Candles can seem like a hurried or last-minute holiday gift idea, but, honestly, who doesn’t love a candle — let alone a Christmas candle inspired by the season? The trick to thoughtfully gifting a candle this holiday is personalizing it to the giftee. If they’re a fan of mulled wine, give a holiday candle with notes of spiced cider, cinnamon and star anise. Or perhaps they identify as a Francophile; in that case, gift them Paris in a candle with a Parisian-inspired trio set. And, candles are perhaps one of the best beauty gifts and fragrance gifts you could possibly give because of their personalization and versatility.
Also, we often overlook the potential mental health benefits of candles. Sure, they smell fantastic, which can brighten both a room and your mood, but the act of lighting a candle can recall special memories, too. “A scent is first and foremost a home away from home, especially in this year of not necessarily being able to see the people you love,” says Celine Chappert, founder of Officine Oils of Paris. “Scent is something that can bring people together. It’s about rekindling memory and a way to connect us with scents that we don’t usually tune into.”
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Plus, candles can be a vital aspect of self-care, too. “Candles touch us in all of our five senses, and I think it’s important to be awakened that way, especially as we move into the New Year,” says Brenda Brock, founder of natural beauty brand Farmaesthetics. For Brock’s new candle (a first for the brand), she purposely added a wooden wick to create a rich, crackling sound as it burns.
For even longer burn time and a more powerful aroma, consider splurging on a luxury candle — which are often packaged so artfully, they’re pretty to look at as they are decadent to smell.
As far as holiday-scented candles, there are a variety of avenues to explore, from Christmas scents that smell like walking through a pine tree farm to gourmand-inspired fragrances reminiscent of freshly-baked sweets and aromas that mimic a roaring fireplace (particularly helpful for those that love the scent yet don’t have a fireplace at home). When gifting holiday candles this year, think about the hobbies of your gift receiver. If they love being in nature, try an outdoor-inspired candle, or if they’re more into snuggling and baking inside, give a cozy, option that smells of cookies baking in the oven.
Nothing commences the beginning of the season quite like the ceremonial first burning of your favorite Christmas candle. Ahead, shop the 25 best holiday candles to give to others (or yourself) this Christmas.
Boy Smells Holiday Votive Candle Set
The limited-edition set from Boy Smells features three festive Christmas-scented votive candles, each drawing inspiration from traditional holiday concepts but reimagining and transcending them into modern takes. That includes Figurare, an opulent scent with sumptuous fig leaves, black pepper and cardamon, all juxtaposed alongside rose, lavender and fir balsam for an intoxicating scent. There’s also Broken Rosary, which is an earthy mix of cedarwood, musks, sandalwood, ros and cardamom for a hypnotic spice blend. And De Nimes is named after the city of Nîmes, France where denim workwear was first produced hundreds of years ago. The scent is inspired by French Indigo, with notes of violet, eucalyptus and blueberry — as well as almond, juniper and black peppercorn for a sweet and spicy fragrance to warm your home this holiday.
Heretic Parfum Dirty Gingerbread Candle
If holiday cookies are your favorite tradition, try burning this candle for a nostalgic scent. Heretic’s Dirty Gingerbread is a sensual take on the holiday classic candle, with spicy notes of ginger and crackling pepper mixed with warm hints of vanilla, clove, nutmeg and tonka bean. The soy wax candle has a 40 hour burn time — aka just a few days — because you’ll have a hard time not having this provocative scent burning nonstop. This yummy candle is the perfect gift for your sister or best friend.
Bath & Body Works Fresh Balsam 3-Wick Candle
Nearly 500 raving reviews strong, this Christmas-tree-in-a-jar candle is a must-have. With notes of woodland balsam, crisp eucalyptus, fir branches and cedarwood, this three-wick candle from Bath and Body Works is beloved for its fresh, woodsy scent, long burn time and unbeatable price point. “It’s the perfect balance of pine and sweetness,” says one reviewer. This is a great gift for those that love a deal or even for Secret Santa gift exchanges (thanks to that under-$20 price point).
D.S. & Durga Exclusive Portable Fireplace Holiday Set, The Conservatory
This cult-status D.S. & Durga scent is beloved worldwide for its unique aroma that’s reminiscent cozy of a wood-burning fireplace. A blend of cedar, pine and oak mixed with birch for smokiness make this set the dreamiest holiday gift. It’s also a deal — besides the candle, it comes with the logo-embossed candle lid/snuffer and giftable auto fragrance. It makes the perfect gift for those in your life that seem to have everything because anyone could always use more D.S. & Durga.
Diptyque Three Holiday Scented Candles
In honor of its 60th anniversary, Diptyque took inspiration from the walls of the first Diptyque boutique at 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain to create these candles’ vessels. That translates to colored jars speckled with real gold, evoking the gemstones carnelian, malachite and lapis lazuli — each representing an emblematic winter scent. For Holiday Pastry, notes of dense and woody patchouli call to mind spicy, festive baking. With Pine Tree, you can almost imagine yourself walking through the woods, with the aromatic freshness of mountain pines and smoky notes of an open fire. Lastly, when lighting up Snowflake, you’ll get velvety notes of white musk and mimosa for an olfactory take on the light falling of snow. It’s the perfect gift for your sister, mom or grandmother, as they’ll particularly appreciate the uniqueness of the classic scents and specialty packaging.
Summer Fridays Soft Vanilla Candle
Summer Fridays have dipped its toe into home fragrance, starting with this intimate candle in Soft Vanilla. The scent is infused with vanilla cream and almond blossom for a dreamy sugar cookie-like aroma. Made with soy and coconut-based vegan waxes, the pretty Christmas candle also takes on notes of coconut thanks to the wax formula. Its total burn time is around 45 to 55 hours. And, don’t forget to let the candle burn for about two to three hours on the first light, which allows the entire surface of wax to melt (this helps the wax from tunneling for a more even future burn).
Cire Trudon Bayonne Christmas Edition
Cire Trudon is the candle brand to gift any historian or curiosities collector in your life this Christmas. After all, the label is the oldest candlemaker in the world that’s still active today. Founded in 1643 on the threshold of the reign of Louis XIV, the brand became the official supplier in the French court throughout the 17th century, then to Napoléon Bonaparte. Each candle is still handmade in the factory in Normandy, with fragrances, waxes and glass all curated from local artisans. And the holiday editions from Cire Trudon are a thing to behold, as each season features a one-of-a-kind collection. This year’s collection is no exception, taking inspiration from the company’s origins: Versailles and the Sun King. Try Bayonne, which smells like spicy hot chocolate with notes of chili pepper, cocoa and pine for a spiced treat. This candle is also one of the prettiest Christmas candles you can buy ansd makes a great Christmas centerpiece.
Nomad Noé Dreamer in London Candle
Corentin Hamon created Nomad Noé just two short years ago, but the brand has already become an industry mainstay thanks to its affinity for vibrant storytelling and highly-aromatic scents. Dreamer in London is the perfect companion for relaxed nights at home, whether you’re reading a book, watching a movie or playing a board game. It’s a dreamy balance between sweet, creamy vanilla and toasty firewood and tobacco. Designed in New York City and hand-poured in small batches using French-crafted fragrance oils and vegetable waxes, the candle has a burn time of 55 hours.
Nest Holiday Classic Candle
So iconic that Nest simply titled this candle “Holiday Classic”, the best-selling fragrance is beloved for its quintessential aroma. The holiday scent is a seasonal blend of pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, cloves and cinnamon with a hint of vanilla and amber. “This Holiday Candle does not disappoint,” said one Amazon reviewer. “The cozy scent is long-lasting, and as a bonus, the chic gold glass vessel perfectly complements my upcoming Christmas decor. This would make for a lovely addition to your candle collection or fabulous holiday gift!”
Woodwick Frasier Fir Woodwick Candle
As their name suggests, WoodWick candles have a wooden wick that mimics the sound of a crackling fire. The brand has also perfected the consistent, lasting burn thanks to a blend of soy and paraffin. The Frasier Fir is one of its best-selling scents, with an aroma that inspires a vision of a crisp winter morning walk through the forest. “This is the best fir scent, bar none,” said one reviewer. “It makes the whole house smell of the most fresh, authentic, yet pleasant pine scent.”
Jo Malone White Moss & Snowdrop Home Candle
Purchase this fan-favorite candle immediately, because it’s bound to sell out soon. The limited-edition scent from Jo Malone is only available for the holiday season, making it the perfect gift for those that love exclusive launches. It’s also a fabulous gift for any Anglophile, as the brand, at its heart, is a celebration of British style and design. This candle is crafted in the British countryside and features a holiday-inspired festive glass design and star-etched lid. The scent has warm cardamom notes mixed with earthy amber and moss for cashmere-esque coziness in scent form.
Preston Konrad Upstate Candle
With notes of fireside smoke, black peppercorn, cedar, amber and musk, Preston’s Upstate candle is a lovely gift for all — but especially the man in your life. It smells like a bustling, cozy cabin in the woods, packed with more fragrance per ounce than most other candles on the market for a deliciously aromatic scent. And, thanks to the candle’s higher wax fill (which is up to four ounces higher than competitor options), it has an impressive 65 to 75 hour burn time. The more-bang-for-your-buck aspect of this Preston Konrad candle is no coincidence, either. In fact, it’s the basis of Konrad’s brand, whose mission is to offer the best-quality fragrances at a lower price point than most luxury brands.
Lafco New York Spiced Pomander Classic Candle
This is the gift for that person in your life that always craves a cup of mulled wine come holiday season. Lafco’s Spiced Pomander Classic candle recreates that classic holiday cup of cheer, with bitter orange, cloves and energizing cinnamon. The inviting fragrance is one of the best Christmas scents, a bestseller for the brand, and is usually sold out, so grab a candle while you can. If you’re new to the brand, Lafco is a New York-based fragrance brand that reimagines classic scents with fresh, nuanced updates.
D.S. & Durga Prime Chanukah Candle
You probably recognize D.S. & Durga from a bevy of its famous scents, but meet one of its newest innovations: Prime Chanukah. “Chanukah is a festival of candles,” says D.S. & Durga co-founder David Moltz. “As a NY Jew who makes candles, I’ve always wanted to do this! The scent is a fantasy of that miracle oil discovered at the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem in antiquity. Flowering olive and incense for days (eight at least).” With notes of citron, olive, incense and cedar of Lebanon, this special candle makes an ideal gift. And anything from the husband and wife team of D.S. & Durga is a no-brainer. The Brooklyn-based pair crafts unisex fragrances in small batches, using only premium and sustainable raw materials. And their knack for unusual blends is hardly matched in the industry.
Ellis Brooklyn Terrific Verb Candle
Created by New York Times beauty columnist Bee Shapiro, Ellis Brooklyn focuses on scents that are complex, rich and nuanced — and is one of the leaders in the clean prestige fragrance market. The same care goes into Shapiro’s literary-inspired candles, each hand-poured in upstate New York and meticulously cared for from start to finish. Verb is especially delicious and addictive with notes of bergamot, mandarin and basil, as well as complex notes of cedarwood and musks. The scent was inspired by the frank prose of American authors, from Ernest Hemingway to Kurt Vonnegut — masters of transmitting emotion without over-adornment. Give this candle to the book lover (or grammar fan) in your life.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris 1, 2, 3 Noël Scented Candle Set
Maison Francis Kurkdjian was created in 2009 after renowned perfumer Francis Kurkdjian created his first fragrance under his eponymous house. Since then, he’s established his brand as an expert in sensuous and bold scents, and his candles are just as multifaceted and timeless as his perfumes. Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Christmas-scented candle trio is inspired by an ice skater’s journey from Paris to London, New York, Shanghai, Moscow and back to the City of Lights — and offers some of the best Christmas scents around. Mon Beau Sapin pays homage to a winter stroll in a snowy forest, with woody and resinous fragrance evoking the traditional Christmas tree. Meanwhile, Pain d’Epices is inspired by sweet treats and childhood delights, with gourmand notes of orange, honey, cinnamon and anise. And lastly, savor a juicy caramel-coated candy apple with Pomme d’Amour. Indulge without moderation with this sweet trio, and gift to the Francophile in your life.
Snif Old Saint Wick Candle
Direct-to-consumer fragrance brand Snif has just recently begun its foray into candles, and this holiday collection is starting out strong. The Old Saint Wick is particularly spellbinding, with notes of Siberian pine, fir balsam, creamy sandalwood and apple blossom for a merry and bright scent. The candle was designed to burn for up to 60 hours, just enough time to last through the holiday season. And as with all products by Snif, it includes free shipping and free returns — if you’re not feeling jolly after lighting it up, feel free to return the candle. This classic scent with a twist makes it a particularly great gift for any fella in your life.
Leland Francis Stoner Candle
“I personally love the holidays, and burning candles during this time makes me feel cozy and happy,” says Shen founder Jessica Richards. “I don’t love the typical holiday scented candles of vanilla, gingerbread or fir, so I go with a deep woody scent — like the exclusive candle created for us by Leland Francis, called Stoner.” This scent is, dare we say, sexy, with its resinous wood, herbs, citrus and lavender fragrance. It gives off a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it the perfect holiday scent for anyone that’s hard to shop for on your list.
Orveda Candle Trio
It took Orveda founder Sue Nabi two years to perfect this artisan candle trio, and you’ll understand why once you take a whiff of this subversive scent. It’s sweet yet tart, woodsy yet bright, crisp yet earthy. The vegan, handcrafted and hand-poured Orveda candle is made in Italy at the famed fragrance house Firmenich. Burn time is 170 hours, and the eco-focused brand created the vessels specifically to be utilized after the candle is gone (they particularly make a fantastic planter for anyone with a green thumb). It’s the perfect gift for mom in particular, as it’ll inspire her to take a break.
Carrière Frères Christmas Candle Botanical Set
French candlemaker, fragrance creator and sister brand to the iconic fragrance manufacturer Cire Trudon, Carrière Frères is still manufactured in the original Trudon factory in Normandy that the Carrière brothers purchased in 1884. The brand still utilizes ancient techniques created in the factory but also embraces the modernity of sustainable practices and creativity. That’s the case with its newest holiday collection, the Laos Benzoin set, which is composed of three votive candles in three distinctive scents. All centered around Laos benzoin, the aromatic resin that’s praised for its purification properties, each candle takes the base of benzoin and takes on additional notes. Think earthy scents rich with cacao beans to aromas of lush, juicy roses or the Siberian fir forest. The holiday-perfect trio smells floral and woody and is one of the prettiest Christmas candle gifts to buy, too.
Courtesy of Carrière Frère
Tata Harper x Nette Into the Forest Candle
Tata Harper is known for her natural, sustainable formulas, and her first-ever candle follows in those clean footsteps. She collaborated with sustainable candle brand Nette for a candle that instantly transports you to the Tata Harper Skincare farm in Vermont. Inspired by the concept of forest bathing, the scent contains fir balsam, pine, cypress, black peppercorn and clove. The idea is to breathe in the invigorating woodsy forest scent and envision yourself there, melting your worries away and relaxing in nature…even if you’re just in your bedroom in the middle of a bustling city. Nette and Harper worked with a Copenhagen-based studio to create the ceramic vessel in the signature Tata Harper green color. Also, to keep in line with the sustainability ethos of both brands, the candle box and label are created from recycled shoe boxes.
Ormaie Pain Perdu Candle
Perhaps the most beautiful candle ever made, this Ormaie refillable vessel is a piece of art in itself. After three years of perfecting, the beloved mother and son-owned French perfume brand has finally launched candles. They’re just as luxurious and special as the label’s fragrances, and like the scents, they’re also made entirely of natural, French-based ingredients. Pain Perdu is particularly lovely, inspired by scents coming out of a French kitchen mid-afternoon like almond, vanilla and cedar. The type of candle anyone will appreciate, it burns for about 45 to 60 hours. And, you can refill the vessel with any Ormaie candle once the wax burns down.
Otherland Adored Candle Collection
For that friend that always wants to go out dancing, try Ortherland’s candle collection. Inspired by the discothèque, Otherland’s holiday collection is filled with glitzy vessels and a familiar set of warm scents — making them wonderfully unique Christmas candles you’ll be proud to display in your window. The gourmand trio includes Dessert First, with notes of ginger, cardamom and milky tea; Cinnamon Musk, a punchy trio of spicy cinnamon, amber and almond; and Pomander Woods, featuring highlights of orange, cloves and mahogany. If a nice cocktail-inspired scent is more your mood, go for Alpine Crystal — a mix of Juniper, tonic-inspired freshness, and lemon. Or, light up Forest Veil, which boasts notes of cedarwood, vetiver and sandalwood, or Boudoir Rouge, which features a wildly inspired trio of vintage lipstick scents, violet, and Amarena Cherry. Why not grab the whole set and let your friends and family pick their favorites? Or keep them all for yourself, no judgment here.
Farmaesthetics Midnight Absolute Candle
As the very first candle from Farmaesthetics, the Midnight Absolute candle is the union between two self-made female founders who together have used their masterful herbal formulation to create a product that’s meant to ignite all five senses. Inspired by Farmaesthetics’ best-selling Midnight Honey Bath & Beauty Oil, Celine Chappert of Officine Oils of Paris took the essence of the popular oil and added base notes of oud, vetiver and amber for a more complex and sensual experience.
Most impressively though, Chappert studied centuries-old literature to discover what wax ancient herbalists utilized, all in the hope of uncovering a more eco-conscious option. These recipes delivered, in the form of French rapeseed wax — which employs the bright yellow flowers of the same name that Provence farmers used to cleanse their soil from the previous crop. When used as a wax, the rapeseed burns much slower than a traditional soy base, but also cleans the air. The beeswax in the formula is sustainably sourced, too, through a French beekeeper organization that ensures all honey and beeswax are obtained responsibly and safely. Each candle is hand-poured into amber apothecary glass jars with a beechwood wick that quietly crackles when lit, creating an experience for all your senses.
Byredo Candle Box
Inspired by founder Ben Gorham’s personal Indian heritage, Byrdeo’s special-edition gift box is the perfect holiday gift for the candle-obsessed person in your life. Using the vivid language of Madhubani painting, the artisanal wooden box is decorated by Bihar-based artist Mamta Devi and features colorful, geometric accents. The re-contextualized box houses four full-sized candles in Byredo’s most beloved scents, plus a box of matches, and a black metal wick trimmer. The four candles include the universally-beloved Bibliotheque, Tree House, Burning Rose and Cotton Poplin — all of which will please anyone this holiday season. Also, each case contains inlays that can be removed, allowing the box to be endlessly repurposed, too.
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