Shopping edit – best Christmas candles to set the scene for the festive season

Excite all the senses with these gloriously scented candles
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  • Nothing evokes that Christmas feeling quite like the mingling scents of pine, spiced mulled wine and clove studded oranges. While you can’t beat the real things, boosting that Christmas smell with a scented candle will have you in the festive spirit from the 1st December.

    Related: Iconic Jo Malone advent calendar is back for Christmas 2020 – here are all the details!

    We have rounded up the best Christmas candles that will fill you home with gorgeous scents. Nothing sets the scene quite like a spicy and citrusy scent that smells like the definition of Christmas.

    However, there a plenty of less traditional scents that encapsulate the yuletide spirit. Pine scented candles are always a winner if you’re looking for a fresher scent. While sweet peppermint and gingerbread candles will have your home smelling like Mrs Claus’ kitchen.

    But it’s not just what the candle smells like, but looks like too. From sparkling jars to botanical laden candles, these candles will want to be displayed pride of place on your hearth and coffee tables this Christmas.

    Best Christmas candles 2020

    1. Marks & Spencer Spiced Rum candle – best for a Christmas party

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    Christmas parties might be looking increasingly unlikely, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate the festive season in style. Marks and Spencers collection of cocktail inspired candles are perfect for kicking things off.

    You can choose from a rich Espresso Martini scent, Clementine Gin or our favourite Spiced Rum. Rum has been tipped as the next big tipple, and this luxe candle features a blend of spicy black pepper, warm cedarwood and sandalwood notes. The perfect scent for setting the scene at your next christmas (zoom) drinks.

    Burn time: 55 hours

    Buy now: Spiced rum, £9.50, Marks and Spencer

    2. H&M Hyacinth candle – best for gifting

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    You would never believe that this candle costs less than £10 from the look of it. The red jar is decorated with a gold embossed label and comes in a beautifully decorated box, perfect for gifting.

    However, it isn’t all about the looks. The Hyacinth candle was created in conjunction with French perfumers from Robertet. It is an elegant and floral fragrance, inspired by a frosty forest. It has top notes of ylang-ylang and apple, combined with heart notes of dew-touched gardenia and maté, and a dry base notes of palo santo and white cedarwood.

    Burn time: 20 hours

    Buy now: Red/Hyacinth Scented candle in glass holder, £8.99, H&M

    3. Yankee Candle Holiday Hearth, Amazon – best traditional scent

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    If you are looking for that ‘smells like christmas’ candle Yankee candles 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

    The candles is inspired by a garland-adorned fireplace, with notes of cinnamon, clove and cedarwood. A cosy scent perfect for burning in the living room on a winter’s evening watching a Christmas Carol.

    The 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.

    Burn time: 150 hours

    Buy now: Yankee Candle Holiday Hearth, Large, £23.72, Amazon

    4. The White Company Winter botanical candle – Best all-rounder

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    Winter has become one of The White Company’s best selling seasonal scents with good reason. This year is its 21st anniversary, while the scent might be an oldie it still has an abundance of charm. 

    The scent is made up of a blend of nine essential oils. Including notes of spicy cinnamon, warming clove and zesty orange. The scent is available in a range of candles and diffusers, however we are particula fans of the winter botanical candle.

    The candles has been given a boost with an infusion of cinnamon sticks, orange slices and red berries. Ensuring that the candle looks just as good as it smells.

    Burn time: Medium candle, 65 hours

    Buy now: Winter botanical candle, Medium, £28, The White Company

    5. Mors Snow Gardenia candle, Feelunique – best for a modern twist

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    Fill you home with scent of winter blooms. Mor’s Emporium Classics Snow Gardenia range combines rich Musk, Sandalwood, Vanilla, with sharp bergamot for a sophisticated spin on the classic Christmas candle.

    The range includes a candle and room spray for boosting the scent all day long. The candle is made out of black soy wax. Housed in a lovely gold embellished black jar, this striking candle will add a little drama to your Christmas celebrations.

    Burn time: 60 hours

    Buy now: MOR Emporium Classics Snow Gardenia Fragrant candle, £28, Feelunique

    6. Angel Strawbridge Forest Embers Ceramic Candle, Argos Home – best for smoky undertones

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    For Christmas, Sainsbury’s Home & Argos Home have refreshed the fragrance range designed by Escape To The Chateau’s Angel Strawbridge. The range includes four new seasonal scents, however our personal favourite is Forest Embers.

    If you are looking for grown up twist on the classic pine scent, this candle balances the aroma of pine with a rich and smoky undertone. It’s the sort of scent you’d imagine getting a whiff off in a log cabin in the snow covered woods.

    The scents are available in a boxed glass candle. However for a statement piece or gift we suggest opting for the lidded multi-wick candle in a sculptural floral vessel.

    Burn time: 25 hours

    Buy now: Angel Strawbridge Forest Embers Ceramic Candle, £10, Argos Home

    7. Neom Christmas wish candle, LookFantastic – best for keeping to yourself

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    During the busy festive season, sometimes it is essential to take a little break and relax. This best-selling festive fragrance from Neom is perfect for introducing a little calm into your home.

    A Christmas wish is a soothing traditional scent, made up of a blend of mandarin, cinnamon and tonka bean – spicy, fruity and rich. Imagine the best Christmas cake in the world baking in the oven, that is what this candle smells like. To help you unwind even more the candle includes 10 oils to help you unwind.

    This year’s design comes in a vibrant blue glass jar, decorated with the message ‘Calm is a Superpower’ in rose gold.

    Burn time: 35 hours

    Buy now: Neom Christmas wish candle, £32, LookFantastic

    What are Christmas scents?

    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 brining 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.

    If you are looking for a masculine take on fragrance, seek our musk or smoky scents. Diptyque’s Feu de Bois Scented Candle is not for everyone, but its heady fragrance absolutely conjures up an open fire and has a legion of fans.

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    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    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 he right amount of scent and offers an even burn, without leaving any wax residue or giving off any black soot.

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    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 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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