11 Best Luxury Candles: Your Easy Buying Guide

luxury candles

A burning luxury candle changes the atmosphere of a room. It’s calming, cozy, and just plain homey.

Smell is the sense most deeply tied to our feelings and memories and smell is the only one of our senses that shares contact with this emotion center of our brain.

If you think there can’t be much of a difference between $1 votives and luxury candles, think about the difference between an off-brand, cheap-as-they-get laptop and your Mac. Think about fast food versus five-star dining. Craftsmanship matters.

What Are the Best Luxury Candles?

luxury candles, expensive candles, designer candles, high end candles Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Scent profiles for each room
  • Hand-blown glass
  • Not too strong
Price: $65.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White candle with black box Amazon Customer Reviews
  • As good as more expensive candles
  • Great variety of fragrances
  • Angled glass vessels
Price: $39.12 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Gold detailed square candle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Hand-carved art on glass vessel
  • Fragrance profile inspired by regions
  • Pure soy wax
Price: $57.77 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
luxury candles, expensive candles, designer candles Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Get to sample several scents
  • Long burn time for votives
  • Gift-ready
Price: $139.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Organic candle in glass jar Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Organic, non-GMO, and Vegan
  • Natural essential oil scents
  • Not overwhelming
Price: $32.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Fancy white candle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Complex, crisp fragrance
  • Beautiful glass
  • Supporting American business
Price: $46.55 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White candle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Fragrance profiles based on Paris
  • Burns evenly
  • Gift-ready
Price: $39.20 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Brown havana candle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Masculine fragrance
  • Soy wax
Price: $25.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
luxury candles, expensive candles, designer candles, high end candles Amazon Customer Reviews
  • All natural
  • Bright fragrance
  • Beeswax, soy, jojoba blend
Price: $68.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
luxury candles, expensive candles, designer candles Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Rice, soy, coconut wax blend
  • Designer candle
  • Luxe vessel
Price: $115.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
luxury candles, expensive candles, designer candles Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Slow burn
  • Many bright fragrances
  • Affordable
Price: $42.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Lafco New York House & Home Candle in Wine Room

    Pros:
    • Long burn time
    • 39 scents to choose from
    • Each fragrance is tailored to a room in the house
    • Hand-blown glass vessel
    Cons:
    • Wax is a soy blend
    • Candle names don't describe fragrance
    • Too subtle for some

    The House & Home Collection is designed with a room of the house in mind for each scent. The designers built the fragrances around how you want to feel when you’re in that room.

    These are huge 16 ounce candles with a burn time of a whopping 90 hours thanks to the soy blend wax formula. Each gradient-colored glass vessel is hand-blown and designed to complement the atmosphere of the intended room.

    Wine Room has a decadent, luxurious smell of black pomegranate, black apple, and Bordeaux, with notes of jasmine and a base of aged oakwood and vetiver. This blend is sure to create an atmosphere of opulence while you pop the cork on a bottle of wine.

    Each candle is packaged in a gift-ready white box with black ribbon. LAFCO has 39 scents in the House & Home Collection which is way more rooms than my home, but they have expanded to cover almost any dwelling space you can think of. Some of my other favorite scents are Kitchen (mandarin orange, cilantro, and avocado) and Cottage House (waterlilly, Baltic amber, vanilla bourbon, and cotton musk.)

    VideoVideo related to lafco new york house & home candle in wine room2018-10-11T16:41:34-04:00

  2. 2. Nest Candles in Bamboo

    Pros:
    • Choices of layered or simple scents
    • Many sizes to choose from
    • Scent fills a room without being overpowering
    • Beautiful glass vessels
    • Gift-ready packaging
    Cons:
    • Easy to dent the wax
    • Too strong for some
    • Wax is mainly paraffin

    Nest came onto the candle scene under 10 years ago and they are taking it by storm. Their distinct, designer fragrances and beautiful packaging have helped put them right alongside candles that sell at a higher price point. 

    I was lucky enough to get my hands on some media samples of their candles and I can see what the hype is about. They use a softer wax blend that you could dent by poking it so be careful when you’re trimming your wicks not to nick it. This wax type helps bring the fragrance right to the surface and the scent is present whether you’re burning it or not.

    I have to talk about their glass design for a second. It tapers toward the bottom in their candles larger than votives which is a genius move because in taller candles, as it burns down there’s a greater chance the flame will come too close to the sides near the top of the glass causing it to soot and overheat which can be dangerous. This tilted design ensures the flame is farther away from the sides the more it burns down.

    As far as scents, there’s a huge range from complex to simple and straightforward. I’m featuring Bamboo which is the most popular scent. It smells like early spring. It’s brightly green with top notes of lily for me and hints of grapefruit. My personal favorite of theirs is Apricot Tea which has a bright juiciness to it and somehow those toasty tannins of black tea. They also have a Pumpkin Chai out right now that smells like fall in a jar. 

    They fill a room with fragrance quickly, but I haven’t found them to be overpowering. Some people may find these candles a little strong but if you’re sick of candles that you can’t smell, Nest will solve your problems. 

  3. 3. Spanish Saffron Heat From Be The Light New York by Petra Nemcova Fragrance Candles

    Pros:
    • Hand-carved map on thick glass jar
    • Scents inspired by different countries
    • Several fragrances to choose from
    • 100 percent soy wax
    • 60 hour burn time
    Cons:
    • Larger than most
    • Heavy
    • Not every likes muliple wicks

    These candles by Petra Nemcova are a truly unique experience. Each candle comes in a stunning glass jar with a map of the country that inspired the scent.

    These maps are hand-carved into the glass by artisans in each featured country, a process that can take over four days per jar. No two jars will be the same, making yours unique in the world.

    Once the maps are completed, the jars return to America where the candles are hand-poured with soy wax scented with fragrances capturing the spirit of those countries that Nemcova experienced during her world travels.

    Spanish Saffron Heat was inspired by the warm spices and passion of Spanish culture and is scented with ginger, frankincense, cinnamon bark, and patchouli.

    Each Be The Light candle will burn for about 60 hours and comes in a sturdy box with a matchbox and guide book about the collection. This hefty candle, weighing over three pounds in the packaging, would make a memorable housewarming or host gift.

    If this fragrance isn’t your jam, there is a world of other country-inspired scents and maps including American Bluebell Bliss (cedarwood, jasmine, and lemon) and Czech Holiday Cookie (clove, vanilla, and cedarwood).

    VideoVideo related to spanish saffron heat from be the light new york by petra nemcova fragrance candles2018-10-11T16:54:10-04:00

  4. 4. Diptyque Votive Candle Trio Gift Set

    Pros:
    • Gift box of three candles
    • 30 hour burn time on each candle
    • Great intro to Diptyque
    • Includes their bestselling Baise
    Cons:
    • Can’t choose your own three fragrances
    • Pricier
    • Small candles

    Diptyque has been known as one of the top names in luxury candles since they came on the scene. Their fragrances are unique, smell luxuriously high end, are beloved by celebrities, and they last.

    Too many candles lose their scent if you don’t burn them up within the first month of owning them, but these stay potent for a long time. This gift set includes three votive size candles and is a perfect introduction to luxury candles and to the Diptyque brand.

    Diptyque votives generally go for $35 so you are getting these for less than full price when you buy in a set. This set comes with their signature and most popular fragrance Baise (black current leaves and rose) as well as Figuier (fig leaves and fig wood) and Rose (classic rose).

    Each candle has a burning time of around 30 hours and the set comes beautifully packaged in a white Diptyque box.

  5. 5. Sanari Organic Plant-Based Candles

    Pros:
    • 100 percent organic
    • Non-GMO and vegan
    • Unique fragrance profiles
    • Scent is there but not overwhelming
    Cons:
    • The wide wick can be a little harder to trim
    • Not strong enough for some
    • Glass is simple

    If you’re looking for an option that is environmentally-friendly, check out Sanari Candles. All their candles are 100 percent organic, non-GMO, and vegan. They use a mix of coconut and soy wax for a smooth and even burning candle.

    I was able to get my hands on a couple of samples of these and I love the scents. They are fragranced with organic essential oils. While they are more subtle than some of the others on the list, they also smell more natural and truer to the scents.

    With some candles, you walk into a room and you can tell someone is burning a candle. With Sanari, it’s more like you can tell their place smells amazing.

    Sanari has tons of light and airy scents to check out like Granita (rosemary, grapefruit, and oak) and Fresco (basil, lime, and sage.)

  6. 6. Antica Farmacista Round Candles

    Pros:
    • Crisp, bubbly scent
    • 60 hour burn time
    • Stunning glass vessel
    • Many scents to choose from
    Cons:
    • Some people are allergic to paraffin wax
    • A little strong for small spaces if burned for a long time
    • Often out of stock

    Antica Farmacista is a Seattle-based company creating luxury scents for both the body and home. If you’re looking for a candle strong enough to fill a room without straying into headache-inducing artificial scents, then this is a brand to check out.

    This candle has a 60 hour burn time and is made of a soy and paraffin blend wax for a clean and even burn. Antica Farmacista sent me a sample of their Silver Cedar candle over the holidays (a limited run scent) so I can tell you that their candles burn clean and the scent can cover a large area.

    The glass jar has Antica Farmacista’s signature leaf pattern around the rim and is elevated by a thick glass base giving the candle an elegant, light look to it. Each candle arrives in a gift box of high-quality cardboard and with a square box of Antica Farmacista matches.

    Antia Farmacista has 20 other scents to choose from in their candle collection including Acqua (marine, salt air, and sweet musk), Vanilla, Bourbon, and Mandarin, and Damascena Rose, Orris and Oud.

    Their fragrances are strong and bright but never cloying.

     

     

    VideoVideo related to antica farmacista round candles2018-10-11T16:43:49-04:00

  7. 7. Ovando’s Vernissage Fragrance Candle

    Pros:
    • Many choices of scent
    • Gift-ready box
    • Balanced, natural fragrance
    • Long, even burn time
    Cons:
    • Scent is not very subtle
    • Too floral for some
    • Brand name is large on glass

    Sandra de Ovando is one of the top luxury floral arrangement designers with regular clients like Hermes, The Four Seasons, and the MoMA. You just know her studio smells amazing.

    Their candle collection allows Ovando to compose lasting scents at the same caliber and naturalness of her arrangements. Ovando candles have a burn time of 55 hours and arrive in a minimalist frosted glass holder and packaged in a sturdy box ready for gifting. These candles are assertive without being overbearing.

    Part of Ovando’s “Souvenirs de Paris” Collection, this candle scent evokes experience of a gallery opening. Vernissage is a balance of icy mint, amber, mate, and sweet lotus.

    Ovando Fragrance Collection Candles offer several other scents including Dia de Campo (fig, bamboo, and cedar).

    VideoVideo related to ovando’s vernissage fragrance candle2018-10-11T16:52:25-04:00

  8. 8. Archipelago Havana Candle

    Pros:
    • More masculine lines
    • Unique scent
    • Long-lasting
    Cons:
    • Glass jar is a little boring
    • Not as opulent as others
    • Too masculine for some

    The Havana Candle by Archipelago Botanicals is inspired by the experience of visiting Cuba. Its woody citrus scent and gentle florals give this a bohemian flare of outdoor cafes and swaying palms.

    It has a base of bergamot, Cuban tobacco flower, tobacco leaf, with notes of wild ylang-ylang at the edges. This is a perfect gender neutral scent with a 50 hour burn life for long-lasting fragrance.

  9. 9. Ila-Spa Fragrant Candle for Higher Energy in Orange Blossom

    Pros:
    • Energizing scent
    • All natural
    • 50 hour burn time
    Cons:
    • Scent may be too one note for some
    • Not vegan (beeswax)
    • Not relaxing

    We’ve had several candles designed to relax you and create a calm and serene atmosphere, but here’s one that’s meant to energize you. The Higher Energy in Orange Blossom candle from Ila-Spa harnesses the power of scent to enliven your brain, wake up your senses, and get you motivated.

    This would be a great candle to have in your office, kitchen, patio, or workout room. Ila-Spa candles are 100 percent natural. The full ingredient list is two types of orange essential oils, beeswax, eco-soya wax, and jojoba oil. The fragrance isn’t as complex as the other candles, but is a true and refreshing spring breeze.

    I should note that this candle normally sells for at least $50 and the price dropped dramatically in late May so snatch this one up before the price goes up again.

  10. 10. Cire Trudon Candle in Positano by Giambattista Valli

    Pros:
    • Limited edition scent
    • Eco-friendly natural waxes
    • Designer fragrance
    Cons:
    • Not everyone is into white on white
    • Fragrance may be too full for some
    • Limited edition so don't get hooked

    Inspired by the sights and smells of Positano, Italy, this limited edition candle is the product of Cire Trudon and designer Giambattista Valli for a truly luxe experience.

    This is a natural wax candle made with a blend of rice, soy, and coconut waxes. The sleek white on white candle in its white gift box adds a high-end feel to it, making this a perfect gift choice.

    The scent has a foundation of tuberose, Peruvian balsam, and lily with heart notes of magnolia and orange blossom. Bright notes of bergamot, gardenia, and neroli (bitter orange) round out this delicate fragrance. It has a burn time of around 60 hours so you’ll have plenty of hours to enjoy.

  11. 11. Archipelego Botanicals Birch Soy Candle

    Pros:
    • 90 hour burn time
    • Bright and cheerful
    • Many scents to choose from
    Cons:
    • It’s a soy blend, but I don’t know what the other wax is
    • Too one note for some
    • Love or hate the vessel

    Archipelego Botanicals candles are infused with light and clean fragrances and use clean burning soy so the candles burn evenly for 90 hours. These candles are hand-poured and come in a reusable frosted glass vessel and matte black gift box.

    The Birch scent is clean and bright with notes of balsam sap, amber, moss, and clementine. This is another refreshing candle that would go great in a kitchen or patio.

    If that isn’t to your taste, Archipelego Botanicals has many candles to choose from including Currant (grapefruit, currant, and crushed palm leaves) and Arugula (cactus flowers, mandarin zest, and vetiver.)

Why are candles so relaxing?

It was only in the last 100 years or so that fire has been removed from our homes. For thousands of years, fire was the cornerstone of a house--from cooking hearth fires to candles for light to the roaring fireplaces that kept winter at bay and our ancestors alive.

We still install natural gas and electric woodstoves with fake logs in our homes because of how they make us feel. Fire is essential. It's wild and a symbol of civilization all at the same time. It's our history and in our blood. Fire turns four walls and a roof into a home.

We haven't even talked about the scent yet. If the flickering of a flame of a candle changes the atmosphere, the scent changes the emotion of the room.

Smell is the sense most deeply tied to our feelings and memories. When you give something a sniff, information is translated by your olfactory bulb--an organ that starts in your nose and runs along the underside of your brain.

There it has direct contact with the region of your brain that rules your emotions and stores your memories. Smell is the only one of our senses that shares contact with this emotion center of our brain.

That's why you can smell something--the sea, wet leaves, cut grass--and be instantly transported back to an associated memory. Smells directly affects how we feel.

So what makes a luxury candle?

The short answer is quality. Often these luxury candles are made by hand in short limited, runs of scent collections.

As a general rule, high-end candles burn longer, cleaner, and contain a higher percentage of fragrance than the candles you'd buy from a shop in the mall. Designer fragrances are balanced, pure, and intricate--these aren't your standard vanilla candles. Expert perfumers build complex aromas that fill your home and soothe your mind.

Candles have always been a go-to gift for any holiday or celebration and for good reason. You are giving an experience that is both intimate with scent and emotion, but also safe enough to be a gift for anyone of any level of acquaintance.

See Also:

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