The Best Holiday Candles, According to HGTV Editors

Your comprehensive 2020 guide to holiday candle shopping awaits.

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November 05, 2020

It’s finally candle season — holiday candle season — and while I could pretend that I haven’t been counting down the days until it’s socially acceptable to break out all my favorite festive scents, I won’t. Instead, I’ll admit that I already have a merrily-scented candle burning beside me as I write this. As I come to terms with my unnatural love for holiday candles, I thought, why not hunt for the best ones in the game? And I’m not just talking scent — I want the whole package: a winter candle that smells dreamy and amazing, plus looks perfect burning on kitchen counters, bookshelves and mantels.

So, get your matches and lighters ready, because I asked HGTV editors to share their favorite holiday candles and they had a lot to say. Read the top 12 picks (in no particular order) below.

“Cue all the heart eyes because this candle is the perfect combination of freshly hewn pine trees and subtle hints of the holiday season," says Ellie Sanders, Assistant Newsletters Editor, "And the jar? It’s a work of green and gold genius that blends seamlessly into my decor. If I could buy stock in this scent, believe me, I would.” And while we’re on the topic, there are few things I love more than an Anthropologie candle. My personal favorite is Anthro’s Capri Blue Volcano candle. It smells exactly like the inside of Anthro’s home section and sets the perfect cozy-up-in-a-corner-with-book mood. And, if you’re totally obsessed with the Volcano scent, check out the Capri Blue Volcano Advent calendar — it is literally a dream.

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Extended family time calls for Prosecco, right? Or at least a Prosecco-scented candle. "This one's great because it's not too sweet-smelling but makes you feel fancy like New Year's Eve!" says Kathleen Knowles, Editorial Assistant, HGTV Magazine. "And the jar looks super pretty on your nightstand."

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Hand-poured in the U.S. with soy wax? Yes, please. “Burning this Black Cypress candle makes you feel like you’re walking through a wintry evergreen forest. Paired with notes of woody sage, it gives the perfect hint of Christmas without making you feel like you’ve opened a pine tree-scented car freshener,” says Noelle Paredes, Assistant Home Editor, HGTV Magazine.

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The hard truth of it is not everyone loves traditional holiday candle scents (*gasp*), so if you need a crisp respite from all the holiday mania, Ellen Seidman, editor at large for HGTV Magazine, suggests the Votivo Island Grapefruit candle. “This is my go-to treat,” she says. “It has a super fresh, tropical smell that gives me chill summer vibes during the season’s whirlwind of shopping and parties.”

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Major style points for this totally trendy candle by Paddywax, but it's not just good looks that got it onto our list. "I'm a die-hard Paddywax fan, and the Evergreen and Embers has just the right amount of fresh, crispness to balance out spicy, smoky notes," says Molly Miller, Assistant Editor, Plus, the holder doubles as a ramen bowl, so once the candle is gone, eat up!

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Looking for a reliable holiday staple with tons of street cred? “Call me basic, but I LOVE Yankee’s evergreen scents,” says Keri Sanders, Editor, “Balsam and Cedar is my all-time fave, and this earthier option is my go-to when the cooler weather starts to roll in.”

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Fact: HGTV editors love Cire Trudon candles — so chances are you will, too. This stunning, handcrafted Christmas scented one is a splurge but totally worth it. “I can’t have a fire in my apartment, but this smells even better,” says Jami Suspic, Home Director, HGTV Magazine.

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“I absolutely adore the rich, comforting scent of this warm tobacco pipe-scented candle,” says Felicia Feaster, Managing Editor, “It's subtle, a little masculine, with a hint of patchouli and leather that adds the perfect ambiance to a cool night.” Plus, this minimalistic jar will look extra festive nestled in holiday garland atop a mantel.

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“It’s pretty much a Christmas tree in a jar. You get the best part of a tree (that crisp, woodsy scent) minus the worst (sweeping up all those dried-out needles),” says Kate Doherty, Market Director, HGTV Magazine. And if you’re looking for some extra green to add to your holiday decor, this fir candle comes in a beautiful translucent holder that’ll give you major festivity points.

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The classic stylings of J.Crew joins forces with the unmatched fragrances of Minnesota-based candy company Illume to yield this must-have holiday candle for your home. Each candle is poured into a handsome, frosted-ruby vessel and wrapped in a gifting-ready navy tartan box with gold foiled lettering. Notes of cinnamon, fir needles, zesty orange peels and balsam come together to create an intoxicating scent that lingers in your home long after it’s burned.

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Spicy, sweet and sophisticated? Yes, please. The Pomander candle from Diptyque layers notes of candied orange peels with spicy clove to create a moody-meets-fruity scent suited for the holiday season. Burn the stunning scent on your kitchen counter by your dining room bar cart before entertaining.

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This festive and seasonal candle blankets your space with inviting notes of mandarin oranges, juicy pomegranates, pine, cinnamon, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. Each candle burns for 50-60 hours and comes poured in a gift-worthy gold-trimmed glass vessel.

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In search of a signature home fragrance for winter? I’ve got you covered. The Noir candle from The White Company features a striking mix of scents, including rich sandalwood, mandarin oranges and syrupy amber. Together, the notes create an elevated, understated fragrance that infuses your home with warmth and sophistication that’s fitting for the holiday season.

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Spicy clove and fresh apple notes combine with aromatic thyme and Canadian fir scents to yield a candle that embodies the spirit of the holiday season. The giftable candle comes in a wintry silver vessel encased in a cardinal, pine and berry-clad box. Each hand-poured candle blankets the home in an elegant and earthy Christmastime scent and burns 30-40 hours.

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Illuminate your white-on-white holiday decor with this scented candle. The hand-poured soy candle features a chic glass vessel and boasts top notes of pine and citrus enhanced by berry and sage middle notes and a fresh juniper base note. Each candle is crafted from natural materials in Pennsylvania, infused with aromatic essential oils and burns for 40+ hours.

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$18 - $30

Take cues from your Christmas bar cart and holiday dessert spread to select your home fragrance. The Brandied Pear candle from Etsy shop Sip Save Salvage infuses your home with a balance of sweet and smoky notes fit for sophisticated spaces. Each soy candle is handmade in Illinois and encased in a recycled wine bottle vessel. As the candle burns, it envelopes the room with a mouthwatering fragrance of ripened pear and aged brandy.

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$29.50 - $59

Spicy clove and fresh apple notes combine with aromatic thyme and Canadian fir scents to yield a candle that embodies the spirit of the holiday season. The giftable candle comes in a wintry silver vessel encased in a cardinal, pine and berry-clad box. Each hand-poured candle blankets the home in an elegant and earthy Christmastime scent and burns 30-40 hours.

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Go all-in on evergreen scents with this fresh Winter Mantel candle by Homesick. The soy-blend candle combines notes of Fraser fir with holly berries, eucalyptus, sugar, spruce, cedar and mistletoe for an energizing and earthy fragrance that you’ll look forward to burning during the winter holidays and beyond. The non-toxic candle is encased in a minimalist glass vessel, burns 60-80 hours and is made free from all plastics, synthetic dyes, plastics and phthalates.

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The White Company created its beloved Winter Botanical candle over 20 years ago and it remains a popular seasonal staple to this day. The reason? Each pillar candle swathes the room with Christmas cheer using vibrant notes of fresh orange, cozy cloves and spicy cinnamon. The snowy candle matches its fragrance with its beauty, showcasing holiday botanicals like dried orange peels, brilliant red berries and cinnamon sticks along its base.

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