We’re Living in the Golden Age of Aesthetic, Affordable Candles

Having a home that smells like the perfume counter at Bergdorf Goodman should be what everyone strives for. (A stinky abode that reeks of dirty socks and old takeout may be your one-way ticket to not getting laid.) Lighting up a nice candle always sets a mood, but nailing the right scent profile is all about picking up something that uses the best ingredients and aromas (oh, and vibey packaging doesn’t hurt either). That slow burn of complex, well-crafted scents—from fresh and earthy to sultry and spicy—is all the seduction we need. That’s the power of the flame, chum.

Get out of the Marshall’s candle aisle (no disrespect to Yankee, but we’re grown now); we’re confident our elevated palette will convince you to kick things up a notch. The best candle brands include Diptyque, Boy Smells, and Apotheke; these brands craft unisex fragrances that have the potential to induce synesthesia. Take a whiff and indulge in the herbaceous, spicy, and sweet aromas that will turn your humble apartment into a heavenly home.

Anecdote Candles

If you’re a sucker for a theme, you’ll be simping for Anecdote Candles. Each label has a clever simile such as “smells like flickering flames and drunken disclosures,” which is an innuendo for its whiskey and chestnut-scented “Bonfire Blaze” candle. There’s a lot more where that came from, so exploring the online candle catalog should be a serotonin boost and an excellent conversation piece for your coffee table. All the candles have a coconut-soy wax blend for a clean burn that creates a lasting scent.


You can’t go wrong with a seasonal candle, and Apotheke, a candle brand that is “inspired by the unexpected beauty found in life's simple moments,” does it flawlessly with its summer scents that combine the unique, botanical elements of herb and vegetable gardens. The fragrance burning on our counter at the moment is Tomato Tarragon, which is a delectable aroma of freshly picked tomatoes, tarragon, and hints of orange zest for the green summer we crave. Other scents in our cupboard are Purple Basil and Meyer Lemon and Mint.

Boy Smells

First founded as an experiment in a Los Angeles kitchen in 2015, Boy Smells is now a super-hyped brand that has taken over coffee tables everywhere (and is now available in over 750 retail locations). As of 2023, and the brand is so popular that it’s been able to bag an iconic collaboration with Magnolia Bakery—creating a unique scent based on the bakery’s famous banana pudding. It has notes of banana and vanilla, with undertones of leather, cardamom, guaiac, and elemi resin. The brand is also known for its devil’s-lettuce-themed collection, Kush; we recommend microdosing its different scent variations with its Best Buds Votive Set.


Fancily named French brand Diptyque epitomizes luxury. Its first-ever scents were created in 1963—Tea, Hawthorn, and Cinnamon—but more than 50 scents have been added to the lineup since then. It takes two days to create each candle (that’s craft, baby) with a blend of high-quality wax and highly concentrated fragrance. Every Succession character probably owns one, which means you, too, should join in on the quiet luxury trend with scents like Eucalyptus, Orange Blossom, and Fig Tree.


Sexual wellness brand Maude may be best known for its body-friendly toys and sensual accessories, but it also makes four seriously sexy soy-based massage candles with a near-perfect 4.8-star average. Besides emitting swooning scents of lemongrass, cedarwood, and eucalyptus, each candle gets warm enough to pour body-safe wax directly onto the skin, and the formula even contains skin-softening jojoba. There’s also a fragrance-free option for sensitive skin. One of our editors is so in love with her candle, she says, “I love mine so much, I have a hard time not lighting it just for ambiance.”

P.F. Candle Co.

As if fall wasn’t already in our faces thanks to the iconic pumpkin spice latte, P.F. Candle Co. knows no one can resist those fresh autumn scents. The fragrances “Apple Picking” and “Spiced Pumpkin” are already available for a limited time so you can get a head start on embedding the scents into your abode. All the candles are made with soy wax, cotton core wicks, and a blend of fine fragrance oils for getting lit (the au natural way, naturally).

Pass the cowboy boot lighter!

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.


You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes