The Coolest Candles for Your House
Blackness. Cannot see your hand in front of your face. If you’re still on the road, it’s by accident. Then, out in the way-off, the tiniest of flames. Follow it and it grows. A candle in a window. All is not lost.
Here are eleven candles good enough to guide you home.
They’ll make your house look good and smell better—just add fire. They come in attractive vessels, and in scents like sugar and bourbon, or eucalyptus and the ocean, or honey. They’re made by candle companies concerned with making genuinely good, easy to love, exceedingly cool candles for your house.
Check out our choices and get a little something to shine in your window.
P.F. Candle Co. – No. 21 Golden Coast
Six years ago, these guys were making candles in their studio apartment. Now forty-three people design, mix, pour, and ship candles and other good-smelling stuff from P.F. Candle’s LA warehouse. This mini candle comes in a scent we remember well: sea air, redwoods, eucalyptus, sage. It’s called Golden Coast and it’ll make you want to rest your head tonight on a bed of California stars. Shop it.
Sydney Hale Co. – Bourbon + Brown Sugar
I love dogs, you love dogs, we all love dogs. But put one (or more) in a room and the odor is sometimes less than delicious. Light a candle and battle that pupper aroma forthwith. Light any candle from Sydney Hale and you’ll be supporting animal rescue at the same time. (They’ve been donating 10% of their profits to animal organizations for eight years now). This particular variety smells like rich molasses and aged American bourbon — better than essence of canine any day of the week. Shop it.
Handmade Habitat – Savasana Soy Candle
Shavasana is the best part of yoga class. Where else, as a fully adult human, do you get to lie down in a public space and do absolutely nothing — for like five full minutes? (Opium dens and Civil War battlefield reenactments don’t count.) Handmade Habitat’s Savasana candle aims to give you that bliss-y, zenned out state whenever you want it in the form of an all-soy wax candle with a blend of lavender and eucalyptus natural fragrance/essential oils. Shop it.
Homesick – New Mexico Candle
Is anyone where they’re from? The draw of starting over, trying someplace new is strong and just about everybody does it at some point. Here’s how you bring a piece of home with you when you pack up and ship out. With a candle for each of the fifty states (plus seventeen city candles) the appropriately named Homesick candle company figured out a way to remind you of home, using the power of smell. We recommend the New Mexico one — with chile pepper, cactus and cedar smelling just like a hike in the Jemez in September. Shop it.
Outdoor Fellow – No. 1 Fireplace + Clove
Remember that time at that cabin in the snow in the middle of far away? And you called on your ancestral memory to figure out how to get that fireplace going? This smells like that. Fireplace + Clove combines soy wax and essential oils to make a black pepper, smoke and cedarwood candle that’ll make you think of that cozy cabin evening (even if it never actually happened). Outdoor Fellow was founded by a guy who so longed for the woods he made candles that smelled like them. Taking it one step further, 5% of the company’s proceeds go to the Trust for Public Land. Shop it.
Northern Lights Spirit Jar – Whiskey & Tobacco
What candle goes with your whiskey ginger? This one. With leafy tobacco, Kentucky whiskey and fresh crushed tonka bean, this cork-topped offering from Northern Lights is part of their boozy line of candles. Other “Spirit Jars” include Blue Velvet Gin, Absinthe, and Black Fig. Who’s thirsty? Shop it.
Paddywax – Sonora Candle – Pepper & Pomelo
The last time you had a pomelo you did not wash your hands, you licked them clean. And when your candle comes in an etched concrete vessel, you light it and feel like an alchemist conjuring fire from the ether. Paddywax out of Nashville hand pours an insane array of candles into a dizzying assortment of vessels. The Sonora Pomelo & Pepper, though gets all the love in the world for being delicious and heavy. Shop it.
Wax and Wool Etc – Autumn Leaves
The sound of leaves crunching under your shoe = the best sound on earth (sorry laughing babies). Out of Puyallup, Washington (a place as fun to say as it is to visit) comes this Autumn Leaves candle which mingles scents of woodsmoke, vanilla and tonka beans to remind you of a stroll down a leaf-covered sidewalk, every step a symphony. Wax and Wool etc put it in a classic amber jar and made it from 100% soy wax. Shop it.
Le Labo – Santal 26
So you’ve got five-hundred dollars of candle money burning a hole in your pocket and you just want to get it spent before you buy something silly like food or medicine. We’ve got your candle right here. Weighing over two and half pounds, this monster comes in a concrete vessel made from recycled stone dust, ships in a handmade wooden crate, and has four wicks vying for your match’s attention (remember, light the one farthest from you first). It comes from Le Labo, a company out of NYC that makes fine fragrances in addition to brobdingnagian candles. Shop it.
Dinner at grandma’s was special when the long tall skinny candles came out. Sometimes you were allowed to put them out with the snuffer. But only at the end of the meal. Not during. Not before.
Mole Hollow – Beeswax Taper
Made from pure beeswax, these twelve-inch tapers come six to a set and have the name of the chandler responsible for dipping them (twenty times) on each box. They’re dripless, smokeless and have a faint honey scent. The people at Mole Hollow have been making candles in Massachusetts since the sixties and haven’t changed their process (though they do make far more candles and than they once did). These candles on a dining room table could turn that chicky-chicky parm-parm TV dinner into a feast fit for royalty. Shop it.
Trader Joe’s – Eight Candles
It’s one of those TJ’s secrets. The place that sells you your bagged spring mix and frozen pizza pies also happens to carry some of the better candles around. They’re dripless, smokeless, ivory-white, and unscented. Made in the Czech Republic, these tapers aren’t available year round (they seem to show up just before the fall/winter holidays get underway) and they tend to sell out. But at around three bucks for eight, you just won’t find a better price on a good candle. See it.