The best winter-scented candles

Sweet, spicy, woody or green — whatever your favourite cold-weather scent, you’re sure to find it captured in our list of the best scented candles for winter and Christmas

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It probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that we here at Real Homes have embraced the concept of hygge — that Danish word that conjures up a cosy, homely, friendly feeling so evocative it can’t be pinned down in English — with both arms. And if you don’t have the budget to add sheepskin rugs to every room, or the will to hibernate from October until March, there’s one very easy thing you can do to capture that sensation: light some candles.

But while a flickering candle alone can instantly bump up the cosy factor of any room, in the colder months, we like to go that little bit further and find one that’ll also fill our space with a beautiful scent. Most wintery scents are variations on a theme of warming spices, usually cinnamon and cloves; bright citrusy notes such as orange or mandarin; and occasionally exotic woods like sandalwood for a more savoury twist.

However, if you’re not a fan of sweeter and more warming scents, and prefer your home with just a hint of fragrance that isn’t at odds with the weather outside, look for something that uses wintery woods, evergreens such as spruce or pine to bring the outdoors in and keep things fresh.

With brands such as Yankee Candles being the obvious go-to choice for candles, be careful to make sure you like the scent before opting for the large jar candles as they can be quite pricey and some scents are an acquired taste. Our tip? These types of brands offer great candle miniatures to enable you to trial the scent for a snip of the price before taking the plunge with larger candles, so if you're not sure, try a tealight or votive version first.

Whatever you're leaning towards, keep reading for our selection of the best winter scented candles to get your rooms winter-ready.

1. The White Company Winter Signature Candle

Make this wonderful White Company candle your signature scent this winter

Specifications
Best for: All-rounder
Burn time: 35 hours
Scent: Cinnamon, clove and orange
Reasons to buy
+ Subtle design isn’t just for winter + Mix of warming spice and citrus 
Reasons to avoid
- Smaller than in recent years 

A perennial favourite, this White Company candle tops wishlists time and time again with its beautifully balanced scent and unmistakable elegance. With its subtle, minimal design, it will fit in nicely with any coffee table or bedroom scheme, not looking so wintry that it can’t be used year ‘round to add a touch of warmth to grey days. With warm cinnamon and clove, with a good dose of mood-brightening zesty orange, it’s just the thing for curling up in your favourite chair. 

2. NEOM Christmas Wish Candle

This beautifully sweet-smelling candle is sure to set a festive scene

Specifications
Best for: Christmas Eve
Burn time: 35 hours
Scent: Mandarin, cinnamon and tonka bean
Reasons to buy
+ Looks fantastic, very festive + Sweet, comforting scent 
Reasons to avoid
- On the pricier side 

This organic candle’s beautiful votive, depicting a street scene on a starry night in on-trend copper, is certain to be the subject of admiring looks at your next holiday get-together, but it’s just as wonderful kept all to yourself. The warming spicy scent, with bright bursts of mandarin and sweet tonka, is reminiscent of Christmas cake, and thanks to NEOM’s expert aromatherapy-inspired blends, it’s sure to leave you feeling serene whether you’re entertaining or home alone. 

3. Yankee Candle Winter Glow Jar Candle - Large

A fresh and bright alternative to the traditional winter candle

Specifications
Best for: Unique scent
Burn time: 110 hours
Scent: Green, fresh
Reasons to buy
+ Alternative to traditional winter scents + Subtle enough to burn all through the house 
Reasons to avoid
- Some have found it too subtle 

People have found it difficult to pin down what it is that makes the scent of Winter Glow so appealing, but the general consensus is that it gives the impression of a walk in the woods on a crisp, cold day. Subtle enough to keep burning all day in communal spaces, it freshens rather than smothers with evergreen woods, herbaceous notes, and a warm ambery heart. If you like the cosy feel of a candle in winter, but find traditionally wintry scents like soft fruits and spices cloying, this is just the thing. 

4. Diptyque Pomander Scented Candle

The ultimate luxury candle makes a great gift for your most fabulous friend

Specifications
Best for: Luxury gift
Burn time: 60 hours
Scent: Orange, cloves and cinnamon
Reasons to buy
+ Iconic design is great for gifting + Distinctive scent; strong but not overpowering 
Reasons to avoid
- Quite expensive 

The instantly recognisable label of Diptyque’s candles are almost as much of a treat as their expertly blended scents, making the whole package a wonderful luxury gift with which to treat a friend or loved one (or yourself). Reviewers found that the scent was noticeable and distinctive, but never overpowering, with some even likening it to a stronger version of the White Company’s Winter Signature candle. 

5. Shearer Candles Frankincense and Myrrh Large Scented Gold Tin Candle - Burgundy

An excellent value candle with good looks and a grown-up scent

Specifications
Best for: Budgets
Burn time: 40 hours
Scent: Frankincense and myrrh
Reasons to buy
+ Great value buy + Grown-up scent 
Reasons to avoid
- Even a “large” isn’t very large 

Fans of oriental perfumes or colognes will fall in love with this Far East-inspired scented candle. With frankincense and myrrh as its chief notes, backed up by precious woods and spices, this Shearer Candles offering veers away from the sweetness that, in many festive candles, can prove a little sickly, offering instead a musky, sensuous, very grown-up scent. Best of all, it’s fantastic value, with a lovely tin. 

6. Village Candle Spiced Pumpkin 16oz Medium Candle Jar

Take your cue from Starbucks with this home-warming sweet and spicy candle

Specifications
Best for: Autumn and winter
Burn time: 85 hours
Scent: Pumpkin and spices
Reasons to buy
+ ‘Throws’ scent well + Burns for a long time 
Reasons to avoid
- May be too sweet for some 

Lovers of Starbucks’ infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte (or PSL, to those in the know) are sure to find this candle utterly divine. Packed with sweetness and warming spices, it’s a luscious gourmand scent that’ll fill a kitchen or living room with homely goodness thanks to its considerable size and extra-long burning time. But why wait for winter? This warming candle is lovely for autumn use, too. For anyone who loves Yankee Candles, but doesn't love their price tags, this brand offers the best cheaper alternatives.

7. Stoneglow Gel Tumbler Candle - Winter Spice

This gel candle is packed with fruits, herbs and spices for a centrepiece-ready finish

Specifications
Best for: Design
Burn time: 15 hours
Scent: Oriental spices and sandalwood
Reasons to buy
+ Makes a lovely centerpiece  + Exotic spicy scent 
Reasons to avoid
- Doesn’t give off much scent 

This gel candle from Stoneglow has the rare distinction of looking just as beautiful as it smells, with fruits, berries, herbs and a glamorous little touch of gold suspended in the clear gel. Even when not in use, it makes a fine centrepiece for a festive meal or placed on a hallway console to welcome guests, but when lit, it gives off a lovely warm scent of Far East spices and exotic sandalwood. A small winter scented candle with a pretty exterior.