Review

The Gloss Report: Christmas Candles

Anna Hunter 9 December 2017

1 / 13

The Gloss Report: Christmas Candles

Candles are synonymous with Christmas in the same vein as carols and mulled wine, and like necking a mince pie, there's no quicker or better way to get into the Christmas spirit than lighting a festive candle and filling your home with a comforting glow and cosy scent. There's many a seasonal slow-burner on the market, but which candles conjured up truly festive feels? Read on for the verdicts...

2 / 13

Neom Christmas Wish Candle, £30

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The promise: “A comforting blend of 13 pure essential oils including mandarin, cinnamon and tonka bean to help you relax and unwind.”

We give it: 8/10

Review: “This is a huge three wicked treat that burns down evenly and fills the entire room with a deliciously warm cinnamon and mandarin based scent- it’s the perfect candle for winter evenings. Packaging wise, the glass jar is adorned with a beautifully detailed rose gold design (the ‘Neom Wellbeing Street’)- anything rose gold hued is a winner for me, especially at Christmas time. I find that burning it for max three hours is advisable- past that and I start to find it a little bit overpowering for my personal preference. You can’t fault it though given that the mission statement of the candle is to ‘surround your home with the soothing, traditional scent of Christmas’. This is the candle that I will be burning on Christmas Eve this year to create a peaceful environment and to help boost the festive feels.”

Reviewer: ATH

3 / 13

Jo Malone Incense & Embers Home Candle, £45

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The promise: "Contemplative and relaxing."

We give it: 10/10

Review: “As far as winter warmers go, this candle is right up there with my trusty hot water bottle. Calming, enveloping and the perfect touch of relaxation to the most chaotic of Christmas lead ups, the combination of silver fir, white pepper, napa leather, vetiver and golden amber makes for the most universally pleasing of living room aromas. An ideal choice for both men and women alike, pair with a minced pie, a glass of warm spiced cider and Graham Norton on the box and brace yourself for the most blissful of Friday nights in.”

Reviewer: AM

4 / 13

Diptyque Limited Edition Unicorn Candle, £48 for 190g

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The promise: “Fir needles, Hinoki wood and mint mix intimately to compose the rare aromas of lush frosted forests.”

We give it: 9/10

Review: “Candles that are just as lovely on the outside as they are on the inside are few and far between. However, this new Christmas candle from Diptyque has managed to capture both rather beautifully. Created in collaboration with French artist Philippe Baudelocque, the star-studded constellation and gilded unicorn casing subtly catches the light to give its flame an extra dose of sparkle. The green wax also gives it a season-appropriate pop of colour and when coupled with its festive fragrance (pine needles, Hinoki wood and mint thistle), it makes for an multi-faceted piece of Christmas decor for your living room. It burns down smoothly and silkily and while its scent takes a little getting used to upon first opening its box, when lit it subtly diffuses through the air to deliver on its claim to conjure aromas of “lush frosted forests.” At £48 though, it’s quite the extravagance and personally, I’d opt for the £28 70g version  rather than its full size counterpart. With an approximate burn time of 30 hours, that’s sufficient for my own candle burning needs. Dependant on your budget, either will serve as a great Christmas gift idea in my opinion.”

Reviewer: AM

5 / 13

&Other Stories Juste Mythique Candle, £19

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We give it: 9/10

The promise: “Elevates black papyrus, tobacco leaves and vanilla bean to the stars.”

Review: “Not sure what to make of the ‘the promise’, however, this sweet but not cloying candle strikes a good balance between the festive and the everyday- it’s light on the usual cloves and cinnamon and has some lovely woody undertones to undercut the vanilla. The jar is a keeper and an arty steal given the price point, but fragrance wise it does take awhile to get going- it’s a subtle wintry scent, but for me it’s preferable to a whack in the face with a pine cone as so often typifies the scented Christmas candle experience. If you love to have a candle going but want to keep things low key, and don’t want to fret about the fact that you’re literally burning money, Juste Mythique will be right up your street.”

Reviewer: AH

6 / 13

Space NK Shimmering Spice Candle, £16.00 - £26.00

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The promise: “Cinnamon and spice are intermingled with orange, mandarin and litsea cubeba upon a warm and cosy cedar base that is infused with a hint of sweet vanilla.”

We give it: 9/10

Review: “I’m really enjoying this candle- Space NK has managed to find the perfect balance of power and subtlety here. The scent is unmistakably Christmassy - warm, cosy and with a comforting overtone of cinnamon - it feels like a warm winter cuddle with your mumma.  Most impressively, for me, it manages to avoid overdoing it. So many Christmas candles are just too strong, leaving you clamouring for an open window (until the icy breeze rushes in) so this represents a big win on that front. Coupled with that, the glass jar it sits in is simply stunning, and is actually what sold this candle to me in the first place. It nails grown up Christmas, with just enough sparkle to excite your inner child, but with ribbons of colour that suggest a very mature merry Christmas. Starting at a reasonable £16 and exclusive to Space NK, I recommend you add this to you Christmas shopping list now and get it fired up before the guests arrive, for some sophisticated shimmer this season."

Reviewer: GB

7 / 13

White Company White Christmas Candle, £52

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The promise: "Like being surrounded by precious loved ones, our blend of elegant almond blossom, frankincense, neroli and honeysuckle creates a warm and merry glow."

We give it: 5/10

Review: “I am a huge White Company fan. I always purchase the 'Winter' candle  every Christmas because I adore the scent and it never fails to disappoint. I've been putting the classic White Christmas candle to the test for the purpose of this edit, however, and I haven't been blown away.”

“A blend of almond blossom, frankincense, neroli and honeysuckle, I imagined my two favourite scents of frankincense and neroli to be the most prominent, but there is such an overpowering aroma of almond that it cancels everything else out and gets a little sickly very quickly. Performance wise however, this is top end of the candle spectrum. With a burn time of 80 hours and three wicks to get through, it's easily going to last you through the festive season, and my inner perfectionist was pleased to see an even burn in terms of wax level. Packaging wise, it’s not set in the usual White Company branded glass. It’s a pretty jar, but I’m a sucker for the usual branding. Of course, it's all down on personal taste and if you love the Christmasy smell of marzipan then this will be just your cup of tea. For my part, I will be sticking to my spicy 'Winter' scent of choice.”

Reviewer: SM

8 / 13

Jo Loves Christmas Trees Home Candle, £55

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The promise: “Notes of fresh pine weave beautifully together with aromatic lavender, incense and amber to create a wonderfully warm and comforting fragrance.”

We give it: 10/10

Review: “I am a huge fan of fresh scented fragrances, for both home and for myself, so this pine based candle is the perfect green scent for me. The fresh pine really comes through and it’s a refreshing change compared to the usual heavy winter fragrances around at this time of year. The packaging is absolutely beautiful- the elegant glass jar is decorated with snowflakes and the red ribbon is quintessentially Christmassy. Typical of anything created by Jo Malone MBE, the attention to detail is outstanding, from the luxuriously wrapped gift box to the complimentary Jo Loves box of matches. I burned this throughout a cold Sunday afternoon and it filled my bedroom with the warm and comforting scent of a Christmas Tree. The perfect treat to yourself this Christmas or a stunning gift for a loved one, this candle is sure to please everybody.”

Reviewer: ATH

9 / 13

Crabtree & Evelyn Noel Poured Candle, £42

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The promise: “Wintry notes of aromatic fir tree branches studded with tangy citrus zest and mulled spices will win the hearts of guests”

We give it: 10/10

Review: “Beautifully presented in a gorgeous red and gold embossed box, this candle just screams 'Christmas'. It’s festive both in look as well as scent with the poured candle contained in a stunning gold jar that not only looks sophisticated but instantly made my little lounge look and feel as though Christmas had already arrived. If that weren’t enough, Crabtree & Evelyn has got the essence of winter and Christmas all sewn up fragrance-wise- it's subtle but has the right blend of all the smells you would associate with both winter and Christmas. There are notes of aromatic fir tree, pricked with tangy citrus fruit and hints of warming mulled spices. It really is divine. With a 40 hour burn time it will easily take you through the festive season. It’s already on my list as the perfect gift for quite a few people I know.’’

Reviewer: KB

10 / 13

Bramley Christmas Candle with Rebecca Wordsworth, £45

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We give it: 10/10

The promise: “A keepsake to treasure long after the festive season has ended”

Review: "As you’d expect from a brand that prizes natural and sustainable products with minimal waste, this natural rapeseed and soy wax candle is a (self) gift that keeps on giving. The beautiful hand-painted pot is made by Somerset potter Rebecca Wordsworth and can be reused after your 30 hours of burn time are over. The pots (in fern or wildflower designs) are handmade and each one is a different - I like the slightly imperfect feel.

"As for the smell of cinnamon, vanilla and cedarwood, what could be more Christmassy? The ‘woody’ notes aren’t too ‘oudy’ or ‘piney’, which a lot of Christmas candles this year seem to be and which I find just too heavy. The fragrance effect is subtle, which is vital if you react slightly to fragrance as I do, or if you want to burn a candle without overpowering a meal. Many a time have I had to bin a reed diffuser or natural candle because they make me stuffy and sneezy or they dominate a room. Love this, a winner all round."

Reviewer: VW

11 / 13

Elemis Joyful Glow Candle, £27.50

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The promise: “Warming aromatics bring a soft and welcoming glow.”

We give it: 9/10

Review: “It may just be my magpie-like tendencies for all things shiny, but the silver casing of this festive candle really appealed to me - after all, everything should sparkle at Christmas, right? With a strong scent combination of vanilla, orange and cinnamon though, it’s what’s inside that counts, and for me, this ticked all the festive boxes. Vanilla is one of my favourite aromas (call me basic, I don’t care) and I certainly associate orange with this time of year. Cinnamon, everyone would agree, is the scent of the season, but it also divides opinion; the strongest of the three in this candle, I loved it, whereas friends weren’t so sure and found it off-putting. The fragrance is pretty strong and doesn’t fade during burning, so I wouldn’t buy it for someone who hates the spice - but otherwise, it’s spot on."

Reviewer: JJ

12 / 13

Byredo Incense Candle, £54

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We give it: 10/10 (11 if we could!)

The promise: “Part of a collector's edition of holiday candles inspired by catholic candles, wintry scents and spices to celebrate the festive season.”

Review: “Ahhh Byredo. You never fail to spread the festive cheer and your Incense Christmas Candle makes me want to never leave the house. Ever. A comforting and soothing mix of incense and eucalyptus, delicately anchored with base notes of amber and wild patchouli, it's warm and smoky, capturing the therapeutic scent of traditional incense. Hitting the elegant end of the festive decor spectrum, the red glass packaging sits perfectly on the mantelpiece among the needles and pines- it looks classic and sophisticated. With an approximate burn time of 60 hours, the high quality wax burns evenly and lasts through many a cold night. I think I'll just bottle it up and keep it with me all year round.”

Reviewer: SM

13 / 13

ESPA All is Bright Restorative Candle, £15

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The promise: “A deeply comforting aroma.”

We give it: 8/10

Review: “Specially gift wrapped for Christmas, this edition of ESPA’s bestselling candle would be a great gift - and not just because of its packaging. The Palmarosa, rose geranium, and lavender scent is a people pleaser thanks to its subtlety; once lit, you only really detect it when you first enter the room, as it’s not a particularly strong fragrance (though it is a beautiful scent). If you prefer a long-lasting aroma while you relax, it’s not going to light up your world but for anyone who dislikes overpowering scented candles it’s just right - plus, with the inside being a metallic gold, it brightens up any room with a stylish glow."

Reviewer: JJ