From Jo Malone London to Diptyque, welcome to your ultimate guide to the best luxury candles money can buy
The best luxury candles (be that a designer perfume candle or an aroma candle) are incredibly versatile. They are a transformative interior accessory.
Whether you want to add some ambience to your living room mantle, have a relaxing candlelit bath, or create a cosy, relaxing sanctuary at home as the seasons change, it’s a jack of all trades. They’re a mood enhancer. And they also make the perfect gifts. Either for yourself in an act of self-care, as a birthday present (we stand firm on the opinion that no one in this world could be disappointed when presented with a beautifully scented candle) and they make an ideal hostess gift to say thank you when you’ve stayed at someone’s house.
In fact, we think having a luxury candle in your arsenal is as essential as having one of the best eye creams in your skincare routine. (Yes, really.) Because although they might be deemed a little expensive, these days we need all the self-care treats we can get. Luxury candles also don’t have to cost the earth. There are so many affordable options that still deliver a little piece of luxury, without the hefty price tag.
Emma South, Jo Malone London’s Fragrance & Lifestyle Expert, had this to say: ‘Over the last two years, our homes took on a great deal of additional purposes, functioning as offices, classrooms, workout spaces. All whilst remaining the same size and at a time when we need our homes to be a sanctuary of calm. Scent has such a close relationship to memory that it influences our mood and perception in a profound yet often unconscious way. The art of home scenting is about channelling this to add to the spatial dimensions of a property, creating and delineating new spaces within an open plan area and also helping to structure the day, creating scented signals that direct us from work to leisure, day to night.’
So we thought we’d go ahead and round up the best luxury candles money can buy – because let’s be honest, it’s a bit of a minefield out there. Whether you prefer the light fragrances of clean cotton or the rich aromas of neroli and spices, we’ve got a divine-smelling candle for everyone. And if anyone asks: yes, you absolutely DO need another one.
What to look for in a luxury scented candle
When splurging on a designer candle, you want to know that it will last. Aside from this ingenious candle hack that will ensure you burn your new candle properly (and thus ensure it has a long lifespan), there are a number of things to take into account when shopping for the best luxury candles out there. Here’s what to look out for if you want to make sure it will go the distance.
Wax: The three most common types of candle wax are paraffin, soy and tallow. Though a lot of candles are made with a combination of all three, luxury candles don’t tend to contain tallow – the beef industry byproduct common in cheaper alternatives.
Paraffin is an ingredient widely present in candles, and although it’s less environmentally friendly than, say, beeswax or soy, it’s great for diffusing scent throughout a room. Where burn time is concerned, soy candles are almost unrivalled – so ensure to read the make up of a candle’s wax before making the splurge.
Wicks: Wick count can intensify a candle’s scent – so if you’re a fragrance lover, try opting for a luxury candle with multiple wicks. Most wicks are made from braided cotton, but if you’re after a lovely, crackling sound (self-care ASMR, anyone?), look for a designer perfume candle or aroma candle with a wooden wick.
Luxury candles: the must-have accessories
Senior Beauty Editor, Katie Thomas, is keen to remind you to light your beautiful candles. ‘Candles are made to be burnt, not kept hidden away in a cupboard ‘for a special occasion’. These beauties serve a purpose and that purpose is to scent a room with the most heavenly smells. We’re all guilty of it. I’m in the process of moving house and I’m not lighting any of my candles until we get into the new place. But I shouldn’t do that, I want gorgeous scents now. Next time don’t question whether to light one or not. Just do it, you won’t regret it.’
With all that in mind, are you ready to shop some of our all-time favourite luxury candles? From cult classics to coveted new releases, here are the designer candles you absolutely need in your home. Team Marie Claire, who are all complete candle obsessives, took home each of the below candles and then set about deciding whether they should make the cut. They paid close attention to the burning time, the vessel and, of course, the scent.
Don’t miss our guide to the best sustainable candles, while you’re here – and happy unwinding.
There are very few luxury candle brands that are more iconic than Cire Trudon. It's the epitome of luxe home scent. The coloured glass vessel with the smart gold label just scream luxury. This particular iris scent is perfect for the beginning of spring, when the flowers are just starting to make their appearance.
Burn Time: 60 hours
This clean, fresh scent makes for a lovely daytime fragrance in any room – not to mention it would make a failsafe gift for someone you love. Because who doesn't love the smell of freshly washed cotton?
Burn Time: 10 hours
Arguably, the the most wanted candle of the fashion set of the last year. Loewe's iconic candlestick candles, which are made completely of wax, are the perfect way to add something special to your tablescape. Combine the Red Tomato scent with the green Marijuana fragrance for a modern blend of earthy greenery.
Burn Time: 70 hours
"God I just love this smell - it's green and luscious and I just want to dunk my head into this ceramic pot," says our Digital Beauty Editor Katie Thomas.
Burn Time: 55–65hours
Named after Aglaonice – the first female astronomer of Ancient Greece who was renowned for her knowledge of the moon and its cycles – this floral, spicy blend of cardamom, mimosa and tobacco is our top choice for cosy nights in. And in typical Aesop style, its matte finish, minimalist pot would make a chic addition to any interiors set-up.
Burn Time: 50 hours
Trouble sleeping? Enter Neom's Bedtime Hero. A blend of 11 pure essential oils including chamomile, ylang ylang and cedarwood, this is my go-to come 8pm every single evening.
Burn Time: 45–50 hours
If self-care could come in candle form, it'd be Saint Fragrance's Night Fig. Its rich notes of bergamot and cedarwood are offset by a tart green mandarin for an uplifting scent that makes for excellent company while wfh.
Burn Time: 40 hours
Bella's candles are as iconic as they are delicous-smelling: this one, with refreshing top notes of neroli and lilac around a heart of tobacco flower and woody amber. Divine.
Burn Time: 60 hours
"This aroma candle is called a portable fireplace for a reason; it's smoky and woody and will give off that lovely lingering aroma that a real roaring fireplace leaves behind. A lovely addition to just about any living room on a cold winter's night," says Marie Claire Associate Editor-At-Large Sunil Makan.
Burn Time: 90 hours
It wouldn't be a luxury candle round up without this Diptyque classic. Made from Bulgarian roses, ambergris, and blackcurrant buds and leaves, this calming candle is a firm favourite among fragrance lovers everywhere.
Burn Time: 60 hours
The brand's iconic scent works just as well in candle form. It's a little bit smokey, a little bit leathery and just so damn chic.
Burn Time: 60 hours
Opt for a different scent with this Libertine candle, which combines notes of Patchouli, Cedar Wood and the mysterious Guaiac Wood.
Burn Time: 55 hours
The Californian haircare brand now does candles and we are beyond pleased. Light a couple of these around the house and you'll feel like you're on the beach.
Burn Time: 80 hours
"I would argue that Honeysuckle is the most beautiful fragrance on the planet," says Marie Claire's Digital Beauty Editor Katie Thomas. "In Summer, it's all you can smell on the streets of Rome, as the buildings are covered in its tendrils. This aroma candle is a close second."
Burn Time: 60 hours
If you've not made it down to the completely luxurious Heckfield Place. never fear for one light of this candle and you'll feel like you're walking through its walled garden. It's all green herbs and botanicals.
Say hello to Cire Trudon's little sister. Carrière Frères is the iconic candle brand's more affordable range. The scents are just as addictive. You won't be able to get enough of this Damascus Rose and spearmint combo. It's floral, it's green and it's perfect as we head into Spring.
Burn Time: 120 hours (approx)
"It's not just the beautiful aromas that I look for in a candle, I also look for a beautiful exterior. Why? Because I like to reuse the pot. I've got loads around my house - holding my toothbrushes, makeup brushes and even my pens."