Plus some genius expert tips to get the most out of your summer candle with every burn

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Of course there’s nothing better than lighting one of the best winter candles to create a cosy ambience when it’s grey and cold outside, but that shouldn’t mean your love of candles dwindles away in the summer months. If anything, we would argue that (what’s meant to be) the warmer months is an idyllic time of year to invest a summer candle to fill your home, garden or outdoor space with seasonal scents that you’re either dreaming of or are naturally surrounding you at this time of year. Rhubarb, strawberries, jasmine and rose are all the sorts of summery notes that can suddenly be brought into your daily life with just a flick of a match. While it’s fairly obvious how to ‘use’ a candle, there are a few genius tips and tricks you can utilise to get the best out of your favourite summer candle.

  • To increase the scent:
    And if you’re looking for a way to increase the ‘throw’ of your chosen candle - that’s how far the scent wafts around. Fragrance expert, Alice du Parcq recommends placing your candle in a glass hurricane lantern - like this John Lewis Anyday Hurricane Candle Holder, £10  as they allow the scent to build up and waft even more effectively.
  • To prevent smoking:
    Investing in a wick trimmer is also a great idea as by keeping the wick of your candle short each time the wick won’t smoke when you relight it. And you don’t need to spend a fortune, this Ulwsy Candle Wick Trimmer, £5.99 does the job perfectly and is a bargain.
  • To avoid tunnelling:
    ‘Tunnelling’ is when wax has built up around the edges of the wick creating a, you guessed it, tunnel effect. To prevent this from happening make sure you have a long enough burn time the first time you light your candle. This will help create ‘cendle memory’ and from then on it will burn evenly. The general rule of thumb is one hour per inch of the jar’s diameter. But it’s basically one to two hours for a single wick candle and three to four for a three wick or larger candle.
  • To fix tunnelling:
    Should you find that your candle has tunnelled then all is not lost but do not take a kitchen knife to it. Beauty journalist, Lucy Partington shared this genius candle hack a few years ago and it works a treat ever time.

Our pick of the best summer candles

The best luxury summer candle: Anine Bing Scented Candle in Rose Wood, £79 

Known for a classic, timeless and easy way of dressing, fashion designer Anine Bing brings the same style aesthetic to this candle. The packaging is simple and understated and you can smell the candle before its emerged from the box. And wow, what a scent. It has a cool smoky and woody undertone and then a fresh rose cutting through it. It's modern and new but also feels like one of life’s staple scents. A great gift for the fashionista in your life.

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The best summer candle for outdoor living: Rituals M’Gouna Desert Rose Garden Candle, £44

This huge three-wick candle, with pink wax, is just a delight for burning outside while you sit in your garden or balcony with a glass of something in hand. The scent of rose and pear wafts past you the minute you take it out of the packaging and because it is so big it’s best to let the first burn be for at least four hours to allow the wax to melt evenly.

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The best summer candle for gifting: Sanctuary Spa Golden Sandalwood Scented Candle, £21.98

Contained in a very luxe looking white terracotta pot with rose gold inlay this makes a great gift for a friend. Especially if their name begins with an S as the pot is embossed with the letter (for the brand obviously) but it does then becomes a personalised candle just for Sarah, Sandra, Sue etc. However it’s such a great price point that it makes the perfect gift for non-S named people too! The scent is a combination of sandalwood, which gives it a deep lingering muskiness and then a floral hit of freesia to add that hit of summertime.

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The best zesty summer candle: Homework Scented Candle in Water, £55

You might think a candle named ‘water’ would have more aquatic notes in it but this one is filled to the brim with zesty notes like bergamot and then green and spicy neroli. There is rain water in there but the way to think of this candle is imaging what a Mediterranean garden smells like after a rain shower. Fresh, green and sunny.

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The best smoky summer candle: & Other Stories Scented Candle in Palette Cyprus, £23

While the outer packaging may seem quite unassuming, the juice of this candle is not. It is a decadently sexy, sultry summer scent. The bottom notes that linger long into the night are of leather, cypress and vetiver but straight away you get a lovely sparkling hit of peach and bergamot. It’s a great price for a candle you would assume on smelling would be far more expensive.

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The best summer candle for self-care: Vyrao in Rose Marie, £69 

Every element of this gorgeous candle has been considered (which comes from a brand that defines itself as ‘a bit witchy’). From the amazing heady scent that’s like nothing else - it’s a mix of powdery but green violet leaf that is meant to be good for boosting self-expression, patchouli for grounding and woody guaiac that helps with energy clearing - to the jar that is almost like a handle-less mug that you automatically want to cup in your hands. Hidden underneath is a removable metal V talisman that has been ‘charged’ by the brand’s quantum energist. Yes, that all may sound a bit woo woo, but fundamentally it is one gorgeous smelling summer candle.

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The best refillable summer candle: Carrière Frères 1884 Scented Candle in Pelargonium Odoratissimum, £60, refills are £40

With such a gorgeously decorated jar it makes complete sense that these candles are all refillable. To do so the brand recommend placing your used candle jar in the freezer for a few hours. This makes removing any remaining wax much easier to remove. Give the container and quick wipe with a wet soapy cloth, remove the old wick and wick tab and then pop the refill in. There are lots of gorgeous scents to choose from but this geranium heavy one is just the ticket for summer. Floral but not sickly and fresh but there’s something a bit sexy about it too.

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The best summer candle for calm: Eym Rest The Sleepy One, £20 

Combining a soothing blend of camomile, sweet orange and lavender that smells just like a luxe spa, this gorgeous, and 100 per cent natural, candle will fill your bedroom with (hopefully) sleep inducing calm.

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The best mosquito repelling candle: Diptyque Citronelle Scented Candle, £56 

Looking to seriously elevate your bug repelling offering for your next bbq? Step in this beauty from Diptyque. The chicest citronella candle we’ve ever seen. Of course, you don't have to use it for that purpose, it is just a wonderful indoor and outdoor summer candle option with the zesty notes of bergamot, lemongrass, orange blossom and verbena.

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The best summer candle for travel: Floral Street Mini Scented Candle Discovery Set, £20 

If you love to take a candle away with you as part of your travel size toiletries edit then these are great. They are four 20g tins each containing one of Floral Streets best-selling fragrances including grapefruit bloom, vanilla bloom, wonderland bloom and midnight tulip. Stacey Solomon recently took to Instagram to share her love for the brand so expect these to sell out quickly. 

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The best budget summer candle: Self(ish) Scented Lazy Rhubarb Soy Wax Candle, £18 

This smells so good you almost want to eat it. Bursting with notes of rhubarb, strawberry, peach, apple and orange. It is every great summer time pudding hand-poured into a natural soy wax candle. And a great example that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your hands on a great candle.

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The best coffee table summer candle: Assouline Travel Collection Candle in Marrakech Flair, £75

We’ve classified this as the candle that’s almost too good to light, but light it you must as the scent is unreal. Created by cult travel coffee table book brand, Assouline there are candles to match some of their most iconic books each with scents that sum up the destination. As you might expect of Marrackech this is a hot, sunny scent of sweet cedarwood, bright bergamot and hazy black tobacco leaves. 

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The best holiday inspired summer candle: Nest New York Santorini Olive and Citron Classic Candle, £45 

Designed with a scent to transport you to the idyllic island of Santorini, this contains notes of olive leaf, creamy avocado, spicy black pepper and a hint of citrus. If you’re not able to go abroad then this honestly is a great way to transport you to somewhere else through the power of scent.

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