I’m a little obsessed with candles, I love having them dotted around the house, infusing rooms with their fragrant scent and that lovely, warm, hygge feeling. Almost every surface has one, from relaxing scents by the bedside to help drift off to sleep, through fresh, zesty fragrances in the bathroom to reinvigorate and revive, to whiffs of smoke and sandalwood in the living room to wind down with in the evening.
I go through quite a few, lighting them on warm summer evenings and cosy winter nights, so I thought I’d round up a few of my favourites here. So here’s 10 of the best scented candles, tried and tested by me.
My favourite scents are subtle and fragrant rather than sickly sweet or overly floral – I love the earthy aroma of sandalwood, cedar wood or bergamot, infused with lighter top notes of lavender, fig, jasmine or eucalyptus.
Some of the best fragrances help you escape the ordinary and uplift the everyday, transporting you to far-away places or conjuring up memories of familiar places. One of my most treasured candles is The Coffee Shop of J. P by Lola James Harper; inspired by Saturday mornings spent in a coffee shop in Paris, it has deep, smoky notes of coffee and spice, immediately transporting you to scenes of warming cups of coffee, books and magazines and hiding from the rain. I’ve been carefully rationing it in the evenings because I can’t bare for it to run out.
Another stalwart is Diptyque’s Figuier – this fruity scent captures ‘the warmth of the bark, the freshness of the leaves, and the milky sap of its fruit’ into an intense, fresh fragrance. I’m saving up for another one after mine run out, but I can’t bare to part with the glass jar, I use them for everything from matchsticks to makeup brushes (top tip: if you don’t want to splurge on a Diptyque one, Muji has a very similarly scented Fig and Coconut candle that is reminiscent of late summer evenings, for £14.95).
I also recently received the Jasmine d’Inde No. 6 candle from l’Objet, part of their Parfums de Voyage collection. It comes in a stunning Limoges porcelain container stamped with a graphic number six, topped with a beautifully crafted brass lid. Created from natural oils and essences, the jasmine scent fuses saffron, cumin, nutmeg and jasmine with base notes of patchouli, Peruvian balsam, sandalwood, birch tar and civet to create a real feast for the senses. I wish there was a scratch and sniff option here so you could smell it!
So here are my top ten scented candles, from affordable staples from high street stores to luxurious scents that conjure up memories of far-away places:
Sometimes when I can’t quite afford the likes of a £45-70 candle, I’ll let you into a little secret – I have a good old rummage around TK Maxx. I’ve often found one of thisworks’ aromatherapy lavender candles there, made with natural wax and pure essential oils. I should have bulk buyed them, they’re brilliant for unwinding and de-stressing at the end of the day or with a bath.
Otherwise, H&M Home is great for affordable scents. I have their Green Tea & Bergamot candle at the moment; it comes in a big, vintage-style glass jar with a lid, and smells like a fragrant kitchen garden and delicately scented herbs. It has a burn time of 50 hours too so should last well.
Scents can make us feel at home; they can create a feeling of warmth and intimacy, and alter and improve our moods, whether it’s the end of a hard day or gathering friends round a table for a catch-up. Do any of these candles catch your eye or even your nose? Do you have any recommendations of your own?
All images: Cate St Hill