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A Definitive Ranking of the 20 Best Scented Candles (From Diptyque to a Stellar $9 Find)

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Sometimes, all you need to brighten your mood after a long, hard day is the warmth of a deliciously scented candle. Plus, nothing gets us more into the spirit of spring cleaning quite like a peony-scented fragrance flickering in the window. But what makes for a great candle? For us, it comes down to three things: The best candles have a nice, long burn time, a strong enough throw that you’ll be able to smell them throughout the room (without being overpowered) and containers that can double as decor on your coffee table. That said, while everyone has their own scent preferences, there are a few brands we felt stood out from the pack as winners after doing our extensive candle research. See below for a definitive ranking of the 25 best-scented candles (and scroll down for some info on what to keep in mind while you’re shopping). 

THE BEST SCENTED CANDLES OF 2023 AT A GLANCE

THE 20 BEST CANDLES OF 2023

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Le Labo

Best Overall Candle

1. Le Labo Santal 26 Candle

  • Scent Notes: Amber, cocoa, vanilla, cedar, spices, sandalwood.
  • Burn Time: 60 hours

ICYMI, Le Labo has amassed a cult following for its woodsy, elegant scents—and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a stylish New Yorker who *doesn’t* have a Santal 26 Candle. It exudes a genteel scent that's both smoky and leathery and features notes of amber, cocoa, vanilla, cedar, spices and sandalwood. “Scent is a very powerful thing. It can completely change a mood. This candle does that. The scent is sophisticated and comforting all at the same time,” one reviewer writes. 

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Nordstrom

Editor’s Pick

2. Diptyque Baies Candle

  • Scent Notes: Roses and blackcurrant. 
  • Burn Time: 20-Hours 

This is Diptyque’s best-selling scent for a reason: It’s fresh and fruity with an undertone of sophistication. This has to do with its tangy, blackcurrant berry scent, where a fresh garden base blends with top notes of flowery rose. One reviewer writes, “even though it is very sweet, it is not sickly and synthetic,” and another adds: “The scent is amazing and fills the entire downstairs of our house after just a short time.”

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Amazon
  • Scent Notes: Basil 
  • Burn Time: 25 hours 

Mrs. Meyer’s is known for its clean, garden-inspired scents (that smell as close to its namesake fragrances as possible). Take it from this basil-scented candle, which will have you saying, “What did I cook using basil today?” each and every time you light it. The herbal notes are uplifting, yet there’s an earthiness to it that’s grounding, and one reviewer says, “it [smells like] basil with a bit of a campfire to it.” Plus, it won’t break the bank, and when you’re finished using it, you can add the glass jar to your kitchenwares.

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Neiman Marcus
  • Scent Notes: Jasmine, saffron, cedar wood and gray amber
  • Burn Time: 55 hours

This candle—which captures the TikTok-famous scent of Baccarat Rouge—is basically the fragrance-embodiment of luxury. With a mix of jasmine, saffron, cedar wood and gray amber, the woodsy floral scent is refined and relaxing (where hints of amber add to its coziness factor). Take it from one reviewer who raves: “I love how warm it smells…It’s light and cozy like a campfire of s'mores and it leaves you wanting more.” However, it’s worth mentioning that she also warns: “Good for medium-sized rooms, maybe not strong enough for big living room spaces, [and I’d consider] using a candle warmer.” 

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Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Scent Notes: Rose, santal, amber, oud, vetiver, vanilla
  • Burn Time: 200-220 hours

If you’re looking for the best candle that can double as decor, this guy is it. (Yes, it’s a candle.) Not only does Thompson Ferrier hand-sculpt and and hand-pour each of its (fabulously) decorative candles, but the scents are crafted with essential oils curated by Swiss perfume house Givaudan. Which brings us to our personal favorite: This candle’s ash ember rose fragrance—which includes notes rose, amber and vanilla. It plays off of the elephant’s strength and wisdom, per the brand, and its impressive 200- to 250-hour burn time ensures you’ll get plenty of use out of its (admittedly steep) price tag. 

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Nordstrom

Most Fragrant Candle

6. Byredo Bibliotheque Candle

  • Scent Notes: Peach, plum, peony, violet, leather, patchouli and vanilla
  • Burn Time: 60 hours

There are some candles that seem to burn for hours before you can even get a whiff of them—but it’s safe to say this Byredo candle isn’t one of them. We compare this library-inspired scent to Ron Burgundy’s home from Anchorman, which features many leather-bound books and smells of rich mahogany. The fruity top notes add a touch of freshness to heavier leather and patchouli, leaving you with the urge to crack open a new book and settle into a worn armchair. One reviewer says, “The unique spicy-sweet aroma is great for winter and very distinct…I did think, at first, that this was not a strongly scented candle, but what I have found is that the wax on first burn takes hours to warm up, and [the] release of scent is accordingly delayed.” Another reviewer speaks to this, writing, “Initially, I thought the scent was barely noticeable but on the second burn, it really kicked in…[It] ​​may even be little too strong for some.” 

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Amazon

Best Hostess Candle

7. Capri Blue Volcano Candle

  • Scent Notes: Sugared oranges, lemons, limes and exotic mountain greens
  • Burn Time: 85 hours

You knew this one was coming: Capri Blue (aka Anthro’s signature scent). The fragrance has come to define Anthropologie’s in-store experience—and for years, shoppers have fallen prey to the brand’s signature Volcano scent, which includes fruity notes of sugared oranges, lemons, limes and exotic mountain greens draw people in like a moth to a flame. “Love to give and receive these as gifts!” One reviewer attests. “Volcano Capri Blue is my favorite [candle] and has been for years—It has a subtle scent and last forever.” 

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Sephora
  • Scent Notes: Clove, chestnut accord, red berry and vanilla 
  • Burn Time: 40 hours

The one candle this editor is stocking up on for winter? Maison Margiela’s 'Replica' By the Fireplace. Like a cartoon character following the whiff of a freshly baked pie, I was lured into my roommate’s bedroom by this candle’s woodsy notes of chestnut accord, clove, vanilla and a subtle hint of red berry. It’s the closest thing you’re going to get to the feeling of crackling flames and woodsmoke filling the air, where the warm, spicy scents combine to reproduce the feeling of a snowy winter day.

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Rifle Paper Co.
  • Scent Notes: Peony, white tea, gardenia and sandalwood
  • Burn Time: 40 hours 

Parisian style has been a timeless staple in the design scene—from home accessories to handbags—so it makes sense why people love this flowery, French garden-inspired candle. It embodies classic feminine notes with a blend of peonies, white tea and gardenia, and includes soothing sandalwood top notes to balance everything out. Anyone else daydreaming about warm, spring days that call for a stroll on the Champs-Élysées?

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Amazon

Best Fruity Candle

10. Jonathan Adler Pop Candle 

  • Scent Notes: Mint, raspberry, rose, grapefruit, sage
  • Burn Time: 40 hours

This fruity designer candle, which features notes of raspberry and grapefruit, is Fashion Editor Abby Hepworth’s favorite for a reason: “I love the unexpected scent options, like Tomato (fresh and summery, like a greenhouse) and Champagne (bright and fruity). But what I really love best about these is that the scent isn’t overpowering,” she says. And as someone with a scent sensitivity, that’s saying a lot. Abby explains: “A lot of scented candles start to give me a headache after a while because they’re too strong, but I can keep this guy lit for hours and just enjoy.”

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Amazon

Best Woodsy Candle

11. Voluspa Baltic Amber Candle

  • Scent Notes: Amber resin, sandalwood, cedar and vanilla orchid
  • Burn Time: 50 hours

Yet another best-selling candle that’s amassed a crazy fan following? This one from Voluspa, which is known for its velvety amber, vanilla and sandalwood notes. Its fragrance is rich yet subtle, and people love how it evokes a warm, homey feeling from the moment it’s lit. “This is my third time repurchasing the Voluspa Baltic Amber candle,” says former editor Kara Cuzzone. “I just never get tired of its warm blend of sandalwood and vanilla. Plus, I love the cute limited-edition glass jar it comes in right now—very [cozy]."

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Amazon
  • Scent Notes: Wild mint, eucalyptus, basil and Thai ginger
  • Burn Time: 50-60 hours

Nest’s fragrances are known for their superior ability to diffuse, so when you light this fresh-smelling wild mint and eucalyptus-scented candle, it’ll be sure sure to invigorate your home with restorative energy. “[This scent] scent is so relaxing & the throw is amazing. I love burning this candle while reading, planning content, doing my skincare, in the bath/shower and before bed,” one reviewer raves. Not to mention that its sage-tinted wax and frosted glass vessel will make a fabulous accent for your spring décor.

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Anthropologie

Best Beachy Candle

13. Nostalgia ‘Beach Trip’ Candle

  • Scent Notes: Cardamom, ylang ylang and coconut
  • Burn Time: 48 hours

When it’s lit, this minimalist candle immediately transports you to the light, playful scents of a perfect beach day. It’s inspired by trips to the shore and features sun-warmed notes of cardamom and ylang-ylang topped with a kiss of fresh coconut. Plus, its minimalist, pale blue glass vessel would be eye-catching atop a vanity, and we love how it can be repurposed as a chic makeup brush holder after the candle is gone.

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Anthropologie
  • Scent Notes: Stone ground oats, cinnamon, sugar, cardamom, honey butter, crushed almonds, rich ginger, sugared maple and vanilla extract
  • Burn Time: 35 hours 

Yet *another* Anthropologie candle people can’t seem to get enough of? The Illume Boulangerie Jar Candle. It’s ‘oatmeal cookie’ fragrance is subtly sweet (and almost good enough to eat) where its scent pulls from cinnamon and sugar with honey butter, crushed almonds, rich ginger, sugared maple and vanilla extract. Not to mention that it was largely inspired by French desserts, and it comes in a quaint little jar that will look great for anyone who’s looking to hop on the Hipstoric Heritage trend

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Uncommon Goods
  • Scent Notes: Calabrian, bergamot and Violet
  • Burn Time: 30 hours

This decorative pick is hard to ignore for its genuine amethyst crystal container. With two geodes to choose from—including aquamarine and amethyst—we’re partial to the latter scent, which is fragranced with a natural, calming blend of bergamot and violet. Plus, aside from its (wildly) unique design, the candle is handcrafted with soy wax and an all-cotton wick that boasts a 30 hour burn time (which is impressive, given its 4.5-inch size). 

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Revolve

Best Self-Care Candle

16. Sweaty Orgasmic Manifestations Candle

  • Scent Notes: Vetiver, oud, spices, sandalwood and incense.
  • Burn Time: 30 hours

Having trouble reaching the big O? (You’re not the only one.) Luckily, the Smile Makers created a candle that can help you do just that. Per the brand, “The seductive and musky scent will kindle sensual memories.” They also mention: “[The candle can be used] for solo or partnered sex sessions…take time to write your sensual desires on the lid and the light this Orgasmic Manifestation candle to spark a new pleasure ritual.” 

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Nest New York
  • Scent Notes: Rosewater, geranium and salted amber
  • Burn Time: 50 hours 

Everything about this Nest candle can help transform your bathroom into a spa—from its calming Rosewater base to its floral top notes of geranium. “Even with its small size as a votive candle, the aroma fills my bathroom but is never overwhelming. The rosewater and salt scent is so calming and relaxing and is truly perfect for winding down in the evening with a hot bath or a little home spa day. I would definitely recommend this if you're looking for a spring muted floral scent or something that would be perfect to help you find your inner peace,” one reviewer writes. We also like the powder pink glass vessel, which would make for a great toothbrush holder after its soy wax burns down. 

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Siblings

Best DIY Candle

18. Siblings No. 13 Candle

  • Scent Notes: Palo santo, coconut milk, marshmallow cream, violet, burnt sugar, caramel, cedarwood
  • Burn Time: 60 hours

Siblings' candles are the ultimate foolproof DIY—the brand touts that if you can make coffee, you can make their candles—and after testing them firsthand, our editors agree. All it takes is a microwave, a clean, heat-proof jar and a few minutes' time to create an exquisitely scented candle. (The brand also sells solid brass jars you can use repeatedly, which are just the right size for each bag of wax.) We're particularly fond of No. 13, a blend that provides a sophisticated take on roasting marshmallows over a campfire, with a hot throw that easily fills smaller spaces—like offices and bathrooms—without overwhelming them.

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Amazon

Best Customizable Candle

19. Homesick New York City Candle

  • Scent Notes: Bergamot, lemon, grapefruit, jasmine, concrete, water lilies, oakmoss, sandalwood and musk
  • Burn Time: 80 hours

You know that wonderful feeling when you catch a whiff of something that just smells like home? That’s what Homesick’s state candles are all about. There are 51 specially curated scents (California gets two, one for the northern regions and one for the southern ones)—and we’re biased towards the New York City scent, which features captures Spring in Central Park, with notes of bergamot, jasmine, water lilies, sandalwood and musk. That said, the brand also makes city, country, holiday and memory collections, so you can fill your home with nostalgia every time you light one.

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Anecdote

Best Holiday Candle

20. Anecdote Aprés Ski Candle

  • Scent Notes: Cinnamon, spearmint, cypress, spruce and cedar 
  • Burn Time: 25-35 hours

Last (but certainly not least), a festive candle that captures the wintery, cozy scents of Christmas time at a ski lodge. The scent features lively notes of cinnamon, spearmint and cypress that are layered above a rich spruce and cedar base for a warm and woodsy aroma. There are also hints of citrus sprinkled in to round out the scent profile and capture the true outdoor essence of going out on a crisp winter’s day. It “smells like evergreens and after-parties,” per the brand, and from the moment you light it up, you’ll feel like you’re hanging out at the lodge after a day of skiing. 

What to Look for in a Scented Candle

  1. Scent: First, and probably most importantly, you want to look for a candle scent that you not only like, but one won't irritate you if burned for an extended period of time. This is an especially important point for those with allergies, who may be sensitive to certain fragrances. Options with natural essential oils may be less aggravating, and beeswax candles, which are largely free of toxins, can cut down on chemical reactions.
  2. Throw: This refers to how well the candle's scent will circulate around your room. For the best throw, look for candles with paraffin wax.
  3. Burn time: Some candles, like those made with soy wax, have a higher density than others and burn at a cooler temperature, making them burn down slower and consequently, last longer.
  4. Container: Many candles can double as décor if their containers are visually appealing. Others can still be recycled, since you can repurpose their vessels after the wax has fully melted down.
  5. Wax type: As we've mentioned above, the type of wax a candle is made with can affect everything from its throw and burn time to the amount of pollutants it gives off in your home. We've outlined the most popular types below.
    • Paraffin wax: Paraffin wax is a great choice when you want a candle with a great throw, as it's able to pack more fragrance inside.
    • Soy wax: Soy wax is made from the oil of (what else?) soybeans. If you're constantly running out of your favorite scents, this might be a better candle option for you, since this type of wax burns cooler and slower than others
    • Beeswax: Beeswax candles are natural and sustainable, and, as a result, have less toxins than other candles. As an added bonus, it burns longer than paraffin and drips less, so you'll have fewer accidents with your furniture and rugs.
  • Paraffin wax: Paraffin wax is a great choice when you want a candle with a great throw, as it's able to pack more fragrance inside.
  • Soy wax: Soy wax is made from the oil of (what else?) soybeans. If you're constantly running out of your favorite scents, this might be a better candle option for you, since this type of wax burns cooler and slower than others
  • Beeswax: Beeswax candles are natural and sustainable, and, as a result, have less toxins than other candles. As an added bonus, it burns longer than paraffin and drips less, so you'll have fewer accidents with your furniture and rugs.

The Best Cozy Home Decor for Winter 2023 


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