The best candles to buy – by season and scent

The best candles you can buy, as rated by the Real Homes team, for winter 2022 – and beyond...

Included in this guide:

The best candles graphic – Skandinavisk candle, Floral Street candle, Yankee candle and ESPA candle
(Image credit: Future)

Treating yourself to one of the best candles for burning at home? We can help you decide on a fragrance to suit your preferences, or to mimic the current season. Whether you tend to choose fresh candles or woody scents – perhaps you are searching for the ultimate autumn candle for 2021? It's all here. Plus, we've even managed to get our hands on some of these candles, to light them and test them in our homes so that you can buy rest assured that they smell great and burn evenly. Who says you need to smell a candle in real life before buying it? Not us.

Whether you are buying for a friend's house or to scent your own home, we've compiled a list of the very best scented candles for each and every room inside your home. From your bathroom to your living room and even your bedroom. You can shop candles by season or by scent, or just keep scrolling to browse them all.

Head to our best home fragrance guide for plenty more suggestions – not just candles but reed diffusers, room sprays and more.

The best candles by season

If you are choosing a new candle based on the current season, then see our favourites for autumn, spring, summer and winter below.

Witchy The Moon Tarot Candle for Anxiety & FearReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Witchy)

Witchy The Moon Tarot Candle for Anxiety & Fear

The best candle for autumn

Burn time: 50 hours
Size : 215g
Notes: Ginger, cinnamon & vanilla

Searching for the ultimate candle for autumn 2021? This is it. Made by small brand WitchyHQ, this warming candle can fill an entire room with its impressive fragrance. Plus, it boasts an even burn and can be used right from autumn to the end of winter. 

With welcoming notes of cinnamon, ginger and the warmth of vanilla, this powerful candle will turn heads. We say to light it inside a hallway, bedroom or living room, simply because it's wow-worthy. We love that although it's spicy and autumnal, it's never too heavy – and the cinnamon doesn't take over.

With an FSC-certified wick, it's even made using soy wax and is vegan and cruelty free. Inside the wax sits two ethical crystals that will need to be removed once the wax has melted. It has a total burn time of a whopping 50 hours, plus its lovely design makes it a perfect gift, 

The White Company Fir Tree Candle

(Image credit: The White Company)

The White Company Fir Tree Candle

The best candle for winter

Burn time: 5hrs/18hrs/114hrs/63hrs/63hrs/70hrs/135hrs
Size: 14g/75g/580g/660g/770g/895g/1555g
Notes: Eucalyptus, Pine & Cedar

The White Company's Fir Tree candle is, without a doubt, our best pick for wintertime. Why? It smells like your Christmas tree, but better – and 10 times more fresh.

This Christmassy candle has woody yet fresh notes of pine, eucalyptus and cedar wood. Though wintery, it still manages to give off a slightly ozonic fragrance to leave your rooms smelling fresh. We definitely suggest placing this candle in your living room, otherwise it works great in a hallway to greet your guests with a festive fragrance.

You can buy this candle in several sizes, from 14g tea lights to a whopping 1555g candle. We suggest picking the 585g candle since it has the longest burn time of 114 hours. You can select whether you'd prefer this The White Company candle to come in a glass votive or unhoused and ready to light on a plate.

ESPA Restorative CandleReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: ESPA)

ESPA Restorative Candle

The best candle for spring

Burn time: N/A
Size: 200/g/410g
Notes: Rose, orange, lavender & palmarosa

The hand-poured ESPA Restorative Candle is scented with essential oils and ideal for conjuring up a refreshing atmosphere. Especially in spring time. Whether you want something to burn whilst doing your spring clean or a fresh fragrance to welcome warmer weather, this candle can do the job at hand. We love it.

With both floral and sweet nods, this ESPA candle can fill an entire room, no matter its size. It's fragranced with rose geranium and sweet orange, with the addition of lavender to add a sooting smell, plus palmarosa for good balance. It's never too sweet or too heavy, and you'll find yourself reaching for a match to light it throughout all of spring (and possibly summer, too).

Poured inside a white glass jar with a metal lid for standing atop, this elegantly housed candle is made using natural soy wax and it comes in two sizes – 200g or 410g.

Skandinavisk Lempi CandleReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Skandinavisk)

Skandinavisk Lempi Candle

The best candle for summer

Burn time: 50 hours
Size: 200g
Notes: Peony, rose, strawberries & mosses

We've said it before and we'll say it again: this Skandinavisk candle is one of our top favourites around. It's the perfect floral candle that never takes over a room, giving off just the right amount of fragrance to reach from one corner of a room to the other. Plus, it burns nice and evenly every time. 

The Lempi candle is fragranced using all of the best floral scents, including peonies, roses strawberries and even mosses for good balance. To remind you of summer blooms, even when you might be stuck inside from the lovely British weather. We sometimes find floral scents to be a tad overpowering, but this is never the case with this Scandinavisk candle. In fact, it boasts an impressive throw and is quite nice and subtle.

Poured into a white glass Scandi-style vessel that's made from 30% recyclable materials, this candle even has an FSC-certified wooden lid for keeping dust away. It's made of a Swedish rapeseed wax blend. We think it looks as pretty as it smells.

The best candles by scent

If you already know which type of candle scent you prefer – whether that be floral, woody or fresh – then see our recommendations below.

Best rose scented candle: Baies candle Diptyque

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

Diptyque Baies Scented Candle

The best floral scented candle

Burn time: 20hrs/60hrs/75hrs/90hrs/120hrs
Size: 70g/190g/300g/600g/1.5kg
Notes: Rose

If it's a floral candle you are searching for, perhaps for your bedroom or your living room, then this one from Diptyque gets 5-stars from us. It's rose-based and a little fresh yet zesty. We're with you. The freshness of a rose is very difficult to get right in scent; Diptyque have nailed it, though, by blending this rose with blackcurrant leaves. Versatile...

The Diptyque Baies Scented Candle has a floral scent that's fresh and zesty, and not one bit old-fashioned. It's balanced well with blackcurrAnt leaves so as to ensure it doesn't come off as being too floral. Just be warned: it's strong so we would avoid placing it inside smaller rooms. The smell of this candle really is amazing and it does a superb job of filling an entire room fast.

All Diptyque candles are housed the same – inside a glass jar – with the exception of different labelling. This design is somewhat iconic, with some people using their empty Diptyque candle vessels as pots for their succulents or as a holder for makeup brushes. This candle comes in five sizes, with the largest being a 1.5kg candle. We also love that you can purchase a matching reed diffuser.

Floral Street vanilla bloom candle

(Image credit: Floral Street)

Floral Street vanilla bloom candle

The best vanilla scented candle

Burn time: 40 hours
Size: 200g
Notes: Vanilla

Floral Street fragrances are one of a kind, and their Vanilla Bloom candle is definitely something to shout about. It's warm, creamy and best of all: not too powerful once lit. We think this is a candle you can light at any time of the year, whether during summer on a cold evening, or in the winter for a welcoming effect.

It's fragranced with, you guessed it: vanilla, but also plum for added sweetness, ambroxan to add a musky scent and obviously a hint of crisp amber and cashmere woods for warmth. We sometimes find vanilla fragrances to be too sweet, but rest assured this one is the perfect blend of almost every fragrance family there is. 

This Floral Street fragrance sits inside a yellow glass vessel so as to stand out as much in looks as it does in scent. It arrives inside gorgeous floral packaging, making it ready to gift and receive. As a brand, Floral Street is vegan, cruelty-free, sustainable and all of their products are responsibly made. This scent also comes in the form of a reed diffuser, which we love.

The White Company Wild Mint candle in ceramic white pot by box and mint plant

(Image credit: The White Company)

The White Company Wild Mint

The best herbal scented candle

Burn time: 45 hours
Size: 210g
Notes: Wild mint, tea, peppermint

Another refreshing number on our list, The White Company's Wild Mint is a bestseller for a reason. It's unobtrusive while also being the perfect fresh fragrance for your kitchen.

Its perfectly balanced blend of mint and sweet white tea results in a fragrance that is fresh yet distinctive. This is also a great choice for those who would like something fresh and non-floral for their kitchen. That being said, it also works great in a bathroom or hallway.

Unlike other The White Company candles, this fragrance is housed inside an elegant white ceramic container, with a lid. It would make a very sophisticated addition to your home since it looks lovely (and unobtrusive) on a side.

Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin candle with metal lid and black bow on top

(Image credit: Jo Malone)

Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin

The best citrus candle

Burn time: 18hrs/45hrs/90hrs/220hrs
Size: 60g/200g/600g/2.5kg
Notes: Lime, basil, mandarin

Jo Malone is by now a fragrance giant, and there's nothing quite like the spot-on quality of her home fragrances (to say nothing of the timelessly elegant packaging). This candle in particular is a classic citrus fragrance that is suitable for refreshing any room in the house. 

Lime, Basil, and Mandarin is a classic for a reason: it's the fragrance that is guaranteed to get someone in the room to exclaim, 'Oooh, what's that lovely smell?'. Fresh and zesty, with sweetness from the mandarin. You can light it year-round, and it even works well in a kitchen or bathroom. We're yet to find someone who doesn't like this fragrance.

Poured inside a classic Jo Malone vessel with the signature black bow on top of the lid, this candle is ready for gifting. Simply enough, it's pure luxury from fragrance to presentation. Though we do suggest buying a large size as they burn quite fast.

Best fresh candle: Yankee Candle Large Jar Clean Cotton

(Image credit: Amazon)

Yankee Candle Clean Cotton

The best fresh scented candle

Burn time: 150 hours
Size: 623g
Notes: Clean Cotton

Yankee Candle's Clean Cotton scent gives a clean, even burn thanks to its 100 per cent natural fibre cotton wick, which is straightened and centred by hand for the best quality burn. Though subtle, it's ultra-long burn time means you can light it and use it for hours on end.

Scented using natural essential oils, this candle is so alluring with its sun-dried cotton overtones with hints of white flowers, green notes and lemon. It's subtle yet still lovely – and perfect for using in any room of your home. It smells like fresh washing, essentially.

The classic Yankee jar suits all room schemes and makes an ideal gift for family and friends. Especially since they come in a range of sizes and they're easy on the wallet. We say the bigger the better, so why not go straight for the large 623g jar? Plus, rest assured that the premium-grade paraffin wax gives a clean, consistent burn. 

What to consider when buying a candle

It’s all too easy to be guided by price when it comes to buying a scented candle but the most important things are quality, burn time and fragrance. Think about the scent you want to fill your room with – something soft and subtle, calming and soothing or something that packs a punch? Some lose their smell too quickly so read buyer’s reviews to see what others think of their purchase before you buy. Look for good quality wax and for larger candles, two or three wicks for an even burn.

Soy wax candles are better for your health, as they burn cleaner and produce much less soot than paraffin versions. This helps keep your space pollution-free and is kinder on pets, too as well as avoiding stains building up on walls over time.

And if you want to be able to give a candle as a gift, look for a design that comes in an attractive tin, box or jar with a luxe look. Candles are great accessories for room revamps or bathroom makeovers so choose the packaging carefully.

Annie Collyer
Annie Collyer

Annie joined the Real Homes team in 2018 as our Deals Editor. Now, as our Deputy Ecommerce Editor, she spends her time writing about everything that you need to add to your shopping cart. Whether that be a stylish and functional kitchen bin, luxury towels to give your bathroom a new lease of life or a brilliant mop for keeping your floors sparkling clean. Otherwise, you can find her constantly rearranging the furniture in her space-savvy London flat, searching for sustainable buys, or going on walks with her pug. Next up on her to-do list at home: DIY crittall-style doors...