The Christmas countdown is on—and you know what that means: a month of binge-watching Home Alone, baking delicious holiday recipes and decking the halls with trees, stockings and string-lights galore. Yet, there seems to be one thing that everyone overlooks when decorating their homes for the season: scent. Indeed, filling your home with warm and wintery aromas is the dark horse of holiday decorating. And, after testing several of this year’s new launches, there are some (OK, 15) you need to have on your radar. Here are what we’re deeming the best Christmas scented candles of 2021. Because there’s no such thing as too many candles, and these selections are guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit.
15 of The Best Christmas-Scented Candles to Get You Into the Holiday Spirit
1. Homesick The Nutcracker Mini Candle
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the Nutcracker, and Homesick’s fan-favorite candle aims to recreate the experience by layering warm base notes of ginger, vanilla and musk with hints of zesty cinnamon, clove, pecan and fresh sandalwood and winter mint. “My grandfather gifted me this Nutcracker-inspired candle for Christmas this year and brought tears to my eyes! Even though we could not continue our yearly tradition of seeing the ballet in person, the scent of this candle evoked the fond memories of our loving traditions that had to be put aside due to COVID-19,” writes one reviewer.
2. Nest Limited Edition Holiday Candle
Christmas is all about sugar, spice and everything nice—and this premium wax candle from NEST delivers on all fronts. Its blend of tangy mandarin and orange with sweet pomegranate is layered with invigorating notes of pine, cloves and cinnamon and balanced with hints of vanilla and amber. “The scent is like walking with a mug of wassail in a pine forest” describes one reviewer who also says “The candle scent carries very far. I was burning it on my kitchen counter but could smell it all the way upstairs in my bedroom.”
3. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Pomme D'amour Candle
What does a fairytale Christmas smell like? Allow us to set the scene: You’ve just finished holiday shopping at Bergdorf’s and since there’s still some time to kill before your 8 p.m. reservation at Clement, you decide to take a stroll through Central Park. The heavenly aromas of holiday treats waft through the jovial, bustling atmosphere, so naturally, you’re compelled to order a snack. You decide on a juicy, generously caramel-coated candy apple—which is exactly what this candle smells like. Its crisp, red apple profile is elevated by notes of cloying sugar to produce a fruity yet slightly spicy fragrance that’s just as savory as the real deal. And, if you’re thinking yes, please, we recommend you pick up this luxurious, limited-edition candle by Maison Francis Kurkdjian—creator of TikTok famous perfume Baccarat Rouge 540—before it’s sold out.
4. Anthropologie Capri Blue Tinsel And Spice Candle
Obsessed with the Capri Blue Volcano candle? You’re in luck; Anthropologie's signature scent is getting a festive spin for the holidays with three new fragrances that “promise to set hearts and spirits all a glow.” Our favorite option, Tinsel and Spice, takes its cues “from a classic holiday tree with its branches trimmed with sparkling tinsel” and features “an aroma of spicy cinnamon, fir needles, and clove merges with pomegranate, eucalyptus and juniper berry within an ambered vanilla base.” Best of all, the candle has the same volcano vessel with an upgraded Christmas look.
5. Voluspa Gilt Pomander And Hinoki Candle
Sugar and spice are a prominent theme here, but we think Voluspa’s unique, coconut-blend candle steals the show. It’s uniquely layered with notes of fiery pomander, holly berries, cardamom and natural hinoki wood for a sweet-yet-sultry scent that’ll make the entire house smell like Christmas. One reviewer raves: “The clove and cardamom give it a nice spice that's rounded out with the vanilla. It's an outdoorsy scent that works beautifully during the holiday months.”
6. Jo Malone London Pine And Eucalyptus Candle
If you like wearing luxurious scents by Jo Malone, then you’re going to love the brand’s festive holiday candle. It blends pine with eucalyptus for a bright and bracing scent that won’t overwhelm. Plus, it has a 45-hour burn time, and its festive glass design is topped with a star-etched lid (a perfect accent for your fireplace mantel).
7. Anecdote AprÉs Ski Candle
This one “smells like evergreens and after-parties,” and from the moment you light it up, you’ll feel like you’re hanging out at the lodge after a day of skiing. The candle features lively notes of cinnamon, spearmint and cypress that are layered above a rich spruce and cedar base for a warm and woodsy scent. 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.
8. Diptyque Pine Scented Candle
Next up on the list of lavish Christmas scents is Diptyque’s limited-edition Pine Tree candle. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, its minimalist vessels are synonymous with elegant, Parisian decor (and the scents are to die for). This particular holiday candle “evokes the refreshing, aromatic scent of mountain pines mingling with the dense, slightly smoky smell of an open fire,” according to the manufacturer. It was created to be “an emblematic winter scent” that’ll make you feel like you’re surrounded by twinkly lights as you spend the afternoon bundled up, reading your favorite novel at Les Deux Magots. Voulez Vous Christmas croissants and eggnog at noon, anyone?
9. Woodwick Hourglass Fireside Candle
If you haven’t noticed WoodWick’s fireside candle burning in the background of your feed’s Christmas Instagram posts, you’re about to. The brand’s signature fragrance balances the natural scents of amber, vetiver and musk to perfectly capture the essence of a cozy evening by a warm fire. And, if its 1,839 ratings and 4.6 out of 5-star average tells us anything, it’s an essential for the holiday season.
10. Cire Trudon Gabriel Christmas 2021 Candle
Yet another extravagant Christmas candle (but seriously, this one is so swoon-worthy). As if the regal, Versailles-inspired design of this Cire Trudon candle wasn’t enough, its scent features notes of leather, cashmere wood and candied chestnuts that automatically remind you of happy, cozy memories by the fire. The glass can double as decor when the candle is done, and it offers up to 60-hours (!!) hours of clean and even burn time.
11. Anthropologie Baked Goods Ceramic Candle
A bold, delicious candle that smells of citrus-splashed fig puree, sweet maple and cardamom-spiced butter layered with crushed walnuts. Not only does Anthropologie’s coconut wax candle smell *exactly* like the sticky buns, bear claws and other treats you’d find at your favorite bakery, but its ceramic, speckled exterior will look just as fabulous as a cloche full of sweets on your quartz countertops.
12. Neom Christmas Wish Scented Candle
Warm, calm and inviting, NEOM’s limited-edition candle is the epitome of Christmas (and it looks great on our mantels). Its scent features a comforting blend of fruity mandarin, spicy cinnamon and toasty tonka bean (plus 10 other festive essential oils) and one reviewer says, “there just isn’t a better Christmas candle than this.” Even more impressive: The company partnered with the Mental Health Foundation to ensure this candle will keep your sleep, stress, energy and mood in check as it burns during the holidays. Because Christmas shopping gives us hives, and we all deserve some time to unwind and ~chill~ before we start with all the gift wrapping.
13. Boy Smells X Kacey Musgraves “slow Burn” Candle
Can’t get enough of those Christmas carolers? Then you need this limited-edition Boy Smells candle co-created by singer Kacey Musgraves (it’s named after the opening track from her fourth studio album). Its scent profile includes everything from incense, black pepper, elemi, ginger zest, guaiac wood, labdanum, and raspberry to more festive notes of cedarwood, vanilla, papyrus and tonka bean. The coconut and beeswax blended candle is meant to “capture the smells and visual vibrancy that one hears in the song.”
14. Ninety Six Spiced Tobacco And Vanilla Candle
Sometimes less is more, and this simply scented candle evokes the warm, cozy Christmas memories from your childhood—without a bunch of unidentifiable scents thrown in. Its notes of sensual tobacco blossom are accented with ginger, crushed clove, cinnamon, black vanilla and amber to create a bold blend of tobacco and vanilla (hold the citrus). Perfect for a minimalist who likes to cozy up by their ceramic fireplace.
15. L’or De Seraphine SoirÉe Candle
Last but not least, a playful holiday candle that features a brisk and unique scent combination of peppermint and warm vanilla. Of course, this one’s draw is its unique exterior design. It comes in a large, 17-ounce ceramic jar and features a fun, oversized red and pink take on a traditional damask pattern. Plus, this one is sustainably sourced, free from phthalates and parabens and made with 100 percent organic cotton wick.