Set a mood this season with scents that spark nostalgia, get the party started, or remind you of Christmases past.
To help spruce up your new Christmas party, decorating session, or holiday movie marathon, we researched the best holiday candles on the market, considering the scent, style, and price of each. Our favorites include a nostalgic pine scent from Snif, a trio of candles representing different cities during Christmastime from Anthropologie, and one that crackles like a fireplace from WoodWick.
Here, the best Christmas candles.
Homesick Candles White Elephant Candle
As the name suggests, Homesick Candles are masters at sparking nostalgia for a certain feeling, place, or person. The White Elephant Candle evokes a scene of passing presents, ripping wrapping paper, and spreading joy. Notes of candied orange and champagne make this a celebratory candle to light during toasts and dinner parties. Plus, the name makes it a perfect option for gifting at a white elephant party.
Price at time of publish: $38
Aerangis LLC No. 102 Silver Skyline
AAPI-owned candle brand, Aerangis LLC, commits to using only non-toxic and allergen-free ingredients while being both cruelty-free and eco-conscious in every part of their packaging and products. Silver Skyline seeks to encapsulate the magic of the holidays in New York City with notes of winter citrus and fir balsam.
Price at time of publish: $78
Frankfort Candle Company Matilda
Frankfort Candle Company makes it easy to customize the scent and appearance of your candles, adding a personal touch that's great for gifting. We love the Matilda vessel that comes painted with a pine forest dusted with powdery snow. Choose from three seasonal scents: Frazier and fir, gilded rose and spruce, or peach and silver spruce. All three offer that familiar Christmas tree smell with festive additions guaranteed to become a new favorite.
Price at time of publish: $88
Anthropologie Holiday in the City Candle
Anthropologie's Holiday in the City candle collection imagines what Christmas would be like in New York, London, and Paris. Each variation comes with its own holiday-themed scent and a vessel painted with a wintry scene in the corresponding city. Whether you're dreaming of travel, looking for a taste of home while away, or admiring another city's festive display, this collection is sure to please.
Price at time of publish: $28
Glade Velvety Berry Bliss 3-Wick Candle
Glade's limited edition winter fragrances are the perfect accompaniment to your holiday parties this year. Velvety Berry Bliss reminds us of red berries on a holiday wreath. The sophisticated scent has notes of Bordeaux with traditional berry scents for a sweet and mature scent that pairs perfectly with a glass of wine.
Price at time of publish: $19
FORVR Mood Mallow Dramatic Candle
Beauty mogul Jackie Aina plans to disrupt the candle space by rewriting the self-care and luxury narrative for Black women. Her gorgeous candles offer a lasting scent and gorgeous design at an approachable price point. Part of her Christmas collection, Mallow Dramatic Candle blends frothed milk, marshmallow, and cardamom for a sweet, mellow smell to burn all winter long.
Price at time of publish: $38
EMME Roasted Chestnuts Wood Wick Candle
EMME's Asian-inspired non-toxic candles are hand poured in New York City in micro-batches for the highest quality result at an affordable price. Opt for the brand's bestselling roasted chestnut scent this winter for the coziest smell, perfect for snuggling up on the couch. The sustainable wood wick uses less wood, provides a comforting crackling sound, and burns for up to 80 hours.
Price at time of publish: $35
Anecdote Candles Snow Day
Anecdote Candles founder Julia Maskulka provides her expert scent creators with a feeling, a vibe, or an anecdote (if you will), and they build a scent profile based on that. What smells like a change of plans on a snow day? In this case, it smells like a cup of hot chocolate, brown sugar, and sandalwood. Who are we to disagree?
Price at time of publish: $34
LAFCO Woodland Spruce Candle
If you're looking for that traditional Christmas tree scent, LAFCO has you covered with its Woodland Spruce candle. With notes of birch bark, evergreen spruce, and earthy palo santo wood, your home will smell like a Christmas tree farm all December long. A candle like this pairs perfectly with an artificial tree that gives the look of the real thing, but not the smell. Now, you don't have to compromise.
Price at time of publish: $70
Snif Old Saint Wick Candle
Snif has brought back its bestselling 2021 Christmas candle in 2022, and Oprah has already highlighted it as one of her favorite things of the year. Hilariously named Old Saint Wick, the soy and vegetable wax candle combines Siberian Pine, apple, rosemary, jasmine, fir balsam, and, sandalwood cedar wood for the ultimate holiday candle displayed in a minimalist holly-green vessel.
Price at time of publish: $44
The Six Bells Birch Bark & Ripe Fir Sapling Candle
Home decor brand The Six Bells has teamed up with Cottagecore Black Folks, the community and shop dedicated to welcoming diversity in the trendy aesthetic, to create the candle of the season. Made in Brooklyn, the vegan, biodegradable hemp-soy wax candle features those nostalgic notes of birch and fir strung across a crackling fireplace.
Price at time of publish: $40
P.F. Candle Co Smoky Cinnamon Special– 7.2 oz Soy Candle
Special for the holiday season, P.F. Candle Co. dug up some of their vaulted, retired scents for a limited time. Perfect for those looking for a spice-filled holiday candle, this option features notes of bitter orange, cassia bark, nutmeg, and patchouli, that blend seamlessly from fall to winter. The simple orange jars offer a modern yet cozy appearance sitting on your desk, coffee table, or tabletop.
Price at time of publish: $24
Glasshouse Fragrances Gingerbread House
Ensure the smells of holiday baking never end with a sweet candle like this one from Glasshouse Fragrances. The gingerbread house candle smells exactly like it sounds: sweet and spicy with notes of almond, caramel, clove, cinnamon, vanilla, and more. Set the mood while building a candy house of your own, or trick guests into thinking you have delicious delicacies in the oven every time they come over.
Price at time of publish: $109
Boy Smells Figurare
Named after the Italian verb meaning to represent, to depict, to portray, Figurare from Boy Smells comes as part of the brand's newest holiday trio. The green matte tumbler comes with a familiar label but is embossed with a fancy white border to double as holiday decor. As for the scent, you'll smell fig leaves, coriander, and black pepper in this earthy, herbal pick.
Price at time of publish: $44
Yankee Candle Peppermint Pinwheels
For some, the holidays mean peppermint candies and candy canes. Celebrate the sweet smell of mint with a complementing candle from Yankee Candle. Peppermint Pinwheels offers that classic minty scent with the smells of baking delicious cookies including melted butter, sea salt, and whipped vanilla. This pick comes in three sizes, so it's perfect for any budget, any space, and any occasion.
Price at time of publish: $19
WoodWick Frasier Fir Candle
Feel the comforting scent, light, and sound of a fireplace without the high price tag with a WoodWick candle. WoodWick Candles are meant to mimic a crackling fire when lit. The familiar sound combined with the Frasier Fir scent will spark nostalgia for cozy winter nights, guaranteed. We love the hourglass shape as well, which looks gorgeous when displayed.
Price at time of publish: $3 5
Bath & Body Works Tis the Season
Bath & Body Works may be the first retailer that comes to mind when thinking of Christmas candles, and it's for a good reason. Each year, the brand delivers delicious and festive scents in various-sized candles, all for an affordable price. This year, we love the Tis the Season 3-wick candle. The decorative glass candle features an elf working in her workshop while scents of apple, cinnamon, and cedarwood help set the scene.
Price at time of publish: $26
Brooklyn Candle Studio Vert Deco Holiday Edition Candle- Prosecco
Brooklyn Candle Studio chose to celebrate an extra fun part of the holiday season this year—cocktail parties. The emerald green matte vessels may not scream Christmas at first, but they help create the perfect ambiance for festive gatherings. The Prosecco scent contains sweet wild roses and red berries, balanced out with white musk to build an appealing scent for any party.
Price at time of publish: $39
Otherland Gilded Collection Candles
Otherland's gilded holiday collection puts some sophisticated flair on traditional Christmas designs. The black vessels come decorated with gold foil letters and stunning natural illustrations, filled with six limited-edition scents. We love the silk pajamas scent, which feels like the classy version of a cozy Christmas morning. Energize for the season with ginger, bergamot, and spiced yuzu.
Price at time of publish: $36
diptyque Étincelles / Spark Candle
Diptyque's candles smell just as beautiful as they look. For its holiday collection, the brand added white, gold, and silver stars that seem to glow in the dark when the candle is lit. The deep maroon wax acts as the perfect background and a mature take on the classic Christmas color. This pick combines the sweetness of coffee and chocolate with earthy wood and fire for a beautiful combination of comfort and coziness.
Price at time of publish: $84
Thymes Frasier Fir Pine Needle Candle
Thyme's best-selling holiday scent obviously smells just like a Frasier Fir. Part of the fresh fragrance family, the scent feels natural and crisp like winter air without ever having to step outside. Perhaps, the best part of this candle is the vessel. The simple white candle comes shipped in a high-quality glass container painted with pine branches. It makes for stunning holiday decor and can be repurposed once the wax runs out.
Price at time of publish: $34
Nest Holiday Luxury 4 Wick Candle
Nest's fan-favorite holiday scent returns yet again. Simply named "holiday," the white candle comes in an opulent glass vessel with gold designs. Intended to be the "quintessential aroma of the season," it comes with notes of pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, cloves, and cinnamon with a hint of vanilla and amber for a well-balanced cocktail of festive feelings. The luxury version comes with four wicks in a large size, but there are also smaller versions, soaps, and diffusers available in the same scent.
Price at time of publish: $180
Apotheke Charred Fig Candle
Apotheke's holiday candles come specially packaged in a weighty ceramic vessel, so they're guaranteed to last all season long. The rich maroon wax emits scents of wild fig, amber, neroli, and cashmere woods for an earthy and sweet fragrance in one. The sophisticated candle evokes all the festive feelings you want but is still neutral enough to burn all year long.
Price at time of publish: $42
Etsy Merry Christmas Candle
Support small artisans this Christmas by searching for your holiday candles on Etsy this year. The retailer has tons of options, from personalized jars to candles containing crystals when burned. We love this option from Etsy seller CandlesIntentionsShop. The simple red candle comes to life with eco-friendly confetti dusted on top and an adorable red truck carrying a Christmas tree right on the jar.
Price at time of publish: $11+
What to Look for in a Christmas Candle
The right scent sets a mood, sparks a memory, or promotes relaxation, so it's important to find the right scent. Some common holiday scents include the pine of a Christmas tree, the sugar of holiday cookies, the spices of an autumn wreath, or the crisp air of a snowy day. Determine the vibe you're trying to set and go from there. Some scents are more mature; others are playful and bright. While it may be intimidating to shop for candles online, be sure to read through the notes on the website carefully to imagine the scent, or visit an in-person retailer to smell all the options for yourself.
To many, the look of a candle is just as important as the scent. Luckily, most brands offer limited-edition packaging that sparkles and shines with the rest of your holiday decor. Many come in gorgeous glass or ceramic vessels in traditional festive colors, while others feature a wintery scene or holiday motif right on the packaging. If you're not set on a specific scent, imagine what will look best on your mantle or centerpiece and complement your favorite decor items.
Setting the perfect holiday mood doesn't have to be expensive. Small Christmas candles start at just a few dollars and can burn for dozens of hours throughout the holiday season. Just about any scent you want is available from an affordable brand at a budget-friendly price. For something a bit more luxurious, there's options from high-end brands that can last you from Christmas to Christmas in extravagant vessels. But, you definitely don't have to splurge to find your favorite festive scent.
What is the best candle scent for Christmas?
Scent is such a personal choice; there's no way to just pick one best fragrance for the holiday season. Instead, consider what kind of mood you wish to create with your scent. A fresh pine smell can accompany an artificial Christmas tree to add that nostalgic scent to the tree alternative. If you aren't a big baker but love the smell of fresh cookies, find it in a candle. There are no rules when it comes to the scents in your space, and everything can be a holiday scent if you say it is.
Which candle scent lasts the longest?
If you're interested in finding a long-lasting scent, look to the burn times usually found in the descriptions of candles on online retailers. Of course, these are approximate times, but they give a sense of how long your favorite scent will last. For example, Apotheke gives a range of a 60-70 hour burn time for its 13-ounce candle, while Anecdote Candles promises the same burn time for nine ounces.
Invest in larger candles and look into the brand's care instructions to ensure your scent and your candle last as long as possible. Each brand may have different directions for burning that can make your scent last longer. Glasshouse Fragrances advises to always burn your candle for 2-4 hours at a time. Almost all brands advise trimming your wick upon arrival, and burning until all of the wax on the top of the candle has melted. This helps prevent tunneling and creates an even burning of wax every time.
How can I make candles smell stronger?
Proper care of your candles ensures the strongest scent possible. Again, be sure to look into specific instructions for your specific candle before proceeding because different sizes, wax types, and vessels may require different care. A general rule of thumb is to trim your wick to about a half an inch before lighting. This limits the flame size and stops the candle from burning wax too quickly. When the wax burns quickly, it gives the scent less time to evaporate and fill your space with the amazing scent. As with all home goods, taking proper care of your items results in the best experience.
Why Trust the Spruce?
This article was written by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays. She's also covered similar topics in other roles, including toy reviews, product roundups, expert-focused articles, and more.