The best scented candles, tried and tested

Buying a scented candle online can be a little daunting, after all, scents are so personal. To that end, we've rounded up our tried and tested favourites to make the process a little easier
22 best scented candles in the UK for 2023 tried and tested by our editors

House & Garden's verdict: If you're looking for a candle that's already verging on being a cult buy, it's this one. The shape means it can be used as a vase afterwards and it looks beautiful on display–an ornament in its own right.

“A current favourite candle is by Moro Dabron. The scent reminds me of being in a country house hotel. The kind that retains the authentic smell of the grand old house that it once was, but more luxurious now–full of fresh cuttings from the garden and lovely spa products. It smells like somewhere I’d much rather be.” - Eleanor Cording Booth, Smells like home

Jamb Candle, £280 from Moro Dabron
  • Burn time: 70 hours
  • Best for: The living room
  • Time of year: Autumn/winter
  • Wax type: Natural, free from paraffin
  • Scent notes: Frankincense, cade, smoke, precious woods, black pepper and amber

House & Garden's verdict: Created to sit amongst other beautiful objets on your mantle, this candle was made by Jamb in collaboration with Moro Dabron. Each of the candles has been cast using a process called the ‘ancient lost wax'–a lengthy multi-step process that involves hand patination.

Bergamot Candle, £50 from D'Ambrosi
Bergamot Candle in Gray Cararra Marble

House & Garden's verdict: Hand-poured in the Cotswolds into satisfyingly heavy marble containers, D'Ambrosi's array of scented candles are a true delight. Bergamot balances the citrussy notes with a hint of rose, while West Indian Bay is a warming, spicy number. Once it's burnt down, you can go back for a refill for just £25 – it's a circular economy candle with joy on every level.

Polkra x Katie Scott Candle Collection, Calypso Rose

House & Garden's verdict: We love these jars, designed by artist Katie Scott for Polkra on mythological themes. The scents are delightful too - this 'Calypso Rose' is a particular favourite, light and sweet without being cloying.

Urban Apothecary London Smoked Leather Luxury Candle

House & Garden's verdict: Urban Apothecary are slightly more affordable than other luxury candle brands, and their clean, modern black jars look stylish anywhere. This scent is much more gentle than the idea of 'smoked leather' would have you believe - like an elegant, feminine take on a library-style fragrance.

Byredo Bohemia Scented Candle, £33 from Selfridges
Byredo Bohemia Scented Candle

House & Garden's verdict: As well as looking incredibly smart on a side table with its black and white container, this candle smells so rich and luxurious – it's definitely one to set a tone in the evening.

Neom Tranquillity Sleep 3 Wick Scented Candle

House & Garden's verdict: Infused with English lavender, sweet basil and jasmine, this candle is designed to help you sleep deeply and peacefully. This candle weighs 420g and has a burn time of over 50 hours, so it's good value for money.

Fornasetti Architettura Scented Candle

House & Garden's verdict: A timeless classic that has many uses when it's empty, Fornasetti's lidded candles are a beautiful choice for a shelf or desk, where the Italian brand's iconic artwork can be fully appreciated.

Whisky & Water Single Wick Candle, £40 from Noble Isle
Whisky & Water Luxury Scented Candle

House & Garden's verdict: We've long been fans of Noble Isle's beautifully fragranced shower and bath gels, and we're just as impressed with their generous scented candles. The new ‘Whisky & Water’ scent is just the thing for a winter's evening curled up by the fire, with notes of cedar, vanilla, and of course, malted barley.

Loewe Cypress Balls Small Scented Candle, blue, £82 from Net-A-Porter.
Loewe Cypress Balls Small Scented Candle

House & Garden's verdict: One to buy for the ribbed ceramic vessel as much as the fragrance itself, Loewe's candle range comes in a variety of beautiful colours and scents – this is one to repurpose as a trinket or pen pot long after the wax is gone.

Mattino Scented Candle, £65 from Officina Santa Maria Novella
Mattino Scented Candle

House & Garden's verdict: Santa Maria Novella is one of our favourite shops for bath products, perfumes, pot pourri - anything scented in fact. With its utterly beautiful packaging and heavenly fragrances, we couldn't omit their candles. The four ‘Hours’ candles, named for morning, afternoon, evening and night, have corresponding scents; ‘Mattino’ has to be a favourite, with its crisp, fresh notes of mint, eucalyptus, pine, sage and thyme.

Evermore London Venus Candle, £60 from Harvey Nichols.
Evermore London Venus Candle

House & Garden's verdict: The latest scent from British candle brand Evermore, this wonderful tuberose-heavy candle fills the room with fragrance, so a little goes a long way.

Trudon Reggio Scented Candle, £90 from Liberty
Trudon Reggio Scented Candle

House & Garden's verdict: Named after the Italian city of the same name, the blue hand-blown glass vessel is reason enough to want this elegant candle on display, the mimosa and grapefruit fragrance is merely an added bonus.

Diptyque Figuier Scented Candle, £283 from Selfridges
Diptyque Figuier Scented Candle

House & Garden's verdict: One of Diptyque's most well-known candle fragrances, this limited edition style is especially lovely with the graphic detailing on the clear glass – it's a great long lasting size too.

Maison Margiela Replica by the Fireplace Candle

House & Garden's verdict: Replica by Maison Margiela is a line of perfumes created to evoke a time and a place. This one is Chamonix, 1971 and it simply smells like autumn; there's really no other way to describe it. It is at once smokey and sharp, rich with deep spicy tones. The packaging isn't too wild, so it'll sit in any space without drawing too much attention.

Tubéreuse Scented Candle, £77 from Selfridges
Diptyque Tubereuse Rouge Large Scented Candle, 300g
  • Burn time: 90 hours
  • Best for: The living room
  • Time of year: Summer/early autumn
  • Wax type: Vegetable and paraffin
  • Scent notes: Tubéreuse

House & Garden's verdict: Diptyque's 'Tubéreuse' is our Digital Editor, Virginia Clark's long-standing favourite candle. It offers a delicate, elusive floral scent that is pleasingly difficult to place. It's not cloying, as you might expect from floral fragrances. Instead it is subtle and elegant, with a clean, herbal element to it that knocks back the sweetness.

Limited Edition Kindling Candle, £75 from Daylesford
Limited Edition Kindling Candle
  • Burn time: 90 hours
  • Best for: The living room
  • Time of year: Winter
  • Wax type: 100% natural wax
  • Scent notes: Smoke, frankincense, juniper berries & cedarwood.
Byredo Tree House Candle, £33 from Cult Beauty
Byredo Tree House Candle
  • Burn time: 24 hours
  • Best for: The living room
  • Time of year: Early autumn
  • Scent notes: Cedar, bamboo, sandalwood, guaiac wood and hay

What is the best brand of scented candles?

Lighting a scented candle is truly a multi-sensory experience: with scents to delight the nose, beautiful packaging that is just a joy to behold, and the ability to create a relaxing ambience in both the dingiest of bathrooms and the largest of living rooms. So the best brand of scented candle needs to offer all of these things. For great value, Urban Apothecary is our go to. The scent lasts right up to the end and the package is clean lined and cool.

How to prevent tunnelling

Before you first light your candle, you should ensure you have approximately two hours (depending on the candle size) to allow the candle to burn. Why? Well, if the wax doesn't melt all the way to the edge of the candle, it might begin to ‘tunnel'. This is where the wax creates a channel down the centre of the candle, reducing its life span.

Why you should always trim the wick

There are two main reasons why you need to trim your candle wick. The first is relatively simple: a longer wick and bigger flame will result in your candle burning faster. The second reason is that the longer the wick, the bigger the flame and the higher the chance your candle will perform ‘incomplete combustion.' This is where the flame produces carbon black, AKA soot, instead of carbon dioxide. A big sign that this is happening is your candle jar being marked with soot and the flame creating a large amount of smoke.

What are the strongest smelling candles?

At a not-too-eye-watering-price-point, The White Company's, and Jo Malone's candles can't be beaten. The former has an especially good offering in the colder months, offering scents that reincarnate the feeling of Christmas spirit (though we'd also recommend Maison Margiela's 'By The Fireplace' if you're after this).

What is the difference between soy, beeswax and paraffin candles?

The simple answer is that soy and beeswax candles are more expensive than paraffin ones. This is largely because paraffin wax is easier to mass produce. However, splashing out on beeswax or soy-based candles is worth the money, as they produce less smoke and pollution than their paraffin counterparts.

Best scented candles