I can say with no shame or hesitation that I am a full-on candle abuser. Rather than appreciating one little jar of wax at a time like a normal person, I tend to go a little nuts once I get started. I go full Khaleesi on my entire collection at once—think burning three clashing scents simultaneously, or lighting every open wick on my extra-large candles. I can't help myself: I love being surrounded by soft, warm candlelight and a cozy, comforting scent. It's the olfactory alternative to weighted blanket, a mild sedative after a chilly day of work. And after a long hot summer wishing everything would turn to ice, I've settled into my candlelit cave for a long winter.
That said, I'm all for thinking outside the box when it comes to the "traditional" winter candle. While nothing makes me feel more metaphorically swaddled than a creamy vanilla scent or a woodsy option that smells like a campfire, there are a ton of vegetal, floral, and downright funky options to choose from that will still turn your humble abode into a winter wonderland. I've obviously been testing this theory daily: an herbaceous bouquet of lavender is like a tranquilizer dart to the ass cheek as your radiator is clanging back to life, and a sunny citrus scent helps wake me right up after a heavy sleep under my goose-down comforter, fresh from storage. Here, your new go-tos to burn with abandon. Winter is coming, after all.
This is a Christmas tree in a jar. And I'm not talking one of those rinky-dink, runty trees you find last minute in a parking lot on Christmas Eve. I'm talking covered in lights, Rockefeller Center-style, "sexiest tree you've ever seen" kind of smell. Need I say more?
If you believe spring is for petal-driven florals, the colder months are meant for elegant, comforting herbal scents. This one by D.S. & Durga captures the smell of one outer borough with lavender, vetiver grass, and asphalt.
I refer to this as the Slutty Candle. Don't ask me to explain this, but I mean it in the best way possible. Its trio of salted caramel, pistachio, and vanilla notes is delicious and sunny, but somehow even more perfect for brightening up gloomy winter days when you really just want to feel hot again.
As a reformed Catholic school girl, the name alone is enough to inspire worship, but its warm floral notes deserve the most adoration. Rose and orris give the wax an elegant tilt, while cardamon and cinnamon leaf add a welcome spicy twist. Fleabag would approve.
Thirteen botanicals—including bergamot, mandarin, and tiare—make up the scent in this serenity-inducing option. Light it up, set your intention, and let the universe do its thing.
I mean, come on. If the name doesn't sell it enough, its almond oil, leather, and orris throw will make your space smell like a five-star hotel that overlooks a mountain range.
You've probably heard about the uber-popular unisex fragrance of the same name, but if you want a taste before you invest, fill your space with this woody, sandalwood candle iteration.
Consider this scent the less basic sister to pumpkin spice: creamy, comforting, damn good in a latte.
Cold weather candles don't have to be creamy. For a sophisticated and subtle fragrance in your living space, try this vegetal, tomato-forward alternative.
Alright, who can resist the cultural touchstone that is pumpkin spice? I, for one, can't. This one is a refined version that still smells grown-up.
You know those addictive, welcoming scents that seem to be pumped through the vents at your favorite hotels? Consider this evergreen and pine creation—inspired by cozy homes away from home like the St. Regis Aspen and The Lowell in New York City— their yuletide equivalent.