Stuck in a holiday shopping rut? Look no further than the candle aisle. Luxury candles make for stress-free holiday gifts for women and men on your list because they effortlessly transform any space. The simple act of placing a new candle on a coffee table, bookshelf or nightstand instantly turns a plain, lifeless room into a soothing self-care sanctuary.
“Candles make a great gift because they feel like someone is taking care of you,” says Kudzi Chikumbu, a candle curator in Los Angeles behind the popular Instagram account Sir Candle Man. “The idea of pausing, lighting the candles and waiting to smell the candle is really an invitation to take a breath — it’s a gift of rest. Taking the time to pick the right scent represents being thoughtful — the makings of a perfect gift.”
With the flicker of a match, candles spark our senses with their intentionally curated scents and thoughtfully designed holders. “Scent plays such an important role in a home’s sensory experience,” says Anastasia Casey of The Identitè Collective and founder of IDCO Studio in Austin.
Whether you opt for several small candles hidden in different spots or large, statement-making candles that function as centerpieces, the design possibilities are truly endless. “Candles can be useful for decorating a space,” Chikumbu says. “Especially those candles that look really chic, like a Diptyque candle, or that have a unique look, like a Fornasetti candle.”
Anna Franklin, the Milwaukee-based founder of interior design firm Stone House Collective, especially loves how the right candles enhance a workspace — whether that’s a home office or just a corner in your living room. “Lighting up candles in your home can help with your creative flow and instantly set the mood for your day,” Franklin says. “It also makes your space more welcoming and inviting.”
And if you’re shopping for someone who likes to match their mood to the season, candles are tailor-made for evoking notes that set a home’s vibe accordingly. Abbe Fenimore, owner and interior designer at Studio Ten 25 in Dallas, says “cozy fragrances” are very popular during this time of the year.
“Warm seasonal scents like vanilla, amber, bergamot and suede are always my favorites for the fall and holiday seasons,” Fenimore says. “There’s nothing better than burning my favorite Christmas candle while decorating the tree.”
But choosing candle gift sets or a fragrance gift set for loved ones can be stressful. No one wants to buy a candle that isn’t the right fit for their giftee. When choosing fragrance oils for candles or candle scents for someone else, keep the person’s likes and dislikes at the forefront, and pay attention to any hints they may have been dropping about how they’re feeling lately.
“Maybe they’re currently stressed, so giving them a calm and relaxing scent would be appropriate,” advises Carina Chaz, a scent expert in Los Angeles and founder and CEO of DedCool. “Or if they’re someone who loves the outdoors, look for scents that incorporate natural elements and notes. I think we’re all looking for ways that a smell can help us achieve escapism.”
As a general rule, citrus and coastal scents are ideal to burn during the day and summer months, says Mark Cutler, founder of the LA-based design firm cutler schulze. Meanwhile, woodsy options are best suited for evening events or when you’re looking for relaxation.
“The second thing to consider is the story you want to tell with a space,” Cutler says. “For example, a country home wants to tell a story about the great outdoors and nature, so a green-based scent will blur that edge between inside and out. Whereas a law firm wants to tell a story about quiet confidence and gravitas, so expect a more subdued and layered choice.”
Ahead, check out the 30 best candle gifts curated by our experts that are perfect for everyone on your holiday shopping list. (And for the crafty types, you can also opt for candle making kits!)
Nomad Noe Wild in Hollywood Scented Candle
Settle in with a heavy hitter in the fragrance world, Nomad Noé, which makes history-inspired, ultra-aromatic candles. “This is a new release from one of the hottest brands in fragrance,” Chikumbu says. “Nomad Noé makes highly fragranced candles inspired by unique stories through history. This combination of oud, whiskey and interesting citrus feels risqué. It’s the perfect fragrance for a cool dinner party.”
Frères Branchiaux It’s A Holiday Vibe Candle Bundle
Best for Holiday-Obsessives
Candle gift sets are the perfect hack if you can’t quite nail down your friend’s candle taste. Frères Branchiaux, a brand by a trio of brothers, offers this gorgeous Christmas candle set. Their scents are interesting and fun, making them exciting to burn. The It’s A Holiday Vibe candle bundle comes with three scents: Caribbean Christmas, Christmas Cheer and Black Christmas.
Harlem Candle Co. Speakeasy Ceramic Candle
Best Candle Gift for History Buffs
“People love this scent from Harlem Candle Company, so much so that Oprah featured them,” Chikumbu says. “This new ceramic vessel version features a gold-colored ‘Nightclub Map of Harlem’ illustration by E. Simms Campbell from 1932. This illustration highlights the speakeasies, nightclubs and musicians who were the shining lights during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and ’30s.”
Flamingo Estate Roma Heirloom Tomato Candle
Best for Your Friend With a Green Thumb
Searching for soy candles? You’ll love Flamingo Estate, which nails scents for folks who love the fresh aromas of nature. The Roma Heirloom Tomato candle smells like the juiciest fresh-picked tomatoes — and it’s very much reminiscent of backyard summer dinners. This candle uses 100% vegetable soy wax, has a fully recyclable vessel and burns for up to 60 hours.
Boy Smells Cowboy Kush Candle
Most Versatile Candle Gift
“Available on Amazon and Nordstrom, Boy Smells are easily accessible and affordable,” Chaz says. “I love the smokey scent of Cowboy Kush, a smell that even men can appreciate and grasp towards just as much as women. With unisex smells, they are such a great go-to gift for the cool guy or girl.”
Diptyque Baies/Berries Indoor & Outdoor Candle
Best for Your Friend With A Massive Outdoor Space
Diptyque’s indoor and outdoor candle is a massive five-wick candle that’s perfect for burning inside or outside. This sweet, floral creation creates the coolest mood, perfect for relaxing on the back deck with a beverage in the evening. It’s the ideal splurge gift for the friend who loves a statement piece and obsesses over fragrance.
Le Labo Santal 26 Candle
Best Splurge-Worthy Candle Gift
“This candle is really cool, and I’ve had the pleasure of being gifted this,” Chaz shares. “Also pricey, but if you want to impress anyone with exquisite taste, it’s a showstopper. The scent is so unique, it’s hard to explain what it smells like other than saying it emits a feeling of warmth and sophistication. Never burned — quite frankly, you don’t need to; the smell still fills my living room.”
Rigaud Cypres Large Candle
Best Candle Gift for the Francophile
Rigaud’s a Jackie Kennedy classic; it was the only candle brand she would use. This classic French brand is a great gift for the traditionalist in your family — even better if they happen to be somewhat of a Francophile. With 4.5 stars on Amazon, this candle is a crowd pleaser that brings the Mediterranean woods to your home with a classic Cyprus scent that’s just right for the holidays.
Maison Louis Marie No.04 Bois de Balincourt Candle
Best For the Clean Beauty Obsessive
A standout among any carefully edited candle collection is No.04 Bois de Balincourt, which features notes of Sandalwood and Vetiver that create a woodsy scent with an earthy touch. Calm and sophisticated, it’s the ideal home scent for those who enjoy a timeless, tranquil vibe. As an added bonus, the company adheres to a philosophy of clean beauty and sustainable packaging.
Malin + Goetz Dark Rum Candle
Best Candle Gift for the Globetrotter
“A party in a candle, the scent is inspired by Old World bay rum first used by sailors traveling through the Caribbean,” Cutler says. “Featuring notes of bergamot, leather and rum, it’s a candle that would feel appropriate in a home office or library. It’s a masculine scent that has warm notes and might possibly make one think of travel to far off lands.”
The Collection by Chesapeake Bay Gray Flannel
On the hunt for rose-scented candles? This candle features soothing green tea, lavender and rose, resting on white amber, vanilla and musk. Together, these aromas set the mood for a cozy day. Ideal for those who prefer a more masculine energy, it’s a comforting, refined scent that burns for quite awhile. This candle is affordable, so you can pick up multiples — just what you need for teachers, delivery people and anyone else who helps you out year-round.
Anthropologie Match Cloches
Best for Diehard Candle Lovers
For the candle devotee who’s already amassed an impressive candle collection, a well-appointed accessory is the ultimate gift. Lighting a candle is a special event for them, so it’s key that the gift you choose has the right mix of function and beautiful design. These glass match cloches check all those boxes, serving as a beautiful decorative accent that they’ll use over and over again.
Diptyque Mimosa Scented Candle
Best Candle Gift for the Brunch Lover
This bright, floral scent is designed for the brunch lover in your life. “While Diptyque candles definitely fall into the luxury category, they’re a cult-favorite for a reason,” Casey says. “The Mimosa scent is a springtime must, and the gorgeous packaging certainly doesn’t hurt.”
Brooklyn Candle Vert Deco Holiday Collection
Best for The Minimalist
“From traditional Christmas Tree to warm and subtle scents, this collection is perfect for everyone on your list,” Fenimore says. “And the modern matte glass vessels are fabulous! Their ‘find your scent’ quiz is easy and the best way to discover unique new favorites.”
PF Candle Co. Vanilla & Ghostpepper Soy Candle
Vanilla is a classic, reliable scent, but can sometimes carry the reputation of being a bit played out. PF Candle Co., however, offers the iconic aroma with an interesting twist in its Vanilla & Ghostpepper candle. This brand is known for many other bestsellers (Tobacco & Teakwood, anyone?), so this scent is definitely worth taking a chance on. The scent could speak for itself, but it doesn’t have to, because the reviews are outstanding.
Diptyque Feu de Bois Candle
This luxe candle is best for anyone who rarely treats themselves but deserves to be pampered. “It’s classic,” Franklin says. “This scent mimics a fireplace — perfect for those who love a smokey, cozy holiday scent. It makes for an ideal gift for anyone who doesn’t have a fireplace in their home or is perhaps traveling for the holidays and will be away from family. It’s the perfect candle to unwind from the day with.”
Apotheke Sea Salt Grapefruit Candle
“If you’re looking for a candle for the modern man in your life, then Apotheke is the brand for you,” Cutler says. “They have clean, streamlined packaging and straightforward, layered scents that really will stand out from the crowd. With a mix of tobacco, cognac and Anise, this vibrant scent would be a perfect thing for sprucing up a bachelor pad.”
Harlem Candle Co. Langston Nightclub
Another stunner from Black-owned Harlem Candle Co., Langston Nightclub effortlessly captures the essence of a nightclub during the Harlem Renaissance. “It offers a great blend of sandalwood and spices like nutmeg, clove and vanilla,” Cutler says. “If you’re looking for something a little moody and deep, this may be the candle you’re looking for. With the map of Harlem on the jar, it’s also a great piece to display when not burning.”
Anecdote Candles Aprés Ski Candle
For your friends who care about clean scents, this hand-poured candle is for them. “It’s made with a coconut-soy wax blend, cotton wick and phthalate-free fragrance for a clean burn and powerful aromatic effect,” Franklin says. “The woody scent features top notes of cinnamon, spearmint and cypress, over a rich spruce and cedar base with an invigorating touch of citrus. Perfect for a busy day of holiday entertaining, this candle will be one that everyone loves.”
Nest New York Holiday Candle
Available in a variety of sizes, this candle comes in a beautiful festive box that’s ready for gifting, Franklin suggests. “The limited edition scent blends pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, cloves and cinnamon with a hint of vanilla and amber,” she says. “Nest candles reliably burn evenly, while the gold print adds a little luxe pattern to a space. While not inexpensive, this candle is worth it — and we love gifting this one to family and close friends.”
Jenni Kayne Basil Glass Candle
“If we could only use one scent in our homes, it would be a Jenni Kayne candle,” Casey says. “We particularly love the brand’s Basil scent for spring, featuring notes of neroli, green herbs, bay leaves and jasmine. “Need more convincing? This candle even made Oprah’s Favorite Things, so you know it’s good.”
Byredo Burning Rose Candle
Crafted in France, Byredo candles are an investment worth making, according to Casey. They’re handmade using mouth-blown glass and cotton wicks. “Their Burning Rose fragrance takes you on a complex floral adventure with notes of rose petals, leather, rose absolute and violet,” she says.
Tatine Morning Sun Candle
If bright, citrus-inspired scents are a go-to for the person you’re shopping for, check out Tatine’s Morning Sun. With rich apricot nectar and a tinge of gourmand praline wood, you get a fragrance that’s dreamy and mesmerizing. “It’s the perfect complement to a freshly cleaned kitchen,” Casey says.
Brooklyn Candle Co Vert Deco Prosecco Holiday Edition Candle
Cheers, dahling! The hostess with the mostess in your life will appreciate this slightly sweet candle, which features notes of wild roses, red berries and white musk. It’s a modern take on nostalgic holiday classics inspired by cocktail party season. Plus, the chic emerald green matte glass vessel offers an ultra-stylish touch.
Nest New York Velvet Pear Candle
“This is one of my favorites for the cooler months of the year,” Fenimore says. “It’s a wonderful blend of warm amber, with a little bit of sweetness from the pear and apple. This mix of masculine and feminine make this a great gift for the boujee one on your list.”
Freres Branchiaux Lavender Crush Candle
The Frères Branchiaux Candle Co. brothers are at it again. This hand-poured, small-batch Lavender Crush candle is the ultimate floral experience. Missing spring already? Burn this to channel all the fresh, sunny and warm weather vibes.
Jo Malone London Peony & Blush Suede Scented Home Candle
“Jo Malone candles are another one of my go-to brands for gifting,” Fenimore says. “They make perfect housewarming gifts, and I love mixing and matching their candles and hand soaps. If you’re looking for classic scents that softly linger, the brand’s Peony and Blush Suede is to die for.”
McGee & Co. Candle Wick Trimmer
Getting the most out of your candles requires a tad bit of maintenance, and a good wick trimmer is a must-have tool, advises Casey. For the candle enthusiast who’s already stocked up on candles for the season (or year), a wick trimmer makes for a practical gift that they’ll truly appreciate. Because let’s be honest: Trying to cut wicks with huge scissors is such a hassle.
Stone House Collective Mercury Glass Candle
Best Candle for Shelfies
Know a friend who loves their shelfies and lives for an IG-worthy aesthetic? This candle is for them. The oversized mercury glass jar is shimmery and beautiful by itself, and doubles as gorgeous decor no matter the time of year. This sophisticated scent is a harmonious balance of warm and clean notes that everyone will love.
Fornasetti Candle Star-Lina Otto
Best Candle Gift for The Artist
This is, by far, one of the most unique candle gifts you can get. Fornasetti candles are heavy on the artistic elements with its vessel featuring images from the iconic Italian artist. Created by the master perfumer at Chanel, this highly luxurious fragrance combines Mediterranean herbs, incense, and wood to give you a look into the nostalgic scents from the atelier himself. Burn this candle — or maybe don’t. After all, when you own a Fornasetti candle, you own a work of art.