A scented candle—usually coconut or vanilla—has always been a quintessential part of my evening bath routine. But as of late (perhaps, a little inspired by the recent Beckham documentary), the olfactory experience has become somewhat of a craze.
Scented candles are no longer confined to the bathtub in my household. They’ve become part of the decor. They create ambiance around the dinner table. And they’re the one gift that’s guaranteed to bring a smile to my face.
Yes, I’ve even started trimming the wick (you can take that up with Sir Beckham.)
That being said, you get candles and luxury candles—a notable difference, instantly recognized by any discerning individual.
The key to choosing a quality candle is to look at the scent and throw (how far it disperses), the burn time and wax type, and of course, the aesthetic and mood it creates.
Don’t have time to sniff your way through all the most popular brands? Here are our best scented candles—according to the olfactory aficionado herself.
Why you can trust Luxe Digital? As luxury enthusiasts and highly discerning individuals, our expert team at Luxe Digital has years of experience unearthing soul-stirring essentials that make life a little easier and a lot more enjoyable. Scented candles are one of those. Whether lighting up a dinner table, bathtub or living room, different aromas create a space to explore new relationships —be it with yourself or others.
But not all candles are created equal—a fact of which our editorial team is fully aware. For this article, we whiffed hundreds of wicks and trialed dozens of brands in our personal living spaces, evaluating things like throw, burn time, wax type, and design. For more on how we picked our best scented candles, see our Buyer’s Guide at the end of the article. And for more on how we test products in general, see our HAPPY philosophy for buying luxuries.
The Best Scented Candles
Imagine strolling through an ancient forest. Towering trees sway in a gentle breeze. Shafts of light twinkle through the canopy. Smell the soft scent of Cedar and Cypress and the earthy and smoky notes of Vetiver. It’s instant tranquillity and calm.
With its woody aroma, almost resinous in scent, Aesop’s Ptolemy Aromatique Candle has been formulated to transport you away to the heart of a dense old-growth Japanese forest, full of ancient trees whose outstretched arms speak of centuries of watching over humankind.
This candle is part of Aesop’s luxurious home fragrance collection. Read our review of Aesop’s entire candle set to discover the other scents.
|Paraffin and vegetable waxes
When we think of the best luxury candles, we think of channeling an inner chill—be it a moment of solitude in the bath or bringing in the weekend with friends. This candle says cheers to all of the above. And through a complex combination of calming notes, the enchanting elixir works its magic through a series of explorations.
Citrus and cedar notes take us on a journey through sun-scorched Mediterranean plantations. Whilst stress-reducing rosemary and eucalyptus scents still the mind and bring mental clarity and easy breathing. Replacing the need for half-price cocktails, Brooklinen’s Happy Hour is our preferred way to let our hair down—and chances are, your therapist agrees.
Smells like: Strolling through lines of citrus and cedar trees.
|Soy and coconut
Translated from French to library, the name Bibliotheque captures a suspension in time, during which we are teleported to any place we choose. And in the same way that a library does, Byredo’s candle scents hold the enchanting capability to defy reality and take us to a new realm.
One of the best Byredo perfumes, Bibliotheque is the fragrant equivalent of velvety paper; the infusions of peach, plum, and vanilla tempt you to turn the page once more. Whilst an omnipresent patchouli scent runs like an earthy, musky spine through the entire composition of ethereal aromas. Pair Byredo’s Bibliotheque with a steamy bath and romantic comedy to transport yourself to 19th-century Paris. Or couple it with fantasy and fire for a fictional escape from everyday mundanities.
Smells like: Eating plum clafoutis outside la boulangerie, book in hand.
|Beeswax and vegetable wax
It’s no secret that we adore Cuyana’s fewer, better philosophy. And so when they released their signature candle, we were desperate to try it. As it burns in our living rooms, it reminds us of walking into the label’s minimalist-but-mesmerizing boutique store in California.
As one of the best candles for steamy baths, the scent has effortlessly made its way into our evening routine. And in white writing contrasted against black recycled glass, the words Raat Ki Rani (meaning night blooming jasmine) are reminiscent of the floral aromas that fill the room. Whilst a hint of fresh basil perfectly balances the undertones of magnolia and cyclamen.
Smells like: Fewer, better things.
|Soy, vegetable wax, and beeswax
Piglet In Bed Fresh Linen
The only thing better than the scent of fresh linen is the scent of fresh linen without actually having to do laundry (we won’t tell.) Reminiscent of laundered sheets billowing in the breeze, this fresh fragrance is one of our best scented candles for the bedroom. And as we close our eyes to the hypnotic flame flickering in the darkness, we feel wholly satisfied—even if it’s been a while since we turned the washing machine on.
Made from a natural blend of soy, rapeseed, and beeswax, Piglet in Bed’s clean-burning candle takes care of us and the environment. The apothecary-inspired glass speaks to the natural elixir’s healing properties. While rose petals, lily, musk and sandalwood work together to stir the soul and silence the mind.
Smells like: Fresh linen without the hassle of laundry.
|Soy, rapeseed, and beeswax
Anine Bing Pure Noir
As one of our best perfumes for women, we dreamt of filling our homes with Anine Bing’s Pure Noir scent. The brand’s signature black glass vessel and contrasted white writing mimic that of the modern minimalist perfume bottle. The all-natural soy and coconut wax blend is as easy on the environment as it is on the nose.
Just like everything else Anine Bing, these aromatherapy candles are the perfect combination of sensual, elegant, and slightly daring. The scent of rich baccara rose is reminiscent of tea in an English garden. While accents of papyrus and spicy saffron add a sultry touch. And dark guaiac wood and mahogany allude to after-dark mystery.
Smells like: Skinny dipping after dark.
|Soy and coconut
Ah, Sandalwood. The heady concoction of fresh sawdust and wood laced with subtle spices evokes the irresistible vision of an Oriental sunset. Possibly the ultimate scent for creating a warm atmosphere in one’s home, Sandalwood just oozes comfort and soothing vibes.
Best for those wishing to bathe their home in a warm glow, Diptyque’s Santal scented candle could be what’s been missing from your life.
With its complex, toasty aroma and the stylish minimalism of the colorless wax, Diptyque’s Santal is a truly luxurious scented candle.
|Vegetable and paraffin waxes
A nod to the company’s 17th Century beginnings which included heavy use of beeswax, this lusciously scented candle by Cire Trudon seeps aromas of bergamot and, you guessed it: beeswax.
Another fantastically multifaceted candle, you’re then treated to sweet cinnamon and smoky sandalwood before musky vanilla and Tonka Bean. Eclectic combination, for sure, but it smells great.
Moody enough for a cozy atmosphere but absolutely not overpowering, we’ve named Cire Trudon as the best scented candle for your bedroom.
|Palm oil, rice, soy and coconut
Gucci Herbarium Herbosum
If luxury had a scent, Gucci’s Herbarium Herbosum would almost certainly be it. Metamorphosizing any space it’s planted, the porcelain butterfly lid unveils a whimsical infusion of garden aromas. Whilst the glass vessel features the affluent label’s signature motif—a resplendent display of cherry branches, leaves, and flowers inspired by vintage materials.
This ethereal fragrance recalls a garden cloaked in the morning mist. Tangy tomato leaves and intense aromatic plants get caught up in the glory of it all. And peppered with sweet basil and fresh lemongrass, it’s a culmination that awakens every sense. We think gifting Gucci is always a good idea. But as one of our best long-lasting scented candles, this is one you’ll never forget.
Smells like: Wandering through ethereal fairy gardens.
NEST Ocean Mist & Sea Salt
Affordably luxurious, NEST’s sea-inspired rendition is one of the best scented candles on Amazon. Made from cruelty-free, vegan wax, it is created with long-lasting elegance in mind. Whilst the minimalist aesthetic allows the fragrance to do all the talking. And talk it does.
Taking us back to golden sunsets, salty mists, and balmy scents, this NEST candle uses the beach as a muse. Hints of sea salt are as naturally soothing as the sound of crashing waves. White tea infusions are a reminder of the gracefulness of white powdery sands. And coconut notes harness the indulgent feeling of applying calming aromatic creams to sun-kissed skin before climbing into bed.
Smells like: Sea breezes and an ice-cold pina colada.
Anthropologie Capri Blue Volcano
If you’ve walked into an Anthropologie store, you’ll already know that they have some of the best-smelling candles. But the signature Volcano scent is the pinnacle of all that the brand stands for. An explosion of mesmerizing fragrances, the infusion of tropical fruits and mountain greens is both refreshing and intoxicating. While the matte black vessel alludes to the unassuming power that a volcano holds.
Sugared oranges, lemons, and limes are the prevalent notes. But it’s the hint of alpine air and exotic trees that really set the Anthropologie Capri Blue candle apart from every other citrus scent. Give it as a gift. Or consider it therapy for yourself. Either way, you’ll be blown away (pun intended) by what this infusion holds.
Smells like: Escaping to the mountains.
Boy Smells Hinoki Fantome
Renowned for pimping nature with innovative combinations, Boy Smells is one of our best candle brands. And judging by our Instagram feeds, the rest of the world agrees. Whilst picking a favorite from the cult-favorite label was no small feat, after sniffing our way through various distinctive fragrances, this is the one that we’d choose to wake up to every day.
Hinoki Fantome is the perfect contrast between uplifting good vibes and slow downtimes. Hints of Japanese cypress and jasmine petals are effortlessly meditative. And an element of earthy, spicy notes such as fresh moss and vibrant timber are the fragrance equivalent of dozing in lush meadows.
Smells like: Meditating in dense meadows.
|Coconut and beeswax
Baobab Black Pearls
As one of our best long-lasting scented candles, Boabab’s decadent candle is an investment into many, many hours of relaxation and rest—one hundred and fifty to be precise. Ginger notes are reminiscent of spoiling spa days and soul-stirring massages. While black rose infusions allude to sipping herbal teas, wrapped in a white gown on a private balcony with panoramic views.
The Boabab Black Pearls candle lives up to a more is more mantra with four illuminating wicks. The distinctive iridescent details pay homage to the elusive black pearls of the Pacific ocean. And whilst there may be many rumors swirling around the mysterious properties of the scarce gem, one thing we know for sure is that this natural candle is all you need for your rejuvenating home spa day.
Smells like: Checking into a wellness spa retreat.
Le Labo Santal 26
Handpoured in Mississippi, Le Labo candles smell like a Champs Elysees boutique. As a slightly sweeter version of the luxury brand’s signature Santal 33 Eau de Parfum (one of our favorite Le Labo fragrances), Le Labo Santal 26 draws you in with smoky leather notes. And as it circulates the room, it has the uncanny ability to make any space feel like a design masterpiece—real estate agents, we see you.
We particularly enjoy lighting this elegant aroma when entertaining to set the mood with an unparalleled savoir-faire.
Smells like: Sipping champagne on the Champs Elysees.
Malin + Goetz Dark Rum
The Dark Rum scented candle by Malin + Goetz truly puts the ‘candle’ in ‘candlelit dinner’. One of their bestselling candles, the slowly melting wax, undulates feminine hints of bergamot and plum.
But that’s not all. Those soft, graceful notes are followed by the decidedly masculine scents of deep, smoky rum and leather. This candle has more layers than a tiramisu, and it’s just as delectable! And, the grand finale is amber–patchouli with vanilla. Mmm.
Tip: accompany the candle with any rich, creamy dessert of your choice for ultimate romance points.
Due to its artfully lustful yin-yang of aromas, we’ve named the Dark Rum candle by Malin + Goetz as the most romantic scented candle.
|Vegetable wax blend
Diptyque Feu de Bois
A true beauty from luxurious brand Diptyque, the Feu de Bois candle translates to ‘woodfire’.
Once you burn it, you’ll understand the name. Diptyque has made it its mission to replicate the aroma of scorching, crackling firewood. Close your eyes and you’ll feel the intense heat of a wild campfire on your face while the flames lick the dusky air, and the smoky smell of charred wood engulfs your nostrils.
Rustic, at its very best.
|Proprietary soy blend
Ralph Lauren Amalfi Coast
Bringing the affluence of Ralph Lauren, combined with la dolce vita of the Amalfi Coast, into your living space, this designer wick is one of the best smelling candles in our collection.
Inspired by the romance of the Italian coastline, the Ralph Lauren candle is a perfectly balanced blend of fig leaf, cassis, blonde woods, and galbanum.
The designer navy glass vessel, accented with the brand’s signature equestrian logo in gold, is a gorgeous decor addition to most households.
Smells like: Cruising down the Amalfi Coast, wind in your hair.
One of the reasons why we’re obsessed with luxury candles is that they can be a (relatively affordable) escape from reality. Snowe explores this idea with its candle collection, aptly named The Great Escape.
Our favorite fragrance of the five? Staycation.
Reminiscent of holiday baking, freshly turned sheets and light reads, the fruity spicy scent is both calming and exhilarating. Notes of tonka bean, cardamom, vanilla and juniper burn for 40 hours in a sleek, chic, all-black glass vessel, creating a space to appreciate the finer things in life.
Smells like: Checking in without the mayhem.
Designed in Monza and Milan, Frette is renowned for creating spaces of comfort, creativity and luxury.
Reflecting that sentiment and the brand’s eye (or nose) for detail, the Frette Tuberose candle is a transformative journey through secret gardens and ethereal forests in a gorgeous glass vessel, accented with the brand’s recognizable logo in gold.
Blending tuberose, jasmine and sandalwood with subtle notes of chamomile and plum, the sensual aroma burns for 40 hours, diffusing into every corner of an intimate room.
Smells like: Unearthing Mother Nature’s secrets.
Naked Cashmere Floral Musk
Sensual and delicate, Naked Cashmere’s Floral Musk candle is an aromatic manifestation of the brand’s dedication to unparalleled quality and craftsmanship.
It’s the fragrance equivalent to a couple’s massage or room service in bed. And featuring notes of black pepper, elevated by bergamot and cassis, the moment you light it, you feel the day’s stresses slipping away.
Smells like: Ordering room service from the comfort of freshly turned sheets.
Tom Dixon Fire
If, like us, your home is already adorned with scented candles, you’re probably looking for something a little different this year. Tom Dixon’s Fire candle is it.
The contemporary decor piece forms part of the brand’s Elements collection, differentiated by avant garde vessels that play with shape and symmetry.
Aesthetics aside, the Tom Dixon Fire scent is equally intriguing and sophisticated. It features notes of cypriol oil, black suede accord, guaiac, wood oil, vetiver oil, amber, and musk, designed to celebrate the bare essentials, and in particular, the distinctive beauty of fire and wild flames.
Smells like: Losing cell signal beside the campfire.
Buyer’s guide to choosing the right candle
Burning the candle at both ends? You need the right scented candle to recenter, relax, and to set the tone for a calming atmosphere. Here’s how we evaluated and picked our best scented candles for all occasions.
‘Throw’ refers to how well a candle’s fragrance disperses in a space. A strong throw ensures the scent fills a room, ideal for larger areas, whereas a lighter throw suits smaller, more intimate settings. When selecting a candle, consider the size of the room and how prominent you want the fragrance to be.
The burn time of a candle indicates how long you can enjoy its fragrance. Generally, larger candles with more wax offer longer burn times, but the wick type and wax quality also play a crucial role. Ensuring better value for money and prolonged enjoyment, we prioritized scented candles with longer burn times.
The container isn’t just about aesthetics (although that is important too); it impacts the candle’s safety and performance. The container’s shape can affect how evenly the candle burns, so look for designs that allow even melting. We typically recommend glass or ceramic cylinder vessels, with a modern minimalist design.
Wax type affects the burn quality and scent throw. Soy and beeswax are eco-friendly options, burning cleaner and longer than traditional paraffin wax. However, paraffin often holds fragrance better. Your choice may differ depending on environmental concerns or scent preference, although we prefer more sustainable wax options.
Mood & season
Consider the mood and season. Warmer, spicier scents like cinnamon or pumpkin suit autumn and winter, creating a cozy atmosphere. Lighter, floral or citrus scents are perfect for spring and summer, evoking a fresh and uplifting environment.
Frequently asked questions about scented candles
The best brand of scented candles is Aesop. While there are heaps of gorgeous scented candles out there, Aesop’s collection is a cut above the rest. Aesop candles tick all our boxes with aesthetics, style, and unique scents.
For a good scented candle, look out for ‘pure’ essential oils in the ingredients list, which are 100% unadulterated, undiluted oil. Organic oils are desirable, too. Many scented candles also have ‘layered’ scents, which take you on a journey.
Woody scents like cedarwood, teak, and sandalwood are the best home fragrance for a warm, welcoming atmosphere. For a fresh, vibrant home, try zingy scents like lemongrass and grapefruit.
Depending on what brand you choose, luxury candles are usually worth the higher price tag. Beautifully crafted, they typically use higher-quality, eco-friendly waxes and natural fragrances, offering a cleaner burn and a more distinct, long-lasting aroma. See our list of the best scented candles for inspiration.