When you walk into a house, what’s the first thing you notice? You know immediately if someone has been baking tempting treats or if the espresso machine is on. You may smell the freshly cut flowers or laundered clothes. Straight away, you feel at home and your shoulders lower as you take in a deep breath of these welcoming aromas.
Fragrance is an essential part of creating the perfect ambience in your home: it has the ability to lift your mood; help you to relax; and, on a more practical level, mask less pleasant household odours.
Adding atmosphere and light, scented candles come in an array of styles, sizes and fragrances; the perfect solution for making your home smell amazing. In this article, we review 5 of the best scented candles on the market today.
5 Reasons to Use Scented Candles Over Other Home Fragrances
- Scented candles emit light and warmth, complementing the ambience created by the fragrance
- Candles come in a wide variety of designs and sizes, to suit any décor or space
- The range of candle fragrances available is far superior to other home fragrance methods
- Less waste than reed diffusers—fragrance is only released when you choose to light the wick
- Unlike plug-ins, scented candles do not run up the electricity bill and can be placed in the location of your choice
Our 5 Best Scented Candles Reviewed
5. Molton Brown Scented Candles
- Sophisticated fragrances using exotic ingredients from around the globe, blended in England
- Available as single wick or, for a more intense experience, triple wick candles
- Signature coloured glass housing, complete with Molton Brown branding, reflects the candle’s scent
- Presented in a stylish box, perfect for gifting
Placed firmly at the premium end of the market for luxury scented candles, Molton Brown’s products are favoured by many five-star establishments around the world; hardly surprising for a company who pride themselves on sourcing exclusive, quality ingredients from all corners of the globe.
Before you even smell the candle, you know that this is a superior product from the quality presentation box and sophisticated design of the coloured glass housing, both of which coordinate with the fragrance.
If a strong scented candle is required to make an impact or fill a larger area, Molton Brown produce a three-wick version of each scent; at a height of 12cm, diameter of 11.5cm, and containing 480g of wax, these are substantial pieces. However, for a subtler effect or average-sized room, the smaller single wick candles (8.5cm in height and diameter, with a 180g wax fill) are ideal.
One of the standout features of the Molton Brown range of scented candles is the unisex nature of their fragrances. Both the contemporary styling and aromas mean that you would feel confident gifting these to men or women.
While there are some fragrances that tend towards florals, like the new ‘mysteriously romantic’ Rosa Absolute and Dewy Lily of the Valley & Star Anise, others such a Gingerlily and Coco & Sandalwood introduce a touch of spice. Probably the most complex fragrances come from the woody family of Molton Brown scents; Tobacco Absolute is the newest addition to these, with the top note of tobacco being followed by cedarwood and leather accord.
For the kitchen, the citrus burst of Orange & Bergamot sits beautifully, while the sweet and fresh Rhubarb & Rose is a lovely daytime fragrance for throughout the home.
4. Shearer Candles Tin Scented Candles
- Large tins give a burn time of up to 40 hours
- Portable—ideal for holidays or working away
- Can be opened and used at a moment’s notice
- Made by hand, in Scotland
- Small tins make excellent party or wedding favours
Founded in 1897, Shearer Candles has a long history of producing candles, using the finest ingredients. Their tin scented candles offer the experience of quality fragrance in a practical and easy-to-use format. Perfect for taking with you on your travels (or sending with your loved ones), for that comforting reminder of home, these tins come in two, affordable sizes.
The small tins give a note-worthy 20 hours of fragrance, while the large tins offer double this, but still only measure 72mm high and 75mm in diameter – easy to sneak into any suitcase.
Available in both sizes, the fruity Rhubarb & Raspberry and festive Cranberry & Ginger are popular fragrances. The large tins offer a further 8 scents, including the floral Amber & Rose, balancing and relaxing Lavender & Geranium, and the rich Arabian Frankincense & Myrrh. However, if you want something really original, true to their Scottish roots, Shearer have produced the whisky-scented Uisge Beatha (pronounced ish-ga ba-ha).
3. Shearer Candles Tall Pillar Jar Scented Candles
- A variety of original fragrances and combinations, using the finest ingredients
- Handmade in Scotland
- Up to 100 hours of burn time
- Available in 2 sizes, with or without the jar housing
A family business, Shearer provide luxury scented candles to hotels, restaurants and leading retailers, all of which are handmade in Scotland. Pillar candles are available without housing, at a height of 152mm and a diameter of 70mm, ideal if you already have a preferred holder. Alternatively, you can purchase the pillar candle in a jar at a taller 157mm and with a larger diameter of 89mm. Both options have a burn time of up to 100 hours of quality fragrance.
In addition to the 10 fragrances available in the Shearer tin scented candles, the pillars offer a further 5 scents: The fresh, sweet and zingy aromas of Tropical Watermelon and Persian Lime are bound to lift your mood; Hollyberry & Clove and Orange Pomander are a mix of fruit and warming spices; but for a deep, intense fragrance, the tuberose, amber and violets of Amber Noir are exquisite—the black colour of the candle echoing its dark, mysterious essence.
2. Yankee Candle Décor Pillar Scented Candles
- Contemporary glass pillar design with brushed metal lid
- Large pillar candles burn for up to 150 hours
- Available in 3 sizes to suit a range of purposes and budgets
- Choose from an extensive collection of true-to-life fragrances, created to reflect every season and special moments
Yankee Candle are well known for their strong scented candles with true-to-life fragrances. The Décor range of pillar candles, comes in three sizes: small, with a burn time of 35–45 hours; medium, which will provide up to 95 hours of fragrance; and large, which burns for up to 150 hours and stands at an imposing 19cm tall—a real statement piece. All the Yankee pillar candles are single wick and come in a sleek glass tumbler, topped with a brushed metal lid.
As the Yankee Décor pillar candles come in such a wide variety of fragrances, there is something to suit every taste and occasion. Fresh aromas such as Aloe Water and Clean Cotton are at home anywhere in the house, while the vanilla fragrances and White Tea are delicate and relaxing, perfect for a living room.
For a bit of fun, Berry Trifle, Summer Scoop (think homemade strawberry ice-cream) and the coffee and chocolate combination found in Cappuccino Truffle are mouth-wateringly realistic. However, if you fancy creating a more abstract ambience, consider ‘sunset in paradise’ with Black Coconut, or be transported to the sandy dunes, grasses and salty air of Turquoise Sky.
Yankee Candle’s Décor range also includes scents for special occasions: Wedding Day, with its floral and fruity notes, makes an ideal gift for the happy couple; and the festive Christmas Eve is filled with sweet fruits tinged with warming spices and vanilla.
1. Yankee Candle Jar Scented Candles
- Yankee’s signature glass jar design
- Up to 150 hours of burn time with the large jar candle
- Small, medium and large jar candles to suit every pocket and purpose
- Extensive selection of fragrances, including limited editions
Probably the product that people most associate with Yankee, the large jar scented candles contain an impressive 623g wax fill and stand at over 16cm tall. Also available in medium, with a burn time of 65–90 hours, and small which can fragrance for up to 40 hours, there really is a candle to fit every room and budget. Additionally, the small jars can be used to trial a new fragrance, before investing in one of the larger sizes—a bit like buying a tester pot of paint.
The quality of the Yankee candle fragrances is evident through their citing of top, mid and base notes. The new, fresh fragrances of Linden Tree and Wild Mint have proved very popular with Yankee customers, and these sit beside the classic clean fragrances of Fluffy Towels and Baby Powder.
Driftwood is also new to the collection, standing out for its very on-trend taupe colour and aroma of the sea mixed with woody notes. If you would like to fill your home with delicate florals, Cherry Blossom, Fresh Cut Roses and Garden Sweet Pea are very true-to-life. However, if you love the smell of the coffee shop, go for Pain au Raisin during the day; you can always switch to a zingy Passion Fruit Martini in the evening!
The frequent limited editions released by Yankee Candle, mean that you can enjoy a more unique fragrance in your home. Limited edition scents currently include the fun Jelly Bean and, for an even more exclusive fragrance, look out for the US limited editions, too.