NK

Aesop Candles

After much-anticipation, Aesop has extended its range to include candles. Alongside its already hugely popular selection of home fragrances and skincare, you will find three iterations with the brand’s signature aromatic aromas, formulated with perfumer Barnabé Fillion.

The candles are named after ancient stargazers; Ptolemy - a woody, earthy fragrance with notes of vetiver, Aganice - a spicy floral with a tobacco twist and Callippus - a fresh woody green formulated with frankincense, guaiacwood, and shiso . Unlike the rest of the brand's apothecary-style housing, the candles are made from minimalistic alabaster ceramic vessels with sustainability in mind. After you've used up the candle within, the attractive casings can be easily reused.

£80 | Aesop

Cire Trudon Les Alabasters

For a truly opulent olfactory experience and a subtle but statement homeware detail, you can count on Cire Trudon - the oldest wax-producing candlemaker. The French brand has just released a new collection that takes inspiration from the new Japandi trend, known for its minimalistic but super chic style.

The Les Alabasters candles have been sculpted from a single block of alabaster stone so each piece is unique. Taking a whole different approach to the typical flickering flame, you will instead be able to bask in a calming hypnotic glow that has a halo effect.

There are three scents; the leather and tobacco-based Ernesto, Abd El Kader - a green scent with notes of mint with a ginger, tea and tobacco twist - and a new woody amber aroma, Hermera.

£170 | Selfridges

LOEWE Home Scents

When French fashion Loewe revealed its range of home fragrances, we knew it was going to be as stylish as it was beautifully-scented - and they did not disappoint. The inspiration for the collection comes from the intricate recordings of plant life by artists from around the world from the Age of Discovery. The fragrances follow in the footsteps of 11 plants essences with both their fragrances and housings. Choose between honeysuckle, beetroot, juniper berry, tomato leaves, coriander, liquorice, the scent of marihuana, luscious pea, oregano, cypress balls and ivy.

They come in hand-crafted ceramic casings that resemble Greek drinking vessels from the 5th Century BC and in colour that coordinate to the plant. The scents are unique and captivating, filling the room with the scent of a bountiful fresh garden. The wax comes from natural ingredients.

From £145 | Loewe

Jo Malone The Townhouse Collection

Bring chic Jo Malone Townhouse vibes to your home with the brand's latest fragrant offering. There are six candles on offer; Wild Berry & Bramble for a beautiful berry fragrance all day, every day, Pastel Macaroons - a tea-time ready fragrance with just the right amount of candied sweetness, Green Tomato Vine for a warming, herb garden vibe even in the height of winter, Glowing Embers for a cosy night in, Lilac Lavender & Lovage for an addictive fresh laundry feel, and last but certainly not least, Fresh Fig & Cassis which offers glorious summer ambiance all year round.

Each candle is housed in a high grade ceramic vessel that references the Georgian architecture of the brand’s HQ. There are subtle nods to the luxurious cornicing, columns, mantles and fireplaces.

£90 | Selfridges

Saint Fragrance Candles

London-born lifestyle label Saint Fragrance is here to help your winter blues with uplifting perfumed products designed to promote wellness and wellbeing. They are all hand-poured in England and crafted from vegan and responsibly-sourced ingredients. There are six candles on offer; Powdery Skies with notes of orris and white tea, Balearic Isle with coconut and white floral, Rose Whispers, Sunday Papers infused with Vanilla, Late Night Fig that has citrusy twist and Old Fashioned a unique leather floral- all of which radiating with sumptuous and radiant fragrance.

£42 | Selfridges

Miller Harris McQueens' Flowers Candles

London perfume house Miller Harris is treating its ever-growing fan base to an extra special collaboration. The label has teamed up with luxury florist McQueens for a selection of three limited-edition candles, each of which has an intoxicating scent. The floral fragrances take inspiration from the McQueens' workshop - behind the scenes where the floral magic happens. Green Stem is brimming with herb, green goodness from the stems and discarded foliage with a bergamot, peppermint aroma, Water Wood takes inspiration from the dewy air with bergamot, artemisia, olibranum, humus and hay and Petal Storm is the delicate aroma of white florals, enhanced with pink pepper and an amber and musk base.

From £65 | McQueens

Top tips for making your candle last:

How do you stop black soot from developing on the candle?

If a black smoke starts to develop when the candle is lit, trim the wick a couple of millimetres.

If you're trying to clean an old candle in order to repurpose the jar, then use a damp paper towel or rubbing alcohol and wipe the inside of the vessel. Alternatively, when the candle is finished soak the jar in warm soapy water. Do NOT put it in your dishwasher.

How do you stop candles from tunnelling (burning unevenly)?

When a candle burns downwards leaving hard wax around the outside, this is known as tunnelling. This not only wastes all the beautiful scent but if the tunnel grows too big, the candle may not light or can be very difficult to do so. But there are ways to solve this.

The first burn is the most important as this sets the “memory” for the candle. On the first burn, light for around two hours or until the whole top layer melts to the edges. It's not an exact science but you should burn the candle per one hour for every inch the candle is wide.

Try to avoid lots of short burns, light for longer and less often to make the most of the burning potential of the candle.

Additionally, you don’t always need to trim the wick. If you have a wide candle, a longer wick can create a bigger and hotter flame that will help prevent tunnelling.

What do I do if my candle has already tunnelled?

There are a few solutions in this case, but you must be very careful as at the end of the day, you are dealing with fire.

If you did not burn your candle to the edges on its first burn, there are ways to fix this and reset the “memory” of the candle. Use a hairdryer and blast the candle on full heat over the top of the candle until you can see the memory ring has melted and smoothed away.

At the latest stages of the burning process, you can light your candle, wrap a layer of tin foil around the top of the candle, created a domed lid with a open hole in the centre. This encourages the heat to stay in the candle, thereby melting the hard wax on the side. Depending on the size of the candle, in an hour or so, this will reset the memory of the candle. Be careful as the foil will get very hot.

As with any candle keep it away from curtains, bedding and other flammable materials at all times. Also, be aware of placing candles on a shelves or bookcases that may have enclosed areas and never leave a candle unattended.

Keep the jar

After you have – satisfyingly – finished your candle, reusing the glass is not only environmentally friendly, but it is also super practical. The candles are housed in stylish vessels that can double up as additional glassware, which is ideal for those who are constantly smashing them. Alternatively, you can use the holders in your vanity to store ear buds or cotton wool pads and up your #shelfiegoals.

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