The past several months have turned many of our houses into more than just the places we rest our heads: they're now the gym, salon, restaurant, daycare, school, and workplace all in one. This can make getting back to that place of respite and relaxation in your own home a little more difficult. And if there's any sure-fire way to make a space more inviting and relaxing, it's with candles.
For this reason, we've compiled a list of candle brands we've tried and loved while working from home over the past few months. Some are classics, available at Target or Amazon, some are a bit luxurious, and some are from newer, smaller brands we've had the pleasure of discovering. No matter your candle style or taste, one (or all) of these brands is bound to have something for you (and everyone on your holiday shopping list).
"At first sight, the Otherland candles are incredibly chic in a contemporary way with a nice pop of color in smooth glassware – these are nice objects that will go well on display while not in use. Upon first smell, I loved Rattan and Canopy. Canopy’s fresh greens with a hint of sweet provided a sense of an idyllic summery place that wasn’t the overbearingly hot and humid Texas summer. The hints of warm earthiness make it a nice transition into fall. Rattan’s perfect combination of sandalwood and musk are exactly what I always look for in fragrances. Both are not too pungent, providing just a nice softness to the aroma of a room that I love." — Mariah Tyler, Photo Editor
"Harlem Candle Co.'s Holiday candle is everything I want in a scent — it’s warm without being sweet and the pine scent is as true to a forest as I’ve found in a candle. Knowing that the brand is located right across the river from my home in Brooklyn has ignited a sense of brand loyalty that I didn’t know I was capable of. I intend to keep my home adorned with the moss-green glass jars of Harlem Candle Co’s Holiday scent for the foreseeable future." — Kendall Cornish, Associate Digital Editor
To buy: harlemcandlecompany.com, $45
"I've been getting creative for movie nights since I am avoiding movie theaters for the time being — and Joya's collaboration with A24 has been the perfect addition. The film house has created scents for movie genres from rom-com to noir. Sci-fi has been a favorite in my house while re-watching 2001: A Space Odyssey or Ex Machina. The candles last a long time too, through about 33 movies to be exact." — Scott Bay, Editorial Assistant
To buy: joyastudio.com, $48
"Sandoval's Wood candle has a subtle yet fresh scent that seems to appeal equally to women and men. It's meant to evoke the serenity of being deep in the woods, and it accomplishes that with a mix of cedar, cardamom, marjoram, and vetiver — a plant often used in essential oils. It's a little bit earthy with a hint of floral and spice, and its coconut oil base keeps any one scent from overpowering the others. Its sleek, matte-black jar is a stylish addition to my home bar." — Nina Ruggiero, Deputy Editor
To buy: studiosandoval.com, $60
"I typically light a candle about once or twice a week, but when I received Aerin’s Salzburg Pine candle, I couldn’t help but light it every day. The scent was inspired by the fresh evergreen found in the Alps of Salzburg, Austria. And at a time when I’m only traveling stateside, this reminder of the world beyond has been especially refreshing. The candle also comes in beautiful packaging, making it a perfect gift." — Sam Lauriello, Associate Social Media Editor
To buy: neimanmarcus.com, $60
"If I can’t travel the world, I’ll bring the world to me — that’s the motto I’ve held onto during the pandemic. As someone who had never cooked more than eggs and pasta, I’ve learned my way around the kitchen, whipping up some of my favorite foods from Thailand (massaman curry! khao soi!), India (rajma!), Morocco (tagine!), France (crepes!), and Israel (shakshuka!) – albeit not without the occasional snafu or smoke alarm reminding me that I’m still a novice. This bring-the-world-home mantra has also translated into how I decorate my apartment-slash-office. For example, I’ve taken to lighting Homesick’s Road Trip candle every morning for a few hours while I work. I might be buried in emails in my inbox, but the blend of jasmine, leather, fresh air, and cedarwood notes has me feeling like I’m cruising down the highway with the windows open, radio blasting, and en route to an epic adventure." — Alisha Prakash, Senior Digital Editor
To buy: homesick.com, $34
"Candles have become one of my work-from-home essentials as I try to elevate my workspace and make it more comfortable. The UpWest Oliver candle has a warm but light sandlewood and vanilla scent that's cozy but not overpowering or overly sweet. Plus, once I finish burning it, I can grow my own wildflowers in the container it came with thanks to the seed-studded label." — Elizabeth Rhodes, Associate Digital Editor
To buy: upwest.com, $42
"During the colder months of the year, you really can't go wrong with a lightly-scented vanilla candle to keep things warm and cozy. Lately, I've been burning DW's vanilla bean candle as I work. It fills the air with a comforting fall scent without overpowering the senses as soon as you walk into the room. But my favorite thing about the candle? The crackling wooden wick. It almost makes me believe I'm curled up next to a fire instead of sitting at my desk." — Hillary Maglin, Assistant Digital Editor
"I've been burning Nanor's Incadescent candle on my desk while I work, and it might just be my ideal fall scent. Layers of wood, amber, and vetiver remind me of a gently crackling fireplace — perfectly warm and cozy — and the addition of bergamot gives it a citrusy edge, which keeps the muskiness from becoming overpowering. Plus, the all-black look is super sylish." — Sarah Bruning, Senior Editor
To buy: nanorcollection.com, $37
Packaged in gorgeous, artfully decorated ceramic jars (with lids!), these quality candles bloom large rooms with their inviting, not-too-sweet scents. The ideal candle for gifting, L’or de Seraphine candles smell as gorgeous as they look. We recommend cleaning and saving the jars for storage or even your morning cup.
To buy: amazon.com, $20
A household name, Yankee Candle has been making some of the most reliable and classic scents in the candle world for generations. When it comes to holiday scents, Yankee Candle is often the way the go for their homey fragrances.
To buy: amazon.com, $16
In addition to their beautifully scented, natural cleaning supplies, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day candles are lightly scented, easily accessible via most American grocery stories and on Amazon, and are a fantastic go-to when you're in the mood for a quality candle ASAP. This Apple Cider scent is heavenly for fall.
To buy: amazon.com, $10
This large-format 3-wick size from Nest Fragrances is all you'll need all season long to fill your home with fragrance. According to reviewers, these candles are "fantastic smelling," something we can definitely attest to as well.
To buy: amazon.com, $100
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