I have a weakness for flowers and candles; it’s the kind of weakness that leaves me craving the visual and olfactory sensations that come from smelling well-made candles and seeing beautiful flowers on my table. So indulging in buying candles has taught me a thing or two about burning them and what scents work best for me. Below I have pulled the best candles based on my experience. I judge each brand based on the quality of wax and wick, the potency of the fragrance, packaging, price, and lifespan.
I will admit that I do not know everything about candles and every candle company because they are new shops popping up yearly. At times I think that the market is oversaturated with candle makers, but there seem to be an audience for each endeavor.
This is an American company known for its glass jars that come in various scents ranging from the holiday classics to floral, fruity, clean, and spicy fragrances. It’s one of the first candle companies I’ve come to know and has remained a staple on my list. While I do not love all the scents, they provide a handful that brings me absolute joy. Midnight jasmine, fresh-cut rose, clean cotton, gardenia, apricot-rose, and sage citrus. I have purchased their candles in various sizes, along with their wax melts, and room sprays. I currently have three large jars, and I savor every moment with these jars.
While this brand might be deemed “your mother and grandmother’s favorite candle brand,” I still think there is something about Yankee Candle that will keep it around for a long time. The headquarters for this company is in Massachusetts and has been operational since 1969. This brand’s number one selling point is the potency of the fragrances used. They are well balanced and, at times, seem very true to nature. Fresh-cut rose and midnight jasmine is the perfect examples of the skill at which Yankee Candle took notes in nature and hyper extended them. Thus, creating a potent smell that seems true to nature while lighting up a room without being too over powering.
Potency: 10 out of 10 – This brand has more realistic fragrances and scents that are strong enough to fill a room lasting as long as the candle does.
Wax & Wick: 10 out of 10 – The wick burns consistently until the candle is complete. In most cases, the wick usually burns with minimal issues.
Price: Price ranges based on the size of the candle and product. The original jars cost about $31USD, but this price tends to change throughout the year as prices fluctuate based on the size, sales, and new products. Smaller traditional jars generally cost $12USD.
Burn Time: 10 out of 10 – Long-lasting burn that is slightly above the more popular brand within the same price range. A large jar can have a lifespan of about 110-150 hours, while the medium jars are 65-90 hours, and the small jars are 25-40 hours. While the “wax melts” last about 8 hours, give or take a couple hours.
Packaging: 9 out of 10 – Packaging is mainly reused. The company has experimented with several styles and label designs but is known for the traditional jar. While traditions are good, I see their label and jars being a bit aged, but I think this company will stick to what it knows until something pops up that turns into a fan favorite.
TIP 1: To reduce lopsided, misshaped, or hollowed-out candles when you first get a candle, burn it long enough for the first layer of wax to melt evenly. Do not blow out the candle until the wax on the top level is completely dissolved to avoid hollowed-out candles.
Laura Alexis Candles
Thanks to another blogger’s (ADVENTURES FROM ELLE) Christmas blog special, Laura Alexis Candles is a Jamaican candle company I first discovered. This company is located at 8 Hillcrest Avenue Kingston, Jamaica, and also sells diffusers, room sprays, and other products. One of my favorite things about these candles that caught my eye was the name of the scents; names like duppy conqueror, bedroom bully, bad lives yaz, slap weh, and skekkle dung made me laugh when I saw them. While I am not from Jamaica, I am familiar with some of the terminologies, and it all makes perfect scenes for this brand. The only disappointing aspect of ordering from Laura Alexis Candles is the shipment time frame is longer if you don’t live in the Caribbean. Since my shipping address was located in the far reaches of the United States, I expected that it would take some time, and it did. I am now in Europe and hope to order some more, but I love that my orders come all the way from Jamaica and not from a distribution center. There is something so special about that! Last year, I ordered the sekkle dung, a handmade lavender candle with soy wax The bedroom bully is the peppermint & eucalyptus scented candle. I found the candle comparable to many other brands listed in this blog.
Potency: 10 out of 10 – Bedroom bully and sekkle dung were spectacular candles that didn’t disappoint. I loved the bedroom bully, which is peppermint & eucalyptus; it has a very comforting scent.
Wax & Wick: 10 out of 10 – Wicks and wax burn evenly throughout the candle’s lifespan.
Price: Laura Alexis Candles is the most affordable list, with prices ranging from $4USD for the wax melts to $37 for a large candle.
Burn Time: 10 out of 10 – the burn time for a regular or large size candle is about 8 – 10 hours.
Packaging: 10 out of 10 – I thought the packaging and labeling matched the story and vibe of the company. I had very few complaints about that, and the containers are also reusable.
Bath & Body Works
This company hailed from New Albany Ohio and started in 1990 selling soaps, lotions, candles, and fragrances. Recently I started purchasing from this brand because they are more prevalent in my location. In trying to figure out a few of their candles, I have found comfort in their 3-wick White Barn candles in white gardenia, stress relief, and fresh-cut lilac.
I had never purchased candles from this company before because I had never run into a scent that I liked. When I think of quality candles, I would never have added Bath & Body Works to this list if I didn’t hopelessly turn to their 3-wick candles in the three scents I listed above. I was positively shocked at the container style and scent of gardenia, stress relief, and lilac interchangeable this year.
Potency: 10 out of 10 – White Barn candles in white gardenia, stress relief, and fresh-cut lilac are my absolute favorite. Long-lasting scent for the lifetime of the candles!
Wax & Wick: 4 out of 10 – Wax and wick burn very fast, and the wax formula causes the candle to melt quickly, turning the wax into a runny liquid that retains heat. While the 3-wick candles smell very nice, I have had a hard time burning the candle down. Out of 12 candles purchased, about 5 did not burn out naturally. Unfortunately, I now have those 5 candles with bad wicks that don’t allow me to use the candle to its full potential. So, now I am stuck with half-used candles.
Price: The price for one candle is about $25.49USD. For the quantity and smell, I would say they are well worth it.
Burn Time: 6 out of 10 – As the 3-wick candles only last about 30 – 45 hours. I also find that the longer you burn them, the messier and dangerous they become. I’ve had over a dozen 3-wick candles and found that after 30 minutes of burning, a significant amount of the wax heats up, making the container uncomfortable to touch.
Packaging: 10 out of 10 for the minimal labeling that encourages reuse. The packaging on these candles are fantastic and eye-catching.
TIP 2: Freeze your candle; this hardens the wax, which makes it melt slower.
This company is an Amsterdam-based beauty brand that claimed to be the first to combine luxury home and body cosmetics. Ritual started in 2000 and expanded to 250 international stores and over 450 shops in 15 countries. I have seen the Ritual products and stores in several locations but have never visited the store or purchased from the brand until recently. A coworker raved about their lotions, candles, and room sprays, so I decided to try them. The company sells three categories of candles; classic, luxury, and XL. A few weeks ago, I purchased the Ritual Sakura classic scented candle, a light floral fragrance of cherry blossoms and rice milk. I also got a body scrub, body and hand lotion. Ritual also has hair and skin care, perfumes, and soaps, making fragrances for the car.
Potency: 9 out of 10 – Sakura classic candle has a light sweet smell that balances a demure but feminine fragrance. I think most people can find a scent that fits them.
Wax & Wick: 10 out of 10 – Burn excellently with no issues to report.
Price: Price range from 19.00€ to 49.50€, which translates to about $29.00USD to about $65.00USD.
Burnt Time: 6 out of 10 – Depends on the size, the large 3 wick candles tend to burn for 15 – 20 hours.
Packaging: 10 out of 10 – Ritual surpasses expectations with lovely containers in lush colors such as hunter green, white, gold, and burgundy red.
TIP 3: Mix salt into the wax right after blowing it out; this makes it burn economically.
Nest New York
Nest New York is considered a luxury home fragrance brand founded in 2005 by Laura Slatkin. Slatkin is well known in the industry as she launched her company back in 1992 and was coined as one of the first American luxury home fragrance brands. In 2008 she launched NEST Fragrance LLC. Nest New York sells candles, room sprays, and diffusers in sophisticated scents such as rose noir & oud, apricot, and ocean mist sea salt. The candles and the story Nest weaves create the ultimate mood and feeling of security and luxury. Buyers can find their products on Amazon, Sephora, and even at the military exchange stores, but the website offers the most variety. In addition, nest New York sells soap, perfume oils, and Eau de parfum.
Potency: 10 out of 10 – for the unique fragrance blends that are not only sophisticated but long-lasting.
Wax & Wick: 10 out of 10 – once you follow some of the tips, the burn on these candles is long and satisfying.
Price: Price can range from $15USD for a small candle, $50USD for a 3-wick candle or $150USD for a large diffuser. Other products such as the perfume oil might cost you about $98USD or $25USD for the smaller samplers.
Burnt Time: 8 out of 10 – their classic candle burns for 50 – 60 hours, while the votive candle might last 20 hours.
Packaging: 10 out of 10 – for their packaging! It is clean and lends to the idea behind the brand when it comes to luxury.
Jo Malone London
Jo Malone is a luxury brand from London that has been around since 1990. I have noticed the new marketing and prominent displays in Sephora and other perfume sellers. While this is confined to a luxury brand, I have yet to find a perfume I absolutely love. I like most of their fragrance, but for me, they remind me of room sprays. The scents categories are citrus, spicy, woody, floral, and fruity; these are typically the scents that most candle makers go for, but these are actually the scents for the perfumes. Jo Malone blends scents that are feminine, earthy, herby, bold, zesty, warm, sweet, and fresh, so there is something for everyone. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a perfume that fits me, but I have found their candles delightful.
Jo Malone really knocks it out of the park when it comes to their candle’s fragrance. Jo has an extensive list of great scents such as;
- Red Rose
- English Pears & Freesia
- Lime Basil & Mandarin
- Pomegranate Noir
- Orange Bloom
- Nectarine Bloom & Honey
- Wood Safe & Sea Salt
Potency: 10 out of 10 – Jo Malone candles adds something to the landscape of candle and home fragrance. There are many lovely scents that are both unique and comforting; this company gives you the best of nature in their candle scents.
Wax & Wick: 10 out of 10 – I have never had any issues with their candlewick or wax. Many of the problems you may stumble upon can be reminded by using any number of tricks.
Price: Jo Malone candles can be expensive based on the size. Mini ($22USD), Travel ($36USD), Home ($67USD), Deluxe ($200USD), Luxury ($495USD).
Burn Time: 10 out of 10 – Deluxe has a burn time of 90 hours, luxury 230 hours, 18 hours for the travel size, and the smaller candles are less than 10 hours.
Packaging: 10 out of 10 – Jo Malone’s package is one of the best; I adore the original clear or black glass jars because they are reusable and don’t take up much visual space. The labels aren’t cluttered or loud; they sit in the backdrop doing what they are meant to do.
TIP 4: Trim your candle wick to help control the melt and assist in burning the candle evening while prolonging the candle’s life
I believe that choosing candles is perhaps temperament-based. What I might deem pleasant might turn the stomach of another, plus it’s clear to see that I love light floral, fresh/clean, citrus, and fruity scents. These scents can transform your mood, creating the idea of homeliness, clean spaces, or making you feel enveloped in luxury. On the other hand, if you lean more on warmer, spicy, woody, or oriental notes, perhaps my review isn’t for you unless you are willing to try the scents I have listed above.
Well, folks, that’s it for my best candle list, and with the holidays nearing, perhaps any one of these brands will make it on your shopping list. But, for me, I am not waiting on the holidays to indulge. Instead, I live the candle life year-round, alternating scents and brands, creating the mood and energy I want with my candles. All the listed candles make my home more comfortable and appealing without intruding on my space. Instead, they sit perfectly in the backdrop of my life, assisting in creating memories while subtly offering comfort.