The Best Holiday Candles You’ll Want to Burn All Winter


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Source: Sweet Water Decor
Source: Sweet Water Decor

When the weather gets cold and blustery and those precious few hours of daylight are all too limited, the only thing to do is stay indoors. Outside may be dreary, but inside, Christmas music is blaring on the speakers, the Christmas tree is twinkling, and the entire room smells like fresh-baked sugar cookies. That, dear friends, is the magic of ambiance, created with the help of some expertly crafted holiday candles. 

A cozy night in isn’t complete without the perfect candle, so we did the hard work of sniffing dozens of holiday candles and rounded up the best ones. Whether you want your room to smell like a fresh-cut evergreen tree, the box of cigars your dad brings out every Christmas, potato latkes for breakfast, or a hodgepodge of holiday smells, we have you covered.

$20 and Under

The Smell of Tree

scent description: pine, cedarleaf, fir balsam, bayleaf, clove, moss

This is a pretty classic balsam scent, but that’s exactly why we love it. It burns evenly with a solid throw, and in this textured glass jar, we’re smitten.

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The Smell of Christmas

scent description: clove, orange, cinnamon, spice, wood

This is exactly how your house should smell while you’re decorating for Christmas. Not that it smells like dusty old ornaments from the attic—it smells like baking oranges for garland in the oven, cinnamon sticks, and the fire burning in the background.

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Peppermint Snow

scent description: peppermint

This candle is as simple and straightforward as it gets, with just one scent at the forefront: peppermint. It’s calming scent will be your go-to choice during your well-deserved holiday days off.

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Forest Fir

scent description: spice, pine, fir wood

It’s your classic pine tree scent, only richer. We imagine this is what a Christmas tree farm nestled in a fancy Connecticut town would smell like, thanks to the addition of warm spices.

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Orange & Clove

scent description: orange peel, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg

This candle somehow bottles how a HomeGoods smells around the holidays, complete with a blend of fresh orange peel and warm cinnamon.

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White Barn
Cinnamon Sugared Pecans

scent description: cinnamon sugar, warm roasted pecans, brown sugar

If you want your kitchen to smell like baked goods (who doesn’t?), we are begging you to buy this candle. It’s not so sweet that it’ll induce a headache, but it’s just sweet enough that you’ll be placing an InstaCart order for a decadent dessert in no time.

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Crushed Candy Cane

scent description: peppermint, freshly baked butter cookies

A candle that smells too much like candy canes isn’t exactly up our alley, but this blend with the scent of warm, buttery cookies makes it decadent.

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White Barn

scent description: white woods, pine needles, sparkling clementine, spiced clove

All of your classic winter scents combine to make this delicious candle, complete with notes of spice, fresh citrus, and campfire.

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Bath & Body Works
‘Tis the Season

scent description: rich red apple, sweet cinnamon, cedarwood

It’s not the holiday season until we’ve started burning a ‘Tis the Season candle. A quintessential blend of sweet cinnamon and apple with firewood, it’s how we picture the Griswold house smells around Christmas.

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Sweet Water Decor
Christmas White Jar Soy Candle

scent description: apple cider, cinnamon
fresh cut Christmas tree, cookies, orange peels, cloves

Somehow, this candle combines every single scent of the holidays into one dreamy candle without smelling overpowering. Each note comes through beautifully, and the throw is magnificent.

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White Barn
Sweater Weather

scent description: fresh sage, juniper berry, aromatic eucalyptus, fresh woods

This smells like pulling on an old cashmere sweater from the back of your mom’s closet. This delightfully layered candle is a twist on your traditional winter berry, thanks to notes of eucalyptus and woods.

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Yankee Candle
Christmas Cookie Candle

scent description: vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, sugar

Sometimes, you just want your whole house to smell like freshly baked cookies, and when that mood strikes, there’s nothing on Earth that can satisfy like this classic Yankee Candle scent.

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Hearth & Hand with Magnolia
Mulled Spice

scent description: cedar, apple, peach, clove, orange

This scent is kind of a one-trick pony but in the absolute best way. Sometimes you don’t need a heavy blend of unique smells for a good candle. This smells just like mulled wine with a touch of spice—and it’s all you really need.

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Burr Candle

scent description: orange blossom, nutmeg, and suede

A unique take on the traditional holiday scent, this spicy blend is just what you need to warm up on a cold day. FORVR Mood candles last forever, so you’ll burn this well into winter.

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Nest New York
Crystallized Ginger & Vanilla Bean Candle

scent description: crystallized ginger, vanilla bean, oat milk

This is your grown-up holiday cookie smell, like dipping sugar cookies in a cup of coffee. It is warm and spicy, making it irresistibly decadent, so we won’t judge you for eating an entire tin of cookies while it burns.

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Swiss Alps Le Refuge d’Ernest Candle

scent description: applewood, clove leaf, cedar

For those who want a holiday scent but get headaches from some of the more potent options, you’ll find a friend in this candle. It has a few classic holiday touches, like clove and cedar, but without all the sweetness and pine that make it too much.

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Latkes & Lights Candle

scent description: baked apple, butter, potato, pomegranate, pound cake, vanilla, sugar, musk

This isn’t your traditional holiday sweet smell, thanks to notes of musk and potato that will make you feel like you’re cooking potato latkes in the kitchen with your whole family.

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$50 and Up

‘REPLICA’ By The Fireplace Scented Candle

scent description: clove oil, chestnut accord, vanilla accord

Based on the perfume of the same name, this candle has the workings of a fireplace candle plus sweetness in the ending notes from the chestnut and vanilla that make it so unique. It’s pricey but will last you until next holiday season, no doubt.

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Nest New York
Holiday Scented Candle

scent description: pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, amber

This is often regarded as the best holiday scent out there, and we can’t help but agree. It’s a sophisticated blend of sweetness, woods, and citrus that feels rich without the pretentiousness.

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Pottery Barn
Forest Incense

scent description: incense, oakmoss, beeswax, spruce, balsam, pine needles, cedarwood

Like a peaceful walk in a snow-covered forest, this combination of balsam, spruce, and incense will transport you to another place with all the cozy winter feels.

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Sapin/Pine Tree Candle

scent description:
mountain pine, honeyed mimosa

We couldn’t do a holiday candle roundup without a mention of this iconic Diptyque candle. Balanced with sweet floral aromas, it’s not your typical pine scent—it evokes the warm memory of your childhood Christmas tree.

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Feu de Bois/Wood Fire Candle

scent description: birch, juniper, cade

This smells like a fireplace the second you light the log—all the warmth without the burnt smell. Dare we say this is Diptyque’s best candle? Often imitated but never quite duplicated, this scent is worth the high price tag and we recommend you invest in one ASAP.

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