Fall has the best fragrances — no question. While I can appreciate the clean linens and sea salt scents of summer, fall candles just set the mood with delicious scents that we associate with crisp air and cozy nights at home (and Gilmore Girls, tbh). There’s just something about notes like crackling firewood and pumpkin spice that help us exhale, settle in, and feel comforted.
There are hundreds of fall candles on the market now, and they aren’t all created equal. Besides just liking the scent, there are a few key factors to consider when you’re investing in a candle. For starters, look for candles made with wholesome (preferably organic) ingredients and cotton wicks, which are less likely to plume smoke than synthetic wicks. You should also make sure you like the vessel that the candle comes in so you can re-use it in your home (it’s 2021, no more waste!). Candle vessels can easily be re-used to store your makeup brushes, cotton rounds, spare change, or can even be refilled for pretty cheap.
When choosing a candle, you should also consider purchasing a wick trimmer (they look very chic next to your votives) and trim the wick to about ¼ inch before each light to prevent ash from building up around the inside of your jar.
Hopefully, that helps narrow things down, but in case you’re still undecided, never fear. I’m a fall candle obsessive, and I’ve tried all of the major hits. So without further ado, discover the best candles for fall 2021 ahead.
Pumpkin spice is exorbitantly popular for a reason — it sets the mood for fall like no other fragrance. If you’re looking for a pumpkin spice candle to start setting the stage for fall in your home, look no further than the Nest Pumpkin Chai 3-Wick Candle. At $70, there are less expensive options, but just a few minutes of burning this candle fills my home with the mouth-watering scent of a fresh pumpkin chai latte. (Other candles just look pretty and only smell like pumpkin when I get really close.) Trust me, it’s worth the investment if you’re into fall candles. And pro tip: With these multi-wick candles, it’s really important to let the top layer of wax melt all the way to the edges of the jar upon your first use. Otherwise you’ll get that dreaded “tunneling” effect where the wax burns unevenly (and gets wasted).
No name is quite as synonymous with luxury fragrance as Diptyque. The Cannelle smells like a cinnamon bun (cinnamon bark freshly stripped from the tree branches) and is sure to fill your home with the feeling of warmth and comfort you’d associate with a cozy night under your favorite blanket. The jar is so pretty that you can re-use it for a lifetime.
For those extra chilly, extra cozy nights in, you’ll want to light Sunday Riley’s Come Upstairs Massage Candle. This sweet, honey and vanilla-infused candle has skin benefits too, which means once the wax cools down, you can use it as a luxurious massage oil. You can also use it as a normal candle if massages aren’t your thing, but warning: It smells so good that you’re going to want to bathe in it.
No fall candle roundup would be complete without Bath & Body Works. The brand’s Fall Farmhouse Candle is one of my favorite scents of the season, with top notes of “spiced pumpkin, forest pine branch, and fresh fall air,” according to the brand’s website. It smells like you’ve just stepped outside on a crisp fall day with absolutely nowhere you need to be.
Second perhaps only to pumpkin, spiced cider is one of the most comforting scents we associate with fall. And to recreate the feeling with a candle, the Capri Blue Spiced Cider Candle is your best bet. With notes of sparkling berries, harvest apple, cinnamon, and a Canadian fir base, this is one of those candles that emanates fragrance even when it’s unlit. When you do choose to light a match, it envelopes the room in the absolute coziest fresh apple smell. It’s like someone’s brewing a fresh batch of spiced cider in the next room.
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