October heralds the start of crunchy leaves and cosy slippers, big coats and snuggly blankets. If you're anything like us you're going to be spending more time inside than out over the coming months, so we’ve digged and delved to hunt down the most gorgeously scented and beautifully packaged candles to light up your sofa sessions this autumn.
We burnt each candle to test its glow and throw, with only the most calming and atmospheric offerings making the final cut. A range of scents were considered, but particularly those evocative of the season, from berries and tea to forests and log fires. Our selection encompasses everything from luxurious gift ideas to budget-friendly personal treats that will be hard to resist...
1. Hopscotch Cedar and Pine: £20, Etsy
Every one of Hopscotch's soy candles are hand-poured in London. The minimalist design will appeal for those wanting to bring a hint of Nordic chic into their living rooms and the cute jam jar can be reused once the wax has burnt away (tip: pop it in the freezer for a bit first for easier removal of any leftover wax). Opt for the sweetly warming, subtly-spiced cedar and pine scent if you want a candle that smells as snuggly as a cosy blanket feels as the colder months set in.
2. Wax Lyrical Fired Earth Assam & White Cedar: £12, Leekes
This fabulously fragrant candle is the love child of two quintessentially British brands. Candle connoisseur Wax Lyrical has created a classy new range of oriental tea scents inspired by Fired Earth's strikingly beautiful paints and wallpapers. Try the fresh and modern assam and white cedar, which blends top notes of refreshing grapefruit and relaxing violet with a warming woody base and burns for up to 25 hours. The throw is impressive for a small candle and the intricately-patterned retro tin will sit pretty on your bedside table.
3. Madebyzen Black: £19.99, Madebyzen
If it's elegant luxury at an accessible price you’re after then look no further than this British brand for sumptuously scented candles handcrafted by Italian masters using natural oils, the finest toxin-free wax and a pure cotton wick. Black's cream and gold holder has a regal quality, while the calming blend of neroli, lavender, vanilla and sandalwood will help dissolve the day's stress. Light this up at the dinner table to be the envy of your guests. Burns for 50 hours.
4. Stoneglow Log Fire: £20, IWOOT
Nothing beats the smell of a smoky log fire after a chilly journey home. If you lack the real deal, then Stoneglow has you covered with this impressively authentic autumnal scent. While not as hefty as some of the candles on our list, it is the most beautiful – a glass decorative item in its own right filled with colourful dried leaves and berries. Sweet and creamy vanilla is given depth with a touch of earthy tobacco to create a cosy scent that lasts up to 15 hours. If that's not enough for you, refills are available so you can mix and match scents.
5. Skandinavisk Nordlys: £25, Holloways of Ludlow
If you like your scents invigorating, then this new candle by trendy Scandi brand Skandinavisk will help clear your mind. Designed in Denmark and hand poured into an arty painted glass votive, Nordlys (Norwegian for “northern light” and pronounced “nor-luce”) will bring the mystical qualities of the enchanting aurora to you – no igloos required – for up to 50 hours. If you're looking for a candle to accompany your bubble baths, this clean and soothing scent smells like the ocean with hints of citrus and is a perfect pampering treat.
6. Fornasetti Profumi Armatura: £125, Harrods
For a true statement candle that screams luxury without looking flashy, Fornasetti is the pick of the high-end bunch. The famous brand’s iconic Otto fragrance has been newly repackaged in a lidded ceramic holder decorated with the powerful image of opera singer Lina Cavalieri wearing armour. The gorgeous scent itself is packed full of earthy Mediterranean herbs, calming lavender and smoky cedarwood and smells fabulously opulent. Burning the candle only intensifies the already heady, mystic aroma. Lasts for up to 60 hours but the scent hangs in the air long after blowing it out.
7. M&J London Tbilisi: From £23, M&J
Juicy pomegranate is spiced with tarragon and walnut in this delicious-smelling candle inspired by the friendly Georgian city of Tbilisi loved by M&J's founder. Each one is made from soya wax and hand poured into recycled glass, with £1 from each sale going to a UK-based women’s charity. The gold feathered logo looks strikingly gothic while the price is reasonable for a burn time of 60 hours.
8. Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay: £42, John Lewis
Few things are more autumnal than blackberry picking. Country walks are instant uplifters, but when you’re feeling claustrophobic in the city, this candle is the next best thing with its earthy and deeply evocative blend of tart blackberry juice and fresh bay leaves. The nostalgic scent of dewy woods fills even larger rooms, while the sophisticated cream and black packaging ticks all the right boxes for gift hunters. If you’re off on holiday, try the smaller travel candle for £22.
9. Tatine Juniper: £49, Curious Egg
US-based Tatine prides itself on capturing atmospheric botanical scents, and Juniper is the cream of its enticing selection. Each candle is handcrafted from start to finish in a small Chicago studio and makes use of pure essential oils and vegetable waxes. This dark, foresty scent of wild raspberries, tangy juniper berries and patchouli brings a burst of drama into your home, ideal for creating a seductive mood. Poured into a heavyweight amber glass that looks stunning when glowing, Juniper will appeal to anyone drawn to a touch of glamour.
10. Oliver Bonas Pink Pepper & Gingerwood: £20, Oliver Bonas
For something a little spicier without verging on Christmassy just yet, try this new addition to Oliver Bonas’s attractively-packaged, modern range. Floral notes float upon a woody base with undertones of honey and dashes of citrus, while the natural paraffin wax and cotton wick mean only clean smoke fills the air when it’s burning. This limited-edition candle comes in an understated glass votive, smells good enough to eat and burns for up to 40 hours.
11. Orla Kiely Sixties Stem Mini Candle Gift Set: £26, Ocado
If you simply can't settle on one scent, then a mini collection might be more appealing. This cute set by Orla Kiely brings three of the brand’s popular scents together: Fig Tree, Lavender and Orange Rind together and would make a great gift for a fickle friend. The glass votives are patterned in the recognisable Orla Kiely prints, while the throw is surprisingly impressive for their size. Pure cotton wicks prevent ugly and unhealthy black smoke.
12. Landon Tylor Wild Berries: £13.50, Joy
For candle lovers who favour a sweet, fruity smell, the combination of juicy cranberries and raspberries from new home fragrance brand Landon Tyler could be what you’re after. Hints of wild rose hark back to sunnier days and the high-dosage scent infuses the whole room. The large three-wick candles will be a centrepiece for dinner parties and the size is a steal for the price tag. Try the lovely, slightly more festive Golden Amber and Dark Cashmere scents too.
13. Diptyque La Madeleine: £55, Selfridges
This Parisian brand has long been a favourite of celebrities including a certain Spice Girl-turned fashion designer, and it’s easy to see why. The gorgeous cream porcelain holder hand-dipped in glossy marbled paint is a status symbol in its own right and that’s before you’ve even caught a whiff of the lemon-tinged, biscuity scent reminiscent of freshly baked cake from a posh French café. La Madeleine might cost over £50, but it burns for up to 60 hours and will make you feel like Victoria Beckham for the evening.
14. Byredo Vanquish: £50, Byredo
Housed in a heavy, mouthblown glass, this elegant candle wouldn’t look out of place in a luxury spa. Byredo’s signature black wax and statement white labelling gives it a sultry appeal popular with men, while the fresh rosy scent grows in warmth while burning and takes us back to summer. Hints of sensual ginger and incense set off the floral tones beautifully and infuse the room impressively without being overpowering.
The Verdict: Scented candles for autumn
There's no doubting that Fornasetti has the luxe factor but for all-round, value for money joy, Hopscotch wins our vote. Wax Lyrical impressed us with excellent throw for its size and Stoneglow's arty fish bowl candles would make a stunning addition to any home while Byredo’s classy packaging and high quality wax rivals more established brands like Jo Malone and Diptyque. Happy burning…
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