August 16th 2017
There are so many candles on the market. In fact, most beauty brands seem to be adding a candle or home fragrance range to their arsenals. From luxe to high end, how do we actually know which candles are worth lighting up and which candles are deserving of blowing out?
Whether you're a candle obsessive (don't worry, we are too) or are just looking to update your home with a new scent, whether you're looking for something super luxurious or something a little more budget, there's definitely something for you.
We've tried, tested and given our honest reviews for the latest candles to hit the market (and for a few cult favourites too).
Click through the gallery to see what we thought...
The promise: Create a relaxing ambience of warm, flickering candlelight with our heavenly-scented candle
We give it: 7.5/10
Review: “Wow, I LOVE the scent of this candle. Inspired by the botanicals in the cult Cleanse and Polish I wasn't sure how this would translate into a candle, but it works! Made from a natural blend including soy and beeswax, it is enriched with both eucalyptus and rosemary, creating an incredibly calm, and refreshing scent. The eucalyptus is powerful but in a beautiful and uplifting way, it even smells great before it is lit! With a burn time of 40 hours, it gives hours of heaven and is perfect at the end of a long day with the darker and colder nights closing in. My only small issue is that I find the wick burns out after the first couple of lights and it’s really difficult to re-light! It often burns down in a little well, so I seem to have a a lot of wax left up one side of the jar! - The scent is too gorgeous to worry about that though!”
The promise: A luxurious, long burning candle hand-blended with pure essential oils of lavender and camomile.
We give it: 9/10
Review: I am hooked on the This Works Deep Sleep range. I’m forever plagued by late nights spent on tech, late night dinners or suffering with my mind going round and round in circles listing things I have to do the next day. This truly doesn’t help me relax in the evenings and absolutely doesn’t make for a good night's sleep. That’s where the Deep Sleep range comes in, and I really have noticed the difference. I burn the candle for a couple of hours before bed and the therapeutic fragrance of lavender and camomile fills the room. Complete with a quick spritz of the Pillow Spray and Body Therapy and I quickly drift off to sleep. The scent is incredibly calming and lasts incredibly well while you burn the candle. The subtle white packaging fits with most decors - which is always a thumbs up in my book. It burns fairly well, leaving only a little around the edge and I always can find a time to burn it. I find that I struggle to find the right time of day to burn some scents so they may not get used that often, but this one I’m hooked on and it’s become a regular in my pre-bedtime regime.”
The promise: Glasshouse tomatoes. Earthy, leafy and full of sunshine. Crisp with stem-green galbanum. Lively with artemesia, fruity with cassis, resting on a cushion of moss. Tangy and evocative.
We give it: 10/10
Review: "My candle collection is filled with calming scents to relax me but it's long been lacking a fresh scent I actually find myself reaching for. Enter the Green Tomato Leaf candle from Jo Malone and everything has changed. This was the candle I always gravitated to when having a sniff around a Jo Malone concession or store (even after I got my hands on it) as it is unlike anything I've ever smelt before. It's fresh, slightly earthy and the perfect scent for daytime candle burning.
"Jo Malone candles are up there with the absolute best. If I want to treat myself, or someone else with a new home fragrance then it's generally my go-to brand. From the luxurious packaging the candle is wrapped in, to the candle itself, from the way it burns with no excess left around the edge to the incredibly long lasting scent it spreads across the room - you really can do no wrong with picking one of these up."
The promise: Uplift your mind and body with our Perfect Peace candle, a blend of 25 pure essential oils including pine, myrrh & lime peel.
We give it: 9/10
Review: "From the moment I unboxed this weighty three wick candle, the room was filled with the calming scent of winter. This was just the aroma I was hoping for - something cosy and seasonal but not (yet) too Christmassy! NEOM calls this scent a modern take on a Christmas fragrance, which I think sums it up perfectly - a kind of sweet and spicy winter wonderland without all the festive cheese. The scent combines the freshness of pine and lime peel with the spice of precious myrrh to create a subtle and sophisticated take on Christmas. The burn is clean and perfectly even, creating a pool of melted wax that glows inside this sparkling jar - setting any dark night off right. The best thing about this candle is that it really settles in, hugging every room in the house for a breath of winter warmth every time you walk through the door."
The promise: A fresh and feminine exotic floral scent - summer in a jar all year long.
We give it: 10/10
Review: "The fact that this candle is designed to magically take you away to a sunny Australian beach as soon as it's lit already won me over. You can smell its incredible scent before you even open the box - I love it when this is the case, but it can be a little too much if you're not into sweet smells! Beautifully scented and beautifully packaged, this copper rose gold candle looks stunning on my bedroom shelf - I need every candle in this range!
"Cocolux coconut candles are created to capture the essence of nature and raw luxury. Scented with the finest fragrances and also hand-poured from clean burning coconut wax, these candles are free from toxins and aim to be eco-friendly. With stunning copper jars, its pure cotton wick evenly burns and fills the room with an incredibly fresh scent. Absolutely LOVE."
The promise: A light, plump, buttery, lemon-scented madeleine candle housed in a handmade porcelain jar.
We give it: 9.5/10
Review: "I am head over heels in love with this candle, but trying to find the words to describe the sensational experience it gives has been difficult, particularly as scent is such a personal thing. I can guarantee however, that if you are the type of person who enjoys the scent of baking or snuggling up in the warm on cold days with a cup of cocoa and a sweet treat, then Diptyque’s La Madeleine is an absolute must-buy: a gently infused candle of warm sugary butter and sweetened spice - one that will make you wish you could be tucked up indoors every day.
"Plus, if Diptyque’s range of candle holders were not already hugely desirable before, this sensational candle comes in a stunning handmade porcelain jar which is hand-dipped in a teal glaze, so even when the candle burns out, you are left with a beautiful ornament with which to decorate your room.
"This is the perfect candle to enjoy in autumn and winter - so good in my opinion that you’ll quickly forget the hefty price tag."
The promise: Cire Trudon’s Calabre Candle is inspired by the sweet scent of the liquorice that scents Italy’s Calabrian coast.
We give it: 10/10
Review: "When you smell a Cire Trudon candle, you get the sense that it is steeped in history. Containing interesting and ‘old’ smelling ingredients such as Honey Tobacco, leather, wild juniper, clove and mugwort, they have an ‘aged’ smell that will remind you of exquisite old buildings, regal paintings, courts of Kings and dusty bookshelves from days gone by. First created in 1643 by Claude Trudon, who was a candler and grocer and set up shop on the Rue St Honore in Paris, the company was then passed on through the Trudon family, and has long been a staple in French history. Trudon supplied the court of Louis 15th, survived the French Revolution and, when Napoleon the 1st was crowned in 1811, they supplied the Imperial Court. More recently branded as Cire Trudon, this is a candle brand that stands out amongst the fruity, sweet and highly manufactured glossy scents you might find in department stores. This one, Calabre, has a heady heart of geranium, rose and iris with a top note of zesty orange. Base notes of cedarwood and patchouli, give it its warm, spicy and slightly dusty edge. I am under no illusion that £62 is a huge amount to pay for a candle, which is why I can’t bear to burn it every day (I have to limit lighting it!) but keep it for special Hygge moments such as Sunday afternoons reading the papers with my family and the fire lit. This is when they fill the house with warmth and wonder and really come into their own."
The promise: Creates your own Sanctuary with a unique fragrance of sparkling notes of citrus, bergamot, jasmine, vanilla, patchouli and sandalwood.
We give it: 10/10
Review: "There is no greater scent in my life than the Sanctuary’s signature scent, and there is nothing greater in life than a scented candle (...well almost nothing - chocolate is also quite good!) - so combine the two together and you get the ultimate scented candle, plus the most ridiculous candle-obsessed human being who has yet to shut-up and stop boring everyone with how great her Sanctuary candle is…!
"Sanctuary has several scents in its candle range, but the brand would not be what it is today without its signature scent: a light citrusy floral, mildly vanilla and ever so gently sunbleached woody fragrance. The candle delivers it packed tightly into a simple glass vessel, which fills the room with a gentle vibrant scent - perfect for calmly lifting your mood and relaxing your mind at any time of the year. What I love in particular is that the candle does not have to be lit to give out its incredible scent - but obviously lighting the wick ensures maximum effect.
"There is nowhere else to go except to give this simply neat candle full marks!"
The promise: Fill your home with the warm floral scent of this fragranced candle featuring Byredo's Vanquish.
We give it: 9/10
Review: "If you want a candle to make your home a little more sophisticated and classy, then this is it. A black glass jar filled with an intense black wax, it's aesthetically very different from the usual clean, lighter candles that are seen, which is incredibly refreshing. Byredo nail fragrance every time and their Vanquish candle is a warming and sophisticated take on a classic rose scent. With the mix of top notes of eau de rose and green rose bud, complemented with earthy, woody base scents, it's subtle and warming and isn't overpowering when burning - which I have found burns away for eternity - you get your money's worth. It's a gorgeous scent to herald in the colder, darker evenings that's thankfully, intense and not too sweet."
The promise: ’Art’ is a composition based around the scent captured in the artist's studio - oil paint, old wood, paint brushes, with the fragrance of fresh lilacs in the corner.
We give it: 8/10
Review: “In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve never really been a big candle burner (please don’t judge me). Out of laziness mainly, their appeal has been somewhat lost on me, however, with winter and this feature on the horizon, turning my living room into a little candlelit cocoon has unexpectedly become one of life’s little pleasures. And taking centre stage on my bookshelf? This stylish candle from Bella Freud.
"With a noticeably more contemporary feel than other candles, its design has instantly given my house an easy yet effective modern touch to perfectly reflect the aesthetic of the fashion brand. I even went one step further and used the lovely looking matching ‘Art’ matches to light the candle for an ultimate post-work dose of Zen. At £12 and £40 respectively, the duo isn’t cheap. However, the candle’s unique blend of palmarosa, guaiacwood, cedar, lilacs, musk and labdanum really does bring to mind the atmosphere, paint boxes and canvases of an art studio in a subtly perfect way, to feel quite at home in living rooms and bedrooms alike.”
The promise: Relaxes mind and body, calms and restores and a great aid to meditation.
We give it: 8/10
Review: “My life is Liquid Yoga. That sounds dramatic, but I bathe in it (if you’ve not tried the bath soak, your weary limbs are in for a treat) and spray it (Space Spray) liberally, and have come to associate it with winding down and zoning out, which is of course the idea of the range. As such, I was looking forward to spreading the Liquid Yoga love in a new way, and wasn’t disappointed. Compared to the rest of the range, the lavender and mint fragrance is very subtle - you need to burn it for a good twenty minutes at least to pick up the scent, but I’d far rather a light whiff than an overpowering, sickly smell. If you’ve got an aversion to sticky Christmas candles, you’ll likely love this. I’ve been burning it every night for the past month or so and am not yet halfway through, so burn time is impressive, and all in all the candle does complement a bit of evening yoga (try as I might, meditation does not come easily). It’s calming but not distracting, and the wick is good quality so it burns evenly with no ‘smoking’. The only detractors are the basic packaging and slightly indistinct scent. Otherwise, it’s a no brainer, and I highly recommend lighting it while you have a bath, glass of red optional.”
The promise: The inviting aroma of stepping in from the cold, Winter will instantaneously wrap your senses with its warm, spicy scent.
We give it: 8.5/10
Review: "As soon as the temperature starts cooling down and the weather starts getting a little damper, my go-to to make me feel better (and oh so much warmer) is always a winter/Christmas scented candle. The White Company's Winter scented candle is perfect for this time of year. With notes of cinnamon, clove and fresh orange, this candle makes you feel as though you're wrapped in a warm blanket on a cold day with rain trickling down the window. It's wintery, it's Christmassy and I have to admit, as someone that doesn't usually get excited for Christmas quite so early, this might just be changing that.
"The candle is huge and extremely well fragranced and will scent the room without being lit. The three wicks burn incredibly well and the packaging is the same as the signature White Company design which I already know well (and of course love)."
The promise: The brand’s best home scent in a playful limited edition design
We give it: 8/10
Review: “In a very festive, whimsical design with illustrated stars, hearts and snowflakes, this candle would make a great Christmas gift, but not just for the packaging. Many scented candles can be overpowering or divisive, making it hard to choose for someone else without going down the traditional route, but this scent (Figue Amere) is as inoffensive as candle aromas come. Inspired by the ‘bitter, ripe green figs of Ibiza’, it also has a warming, festive undertone of pines (though my first sniff gave me a hint of oud - there’s something deeper there) - the more I inhaled it the more I thought of the smell of thick, wooly coats with deep pockets, so no wonder it was chosen for the Christmas edition. It’s a very subtle scent, beautifully presented; it won’t fill your home with fragrance but its understated nature is exactly what will make it a people-pleaser.”
The promise: An exotic aromatic that will revive, uplift and evoke harmony.
We give it: 10/10
Review: “If you’re a fan of ELEMIS’ cult frangipani fragrance, this will go down a storm in your household. It releases an immediately distinguishable scent upon lighting, that somehow reminds me of holidays and dark, festive evenings at the same time. It fills a room yet isn’t too intense, and it makes an elegant, revitalising change from all of the orange peel and cinnamon that tends to dominate the candle market as winter creeps in. The packaging is suitably twinkly and opulent, so it would make a beautiful gift, and the 40 hour burn time also makes it brilliant value. Literally not a bad word to say.”
The promise: A warming and intense fragrance, ideal for times of imperative calm and rejuvenation. The colour orange is associated with healing and vitality, accentuating the virtues of the scent.
We give it: 8/10
Review: “It’s all about design with this new-ish quirky British heritage brand of 'waxsmiths’. It’s a feast for the senses, and the unboxing is a joy. It comes in a black cylindrical container with a wax seal in the same bright orange wax as the candle itself, which sits in a chic black glass jar.
"The citrus scent itself is fresh and warm with base notes of cypress cedar and musk and is decidedly on the subtle side. It won’t dominate a room, overshadow the food during dinner or make your guests’ noses itch (as happened to me once). While I don’t like fragrance competing with my food, I do like a bit more oomph when I’m doing yoga at home or quickly want to change the feel of a space to relax in (or nix any unwanted boy-pong in the bathroom). So for that I’d probably choose a different brand.
“I love the quirky, boutique vibe of the brand as well as its unisex feel, which makes it perfect for gifting and for adding a quick design touch to your table.”
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