What's the point in decorating your home for Christmas if you're not going to fragrance it with festive scents? With help from our best Christmas candles guide, you can find the perfect aroma for flooding your home all December long. Whether that be a warm scent, a festively spicy fragrance or a sweet-smelling candle is your choice...
We've been trying and testing a whole load of Christmas candles for a good few months now. Our verdict is below as we've popped the ones that we love into a list.
Whether you'd like your home to smell like there's gingerbread baking in the oven, mulled wine bubbling away on the hob or you want to give the impression that there's a fresh Christmas tree sitting in your lounge, these buys ought to impress even the fussiest of nostrils. Plus, they'll get you right in the spirit.
See our best candles guide for more top scents for a fragranced home
Believe it or not, it’s not just what the candle smells like, but we also considered looks, too. From painted glass jars to classic iconic vessels, these candles will want to be displayed pride of place atop your fireplace mantlepiece, in the middle of your dining table or on your coffee table this Christmas.
The best Christmas candles 2023
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1. The White Company Winter Signature Candle
The White Company's Winter candle has become one of their best selling seasonal scents – and for good reason. With spicy yet warm notes of cinnamon, clove and orange, this candle's scent is powerful enough to fill an entire room. It's definitely one for lighting in the lead up to Christmas, to ensure that your home smells as festive as it looks. Plus, it comes in a range of sizes from a small votive to a large, decorative table centrepiece. This Christmas treat is an all-around crowd-pleaser, and we even had guests comment on its scent whilst lighting it in our home.
2. Interlude White Christmas Soy Wax Candle
This beautiful Christmas candle screams luxury since it's poured inside a white glass vessel – plus it's handmade. Using soy wax to provide a clean, soot-free burn, this candle both looks the part and plays the part. It's scented with herbal notes of pine and clove which is balanced with sweet raspberry, green leaf & orange. Its base notes are caramel and wood. The perfect sophisticated concoction, we think. It also looks lovely on display.
3. Yankee Candle Holiday Hearth
If you are looking for a Christmas candle from Yankee, then Holiday Hearth is the one for you. You’ll almost be able to hear Nat King Cole crooning ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…’ when you light it. This candle's scent is inspired by a garland-adorned fireplace, with notes of cinnamon, clove and cedarwood. It's definitely a cosy scent, that's perfect for burning in the living room on a winter’s evening watching A Christmas Carol. This candle is available in three sizes and tealights. However, if you are looking for a candle to see you through this Christmas and possibly even next we’d suggest opting for the large.
4. Skandinavisk Jul Scented Candle
If you are searching for a Christmas candle but want to keep it eco-friendly, then this one from Scandinavisk is your best bet. Not only is it fragranced with spicy notes similar to that of mulled wine and baked gingerbread. It's warming and with a double wick, it'll flood your rooms with fragrance. We're currently lighting it in our hallway, to great guests with a festive aroma. How is it eco-friendly? It's made using Swedish non-GMO rapeseed oil wax, which is traceable and sustainably farmed. This wax is poured into a painted glass vessel, made from 30% recycled materials. The candle itself is 100% vegan and cruelty free, and it's adorned with a wooden lid to prevent dusting. This wooden lid is made from FSC-certified European forest wood. Even its packaging is FSC-certified and dyed using natural colours.
5. Mor's Snow Gardenia candle
Fill your home with the scent of winter blooms as Mor’s Emporium Classics Snow Gardenia range combines rich musk, sandalwood and vanilla with sharp bergamot for a sophisticated spin on the classic Christmas candle. This Christmas candle is made out of black soy wax and it's housed in a lovely gold embellished black jar – to add a little drama to your Christmas celebrations. The range includes a candle and room spray for boosting the scent all day long, too.
6. Yankee Candle Merry Berry
This Yankee candle smells like Christmas baking, bottled into a large jar and red in colour (it looks much darker than the picture in real life). Named after Mary Berry but with a festive twist, it has base notes of butter cookies, vanilla and tonka bean. These aromas are balanced well with sugar plum, red raspberry and gooseberry. Top notes include orange, lemon and dried apricots. We say to light it in a large room as it can be very sweet if lit in small spaces, and it's large enough to burn all December long!
7. Heather Evelyn Holly and the Ivy hand-illustrated set of two Christmas candles
For decorating your table or to nestle atop a mantlepiece amongst an impressive garland, these handmade tapered candles are gorgeous. They read "the holly and the ivy" and they are hand illustrated in Balham, South London. Though they're not one to give off any smell, what they lack in fragrance they make up for in their design. Measuring 24cm in length, they are 100% wax and they come in a set of two.
What makes a Christmas scent?
Certain fragrances will always conjure up Christmas – though some may be more obvious than others. Cinnamon is a biggie, reminding us of festive fare and tasty drinks like egg nog and hot chocolate.
Pine or fir is another key scent that of course brings to mind Christmas trees and wreaths. If you tend to stick to artificial decorations, it may well be worth bringing in pine-scented candles for that 'real tree smell'.
Orange zests also tend to be a feature of Christmas candles – look out for mandarin or clementine.
What are the best quality candles?
There are two key ingredients to a good candle – the wax and the wick. The wax should be blended so that it gives off the right amount of scent and offers an even burn, without leaving any wax residue or giving off any black soot.
Related: the best artificial Christmas trees to buy in 2021 – plus some discounted options
Look for cotton wicks that have been dipped into distilled water to allow them to burn evenly with no soot. The wicks should burn with the candle, so there should be no need to trim them. Ideally, look for candles with multiple wicks as they will give a more even burn and release more scent.
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Annie is Ideal Home's Deputy Ecommerce Editor. With four years of eCommerce experience under her belt, you can find her shopping words of wisdom on Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Livingetc, Homes & Gardens and Woman & Home. When she's not planning ahead or curating deals for Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday, you can find Annie testing a range of products in her South London home, from reed diffusers to candles, BBQs, mattresses and even a few vacuum cleaners.
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