Summer is here, and with wellness bigger than ever, having a couple of scented candles around is an essential act of self-care, soothing the senses and accenting a room. He might be something of a human meme, but DJ Khaled knows best when he says having a lit candle sets a vibe. Lighting candles can provide the perfect calm-inducing atmosphere that gives you a sense of ease in your own space.
Oil diffusers like those available at MUJI are convenient and popular, but the flicker of candlelight produces an ambiance that cannot be replicated. An aromatherapy candle can by turns help you feel relaxed, calm, energized, or just get your brain into a more productive mindset. Stressed after a long day at the office? Try a lavender-scented candle to comfort your mind and relieve stress. Feeling under the weather? A lemon-scented candle can energize and relieve anxiety and stress.
Here are 10 best scented candles to help you de-stress for summer — because we all deserve to feel good.
Byredo — Burning Rose
Byredo is one of the best-known names in the candlemaking world and Burning Rose is one of its crown jewels. The French company compares the scent to a woman whose “magnetism draws all eyes,” and “one of those who leave a trail of fire in their path.” Notes of rose petal and birch and ebony woods combine to create a subtle yet poignant fragrance. And with a burn time of over 60 hours, Burning Rose is well worth the price.
Maison Margiela — Replica Beach Walk
In 1994, fashion house Maison Margiela introduced its Replica line of garments and accessories, adding fragrances to the Replica stable in 2012. Light this candle and close your eyes, and you’ll be transported to an afternoon stroll along the beach. With notes of bergamot, heliotrope, and cedarwood, the Replica Beach Walk scented candle evokes hints of ocean spray and captures the bliss of carefree summers on the coast.
Boy Smells — Purple Kush
Los Angeles brand Boy Smells, the brainchild of Matthew Herman and David Kien, wants you to make loving your identity a daily ritual. Being from California, it only makes sense that Boy Smells has a candle named Purple Kush. Infused with bright notes of cannabis (note: there’s no real cannabis in the candle) and floral hints of cassis, tulip, and lilac, it’s the perfect candle for those who enjoy a nice wake and bake, or if you’re just looking to unwind.
Le Labo — Santal 26 Vintage Candle
Le Labo is the fragrance worn by every millennial creative director from LA to NYC, but did you know it also has a line of home fragrances? The brand describes Santal 26 as “an aristocratic scent, at once gentle, smokey, and leathery, that will fill your space and give it true personality.” Le Labo candles are hand-poured in Mississippi, with soy wax and pure cotton wicks. This vintage-style candle comes in a dented tin can, making it ready-made for packing in your luggage before your next vacation.
Sunday Forever — Tanlines
Ashli Stockton, Sunday Forever founder, says the brand is an expression of her “little dream world.” And Tanlines is the scented representation of that world. Using a blend of coconut and soy wax, Tanlines is the smell of summer. Intensely fragrant, ultra-sophisticated, and loaded with ambiance, this candle offers around 50 hours of burn time. Sunday Forever’s Massachusetts-based supplier also employs women refugees and artisans, offering them a fair living wage through candlemaking.
Jonathan Adler — Hashish
No one has captivated the home furnishing world quite like Jonathan Adler, whose furniture and home accessories are beautiful without taking themselves too seriously. Adler’s Hashish “Bougie Parfumée” candle contains notes of blackcurrant, green apple, and patchouli. Earthy but chic, Hashish is a soy/paraffin blend for a cleaner burn and stronger scent. And once the candle has burned out after around 40 hours, its porcelain vessel makes for the perfect stash box.
Louis Vuitton — Île Blanche
Louis Vuitton master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud calls Île Blanche an “iced tea with citrus on an indigo archipelago.” With a scent that evokes ocean mist and sun, this candle brims with floral notes of jasmine sambac, orange, and cardamom. And unlike many of the candle brands on this list, Louis Vuitton and Belletrud use mineral wax for optimal burning. While the price is on the steep side, Île Blanche has a 55-hour burn time and will impress visitors or anyone who might want to gift it to.
Diptyque — Tubéreuse / Tuberose
Of Diptyque’s dozens of fragrances, Tuberose is the standout. The candle’s scent is native to South India, where fragrant white tuberose flowers grow. From the top of their long, slender stems, they exhale a heady yet fresh scent, delicately nuanced with fruity, milky tones. Diptyque recommends combining two different candle scents to create a third, so we recommend adding Iris to Tuberose for a dark, smokey combination.
retaW x NEIGHBORHOOD — Number One
Tokyo streetwear legend Hiroshi Fujiwara founded retaW in 2009, collaborating with the likes of Brain Dead, Tyler, the Creator’s GOLF WANG, and sacai in the years since. Continuing that trend is this original fragrance with Shinsuke Takizawa’s NEIGHBORHOOD. With a blend of natural oils sourced in Japan, the candle has strong notes of citrus, bergamot, and patchouli, creating a relaxing, anxiety-reducing scent perfect for a night in.
Voluspa — Rose Petal Ice Cream
Voluspa is the old faithful of candles: well-priced, with a long burn time, and housed in beautiful vessels. Filled with the brand’s own “cocowax,” Rose Petal Ice Cream has subtle notes of vanilla bean ice cream, tart raspberry ribbon, and sugared rose petals, as well as a 100 percent natural wick. Voluspa prides itself on being sustainable and pesticide-free, so when you burn a Rose Petal candle, you’ll feel like you’re helping out the environment as well as yourself.
- Words: Drayton Mayers