Favorite Scented Candles for Daydreaming

I have a weakness for scented candles and the autumn-winter season brings many temptations. L’Artisan Parfumeur’s collection, for instance, offers plenty of reverie-inspiring options from  jasmine (Souffle de Jasmin) to saffron (Voyage à Constantinople) and more. The candles burn cleanly, without smoke or soot, and the scent lingers for a few hours in the air. These days I’m lighting Brise de Mimosa whenever I crave sunshine and verve. This candle is redolent of mimosa branches, green leaves, and violet flowers. The aroma of mimosa is delicate and complex, but Brise de Mimosa captures it well; it only takes a few minutes to fill my room with the scent of Provence.

If not mimosa, then I choose to festoon my room with the garlands of violets by lighting Molton Brown’s Exquisite Vanilla & Violet Flower candle.  True to its name, it smells of violet bonbon and fresh flowers and green notes make it airy. The lavender-tinted glass makes it a charming decorative item.

Another elegant option is Midi Eternel from the niche perfume house of Sulékó. Based in Paris, Sulékó draws on the French perfume traditions and the Slavic heritage of its founder, Anastasia Sokolow. The perfume collection, for instance, was inspired by the Russian fairy tales, but the candle is a tribute to the south of France and its heady aromas. The main accent is green, with a touch of myrtle, rosemary, and pine needles for brightness. The salty nuance that becomes obvious the longer the candle burns evokes the scents of sea breeze and driftwood. Midi Eternel has a rejuvenating, crisp fragrance, perfect for those who prefer their room scents unsweetened.

Byredo’s Tree House candle is similarly polished. The main chord includes cedarwood, sandalwood, and hay, with allspice and myrrh adding darker, warmer layers. It was inspired by the creations of the Japanese wood master Takashi Kobayashi and his tree houses. Byredo’s idea captures the aromas of polished woods in a candle form. Even after the candle is snuffed out, the peppery, balsamic scent floats in the air, evoking glistening wood shavings in different shades of amber.

Pro tip: To make any candle release its scents evenly, burn it for no longer than two hours at the time and trim the wick on regular basis. It will delight you longer and keep its scent until the last drop of wax.

What are your favorite candles and home scents?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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39 Comments

  • Marianne: Such an elegant, refined still-life photo with a jug of perfect roses to bring velvety crimson to the composition! And how lovely that you’ve provided this thread, thank you Victoria. I’m delighted by a candle’s perfume and its gentle flame flickering through glass. It feels like a ritual towards calm, and look forward to lighting my new Cire Trudon’s Madeleine, with its promise of flowers and leather, for the first time soon. There are other candles from Trudon that I am interested in trying when I’m able … budget permitting … their Cire for the “beeswax absolute” and Balmoral for the green notes for example. Expensive, but generous in weight and strength. I’ve also tried plenty of inexpensive candles and enjoy Sohum’s Alpine Eucalyptus for its fresh clean scent. Generally candles with a patchouli and clove or other woody or herb scent work well for me too. There are several brands in Australia that include these in their range, eg Morgan & Finch and Urban Rituelle.
    I’m glad you included Byredo’s Tree House, it sounds wonderful. September 6, 2021 at 10:03am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! I enjoyed your recommendations, and I will have to try them. Madeleine is another beautiful candle, and I think that I will get it next. Cire Trudon candles smell good even when unlit. September 7, 2021 at 5:56am Reply

  • Tara C: I loved IUNX candles, especially Papyrus, so sad the house is defunct. Next favorite is Cire Trudon, third is Diptyque. September 6, 2021 at 11:27am Reply

    • Victoria: Me too! It was one of my favorite houses for room fragrances. September 7, 2021 at 5:56am Reply

  • Filomena: What a gorgeous photo! Love it! September 6, 2021 at 3:51pm Reply

    • N: I have burned both high end and lower priced candles and have found candles I’ve enjoyed at both price points. Some affordable ones have had better strength, throw, and burn quality than some of the expensive ones. I don’t feel like one has to spend $70 to $140 on a candle that burns for 60 hours to get a good candle. September 6, 2021 at 10:23pm Reply

      • Gabriela: Which are your favourite low budget candles? September 7, 2021 at 3:14am Reply

      • Victoria: Please share some examples of your favorites.

        The bases that certain candle brands use concern me. The scents might strong and might linger well, but a candle releases rather unpleasant by-products in the air as it burns. Unfortunately, the more inexpensive the base, the more issues it creates. But even certain luxury brands use low-quality bases and fragrance oils, which is why I shared only what I analyzed myself, use at home, and can recommend to others with confidence. September 7, 2021 at 5:53am Reply

        • Tara C: I’m sure you don’t want to badmouth specific brands, but by the conspicuous absence of Diptyque, a very popular candle seller, I’m thinking they may be one of those luxury companies that use low quality ingredients. September 8, 2021 at 12:15pm Reply

          • Victoria: Oh, but I want to! 🙂 It just didn’t seem like a place to include both types of lists. Diptyque candles used to burn cleanly, but I tested a candle just a couple of weeks ago and I found that it’s no longer the case. So, I’m not sure if it’s just my fragrance choice (Sandalwood) or the batch. I will do more testing.
            Yankee candles are among the worst offenders.

            What I should have included was a Jo Malone candle. This brand uses excellent bases, and the candles are some of the cleanest burning on the market. September 9, 2021 at 2:28am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! September 7, 2021 at 5:59am Reply

  • Gabriela: I love candles and home scents. My current favourite home spray is Source d’Harmonie from Loccitane, a mixture of ylang ylang, thyme and cypres. Also, Zara home has some really affordable and good perfume diffuser scented sticks, my favourite is Poetic Mind. September 6, 2021 at 4:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: L’Occitane has a few nice candles, but I hear that they were reformulated recently. I need to try them again. September 7, 2021 at 5:59am Reply

  • rickyrebarco: This is a wonderful topic and your photo is beautiful, such great composition and perfect lighting. I, too, love scented candles for imparting an atmosphere of calm and peace. My favorite scented candles are Cire Trudon Abd-El-Khadr, a bright mint and basil fragrance, and diptyque’s Baies, a rose and berries fragrance. Cire Trudon has many gorgeous scented candles and I always buy one or two during the holidays, Nazareth being a favorite holiday scent.
    An Australian scented candle company, Lumira, is also one that I like very much. I recommend Sicilian Citrus and Persian Rose from the Lumira brand.
    Two USA brands also have nice scented candles, Malin & Goetz and Voluspa. The Voluspa candles are very well priced and come in pretty decorated colored jars with glass tops that can be re-used in many different ways. I’m burning their Pumpkin Spice now. Delicious! September 6, 2021 at 6:45pm Reply

    • Marianne: Thanks for mentioning Lumira, I’ve seen them here locally. It’s helpful to have your recommendations regarding your favourites from this company. September 7, 2021 at 1:03am Reply

    • Victoria: So many irresistible recommendations, thank you so much! September 7, 2021 at 5:59am Reply

  • Alityke: Boucher Bougies Gilt is my favourite. Incense, Amber, labdanum with aldehydes for sparkling throw.
    Contemplative, soothing yet warm & human. September 7, 2021 at 4:14am Reply

    • Victoria: What a nice description! September 7, 2021 at 6:00am Reply

      • Marianne: Thanks Victoria. I’ve had several of the Cire Trudon candles, all lovely, yet none so far my “forever candle” … it might be that such a thing doesn’t exist for me, part of the pleasure being exploring the new! I’m also looking forward to trying Solis Rex some time soon. There’s something magical about a beautiful scent throughout a room or house. Calm and serene.

        (For some reason that last sentence of mine reminds me of what I once read about the earlier Guerlain perfumes; something like that they evoke a well run household with echoes of lavender and vanilla: an expertly run kitchen and clean, polished woodwork!). It brings a smile, but I’ll never underestimate those luscious, elegant confections. September 7, 2021 at 7:29am Reply

    • Alityke: Typo alert meant to say Boujee Bougies! September 7, 2021 at 7:44am Reply

  • Anastasia: Thank you Victoria! Great topic! Very useful to see all these recommendations. I love scented candles and many of my purchases till now have been disappointing, since I was hesitant to invest more money. But indeed usually the more expensive ones are better!  I enjoy Zara diffuser scented sticks too! One of my favorites is Figue Ombree September 7, 2021 at 7:14am Reply

    • Victoria: I also like diffuser sticks, and I should make a separate post about them. Diffuser sticks are a better affordable option than candles, especially given my comment earlier in the thread about health concerns some low-quality candle bases pose. September 7, 2021 at 7:39am Reply

      • Anastasia: Indeed, burning products of candles is an important issue to consider (which I didn’t….) Looking forward to your post about diffuser sticks! September 7, 2021 at 8:11am Reply

        • Victoria: It’s hard to judge the quality of a candle base just by looking at it, but if a candle smokes, snuff it out immediately.
          If you use incense, be sure to ventilate the place well afterwards. September 7, 2021 at 10:36am Reply

          • Anastasia: Great advice! Thank you! September 7, 2021 at 10:38am Reply

  • Marianne: Thanks Victoria. I’ve had several of the Cire Trudon candles, all lovely, yet none so far my “forever candle” … it might be that such a thing doesn’t exist for me, part of the pleasure being exploring the new! I’m also looking forward to trying Solis Rex some time soon. There’s something magical about a beautiful scent throughout a room or house. Calm and serene.

    (For some reason that last sentence of mine reminds me of what I once read about the earlier Guerlain perfumes; something like that they evoke a well run household with echoes of lavender and vanilla: an expertly run kitchen and clean, polished woodwork!). It brings a smile, but I’ll never underestimate those luscious, elegant confections. September 7, 2021 at 7:26am Reply

    • Victoria: I really like their basil-scented candle Abd el Kader. My candle is almost ten years old. I no longer burn it, since the wax has too much dust and other particles in it, but I keep the jar in the bathroom as a decoration, and the contents still smell good. September 7, 2021 at 7:43am Reply

      • Marianne: Oh! Rickyrebarco also mentioned this, another for my list, thank you to you both!
        I’m intrigued by basil oil. Some time ago I was rather over enthusiastic in trying Cristalle at the local Chanel counter, it made me ill and I’ve not bought it, even though it’s a gorgeous perfume in my view. September 7, 2021 at 7:50am Reply

  • Marianne: I can recommend Malin & Goetz’ Cannabis candle. It’s complex enough to be layered and interesting and in spite of its corny name, has a fresh and subtle scent with a great throw. I’ve just had a browse through their collection and would like to try the Vetiver as it’s an oil that I love for its earthiness. In my experience American candles, and indeed perfumes, are what I’d call quite assertive, sure of themselves in a sense (If that makes sense!) September 9, 2021 at 6:36am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! I had one of their wood-scented candles a while ago, but I don’t remember which scent it was. It did linger well and burned cleanly. September 9, 2021 at 9:28am Reply

  • Figuier: Lovely list Victoria! I love smelling Cire Trudon candles when I’m in stores that stock them, although so far I haven’t quite been able to face the price. Another not-cheap but very good candle brand is Cloon Keen. I was given their ‘Antique Library’ candle for Christmas last year and it’s a beautiful scent with amazing throw (just taking it out of its box scents our sitting room). I also love their ‘Minted’, which I smelled at a friend’s house. September 9, 2021 at 2:10pm Reply

  • CC: I have been very taken by Astier de Villatte’s Aoyama. It is very evocative of a Japanese garden in the centre of Tokyo, somehow. September 9, 2021 at 10:55pm Reply

  • Marianne: Has anyone tried the Aesop range of candles? Being expensive I’m loath to take the plunge seeing what others have noted about them! I use Aesop skin care, the products work beautifully.

    On another note, and at the other end of the budget at a very reasonable price, I’m going shopping (yes, can still do that here …) for a new Mor candle, The Urban Gardener, with notes of basil, geranium, lime top notes, and heart notes of jasmine, geranium, herbal; as state on website. September 10, 2021 at 10:52pm Reply

    • Marianne: Replying to myself …
      Well here I am in an elegantly stylish cafe, Daci & Daci, near the waterfront, what I imagine a French cafe would be like! A candle update; I’ve now had the chance to touch and smell a candle (such luxury these Covid days) and decided instead on The Aromatherapy Co Lavender and Clary Sage as a softer, more gentle option to the one I referred to above. Same low-end price. September 11, 2021 at 12:39am Reply

      • Victoria: Sounds so wonderful! September 18, 2021 at 8:31am Reply

  • Marianne: Victoria, I loved reading your comments about Suleko. I’ve never heard of this perfume house and will look it up. That it’s a Slavic company evokes romantic images of bright red, flowers, gold, dancing and scented resins! September 11, 2021 at 2:47am Reply

    • Victoria: The creative director is of Russian descent, so she weaves in Eastern European scents and references into her compositions. September 18, 2021 at 8:32am Reply

  • Eabrit: I’m a fan of Brooklyn Candle Company generally. Especially the Santorini candle. Good throw and gorgeous scent. September 16, 2021 at 12:50pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for a rec! September 18, 2021 at 8:33am Reply

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