A Hyper-Curated List of the 14 Absolute Best Candles, According to an Editor

In my eyes, creating a cozy space is one of the most important ways for me to feel at home. In my apartment, that means candles everywhere. I’m the type of person who has a candle lit at all times. There’s no better way to set the mood, curate a space, and get endless compliments every time someone sets foot in your home. 

Not all candles are created equally, however. In my time as a beauty editor, I’ve probably tried upward of 100 candles. A good candle isn’t just dependent on smell—you also have to factor in burn time, how clean a candle burns, and the vessel its housed in. Keep reading for a list of the 14 best candles you can use. 

Key notes: Sicilian bergamot, eucalyptus, lilac, silky cashmere, muguet, cypress, white cedar, crisp amber, patchouli, vetiver, nude musk, sandalwood. Approximate burn time: 70 hours. It’s hard for me to even describe how good this candle smells. I was gifted with this candle by a friend, and I had it sitting out in my living room (not even lit), and I kept trying to figure out what smelled so good. Yes, it was this candle, and it’s been a mainstay in my apartment ever since. It’s a subtle scent, and the best way I can describe it is that it smells like your favorite cashmere sweater or a warm hug.  Customer review: “It’s unbelievable how much joy a scent can bring. This is such a bright and happy candle.”

Key notes: rose, blackcurrant. Approximate burn time: 60 hours. Diptyque’s Baies candle has practically become the It-girl candle. It’s fruity and floral, and it makes every room smell better. Take a page out of Carrie Bradshaw’s book and clean the vessel out once you burn through it—it makes the chicest makeup brush or toothbrush holder. It also burns evenly and lasts a long time.  Customer review: “Diptyque makes by far the best luxury candles, and they are not even as expensive as most. They burn great, they fill the room, even in the medium size, and last for ever. Baies is their best-seller for a reason. Beautiful fruity and floral fragrance, suitable for all seasons.”

Key notes: amber, cocoa, vanilla, cedar, spices, musk, and sandalwood. Approximate burn time: 60 hours. If your go-to fragrance is Le Labo’s Santal 33, Santal 26 will be your new favorite candle. It’s slightly sweeter than Santal 33, making it the perfect home scent. Plus, these candles are hand-poured and feel special.  Customer review: “Wonderful candle. Large size, lovely gender neutral scent of light wood, not too perfume-y, with a subtle hint of spice. I keep one in my bedroom and when its lit it wafts through half of the second floor. I find one candle lit every other day or so for a few hours at a time lasts me about 2-3 months.”

Key notes: peach, plum, peony, violet, leather, patchouli, vanilla. Approximate burn time: 60 hours. Byredo’s Bibliothèque is one of the absolute best home scents. It’s inspired by libraries, and the scent really does embody what it feels like to browse the shelves of libraries all over the world.  Customer review: “Great candle from Byredo that burns well and looks stylish. Would make a great gift. Bibliotheque is one of my favourite smells from the candle range. Great throw.”

Key notes: malted pumpkin, almond butter, ambergris, cashmeran, coconut shell, sandalwood, tobacco, cinnamon bark, patchouli, vanilla absolute . Approximate burn time: 55 hours. Midnight Strike is like autumn in candle form. This Cinderella-inspired scent takes inspiration from her iconic pumpkin carriage and will instantly turn your living space into midnight on a crisp fall night.  Customer review: “I love the smell of this candle! It makes my house feel magical. Nette is my favorite!”

Key notes: white musk, jasmine, orange blossom, woods. Approximate burn time: 70 hours. Phlur’s Missing Person perfume has quickly become a favorite among beauty editors everywhere thanks to its comforting, versatile scent. In candle form, it’s super cozy thanks to the soft musks, florals, and woods. 

Key notes: crystalized ginger, rose petals, amber. Approximate burn time: 50 hours. Boy Smells may have beloved fragrances now, but the candles are where the brand truly got its name. Cameo is a candle that blends together florals and candied ginger with deep vanilla and amber for a truly unique scent experience.  Customer review: “Love the smell! Reminds me of living in NYC walking around soho and Tribeca.”

Key notes: white and black Breu resin, wild jungle flora, crushed cypress root, Brazilian vetiver. Approximate burn time: 60 hours. Costa Brazil’s Vela Jungle candle is as chic as it is aromatic. Not only that, but this candle is also infused with white and black Breu resin, which are known for their mood-boosting properties.  Customer review: “The Vela is part of my daily meditation routine. This candle makes my meditation so much deep and peaceful. It is one of my favorite parts of the day.”

Key notes: clove oil, chestnut accord, vanilla accord. Approximate burn time: 40 hours. If you, like me, live in a place without a fireplace, you’re in luck. Replica’s By the Fireplace is basically like a portable fireplace for any room. Burning wood and chestnut transform any space into a ski lodge.  Customer review: “Loved this candle, it filled the room with a beautiful fragrance and wasn’t over powering. Would definitely buy this again for any season.”

Key notes: lavender, bergamot, jasmine, rose, cedar, amber, sandalwood, tonka bean. Approximate burn time: 60 hours. I’m a big candle person, but it usually takes me a few weeks (at least) to burn through a candle, even when I really like it. That wasn’t the case at all for this candle from Krigler. I loved the scent so much that I burned through it within a week—I couldn’t help but light it every time I was in my apartment. Inspired by Arizona, it’s warm and spicy but also has a fresh edge. Plus, the vessel is impossibly chic and made of hand-blown glass. 

Key notes: apple, Brazilian green mandarin, North African orange flower, jasmine, vanilla. Approximate burn time: 60 hours. Homecourt’s candles are housed in vessels that are perfect to reuse as flower pots or teacups—they’re made of clay. They’re also mindfully curated and nontoxic for pets and people. Plus, this neroli leaf scent is fresh and meditative.  Customer review: “I have been enjoying the scent perfuming my bedroom. It’s an expensive luxury candle at $65. I feel it’s what I would expect as far as quality goes.. The candle holder is kiln fired, reusable, hefty and a nice earth tone has a spa feel and look to it.”

Key notes: leather, cardamom, lemon, sandalwood, cedar, cinnamon, iris. Approximate burn time: 50 hours. Nothing makes me happier than the scent of the 1 Hotel. If you’ve never been, allow me to transport you—every inch of any 1 Hotel smells like an intoxicating mix of spices, woods, and leather but with a whiff of citrus and florals. This candle captures that perfectly.  Customer review: “The candle arrived well packaged and protected. The jar is very nice and thick and the scent of this candle is very nice and mild. The scent is perfect for relaxing and bathing. The candle burns slowly and evenly.”

Key notes: mallow, sea lettuce, swamp rose, sweet pepper bush, creeping bent grass, lichen moss. Approximate burn time: 60 hours. Somehow, this candle makes wild, marsh-like scents smell calming and sophisticated. Swamp rose and lichen are two scents I never thought I’d like in a candle, but they smell so beautiful in this one. I burned through this candle in a week, and I got major compliments every time anyone came over.  Customer review: “I am obsessed with D.S. & Durga candles. Everyone one is just amazing. This one especially though is stunning. It’s hard to explain the scent, but it’s not overly feminine or masculine, it’s a bit of both which I love.”

Key notes: lemon. Approximate burn time: 50 hours. Often, lemon scents can end up smelling like cleaning products. That’s not the case with this crisp, fresh fragrance, which smells like real lemon and is made with sustainable ingredients.  Customer review: “When I read that the acclaimed French candle makers Cire Trudon had joined with Carriere Freres I just had to try! (And for a fraction of the price). I’m not disappointed. A creamy delicate lemon scent now fills the room and beyond. It’s lovely.”







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