11 of the best candles to cheer up winter evenings

Once the clocks go back and the nights draw in, all you need is a good candle to embrace that Hygge lifestyle - and they smell great, too.

Best winter candles

by Haydn Williams |
Updated on

As the cosy winter months draw in we're spending more time at home, and for those of us still living the WFH life, having a cosy home is key. As a result, there’s been a surge in spending on home improvements, home office equipment and also on the little things that make a house feel more homely - like candles.

In the colder months, there’s something very comforting about a scented candle. Reassuring fragrances have been proven to benefit mental wellbeing, concentration and mood as well as the obvious improvement to the aroma of the room.

So, to help give your home an extra touch of warmth, we’ve shortlisted the best of the latest candles at various price points from the everyday to the premium.


The best candles for Autumn & Winter

Skandinavisk SKOG Scented Candle1 of 11

Skandinavisk SKOG Scented Candle

The SKOG candle from Skandinavisk reflects the unique aspects of the Scandinavian landscape and fills the room with a wonderful wintery aroma of pine needles, fir and woodland lily. It's a perfume oil and Swedish rapeseed wax blend that comes in a painted glass jar with a pure cotton wick and engraved beechwood lid.

The White Company - Midnight Candle2 of 11

The White Company - Midnight Candle

Inspired by the magic of Venice and fireworks at midnight, this fabulously rich and velvety scent combines smooth, smoky vetivert and aromatic cardamom with warming amber, spicy nutmeg and a sparkling twist of ginger.Tried & Tested by Deputy Commercial Content Editor, Natalie Corner: "I love the scent of this candle as we head into autumn and towards winter. It's not too overpowering for me and I love the musky undertones of the amber and cardamom. It really warms up my office while I'm working and gets me in a cosy mood!"

Otter & Olive - Mulberry Harvest3 of 11

Otter & Olive - Mulberry Harvest

This set of three botanical candles comes from environmentally friendly shopping brand Otter & Olive. They are made with soy wax and 3% fragrance oil so they burn for longer and have a clean, almost smokeless flame. They are presented in reusable round ceramic jars and each candle contains a wooden wick instead of a traditional wick. The candles come in two sizes, medium or large and a good choice for the festive season is Mulberry Harvest.

Ampersand  - Leather & Oudh4 of 11

Ampersand - Leather & Oudh

Leather & Oudh is a warm and woody scent with deep, resonant aromas from far across the globe. Oudh wood has a unique spicy quality naturally and when coupled with leather, elemi and bergamot it produces a wonderful aroma. Ampersand candles are hand-poured in small batches and are 100% pure organic soy wax (paraffin and paraben-free). They come in a cool black jar with a wooden lid with an airtight seal to preserve the candle's aroma when not lit.

Selfmade - Fiyah5 of 11

Selfmade - Fiyah

Fiyah smells like a cocktail party, just without the hangover the next morning. It has notes of citrus, tonka bean, cedarwood, lime peel, anise, frankincense and patchouli. Perfect for Christmas and New Year celebrations. A really nice touch is that the label is infused with poppy seeds, so you can plant the label in the jar once the candle is finished. Selfmade is a new candle brand from London that believes in supporting the community and championing wellness. They donate 5% of their profits to the Black Minds Matter charity.

Lily & Loaf - Ginger & White Lily6 of 11

Lily & Loaf - Ginger & White Lily

Lily & Loaf create natural health and skincare products as well as an aromatherapy range. The 'Ginger & White Lily' candle is a blend of sweet lily and warm jasmine with a hint of ginger and clove essential oils. It's hand-poured and has a burn time of 40 hours. The beautiful presentation box makes this an ideal gift. Editor Sophie Knight says: "The presentation of this candle really sets it apart and makes this perfect for a special present this Christmas – plus it means you don't have to gift-wrap it yourself – bonus."

Trudon  - Fir7 of 11

Trudon - Fir

This is the 'gold standard' of home fragrance. Each year Trudon release a new range of eagerly awaited festive candles. 'Fir' has notes of fresh pine and fir tree together with aromatic myrrh and incense and once lit, your home is filled with the scent of Christmas trees. Every candle is presented within a bespoke gift box, tied with a luxurious red silk ribbon. The ultimate scented statement. *This is currently unavailable but please check back for the 2021 launch

Noble Isle u2013 Pinewood8 of 11

Noble Isle – Pinewood

This wintertime candle from fine fragrance brand Noble Isle is inspired by Scotland's ancient forests. It brings together pine, elemi and cypress along with woody notes of cedarwood, guaiac (an exotic wood that comes from the small guayacan tree) and fir.

Lab 62  - Coconut Island9 of 11

Lab 62 - Coconut Island

Coconut Island is from London brands Lab 62 and is inspired by golden sands and blue skies. Light it up to be instantly transported to the tropics. The scent is a cocktail of cool coconut and sweet pineapple – we just need a real cocktail in our hands at the same time. It's a vegan-friendly soy wax candle created using eco-friendly cotton wicks.

Saint Fragrances  - Sunday Papers10 of 11

Saint Fragrances - Sunday Papers

'Sunday Papers' is from the new lifestyle brand Saint Fragrances. Each candle is hand-poured in England containing responsibly sourced vegan ingredients and has a burn time of 50 hours. The scent of Sunday Papers is Madagascan vanilla dashed with warm sandalwood. Amber and musk emanate beneath subtle spices, Italian citruses, iris and orange blossom. This is the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing Sunday.

Miller Harris - Rendezvous Tabac11 of 11

Miller Harris - Rendezvous Tabac

Miller Harris is best known for its niche fragrances, but it also sells home fragrance products. The 'Rendezvous Tabac' candle is full of rich woods, tobacco leaves and spices that take their inspiration from the brasseries of Saint-Germain in Paris. They are formulated with a blend of mineral and natural waxes and burn for an average of 40 hours.

Top tips for good candle practice

Trim the wick

Always trim the wick to under a centimetre before lighting any candle. This helps keep the burn even and means the candle lasts longer. If the wick is too long, the flame will grow too tall and leave marks on the glass, even with soy candles. If the flame touches the glass container it can cause the glass to crack.

Burn for at least an hour

Before putting the candle out, make sure the candle spools entirely across the top. If not, it can cause ‘tunnelling’ and wasted wax around the inside edge of the candle. For pillar candles, make sure to burn them at least one hour for every inch in diameter.

…But don’t burn the candle for too long

It’s not a good idea to burn the candle for more than 4 hours. After this the candle gets too hot and begins to evaporate fragrance oil and burn off quicker. Burning in two to three hour bursts is best to help the longevity of your candle.

If the candle gets too hot the wax can completely liquefy. This can cause the glue holding the wick to release and move across the bottom of the container. If that happens the flame can touch the glass and crack it. This is a good reason why you should stop burning a candle once there’s around 2cms of wax remains.

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Haydn Williams is a self-confessed fragrance addict. He consults for a number of brands, as well as running his own website on the subject. Follow his olfactory adventures on Instagram.

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