There are a lot of different ways to practice self-care in the time of coronavirus, but the easiest by far is simply lighting a candle. In fact, when I asked the PureWow edit team what they’ve been buying while in quarantine, almost everyone admitted that they’d purchased a scented candle. Expanding the inquiry to my friends and family found the same result. The calming power of scent and flickering of flames is real, people, and so we’ve gathered 11 PureWow recommended candles for you to try for yourself. Now all you need is some matches and a comfy couch to sink into.
All the Calming Candles PureWow Editors & Friends Have Purchased Over the Past 2 Months
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1. boy Smells Lanai Scented Candle
“My sister and I are both obsessed with Boy Smells,” says Katherine Gillen, food editor. “My favorite scent Hinoki Fantome is sold out right now, but my sister loves Lanai because it smells like the beach.” With notes of coconut, orange blossom and pink peppercorn, this Boy Smells candle definitely has a beach vacation vibe, for all those who wish they could be lounging by the ocean instead of hunkering down in their living room.
2. nest New York Apricot Tea Candle
Fresh, sweet and a little tart with hints of black tea and golden amber, this is associate managing editor Rachel Gulmi’s go-to scent right at the moment. She loves that it doesn’t overpower her bedroom, and has a very springy, English garden feel. (Psst, this candle is currently up to 20 percent off at Sephora, so you might want to stock up now.)
3. voluspa Limited Edition Cut Glass Jar Candle
“This is my third time repurchasing the Voluspa Baltic Amber candle,” says assistant commerce 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 springy."
4. cancelled Plans Candle
“I get such a kick out of candles with literal-sounding names (although Goop’s vagina candle may have taken that idea a bit too far) and CancelledPlans perfectly sums up life for me right now,” says Candace Davison, executive editor. The blend of aloe, agave, chrysanthemum, green florals and patchouli create a delicate floral scent that will make you feel good about skipping that 40-person Zoom party for a well-deserved Netflix binge. But if you're curious about what Introvert or French Exit might smell like, they've got you covered, too.
5. capri Blue Volcano Matte Black Candle
“You know that really distinct smell you’re hit with any time you walk into an Anthropologie store? This is it,” explains Zoe Roscoe, freelance fashion editor. “Once I discovered that, I bought four and I’ve been going back to restock regularly ever since, especially when new votives come out.” For those who haven’t shopped at Anthro enough to have its smell stamped in their memories, Volcano blends tropical fruits with mountain greens to create a fresh Hawaiian vibe.
6. homesick New York City Candle
Some of us are growing pretty tired of our hometown, but for those who decided to quarantine away from their typical living situations, like editor Sarah Stiefvater, home is sounding pretty phenomenal right about now. “I’ve been living in Connecticut for the past six weeks, and as cheesy as it sounds, I’m coping with missing NYC by burning this Homesick candle. I’ll warn you that it smells absolutely nothing like the city (in that the candle, unlike Manhattan, smells lovely), but it’s the thought that counts, right?” Homesick also has candles for every state, multiple countries and foreign cities and a handful of U.S. cities, too.
7. vybes The Palo Santo Candle
If you want a candle that will pull double duty, clearing your mind and cleansing your home, senior editor Brianna Lapolla suggests this L.A.-poured beauty. "I love the smell of Palo Santo and all the woo-woo features that come with burning—cleansing negative energy and warding off evil spirits (which we definitely need right now). This candle also features notes of amber, sandalwood, patchouli and cashmere oud that add Zen vibes to my not-so-Zen childhood bedroom, where I'm currently quarantining."
Buy it ($40)
8. italic Black Currant Geranium Candle
The fruity, floral top notes of this vegan candle do more than just make new mom Elena Tringa’s bedroom smell lovely. “Black currant has a ton of vitamins and geranium is packed with antioxidants, and while burning a candle with these two smells probably does nothing for me healthwise, I still feel like I’m getting some kind of benefit from it. It might be only mental, but mental health is still mighty important, folks.”
Buy it ($35)
9. linnea’s Lights Reserve Light Orchard 2-wick Candle
The first time I caught a whiff of this blend of citrus, tea leaves, apricot, jasmine and patchouli, I immediately thought of my sister. It smells so much like her bedroom from our childhood home and the perfume she wears, plus burning it is like getting a hug from her, even though she’s nowhere nearby. It’s really tough not being able to see my friends and family in person right now, so anything that makes me feel closer to them is a win in my book.
Buy it ($42)
10. dw Home Garden Basil And Thyme Candle
“I miss my mom’s tomato garden like whoa right now, but this basil candle is doing a pretty OK job of filling that void (at least, it does if I close my eyes),” says Katie, motorcycle designer for film and television. Hints of rosemary, thyme and oregano give this herb-packed candle a strong garden feel, but don’t worry, it won’t make your home smell like a restaurant kitchen. “It's subtle enough to get all that herb-y goodness—without making me suddenly crave Italian food.”
11. siblings Scent No 04 Diy Candle
“I'm a sucker for anything DIY at this moment in time, so the thought of pouring my own musky candle? Obsessed,” says Dena Sliver, fashion editor. “It's also eco-friendly, since it comes in a plant-based bag and can be poured into any type of glass cup or empty candle vessel.”
Buy it ($22)