Experiencing Christmas should involve all five of the senses – including smell. So what better way to give your home that final festive touch than with a seasonal scented candle?
We burnt each candle to test its burn-time, glow and aroma, with only the most atmospheric and Christmassy offerings making the final cut. From winter berries to spicy orange and from forest pine to frankincense and myrrh, we’ve got all the yuletide scents covered.
1. Neom Perfect Peace (150g): £30, Marks & Spencer
Neom is one of the biggest names in modern scented candles and this elegant blend of lime peel, myrrh and pine is a good reminder of why. It’s fresh, aromatic and opulent and manages to be both calming and uplifting all at the same time.
2. The White Company Winter Signature Candle (140g): £20, The White Company
If ever a candle encapsulated the allure of Christmas, this is it. With a luxurious spicy scent of cinnamon and clove, balanced by refreshing orange, it is also available in two larger, multi-wick offerings, both of which make gorgeous centrepieces. The aroma lingers beautifully, and it burns for 28 hours.
3. Roja Parfums Christmas Eve Candle (220g): £95, Selfridges
This limited edition candle is magnificent, with a captivating infusion of frankincense, rose and sandalwood that seems to boast new subtleties and decadence every time you burn it. The red casing is wonderfully festive.
4. Beefayre Winter Berries Small Scented Candle: £8, Not On The High Street
This offers candle-lovers a great combination of fruit and spice. With a dominant aroma of winter berries and orange blossom – which is balanced by nutmeg and cinnamon – it’s small, but with an impressive 25 hours of burning time. Three per cent of the profits go towards bee conservation.
5. John Lewis Frosted Spruce Candle (220g): £15, John Lewis
This is the smell you get when you first bring your Christmas tree home – the very same aroma as when you walk through a pine forest in winter. It’s beautifully fresh, complemented by earthy hints of black pepper and citrus. Burn time: 40 hours
6. Jo Malone Incense & Embers Home Candle (200g): £42, John Lewis
Jo Malone’s lavish candle has a smoky incense undertone, which is lifted by silver fir and white pepper, and balanced with leather, vetiver and amber. We found it incredibly soothing, and it’s nicely presented with a ribbon on top.
7. Landon Tyler Scent of Christmas (200g): £8, Joy
The moment you get this aptly named candle out of the box, you’ll feel festive. Combining clementines, cloves and Norwegian spruce, it’s the candle equivalent of a big, warm winter’s hug. There’s a larger version for £13.50 – a steal for a decent three-wick candle.
8. Parks Orange Cedarwood and Clove (235g): £30, Parks
The dominant scent of orange, which is subtly balanced by spicy and warming clove and cedarwood, is welcoming and intoxicating – just the ticket for festive visits from friends and relatives. The natural wax is exceptional quality. Burn time: 50 hours.
9. Cocolux Fig Orange and Clove (350g): £60, Selfridges
Unusually, this Australian brand’s rich scented candles are made from coconut wax, while the decadent jars are made from pure copper and brass. This one has a sexy, sophisticated and complex fragrance that draws people subconsciously into the room.
10. National Gallery Monet Snow Scene At Argenteuil Scented Candle: £15, National Gallery
The decorative gift box – which is inspired by Claude Monet’s Snow Scene at Argenteuil – makes this one stand out from the crowd, and the candle itself doesn’t disappoint, somehow capturing the crispness and freshness of a wonderful winter’s walk in British countryside, largely thanks to the lily of the valley, white jasmine and winter rose. Burn time: 36 hours.
11. Wax Lyrical Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh: £18, Wax Lyrical
Lots of candle companies have tried and failed with this biblical combination, but this large three-wick candle actually does it surprisingly well, despite the relatively low price tag. The notes of caramel, vanilla and soft jasmine mean it’s on the sweet side, though, so it’s not for everyone. It’ll burn for around 75 hours.
12. Abalon Star Christmas Cake Pudding: £30, Abalon Star
This candle is hand-made by the artist Ana Bridgewater and comes in a graceful porcelain tub, with golden lip design. The combination of almond, raspberry and strawberry notes smell so good that you’ll be struggling not to dig in a spoon.
13. Petits Rituels By The Fire (200g): £36, Not On The High Street
Create a wintry ambience in your home with this deliciously seasonal aroma of spicy cinnamon and clove, combined with zesty orange and lemongrass. It’s not overpowering, like many scented candles, and burns for up to 40 hours.
14. Willow & Honey Spiced Orange Candle: £32, Willow & Honey
This has a warming aroma that blends citrus with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Made from all-natural soy wax, it burns beautifully and is just the ticket for cold winter evenings – and it comes in a nice jazzy box too. Burn time: up to 50 hours.
15. Culti Milano Ebano Scented Candle (235g): £47.95, Harrods
Housed in a chic varnished silver jar – that turns champagne gold when it’s lit – this classy candle wouldn’t look out of place in a luxury spa. It somehow manages to combine the essence of winter walks in the woods with a hint of fireside warmth, thanks to the notes of sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli and freesia. Burn time: 40 hours.
The Verdict: Christmas scented candles
Roja wins hands-down on the overall luxury factor, but Neom Perfect Peace does better on value-for-money festive indulgence, in our opinion. John Lewis Frosted Spruce Candle was the most fresh-smelling Christmas candle we tried, while for rich, spicy fragrance to cosy up your home as the nights draw in, we completely fell in love with Willow and Honey Spiced Orange Candle.
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