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A scented candle’s glow is a powerful force when it comes to home fragrance. Here are our favourite holiday candles to set the festive mood.
If you’re like me, your childhood included a week or two spent at sleep-away camp, so chances are you’ve sung the song Fire’s Burning. The end-of-day ritual was a favourite, often done in rounds, the kids and camp counsellors’ faces shining in happiness and campfire light—all beneath a star-studded sky. I loved it.
Ever since, the lyrics: fire’s burning, fire’s burning, draw nearer, draw nearer, in the glowing, in the glowing, come sing and be merry, have been indelibly etched into my memory and pop up with regular frequency when I’m lighting a candle. Maybe it’s because I choose to live surrounded by concrete and hustle and bustle and need an outdoorsy reminder. Or perhaps it’s because the glowing end of a lit wick is a soothing, romantic and cozy all-encompassing sensation. Either way, candlelight is a powerful force. And when it’s paired with fragrance, filling your home with the right scent for your mood, moment or memory (yes, Bath and Body Works does carry a Marshmallow Fireside option for s’mores fans), it’s pure magic. Here are eight favourites.
Flowery scents are romantic and feminine and run the gamut from rose, lilac and freesia to lily, violet and every floral note in between. In perfumery, this category typically features one dominant bud or a combination of two or even three flowers. Which fragrant bloom you choose will determine if your scent experience is heady, lush, sweet or charming. We like Eric Buterbaugh’s EB Florals Jasmine candle for its intoxicating, luxurious floral garden effect. $70, www.ebflorals.com
Perhaps best known for their inclusion of apples, berries, guava, lychee, mango, melons, peaches, pears and passion fruit, these juicy scents fluctuate between tart and sweet. Either way, they’re delightful and fun, sometimes exotic in composition and always bursting with sense of unbridled enthusiasm. We like Fresh’s Sake candle for its juicy blend of velvety peach nectar and ripe mandarin with the osmanthus flower’s apricot-like fragrance. $60, www.fresh.com
Crisp and delicate, this fragrant category conjures images and smells of the seaside, ocean, powder, rain and laundry. Soothing and comforting, these fresh scents usually contain notes like freshly cut grass, aldehydes, mountain air, cotton and sea water, but have also been known to include citrus, musk, civet, lavender and light florals. We like CLEAN’s Fresh Laundry candle for it’s straight out of the washer and dryer effect. $30, www.cleanperfume.com
This fragrance category is renowned for incorporating a blend of herbal notes like lavender, sage, thyme, rosemary, tarragon and mint. Depending on the mix of herbs, these scents can be invigorating, fresh, relaxing, rejuvenating or calming. The overall effect is a pleasant and neutral sensation that is neither feminine nor masculine. We like Aveda’s Shampure Soy Wax candle for it’s holistic aroma of 25 plant and flower essences, including lavender, petigrain and ylang ylang. $52, www.aveda.ca
Just like the name indicates, earthy and woody notes fuel this scent category, like: sandalwood, cypress, cedar, teak, moss and patchouli. And while more masculine in nature, their forest-friendly aromas induce a feeling of wellbeing and calm, much like taking a walk through a tree-lined park. We like Frank + Oak’s Balsem Cypress and Sage candle for it’s sharp, spicy blend, reminiscent of pine needles. $45, www.thebay.com
Who can resist the leafy, fresh, green and earthy quality this category is renowned for? With notes that range from cut grass and juniper to wet earth, vetiver and tea leaves, this category is as modern and fresh as it is uplifting and inspiring. They also frequently include tart, citrus notes like lime, mandarin and lemon. One whiff and you’ll be transported to your happy place, especially if it resembles a cozy backyard. We like Jo Malone’s Lime Basil and Mandarin candle for it’s refreshingly sweet and green scent. $80, www.holtrenfrew.com
Defined by its spicy and exotic character, this category is a bold choice thanks to notes that include pepper, vanilla, oud, cloves, carnations, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sensual and sexy, oriental candles are renowned for setting the mood as equally as they are appreciated for their romantic lighting. And while their scents allude to far away places, they’re always a great choice for at home moments. We like NEST’s Sahara Spice three-wick candle, for its blend of spicy cardamom, ginger and coriander, earthy nutmeg, creamy sandalwood and warm vanilla bean. $64, www.sephora.com
Predominantly light and zesty, citrus scents lift your mood like olfactory Prozac. And while typically associated with easy-to-wear colognes, their blend of tart citrus fruit notes like tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, lime, bergamot, clementine and mandarin make them a must-have for home scents for their easy to ingest fragrance. We like Saje Natural Wellness’ Liquid Sunshine candle for it’s clean and invigorating lemonade-like blend of lemon, tangerine and grapefruit. $20, www.saje.com