Scented candles enhance the ambiance of any room, giving off pleasant aromas, tranquil light, and luxurious vibes. We researched dozens of candles from the top home and fragrance brands, evaluating scent, quality, longevity, and value.
Our top pick is the NEST Fragrances Grapefruit Candle, which has a refreshing scent and offers up to 120 hours of burn time. It's also available in four different sizes, so you can still enjoy its luxurious scent at a lower price point.
Here are the best scented candles on the market.
Best Overall: Nest Fragrances New York Grapefruit Candle
Four different sizes
Fresh citrus fragrance
Extensive burn time (100 hours)
Scent lingers even after extinguished
Some tunneling when burning
High price considering size
Who else recommends it? Allure and BestReviews also picked the NEST Fragrances Grapefruit Candle.
What do buyers say? 90% of 9,500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
Nest is a top-selling scented candle brand with many loyal customers—you might even say it has a cult following. While there are a wide variety of fragrances to choose from, the Nest New York Grapefruit Candle stands out among the rest. The uplifting scent combines pink pomelo grapefruit with botanical nuances and notes of coriander blossom and lily of the valley. If you appreciate citrus scents, you'll love the refreshing aroma.
This candle is available in four sizes: 2.1 ounces, 8 ounces, 22 ounces, 43.7 ounces. The 22-ounce size provides up to 100 hours of burn time, the 8-ounce size burns for 50 to 60 hours, and the 2-ounce size burns for 20 hours. Like all Nest candles, it's poured with premium wax formulated to melt evenly while infusing your space with an exhilarating scent. Some tunneling may occur when initially burning this candle, so be sure to let is melt all the way to the edge before extinguishing initially.
Price at time of publish: $70
Best Budget: Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Scented Soy Aromatherapy Candle
Clean fresh scent
Doesn’t leave soot residue on jar
Limited burn time (25 hours)
Doesn’t burn all the way to the bottom
Mrs. Meyer’s is an extremely popular brand and for good reason: It sells well-scented products made with natural ingredients. If you’re looking for the perfect candle to place next to your sink or stove, one of the Mrs. Meyer’s candles is a great option. The 7.2-ounce candle burns for about 35 hours and comes in a cute, reusable jelly-style jar. The lavender scent is subtle but fresh, and it won’t overpower when you’re eating dinner or having a glass of wine.
Price at time of publish: $20
Best Splurge: Diptyque Baies Candle
Can reuse glass container
Burns evenly and slowly
Mini candle available at lower price
Scent is really subtle
Some black residue on glass after burning
If you're willing to splurge on the perfect candle, you should definitely check out the Diptyque Baies Candle. This best-seller has a seriously scrumptious fragrance formulated to make your home feel comfy and inviting. The fruity scent is similar to Diptyque's L'Ombre Dans l'Eau perfume, which smells like fresh roses and blackcurrant.
This white candle comes in a clear glass jar with a simple label printed with French lettering. It's available in two sizes, 2.4 ounces and 6.5 ounces. The 2.4-ounce candle, which is considered their mini size, is sold for $40, which is a bit more reasonable than the 6.5-ounce option priced over $70. The first time you light the Baies candle, you're supposed to let it burn for at least two hours. If you allow the entire top layer of wax melt on the first burn, it'll burn more evenly every subsequent time you light it. Diptyque also recommends trimming the wick down to 0.25 inches before lighting it and re-centering it every time you blow it out.
Price at time of publish: $80
Best Gift: Homesick Candles
Simple and sophisticated design
Thoughtful and fragrant scents
Long lasting burn time
Scents aren’t strong enough to fill a room
Some black residue on glass after burning
Scent and memory are closely connected, and Homesick Candles are created with this in mind. As the name suggests, Homesick Candles make a perfect gift for anyone living away far away from home. "I received the Florida homesick candle as a gift, and the subtle citrus smell and hint of vanilla is so soothing and familiar," says one our editors.
These 13.75-ounce candles are hand-poured with soy wax and fragrance oils. There are 50 scents to choose from, as they correspond to the 50 U.S. states. With input from locals on how they experience the aromatic outdoors, each fragrance is modeled after the unique scent profile of its state. From peachy-floral Georgia and sandy-citrus Arizona to nutty-pine Oregon and honey-bourbon Kentucky, these candles hit all the right notes.
Price at time of publish: $38
Best for Kitchen: Voluspa Goji Tarocco Orange Large Embossed Glass Jar Candle
Several color & scent options
Uses coconut wax for a cleaner burn
Somewhat weak fragrance
When you burn a candle in your kitchen, it's best to opt for a scent that meshes well with the things you eat. In other words, go for something that smells delicious, like the Voluspa Glass Jar Candle in Goji and Tarocco Orange. This particular candle has a mouth-watering aroma of goji berries, fresh mango, and blood oranges. It's fruity, fresh, and sets the scene of a warm spring day. Although this candle has a great fragrance, it's best suited for a small room as it does not have a strong fragrance reach while burning.
AVoluspa's proprietary coconut wax boasts a 90 percent cleaner burn than soy wax candles, which is ideal for the kitchen. This notably large candle contains 18 ounces of hand-poured wax for a burn time of 100 hours. It comes in a gorgeously embossed red glass jar with a floral tin lid. When the candle is gone, you can remove the remaining wax and use the jar to hold flowers, jewelry, pens, or even kitchen utensils.
Price at time of publish: $37
Best for Fall: Bath & Body Works Cinnamon Spiced Vanilla 3-Wick Candle
Warm spiced scent
Long burn time (65-90 hours)
Burns evenly without tunneling
Not fragrant enough to throw scent into a larger space
Bath & Body Works is known for its seasonal candles, and their Cinnamon Spiced Vanilla three-wick option is the embodiment of fall. The warm cinnamon fragrance balances with vanilla for a spiced yet sweet scent reminiscent of campfires, warm drinks, and crisp fall days.
As a pretty compact candle, this item is perfect for a smaller space like a bedroom or study so the concentrated scent can really shine through, and linger even once extinguished. Meant to last about 90 hours, this candle will burn longer if you trim the wick about 0.25 inches before burning it, and only use it for around four hours at a time.
Price at time of publish: $27
Best for Holidays: APOTHEKE 11-Ounce Amber Woods Candle
Warm, calming scent
Could be used year-round
Long burn time (up to 72 hours)
May not fill a large room
There's nothing like enhancing your home's overall cozy holiday aesthetic with a candle that creates the same effect. The Amber Woods candle from APOTHEKE creates a warm and calming atmosphere with notes of amber woods, lily of the valley, and jasmine, yet it's subtle enough to be burned year round. Avid lovers of the holiday season can rejoice in burning a candle that's not overtly holiday themed.
This 11-ounce candle has a burn time of up to 70 hours, when cared for properly. Our concern is that this small candle may not be strong enough to fill a large room with its scent. APOTHEKE does sell larger 3-wick candles of all their popular scents, but they also come at a higher price point.
Price at time of publish: $42
Best Black-Owned Business: Harlem Candle Co. Josephine Luxury Candle
Two wicks for evenly distributed burning
Long burn time (80 hours)
Celebrates the history of the Harlem Renaissance
Price for size of candle
If you’re a history buff with a love for beautiful candles, the Harlem Candle Company should be on your radar. This black-owned business celebrates the Harlem Renaissance with candles as rich as the music and culture of that era, commemorating artists like Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and—in this case—Josephine Baker. The candles can burn for approximately 80 hours, and have two wicks to keep the wax even and avoid tunneling.
Each candle sits in a 12-ounce glass with vibrant jewel tones and other patterns reflective of storied entertainment venues across Harlem. Having a penchant for fine fragrance, founder Teri Johnson also made sure these soy wax candles have luxurious scents designed by a team of world-renowned perfume specialists.
Price at time of publish: $48
Best Small Business: Frères Branchiaux This Woman's Work Candle
Rich and inviting scent
Thoughtfully designed container
Shipping can take up to two weeks
Founded by three brothers, this black-owned candle company has a vast collection of high quality scents, sets, sprays, and diffusers. Each candle has thoughtfully crafted labels and imagery, uses only vegan soy wax blends, and burns for between 15 and 40 hours depending on the size you purchase (4 or 8 ounces). And once you’ve burned through your signature candle, you can reuse the decorative jar.
Price at time of publish: $30
Best Natural: Grow Fragrance Lavender Blossom Candle
Made with 100 percent plant-based ingredients
Reusable concrete vessel
Limited scent range
Grow Fragrance created their brand with the goal of offering home fragrances that are 100 percent plant-based and in-season with natural waxes, wicks, and packaging. Every portion of their candles is carefully designed from the lead-free, unbleached cotton wicks to the 100 percent recyclable insert that's made from recycled aluminum. While they offer a limited range of scents, you can be sure there will always be a few seasonal scents in the mix and that every portion of the candle you purchased has been responsibly created.
We also love that they're still reasonably priced and have a great burn time of up to 45 hours. When you finish burning an insert, simply recycle the aluminum tin and purchase a new scent refill, or use the concrete vessel to display your favorite trinkets.
Price at time of publish: $34
Best Vanilla: Voluspa Bourbon Vanille Corta Maison Candle
Two wicks keep an even burn pattern
Sweet, yet sophisticated scent
Easily fills a small room
Voluspa, the brand that's also behind our best for kitchen pick, offers a warm and inviting sensual experience with their Bourbon Vanille Corta Maison Candle. It's hard to pass up a vanilla candle, but finding a candle that's not overpowering and still nuanced can be difficult. "I love burning this candle on a chilly day because it completely envelopes my small apartment with a cozy, warm, and comforting scent," says Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce.
This candle is made from coconut wax and has two natural wicks, so you can rest easy knowing high-quality ingredients back this candle's higher price point. It has an up to 45-hour burn time, if trimmed and cared for properly. The scent formula and ingredients are also vegan and free of phthalates, sulfates, pesticides, and parabens.
Price at time of publish: $32 for a small
Best with Wood Wick: Paddywax 11-Ounce Parks Candle
Wick won't mushroom like cotton wicks
Vessel can be used to light a match
Not best for outdoor use
While many wood wick candles are available on the market, we love the Parks collection sold by Paddywax. These 11-ounce candles are offered in a variety of scents meant to mimic scents commonly encountered in major National Parks like Yosemite, the Smoky Mountains, and Acadia. Plus, Paddywax supports the National Parks Foundation with a minimum donation of $30,000.
Wood wick candles also tend to offer better scent throw, which means they more easily fill a large room with their whole scent, and the wicks don't "mushroom" like cotton wicks that require frequent trimming. Keep in mind that wood wick candles function best indoors, as they can become easily extinguished outdoors. We also love that these candles from Paddywax can be lit by striking a match directly on their textured vessels.
Price at time of publish: $38
Best Aromatherapy: Otherland Canopy Candle
Reusable candle jar
Soy + coconut wax blend
Light but fragrant smell
Some black residue when burning if you don’t trim the wick
If you appreciate the aromatherapy of scented candles, you'll love the Otherland Canopy Candle. Developed with master perfumers, the fragrance presents a calming blend of California figs, ivy greens, and summertime dew. It's fresh and clean—and meant to remind you of a fluffy canopy bed.
The candle itself is hand-poured into premium glassware with a soy-coconut wax blend. While it's only 8 ounces and 3.25 inches tall, it has an impressive 55-hour burn time. With a mission to help homes be toxin-free zones, the scented candles from Otherland never contain any sulfates, parabens, or phthalates.
Price at time of publish: $36
For a subtle and refreshing scent, the Nest New York Grapefruit Candle is our go-to. It's bright, citrusy scent adds a refreshing boost to any room. If you’re able to spend a bit more, the Diptyque Baies Candle is a great splurge option with an elegant scent that's reminiscent of roses and blackcurrant leaves.
What to Look for in Scented Candles
Fragrances inside scented candles are either natural or synthetic. Natural fragrances are naturally derived and come from their environmental counterpart. Synthetic fragrances are man-made and often made to match, deepen or add complexity to natural fragrances. Many candle companies use both types in their candles.
Scented candles are typically made of either paraffin or soy wax, with paraffin wax being the most popular. This wax is cheaper than soy and is made from petroleum oil. However, this also means that it burns 'dirty,' releasing soot and other harmful byproducts when melted. Soy wax is paraffin wax's alternative and is quickly growing in popularity. It's made from soybeans, and burns longer and cleaner than paraffin wax.
Different candles burn for different amounts of time, depending on the size and type of wax in the candle. A candle with a shorter burn time is perfect for a guest bedroom or bathroom, or another space that isn't used as often. A candle with a long burn time is ideal for larger common spaces, like the living room or kitchen.
How are scented candles made?
Scented candles are made by first melting the wax and adding in fragrance. Then, a wick is attached to the bottom of a prepared jar, and the wax is poured in. Finally, the wax is left to harden, and the wick is trimmed.
Where should you place scented candles?
Scented candles can work perfectly in any space. But a few guidelines: make sure the size of the candle is appropriate to the room size (i.e. don't burn a massive candle in your half-bath—the scent will be too overpowering), if you have pets or young kids, keep the candles out of reach for them and, for fire safety, place scented candles in your sightline.
How long do scented candles last?
Scented candles can last anywhere from 6 to 150 hours, depending on the type of wax, wick and its size. Soy candles last longer than paraffin ones, and larger candles last longer than smaller ones. Many candles include the estimated burn time on the jar.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, cleaning, and home hacks. Her writing has appeared in Elite Daily, The Financial Diet, Thought Catalog, Film Daily, and other online publications. Additional reporting was done by Rabekah Henderson, a freelance design and decor writer whose work has appeared on MyDomaine, Atomic Ranch, Cary Magazine and American Farmhouse Style.
Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, provided additional insight to this article by updating the product list. Emma loves burning the Voluspa Bourbon Vanille candle, which she has repeatedly purchased for herself or received as a gift friends—"it's just that good," she says.