Life·15 min read

Our Fave Candles That Are Worth Your Money

otherland candle hero
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Otherland
Nov 1, 2022

This post was originally published in October 2021 and has been updated.

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There are a million different ways to zhuzh up a space. Think: throws, pillows, mirrors, paint, and more. But there’s one thing we consider to be a no-fail, must-have decor item that’s easy to excute on: the humble candle. Service and style? We’re sold. 

Some can be surprisingly expensive, so we rounded up more affordable options. We’ve got candles that make great gifts. Plus, a few that are centerpiece-worthy and really deserve to be on display. Burn, baby, burn.

Classic ones you can use all year-round

A fan-fave option everyone will love…

Maison Louis Marie candles are the ultimate perfect gift. The scent is earthy and woody with notes of amber stone, vetiver, patchouli, fennel, eucalyptus, and more. One soothing space, coming right up. ($36, Sephora)

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One that’ll eliminate icky pet smells from your home...

If your couch currently smells like your furry four-legged friend, raise your hand. This soy wax candle to the rescue. It neutralizes unpleasant odors (like those from litter boxes), keeping your home smelling fresh and clean. It has a burn time of up to 60 hours and comes in more than two dozen scents. Plus, it’s free of dyes, parabens, and formaldehydes. Wet dog? Smell ya later. ($22.99, Amazon)

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A handmade candle that’ll make a great gift…

Who needs a traditional card when you can give a soy-wax candle with a note from you? Whether your bestie is moving into a new home or you just wanna show your family some love, it’s the perfect time to support their candle obsession. Just pick the font and scent, and write a message from the heart. For the light of your life. ($17.99+, Amazon)

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An Otherland candle with a scent you’ll never get tired of…

No matter what season it is. Each candle is hand-poured and is free of parabens, sulfates, and synthetic dyes. This scent blends sandalwood, golden amber, and warm musk, but you can also shop their core collection for more options. With their colorful labels, these make for a great gift option too — and are worthy of some real estate on any desk. ($36, Otherland)

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A candle to give your fave co-worker…

Sure, they’re your work wife, but they’re also your real-life friend. And when a co-worker crosses that threshold, we all know that’s pretty important. Let ’em know with a candle that simplifies it. ($14.99+, JNCandleCo via Etsy)

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A eucalyptus spearmint soy candle to place in a bathroom…

It’ll smell 10 times better than any aerosol spray you can find. Customers rave about how refreshing and clean the scent is. It’s the perfect option to light before you climb into the tub for an evening soak. ($28, Pretty Honest Candles)

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Ones that come in fun shapes

A pair of soy wax bubble candles…

The white scent is freesia, while the blue scent is bluebell. Like so many others on this list, this one can double as decor when it’s not being burned. It almost looks like it would be squishy with its smooth and rounded bubbles, but trust us, don’t poke — you’ll want it to last a while. ($13.99, Amazon)

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A goober candle that’s really just a cute blob…

There are four blobs available, but this blue one looks like it’s lazily lounging. To make it even more perfect, it’s named Eh. They’re part of a collection created by Talbot & Yoon for Areaware. You can purchase them individually, but once you see 'em all, you’ll want to keep the lil’ family together. So fun. ($30, Areaware)

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Amethyst and aquamarine geode candles that look so real…

Once you peek inside, you’ll be mesmerized. These handcrafted candles strikingly resemble geodes, with a bit of sparkle and a whole lot of texture. The amethyst option smells of bergamot and violet, while the aquamarine smells like fresh salt air. When the wick is gone, you can insert a tea light to keep enjoying the inner crystalline structure a bit longer. ($44, Uncommon Goods)

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Candles for anyone obsessed with star signs and personality tests

An all-natural candle inspired by the day you were born...

These hand-poured ones burn between 60 to 80 hours and take some cues from the stars. There’s a candle for every day of the year, each with a custom scent and personalized info like personality traits and a tarot reading. Perfect for the person in your life who never skips their daily horoscope. ($49.99, Birthdate Co.)

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A candle that taps into personality traits…

For all the Enneagram fans out there. These ombre glass candles have their own fragrance and color to match your number. Plus, there’s even a QR code that directs you to more information about your Enneagram. Love it. ($22, Paddywax)

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A tarot card-inspired candle…

You’ll get a tarot reading just by lighting this baby up. Inside the candle is a gold-plated tarot charm, which will reveal itself as the candle melts. Plus, the warming scents of bergamot, cardamom, verbena, and eucalyptus will lull you into a state of calm. Good energy, coming right up. Psst...this is part of a limited-edition batch, so grab one now before they sell out. ($38, Birthdate Co.)

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Ones that come in reusable containers

A three-wick classic you can put anywhere…

Lavender and vanilla always feel fresh and are versatile enough for any space. This one is calming with notes of fir needles and tonka bean. It’s 100% plastic-free and multiple wicks mean it’ll burn longer and more evenly each time. Plus, the container has a wooden lid, so you can reuse it to store any trinkets. We’ll take one for every room, please. ($11.95, Public Goods)

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A rose gold candle from a cult-favorite brand…

This one from Boy Smells has notes of pink peppercorn, rose, and mandarin, which will have your space feeling as fresh as a daisy. Pop this one in the background of your latest virtual meeting and everyone will be complimenting your surroundings. Go you. ($44, Boy Smells)

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A candle with a decorative glass container…

This one smells as good as it looks. Choose from one of six scents including lychee and huckleberry. And when you’re done you can upcycle the stunning vessel and use it as a small vase or a container for tchotchkes. It even comes with a helpful tin lid, which makes it ultra functional for future uses. ($32, Anthropologie)

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A fall candle set that’ll provide words of affirmation…

So sweet. These candles have a bamboo lid with a positive word for you to remember as you go about your day. And as you burn the crackling wooden wick, another word will reveal itself too. The soy wax candles in this set include apple and maple bourbon, pumpkin spice latte, toasted pumpkin spice, and cinnamon snickerdoodle. Each one burns for about 60 hours and are toxin-, paraben-, and phthalate-free. Time to stock up. ($129.56/set of four, Nature-Esque)

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Candles with unique scents

A different take on a citrus candle…

Say ‘goodbye’ to your regular lemon scent. It’s time for an upgrade. This one brings grapefruit, ginger, and saffron together for this quintessential kitchen candle. Light it up. ($16+, JustBeeUS via Etsy)

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A fresh aromatic candle that'll remind you of Saturday mornings at home…

This cereal-inspired candle = nostalgia in a jar. With a blend of lemon, lime, lavender, corn, vanilla, and sandalwood, you’ll be inspired to curl up on the couch with your favorite childhood treat and watch some weekend cartoons. Nostalgia…we love to see it. ($16.85+, MalatheBrand via Etsy)

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A candle that hits like a morning glass of orange juice…

Ahhh, the scent of freshly squeezed citrus. With notes of orange peel, lemon verbena, champagne, and peach, this one is a dose of vitamin C for the nose. So if you're looking for an extra dose of sunshine in the winter, this candle will bring the bright and cheery vibes. Who couldn’t use an extra shot of joy? ($14, Aster)

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Elegant tapered options

Ridged candles that’ll make an excellent centerpiece…

Whether you're hosting a small gathering or having a regular weeknight dinner at home, these beauties are a must. They’re available in eight colors and are made with natural soy wax and beeswax. To avoid dripping, we suggest reading the burn instructions provided in the listing. ($17, CaiCai Handmade on Etsy)

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Pastel-colored spiral candles to add a pop of color to your home…

These are bright and ideal for the spring and summer seasons, but fret not — they’ll inject cheer into long days. Each one is poured individually, so there may be slight variations. They’re also unscented so you can light a few at once without having to worry about an overwhelming smell. ($6.95+, Botanical Goods Store on Etsy)

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A set of four floral candles that’ll make a dinner way more romantic…

They’re delicate and honestly very pretty to look at, so we won’t blame you if you never get around to burning them. Customers love them, and with their multiple five-star reviews, we don’t think you can go wrong. ($16/4 pack, Urban Outfitters)

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Votive sets

A set of minis that’ll bring on some R and R…

Ahh…time to relax. This collection from Brooklinen comes with four calming scents. Good Intentions has notes of basil, eucalyptus, and patchouli. Happy Hour has notes of mandarin, lavender, and oak. Restore has notes of wildberries, violet, and musk. And Love Note has notes of freesia, rose, and caramel. They’re made with soy and coconut wax and include essential oils that’ll provide aromatherapy benefits. BRB, gonna put one in every room. ($59/set of four, Brooklinen)

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A candle discovery kit so you can try out new scents…

Trying before you buy? It’s a yes from us. This collection from Apotheke has six votive-size candles. You’ll get black iris oak, cedarwood ginger, charcoal, orange blossom neroli, saffron vanilla, and sea salt grapefruit. Each one burns for about 15-20 hours. Plus, once you pick your faves, you can buy the full size. ($64/set of six, Apotheke)

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A candle collection that’ll make the perfect gift…

This stunning set from Rifle Paper Co. comes with five mini candles inspired by destinations around the world like the Adirondack Forest, Marrakech, Provence, the Amalfi Coast, and Paris. Each candle has a chic label with gold illustrations. The best part? You don’t even have to wrap them. The set is housed in a decorative gift box covered in bright florals and even more gold accents. Effortless gifting for the win. ($65, Rifle Paper Co.)

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