My home must smell cosy at all times—these are the 13 Christmas candles that *really* deliver this year

I'm already burning them

Vintage photo of a Christmas tree in a home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's no secret that I'm a candle snob—and this trait of mine is particularly prominent when it comes to Christmas candles. If a candle doesn't smell luxurious, doesn't have a decent throw and doesn't win me compliments from guests, I don't want to know about it. I like my winter candles to ooze comforting, cosy vibes without playing into any festive gimmicks, and this makes Christmas candles a tricky purchase to navigate.

Luckily, as a part of my job as a beauty editor with a specialty in all things fragrance, I get to test out almost every Christmas candle out there. Throughout autumn, I have filled my flat with some truly stand-out festive scents, along with some truly nauseating ones. For me, Christmas is a time to lean into those warming, homely sort of candles that make you want to stay inside all day long. As a result, I typically steer clear of anything too headache-inducing, meaning those sort of artificial-smelling candles that tend to have names like 'sugared cinnamon bake' have no place in my home. Instead, I lean toward luxury candles that walk the line between festive cosiness and expensive-smelling timelessness expertly.

So, after what feels like a lifetime of testing (although it's realistically been about two months), I can confidently say these are the 13 best Christmas candles for 2023.

1. Diptyque Délice

Diptyque Delice Christmas candle

(Image credit: Diptyque)

Diptyque Délice Classic Candle


Key notes: Dried fruit, vanilla
Burn time: Up to 60 hours

You know when I mentioned I don't like sickly-sweet Christmas candles? Délice is a stand-up example of how you can achieve a scent that is sweet, spicy and festive while keeping things fresh and light. It is an absolute feat. The best way I can describe it? The smell of a Danish pastry warming up in the oven, simmering mulled wine and freshly washed laundry all rolled into one.

2. Jo Loves Christmas Trees

Jo Malone Black Friday Deals: Jo Loves Christmas Tree Candle

(Image credit: Jo Loves)

Jo Loves Christmas Trees Home Candle


Key notes: Pine, lavender, incense, amber
Burn time: 37.5 hours

There is, in my humble opinion (and the opinion of every beauty editor I know), no candle that smells more like a real Christmas tree than this one from Jo Loves. It's fresh, piney and totally sense-clearing—like taking a long walk in a pine forest on the crispest winter's day. 

3. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Jasmin d'Hiver

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Jasmin d'Hiver Christmas Candle

(Image credit: Maison Francis Kurkdjian)

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Jasmin d'Hiver Scented Candle


Key notes: Jasmine, mango
Burn time: 58 hours

Unlike every other candle on this list, this one from Maison Francis Kurkdjian doesn't boast any overtly 'festive' notes—but that doesn't make it any less perfect for Christmas. Predominantly, it's a powdered, floral jasmine scent, but somehow through what I can only call a stroke of pure genius, that jasmine comes across icy and snowy. If you prefer to steer clear of festive gimmicks, trust me when I say you won't regret a penny of this expense.

4. Beauty Pie Bitter Orange & Blackcurrant

Beauty Pie Bitter Orange & Blackcurrant Christmas candle

(Image credit: Beauty Pie)

Beauty Pie Bitter Orange & Blackcurrant Candle


Key notes: Lemon, grapefruit, orange citrus, blackcurrant, clove, nutmeg, chilli
Burn time: 60 hours

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If you're into candles that smell like mulled fruits and spices, this one is for you. It packs a spicy punch that fills a room effortlessly—like the most potent smelling orange peel you can possibly imagine, mixed with clove, nutmeg and chilli. But it achieves that without coming across as synthetic and fabricated, thanks to a woody smokiness that dances around it all.

5. Bamford Geranium

Bamford Geranium Christmas Candle

(Image credit: Bamford)

Bamford Geranium Christmas Candle


Key notes: Geranium, peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender
Burn time: 4 hours

The most surprising and, arguably, impressive Christmas candle to come my way this year was this one from Bamford. I didn't think it was going to be festive enough for me—with sense-clearing notes that I feared would seem too botanical. However, I eat my hat. With peppermint and eucalyptus, it has an outdoorsy freshness that makes you feel like you're meandering through a frost-bitten garden on Christmas morning.

6. Jo Malone London Orange Bitters

Jo Malone London Orange Bitters Christmas Candle

(Image credit: Jo Malone London)

Jo Malone London Orange Bitters Scented Candle


Key notes: Sweet orange, bitter orange, sandalwood
Burn time: 45 hours

Look, I'm going to be honest with you here—the Jo Malone London candle I really wanted to include on this list was Ginger Biscuit. But it seems I'm not alone in my love for it, and it has subsequently sold out online. However, the brand's iconic Orange Bitters has returned for another year, and it's looking cuter than ever with its little striped bow on top. If you haven't experienced Orange Bitters before, it's zesty and warming with a dose of freshness that makes you want to keep it burning all day long.

7. Neom Christmas Wish

Neom Christmas Wish Candle

(Image credit: Neom)

Neom Christmas Wish Candle


Key notes: Mandarin, cinnamon, tonka bean
Burn time: 35 hours

Neom Christmas Wish isn't here to mess around. Truthfully, it's actually a bit too strong for me, and I prefer to light it in short bursts. However, its beauty can't be ignored, so I think it's important I include it on this list for those of you who want sugar, spice and all things nice IV'd into them come December. It's an assault of cinnamon, citrus and creamy tonka that I don't think can be compared to anything else—it's a year-on-year classic that, despite its unrivalled throw, I don't seem to tire of.

8. Carrière Frères Siberian Pine & Candied Ginger

Carriere Freres Siberian Pine & Candied Ginger Christmas Candle

(Image credit: Carriere Freres)

Carrière Frères Siberian Pine & Candied Ginger Scented Candle


Key notes: Siberian pine, candied ginger
Burn time: 40-45 hours

If you haven't tried Carrière Frères candles before, know that they're probably my favourites. This Christmas, the brand has released a trio of Siberian pine candles. Each one is as beautiful as the next, and I truly struggled to choose only one favourite. In the end, this one came out on top. It has the fresh, green, woodiness of pine, but with a sweetened dash of ginger that takes me right back to childhood Christmases spent sat on my Grandma's knee, next to the Christmas tree, while she munched away on ginger brittle.

9. Diptyque Coton

Diptyque Coton Christmas candle

(Image credit: Diptyque)

Diptyque Coton Scented Candle


Key notes: Bergamot, violet leaf, ylang-ylang, iris, musk, tonka bean
Burn time: 60 hours

Honestly, I only wanted to include one Diptyque candle on this list, but I had to give the brand a special shout out for switching things up a bit this year. While the iconic green, Sapin candle returns for another year, 2023's 'blue' candle is a cotton-inspired scent—and it is beyond perfect. It's so good that I would like a mammoth-sized version to burn all year. It is fresh and linen-y, but it has a shimmering, snow-like touch that I can't compare to anything out there. 

10. Earl of East Smoke & Musk

Earl of East Smoke & Musk Christmas Candle

(Image credit: Earl of East)

Earl of East Smoke & Musk Soy Wax Candle


Key notes: Green balsam fir, wood smoke, patchouli
Burn time: 35-40 hours

While this one isn't marketed strictly as a Christmas candle, let me tell you that it is perfect for the festive season. It's deep, smoky and rich, but the addition of fir makes it forest-like and undeniably comforting. It's like holing up for Christmas in a woods-surrounded cabin with nothing but It's A Wonderful Life playing on the TV.

11. Santa Maria Novella Pot Pourri

Santa Maria Novella Pot Pourri Christmas Candle

(Image credit: Santa Maria Novella)

Santa Maria Novella Pot Pourri Scented Candle


Key notes: Bergamot, bitter orange, laurel, cloves, lavender, rosemary, thyme, cedarwood, patchouli, Peru balm
Burn time: Up to 45 hours

Another candle that isn't strictly just for Christmas, but I think should be. Pot Pourri is, despite its name, unlike anything I've smelled before. It's resinous, balmy and herbal, a bit like—dare I say it—Tiger Balm, but it has an expensive, luxurious edge that will have every guest asking after it. With notes of orange and bergamot ribboned throughout, it has a Christmassy vibe that I can't get enough of.

12. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Mon Beau Sapin Candle

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Mon Beau Sapin Candle

(Image credit: Maison Francis Kurkdjian)

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Mon Beau Sapin Candle


Key notes: Balsam fir, resins, amber, precious woods
Burn time: 58 hours

I'm sorry, I know Maison Francis Kurkdjian candles are next-level expensive, but again, I had no choice but to feature two from this year's trio on offer from the brand. While, historically, Maison Francis Kurkdjian's Christmas candles have been candied and sweet (think toffee apple and cinnamon), this year's champion florals and botanicals—which I'm all about. This particular candle is less like a Christmas tree in the home, and more like a towering, snow-laden fir tree in the middle of the Alps.

13. Trudon Fir

Trudon Fir Christmas Candle

(Image credit: Trudon)

Trudon Scented Fir Candle


Key notes: Siberian pine, fir tree, myrrh, incense
Burn time: 55-60 hours

I know what you're thinking and yes, I was building up to this eye-wateringly expensive finale. If I had thought about a specific order to this list in terms of my personal rankings, this would have come out at number one. However, I have to take into consideration the fact it costs over £100. Trudon's Fir is, hands down, second to none when it comes to 2023's Christmas candle offering. In fact, it's probably one of the best candles I have ever smelled. It has that iconic Christmas-tree-like piney freshness, but it's enveloped in a cocoon of warming, mouthwatering spiciness that smells like a rich-man's aftershave. Plus, it makes for an exceptional centrepiece. 

Shannon Lawlor
Executive Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is the Executive Beauty Editor at Marie Claire. With nearly a decade of experience working for some of the beauty industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear, Glamour UK, Stylist and Refinery29, Shannon’s aim is to make the conversation around beauty as open, relatable and honest as possible. As a self-confessed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for hard-working perfumes, fool-proof make-up products and does-it-all skincare.