Best scented candles: the 7 scents the Stylist team burns the most

Posted by for Beauty

The first lighting of a fresh candle is undeniably satisfying. Here are the scents that the Stylist team can’t get enough of.

If there’s one thing that we – as a team – agree on, it’s that scented candles top the list of our favourite small luxuries.  

There really is no better feeling than discovering a new favourite, lighting it and letting it scent the room around us. But, with so much choice available, it can be really difficult to decide which candles are worth investing in. 

It’s much like picking a new signature fragrance really; are you somebody who wants their living room to smell like a burning log fire? Do you want your bedroom to smell cosy and musky? Or maybe you’re the type of person who wants a bathroom that smells like a freshly picked bunch of flowers?

It’s not just the scent you need to consider though. It’s also a question of how the candle burns, whether it’s powerful enough to fill the space and, naturally, how does it look when it takes pride of place in its chosen room?

To help narrow down the sheer volume of candles available, we asked the Stylist team to share their ultimate favourites. 

Here are the ones they buy time and time again.

  • The musky vanilla candle


    “It’s so hard for me to be able to pick just one candle, but this is probably up there with my all time favourites. It’s vanilla and tobacco and musk laced with a bit of creamy caramel. To me it smells really sexy and mysterious but cosy and homely at the same time; plus it fills the room so beautifully and lingers for hours. I cannot get enough of it.”

    YSL Beauty Le Vestiaire des Parfums Caban Candle, £70

    Lucy Partington, beauty editor

  • The leathery, smokey candle


    “With top notes of cinnamon and black pepper on a base of oud, leather and tobacco, this candle smells like nothing I’ve ever experienced before: wood-smoky and leathery, with exactly the right amount of velvety, grown-up sweetness to stop it feeling macho. It’s sexy and cosy without being the slightest bit OTT, and although it’s definitely more of a winter scent, I’ve still been lighting it on chilly early spring evenings.”

    Evermore North Candle, £30

    Moya Crockett, contributing women’s editor and Stylist Loves deputy editor

  • The creamy tea candle


    “There is something just so deliciously decadent about a chai latte. I don’t drink coffee, so it’s my version of a hot, creamy, frothy comfort drink and Byredo has captured its essence perfectly in this candle. It’s light, a tiny bit sweet, but mainly smells like fresh tea, so it works equally as well in the summer months, as it does in the depths of winter.”

    Byredo Chai, £59

    Shannon Peter, beauty director

  • The zingy rhubarb candle


    “I’m very particular when it comes to home scents. I do not like to walk into a room (any room) and be overpowered by a dark heavy oudy woody smell. It’s spring, the home should not smell like a country pub. I also don’t want my safe space to smell like M&M World or the flower section in a supermarket. As I type this I am burning a single wick rhubarb candle. To me, it’s perfect. It’s fresh and zingy yet slightly unusual, it’s comforting and homely. The jar is also a really nice pink shade which is perfect to reuse in the bathroom for storage.”

    Molton Brown Delicious Rhubarb & Rose, £39

    Tom Gormer, photography and special projects director

  • The berry candle


    “I smelt it when I went into a cool little fashion store in New York’s Lower East Side called Mayle. It was pre-Diptyque and Byredo – it remains one of the best still, when I smell it I go straight back to that moment in time. It’s all sharp green leaf and red berry, it really lights up my nose.”

    Votivo Red Currant, £28

    Hannah Moore, acting executive fashion director

  • The fresh clean candle


    “It’s not the most exciting of scents, but it makes my bedroom smell like a fresh summer’s day, so that makes it a 10/10 in my books. Plus, the scent doesn’t diminish as soon as you blow it out, so you’ll have hours of fresh cottony bliss to enjoy.”

    Yankee Candle Clean Cotton, £23.99

    Lauren Geall, junior digital writer

  • The citrusy fresh candle


    “I keep the travel-sized version of this candle on my desk at work to inhale in times of stress – my former editor used to call it my “emotional support candle”. The bigger version lives in my room, and I light it whenever I need a bit of a boost. Bright and green, with juicy citrusy notes, it’s perfect if you’re not into feminine floral scents but still want something springy.”

    Urban Apothecary Vine Tomato Candle, £35

    Moya Crockett, contributing women’s editor and Stylist Loves deputy editor

Sign up for our essential edit of what to buy, see, read and do, and also receive a free guide to the 101 Female Authors Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Main image: Molton Brown

Share this article

Lucy Partington

Freelance beauty editor Lucy Partington is obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she'll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.