Scented candles for summer: 5 scents to freshen up every corner of your home

Posted by for Beauty

Usually the sole reserve of winter evenings, burning a scented candle in the height of summer might seem a little strange. But as beauty director Shannon Peter has found, they’re the perfect antidote to these sweaty midsummer afternoons.

I always considered burning scented candles a winter pursuit. There’s just something about their gentle flicker and billowing cloud of fragrance that makes them the perfect companion to an afternoon spent gorging on a good book and a weighty glass of red.

But a few years ago, when a heatwave just like this one struck, my flat started to feel and smell a bit, well, sweaty (sorry), and so I wanted something that would oust the place of its dingy funk, making it feel more like a wafty, air-conditioned cabana, and less like a cramped inner-city apartment. Try as I might, I soon realised that no room mist was going to cut it. It was time to pull out the big guns: the scented candle collection.

Left untouched since early March, yes, it does feel kinda odd lighting a candle in 32 degree searing heat, but I’m so glad I discovered the power of a summer candle. Just one hour burning Beauty Pie’s Clean House candle, and my entire flat smelt like just-washed towels (and not ones that have been left to dry on a cold radiator). And if I close my eyes, the scent of Jo Loves’ new Fig Trees candle has the power to transport me to anywhere but my cramped and cluttered make-shift desk space. 

However, heed this advice: summer candles and winter candles are two very separate breeds. Where wintry evenings call for heady oudhs or syrupy scents, such heavy notes will undoubtedly feel suffocating in the summer, especially if burnt in a relatively small space. What you want is light, fresh, airy notes that’ll make your room smell like you’ve just spent hours cleaning it, when in reality you simply lit a match.

So with that in mind, I offer you this: my edit of the best scented candles for the summer.

  • Smells like: fresh washing

    Beauty-Pie-Clean-House-Candle

    Is there anyone on this planet who doesn’t love the smell of fresh washing? But like I eluded above, most of my fresh washing ends up smelling dank, thanks to my lack of outside drying space. But Beauty Pie’s candle has that properly addictive, hung-out-to-dry-in-a-meadow kind of fresh laundry smell. The scent really travels too. Okay, my flat may be small, but I lit this on the coffee table and could smell it over the other side of the flat within minutes.

    Beauty Pie Clean House, £16.41 for members, £50 for non-members

  • Smells like: a fancy florist

    No-22-Candles-Centrepiece

    I love the smell of fresh flowers. The problem is, in this heat, all it takes is a matter of one or two days for the stems to start wilting and for the buds to start smelling… off. Instead, burn this. It contains big floral notes like rose and peony to fill your home with the scent of freshly-cut flowers, without the falling petals.

    No 22 Candles Centrepiece, £19 

  • Smells like: a fig grove

    Jo-Loves-Fig-Trees-Candle

    Fig has to be one of my favourite fragrance notes ever. If you’ve never smelt it before, it’s ridiculously green and luscious with only the slightest hint of sweetness. Jo Loves’ newest candle pays homage to the fig tree, and gives off an impressive level of scent: nobody likes a disappointingly wishy-washy candle, do they?

    Jo Loves Fig Trees Candle, £55

  • Smells like: a greenhouse

    True-Grace-Vine-Tomato-Candle-Tin

    The only thing that tops the scent of fig in my book? The scent of tomato. In fragrance terms, the note tends to be a lot richer and greener than the fruit itself, and this candle-in-a-tin smells just like walking into the greenhouse at a fancy manor house.

    True Grace Vine Tomato Tin Candle, £20

  • Smells like: Italian holidays

    Zara-Amalfi-Sunray-Candle

    Let’s not kid ourselves: no candle can really recreate the sensation of being on holiday, but I do think that Jo Malone CBE’s Amalfi Sunray scent, created for Zara, is the closest you can get. It smells like juicy citrus fruits which I swear smells even better in the hot, hot heat.

     Zara Emotions Amalfi Sunray, £15.99

Sign up for our essential edit of what to buy, see, read and do, and also receive our 11-page Ultimate Guide To Making Your Home Feel Bigger.

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

Images: Shannon Peter/courtesy of brands.

Share this article

Recommended by Shannon Peter