Now that the temperatures in New York have been popping back up into the 40s again (balmy!), I’m cracking the windows for daytime fresh air and digging my floral candles back out (goodnight, pine scents, your time is up!). I’m in the market for some candles with more than a fourth of their wax left, though, which has led me towards the vague (but oddly descriptive?) world of online candle shopping.
I’ve got to admit: The descriptions on candles with their “scent profiles'' often make me giggle. What does “makeshift architecture of these poetic gems” really mean? And can you actually boil down the scent of “russet underbrush?” That said, it’s relatively easy to sniff out a winning candle even from afar, and the following list of options all either sound enticing, are confirmed delicious-smelling, or simply promise to add a pop of springtime happiness to any table.
“Boy Smells” are known for their deep, musty (and well, manly) scents, but this particular one drops the notes of Abercrombie & Fitch in favor of “flora still clinging to the vine,” and “tomato juice rounded by drops of honeysuckle nectar.” I mean, sounds about as lovely as can be.
Part of the excitement of spring is that it eventually gives way to summer, and even if you loathe the heat (me!), summer is sometimes unbeatable. This candle claims to invoke “salty ocean air with hot sand underfoot,” okay sure. But then it goes on to say, “afternoon tides leave driftwood, seaweed and conch shells scattered along the shore,” which isn’t really… a scent? But we’ll take it! Anything to pretend we’re on a beach.
3. Hay Candle
Listen, we know that twisty candles are a hyper-trend, and maybe they’ll pass, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to participate. I personally plan to swap out my neutral taper candles with these guys come spring, just for a lovely little pop of color and sculpted-ness (a word?).
If you’ve ever walked into an Anthropologie store, you’ll know this classic scent: with “iconic notes of tropical fruits and sugared citrus,” naturally. It gets a springtime makeover, though, in a bright two-toned vessel.
I have indeed been to Big Sur, and if this candle really “conjures up rain water in eucalyptus groves off Highway 1 with young green shoots, long spears, and russet underbrush,” I’ll consider it a win. Maybe I’ll also feel less stir-crazy in my NY apartment? Worth a shot.
Close your eyes. Imagine “the afternoon sun has warmed the plants in your garden, and you bring that incredible smell back inside with your freshly-harvested basket of herbs.” Open your eyes. It’s a candle! These are actually infused with fresh-harvested herbs, spices, fruits, flowers and grains, so they fill a room with genuinely herby aroma.
Simple, textural, fun colors. Love ‘em.
P.F. Candle Co. has a way of making even the most traditionally cloying scents (like sweet cinnamon apple) somehow sophisticated, and their nature-inspired aromas are no different. This one, inspired by California's Coast, has “notes of salty sea air, redwood, eucalyptus, white lavender,” but of course.
I honestly am not even interested in the smell this candle imparts, I’m more interested in burning it all the way down and scraping the wax chunks out so I can use it as a trinket tray. But, I suppose the bergamot and bamboo that “bring to life the floral aromas of Lily of the Valley and freesia,” sounds good, too.
Dramatic description notwithstanding, this candle really smells good, and the smoked glass vessel was specifically designed to be repurposed as drinkware. Here’s a snippet of the scent profile: “scented with earthy mushroom nuances, mists of rain-soaked ferns and the smell of dark green moss covering the cool, damp dirt of the forest floor,” to inspire a dreamlike atmosphere that emulates the forest and all its beauty.” Seems like a big promise, but I’m in!
Anything that bears the faint aroma of chopped wood is a win in my book, so The Tree House candle (named for… the smell of a tree house), “has retained the makeshift architecture of these poetic gems” (...) in the form of “cedar, bamboo, sandalwood, guaiac wood and hay.” Yum.
The magic of this candle mostly comes after the burn, when it becomes the perfect footed planter for basil, Gerbera daisies, or aloe, and includes all the makings of a healthy sprout: seeds, plant food, soilless grow medium, and activated carbon.
Pretty much anything Malin+Goetz is a slam dunk. Do I go out of my way to stay in places with M+G? Perhaps, yes. Do I always stuff the tiny leftover bottles in my bag? Also yes. This candle is “an uncommonly modern take on the traditional floral scent,” with notes of cardamom, clove and black pepper, as well as peony, rose and geranium.
Ah, the description for this candle (which I have in fact burned and loved) is refreshingly succinct: “tart, crisp apple and peppery arugula are enhanced with sweet lemongrass.” I’m sold.
If you’ve ever smelled beeswax, you know it has a lovely little scent all its own, and these gorgeous tapers are no exception. Light them to lighten the mood, or leave them unlit as decor—it’s up to you.