I’m getting in the holiday spirit more and more as the days go by! Burning warm and cozy home scents are one of the best ways to put me in the mood for the holiday season so I’m rounding up my favorites. Many are these are same tried and true year over year. I tend to stick to a few brands because I’ve ordered some sight unseen (they weren’t available near me) and while I’ve had mostly hits I had a few misses which made my wallet grouchy enough to shy away from trying too many new brands.
Diptyque always has the most beautiful offerings each Christmas season. I just bought the holiday Legende Du Nord Candle Set in the minis but will review in a separate post if you’re interested! Each year they make the best Pine scented candle called Sapin that is fresh and green, but not too green. This year they have the Sapin de Lumiere Candle with Room Spray in a set.
The carousels have been launched a few times past holidays, but this is the first time it seriously caught my eye. The full-size has restocked and sold out several times but the small one in the Carousel and Candle Set can still be easily found. I absolutely love it! It comes with the smaller size to fit the 2.4 oz candles and the set comes with Tubereuse and Baies. The heat from the flame makes the carousel twirl and I’ve been playing with it non-stop since I bought it.
Out of all the questions I receive, the ones I probably receive the most are, “what are your favorite Diptyque scents?” and “which one do I need to try first?” I haven’t come across one I didn’t like, but I have not tried them all. Someday I hope to. If you haven’t tried the brand before I 100% recommend you buy either the 5 Piece Mini Set or 10 Piece Mini Set. They come with miniatures in 35 g which give you just enough burn time to sample the scents.
My favorite picks change based on season. I always have back ups on hand as I burn through a lot. For fall to winter my most-burned through candles are Baies, Vanille, Ambre and Noisetier. I have several of the size options below to show scale and variation:
Byredo is another brand I have so much love for. I asked Andrew for the Woods candle for Valentine’s Day and I’ve been rationing it to make it last longer, lol! Notes include raspberry, jasmine, Tuscan Leather, ambroxan and white cedarwood. I love the mix of the fruit, floral and cedar for an earthy mix. To me this is better than the traditional firewood or wood scents. For fall I absolutely love Tree House. I visited the Byredo store in Soho for the first time last year and this was burning in their store. Notes include bamboo, pimento, hay, labdanum and leather. It’s so hard for me to describe but it has a good leather + sandalwood mix.
New this season is Chai which is the perfect Masala Chai scent. I don’t think I’ve ever burned anything chai scented in my home and this one smells just like the perfect spicy chai tea latte. It does have a very seasonal feel to it, so if you want something more neutral I’d opt for Woods or Tree House.
For this season they’ve brought back the minis! You can buy a few of them individually or in a 3-box set with La Selection Violette Mini Candle Trio with Fleur Fantome, Bibliotheque and Burning Rose or La Selection Bois with Bohemia, Cotton Poplin and Tree House. With the minis I was gifted a set and am so excited to burn through them. I’ve bought and used up Bibliotheque and Fleur Fantome before. This was my first time trying Burning Rose.
Burning Rose is one I have not yet burned, it smells like a smoky leather with rose notes
Bibliotheque has peach, plum, violet, peony, patchouli, leather and vanilla, to me it smells similar to the Bal D’Afrique perfume
Fleur Fantome is a soft floral with rhubarb, lemon, violet, tulip, galbanum, heliotrope and suede
Lumira is another brand that I’ve had a long love affair with. The Tahitian Coconut is the best coconut and the Persian Rose is the best rose in my humble opinion. The line is based in Australia but their website does offer international shipping. This year they recently launched at Barneys New York in the US and Selfridges in the UK so if you have a store near you I’d recommend checking them out. It’s rare that I like all the scents in a brand but with Lumira, Almira the founder has created exquisite variations in every single candle.
For the holiday season she launched Nuit de Noel which smells like Christmas. Notes include black pepper, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, aniseed, pear, cumin, rose, lavender, coriander, clary sage, oriental, amber, labdanum, sandalwood, tonka bean, cedarwood, patchouli. I really adore her accessories. She has the prettiest Glass Dome (shown below) along with the best Wick Trimmer I’ve tried (it has an angle which makes it easier to get into smaller jars without tilting the trimmer part) and a Candle Snuffer which I’ve never invested in before but am really happy to own one.
Many of you love classics from Jo Malone and Le Labo. I’ve burned through a few scents in each line but still keep going back to Diptyque and Byredo. From Jo Malone right now I’m burning Wood Sage and Sea Salt which is a nice option for fall if you don’t want your house to smell like cinnamon, pine or spice. From Le Labo the Santal Candle is my favorite for a strong sandalwood kind of scent, notes include amber, coco, vanilla, cedar, spices, musk and sandalwood. I bought the Violet Grey x Le Labo Santal candle and stocked up when it was in stock. It’s the same as the clear glass version just with black glass.
Senreve Mini Maestra (c/o) shown above. I still really love it! Full review here. I’m also ecstatic I found peonies at Whole Foods!
Cire Trudon is my most expensive splurge for candles. One of my readers messaged me on a weekly basis for months urging me to buy Ernesto. I finally did and there is no going back. It’s one of the best ones out there. I know scent is so personal but so many of you have told me you also love this. It has a masculine vibe with notes of leather and tobacco. Because it’s so expensive I’ve only burned through a small handful of these (and a few minis). Sometimes they’ll do this one in special packaging so I bought the Rose Gold Ernesto which is a little more pricey but really beautiful. Notes include rum, grapefruit, bergamot, clove, oak wood, patchouli, labdanum, tobacco, moss, leather and amber.
The entire line is available at a local store near me and I smell them all every time I visit. Nazareth is the most Christmas-like smelling candle I’ve ever smelled. I really want to buy their Six Candle as well but the steep price tag is pretty hard to justify.
Other brands that I love that are more affordable and have great gift options include Nest Fragrances and Henri Bendel. The Nest Fragrances Holiday candle is a classic that comes in a wide range of size options. I’ve tried several of the mini ones and the throw is pretty impressive! For the sizes the prices are very reasonable. Henri Bendel makes some really amazing options for the price and the scents are nice – not overly sweet or saturated. Their Vanilla Bean is one of the best not-too-sweet vanillas I’ve ever burned.
For those who cannot burn candles, diffusers and room sprays are nice alternatives. I haven’t tried many diffusers although I have loved the ones from Antica Farmacista. In terms of room sprays Molton Brown makes amazing ones. Andrew is obsessed with the Coco and Sandalwood one. Diptyque also makes some amazing ones, unfortunately if you’re in the US you don’t have easy access to all the scents, but I’m happy they have at least a few. I’ve been drooling over the Byredo ones for months now but haven’t taken the plunge to splurge. Putting it on my Christmas Wish List though!
For me, a key accessory for candle care is a wick trimmer. You can definitely use your regular scissors but having one just for candles is nice because the tip is beveled so you can cut the wick straight. It also prevents your scissors from getting burnt remnants on them and the tip catches the cut off end.
The Diptyque Wick Trimmer has been one of the best things I’ve ever bought but I think Lumira makes a better one. It’s sleeker and the angle of the wick trimmer makes it easier to trim wicks straight. Also the angle of the handle makes it easier to hold for me. I never felt the need to invest in a candle snuffer but Lumira sent over their Candle Snuffer and I think it’s really nice.
I hope you enjoyed this holiday candle roundup! With all the options out there I think mini sets are the best way to sample candles, especially if you can’t smell them all in person. It can be overwhelming with all the options out there. I think it’s nice to treat yourself to a small handful at a time. They set the mood for the home in such a nice way.
I’ve linked the accessories shown in the post in case you want to know the details of the trays, books and lights for your own home decor. What are your favorite holiday candles?
Press samples include Byredo Mini Trio and all Lumira products shown. Senreve Bag also gifted. All other items purchased by me.