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11 best tomato-scented candles and fragrances that will transport you to leafy allotments

Sharp, earthy and delicious, we really dig these products

Viola Levy
Monday 31 January 2022 11:18
<p>Get into the greenhouse trend with the cream of the crop </p>

Get into the greenhouse trend with the cream of the crop

Tomatoes are sexy – who knew? While many of us associate the smell of tomatoes with a Greek salad, tomato-leaf scents are in another league entirely, and definitely worth sniffing out.

They’re part of a family of green, earthy fragrances that make for an interesting and bewitching alternative to your typical floral fare. Tomato leaves, as any keen gardener will tell you, combine the sharp sweetness of the fruit with a bittersweet, fuzzy greenness that conjures images of walks through the woods and slow Sunday afternoons pottering about on the allotment.

At the same time, tomato-leaf scents can be just as glamorous and sensual as their floral counterparts, especially when combined with warm, wintery notes like berries and spices, or fresh summery citrus accords. If you’re looking for a nature-inspired home scent that also has a spring in its step, these candles and perfumes tick all the boxes.

How we tested

We wanted a fragrance that was versatile and complex, and which used this note in new and unusual ways – yet was also pleasant to have in the home or on our wrists, rather than just “quirky”. We wanted it to have fantastic “throw” (how a candle fills a room), yet didn’t want it to feel like we’d been trapped in a greenhouse. We also tested scents for “wow factor”, noting how much they boosted our mood.

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The best tomato-scented candles and fragrances for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Boujee Bougies succulent: £55, Boujeebougies.com
  • Best for warmth and subtle spice – The Muses tonic candle: £28, Themuseslondon.co.uk
  • Best statement candle – Ligne Blanche Paris Andy Warhol tomato leaf perfumed candle: £45, Fenwick.co.uk
  • Best for dinner-party elegance – Jo Malone London green tomato vine townhouse candle: £90, Jomalone.co.uk
  • Best for pretty, feminine florals – Les Senteurs arbour candle: £48, Lessenteurs.com
  • Best straight-up tomato-leaf scent – Loewe tomato leaves candle: £69, Perfumesloewe.com
  • Best for eco brownie points – Earl of East greenhouse soy wax candle: £50, Earlofeast.com
  • Best for bringing the garden in – The Greenhouse Thomas street candle: £9.99, Pittfarminteriors.co.uk
  • Best first perfume for teenage boys  – Calvin Klein ck in2u him: £21, Boots.com
  • Best glamorous evening scent – Miller Harris la feuille: £160, Millerharris.com
  • Best for quirky continental glamour – Memo Paris Italian leather: £225, Harveynichols.com

Boujee Bougies succulent: £55, Boujeebougies.com

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

This maverick candle brand has a professional perfumer and fragrance expert at the helm, so you know the resulting scents are going to be pretty special. And this one certainly was – the perfume equivalent of walking into one of those lovely garden shops that also sells cosmetics and other nice knick-knacks. This had a lovely “soapy” smell – not the clinical kind, but more of the nostalgic sort, like when you hold a brightly coloured pebble of hand soap up to your nose. It blended beautifully with the tomato leaf and luscious green cactus notes. As our tester is normally the kiss of death when it comes to house plants, they found that this candle imbued their home with a similar vibe without having to worry about it getting enough water and sunlight. With a decent throw, it’s bright, cheery and gloriously green.

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The Muses tonic candle: £28, Themuseslondon.co.uk

Best: For warmth and subtle spice

Rating: 7/10

While this contains a hefty helping of rich aromatic basil and spicy clove, the tomato leaf holds its own nicely in the concoction – given added sparkle with zesty notes of chilled citrus peel. If you’re a fan of sandalwood, this includes all the enveloping warmth and sensual smoky depth you’d expect from this ingredient, with the tomato leaf adding a spiky green dimension. The candle is a natural blend of soy, rapeseed, coconut and beeswax, while the handmade brass container brings added charm. It gives a room a warm, cosy ambience, without being too strong or suffocating.

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Ligne Blanche Paris Andy Warhol tomato leaf perfumed candle: £45, Fenwick.co.uk

Best: Statement candle

Rating: 8/10

OK, we confess, we were drawn to this candle because of the jar, which quite frankly is a stroke of genius, taking Andy Warhol’s iconic tomato soup can and turning it into an intriguing object d’art. Not only does it fit the tomato scent theme perfectly, but it makes for a beautiful keepsake once you’ve burned through the candle, whether as a pen holder or mini plant pot. The scent inside isn’t bad either – the tomato note is deftly woven into a fresh, herbal bouquet of mint and basil. It practically sings out of the jar, as an ideal antidote to city life.

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Jo Malone London green tomato vine townhouse candle: £90, Jomalone.co.uk

Best: For dinner-party elegance

Rating: 9/10

Normally scented candles can clash with whatever food you’re cooking, or are designed to cut through strong smells such as garlic. But we’ve found an unexpected benefit to this tomato candle: our tester lit it while they were cooking a tomato-infused dish and found it combined and enhanced the scent of the meal superbly. The velvety rich greenness of the tomato plant had a whiff of aromatic herbs, reminiscent of the brand’s most famous scent of lime, basil and mandarin, which fans of Jo Malone are sure to appreciate. The perfect scent to create some dinner party ambience, plus the textured ceramic jar, makes for a chic table centrepiece.

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Les Senteurs arbour candle: £48, Lessenteurs.com

Best: For pretty, feminine florals

Rating: 8/10

If your living space is in need of an uplifting floral ambience, this cheery concoction from luxury perfume boutique Les Senteurs is just the olfactory ticket. The scent was inspired by an old photograph of a childhood family friend of the brand’s founder, who is pictured reclining in a garden with a halo of flowers suspended from the tree above her head. The scent inside is soft, feminine and floral, opening with a blend of roses and fresh lemon, while the tomato-leaf heart is a tribute to the beauty of the countryside, complemented by a mossy green accord and backed by rich notes of lilac and lily of the valley. The bouquet is charming yet also very glamorous, meaning you can burn this throughout the day, right through to the evening.

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Loewe tomato leaves candle: £69, Perfumesloewe.com

Best: Straight-up tomato-leaf scent

Rating: 9/10

As the name suggests, this makes no bones about being a tomato-leaf scent, and it puts this note front and centre. It captures all the fuzzy, aromatic greenness of a tomato leaf crushed between your fingers while cassis berries imbue it with added richness. But the star of the show has to be the candle holder – which is like a mini sculpture in itself. Yes the scent is beautiful and packs enough punch to warrant the luxury price tag, but our tester was seriously mesmerised by this rich, tomato red earthenware pot with delicate ridges, as if it were freshly spun on a potter’s wheel.

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Earl of East greenhouse soy wax candle: £50, Earlofeast.com

Best: For eco brownie points

Rating: 7/10

This candle from hippie Hackney brand Earl of East is made from a blend of soy wax, creating a much cleaner burn than you get with commonly used paraffin. All the raw materials are sourced sustainably from ethical suppliers (they don’t contribute to deforestation, while the farmers are fairly compensated). But what of the scent itself? Inspired by the brand’s founder’s childhood roaming his grandparents’ garden in Northern Greece, it combines sweet vine tomatoes with aromatic notes of parsley seed and basil. After burning for a few hours, our tester felt like they embarked on a Shirley Valentine-style escape to a Mediterranean island, breathing in the fresh country air while gazing onto an endless sunny coastline.

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The Greenhouse Thomas street candle: £9.99, Pittfarminteriors.co.uk

Best: For bringing the garden in

Rating: 7/10

Scented candles, although incredibly luxurious, usually aren’t cheap. Our testers are constantly scouring the beauty shelves for candles that deliver bang for their buck. For less than a tenner, this candle – a blend of paraffin and soy wax – imbues the home with the richness of tomato leaves combined with sharp, punchy notes of rhubarb, while a base of calming, earthy sage adds depth and richness, like having a little herb garden in your living room. Sage is also renowned in aromatherapy for reducing stress, so it’s an ideal candle to burn when you’re feeling a little frazzled.

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Calvin Klein ck in2u him: £21, Boots.com

Best: First perfume for teenage boys

Rating: 8/10

Effortlessly cutting edge without being too OTT, Calvin Klein makes perfect starter scents for teenagers. Our tester found this one to be reminiscent of their beloved bottle of CKone given to them as a 13th birthday present – fresh and modern, but without smelling like something your parents might wear. Whether you’ve just hit your teens or are a fully-fledged adult, the soft musks at the heart of this scent make for the perfect post-gym spritz. The tomato-leaf notes add some subtle depth and prevent this light-as-a-feather scent from floating away altogether.

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Miller Harris la feuille: £160, Millerharris.com

Best: Glamorous evening scent

Rating: 10/10

Miller Harris is known for its rich smoky and earthy scents, and this memorable creation is no exception. The sharp notes of the tomato leaf are enhanced with soft cedarwood, sweet blackcurrant and a mossy green note called galbanum. Enveloping, unisex and highly distinctive (the tomato leaf and blackcurrant seem to make magic together) this is British perfumery at its best – just doing its own marvellous thing and not trying to compete with its glamorous continental cousins.

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Memo Paris Italian leather: £225, Harveynichols.com

Best: For quirky continental glamour

Rating: 9/10

This concoction combines all the charm of the Italian Dolce Vita and evokes the spirit of speeding along the Amalfi coastline in a shiny Ferrari. It has leather notes in spades, which gives it a somewhat “Marmite” quality – you’ll either love it or run for the nearest open window. Our tester found the tomato leaf complemented the bouquet well, adding some rich, tangy sweetness combined with intoxicating vanilla absolute. This warmed up beautifully on the skin, with the greenness of the tomato leaf echoed by mossy notes of galbanum and aromatic sage, while sandalwood and spicy balsam delivered a comforting warmth (the luxurious, expensive-smelling kind).

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The verdict: Best tomato leaf scents

If tomato leaf is a note you already love and are familiar with, then the Loewe tomato leaf or Jo Malone London green tomato vine townhouse candles are no-brainers (the clue is in the name after all!). But if you’re on the lookout for something unique and unusual, Boujee Boujis succulent is a beguiling number guaranteed to please most scented-candle fans, green-fingered or not. It had enough complexity and depth to keep us interested, using the tomato leaf in an original way, while the “soapy” accord makes for a highly addictive concoction.

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