Your Christmas Candles Sorted (Epic Post, Get Comfy)

christmas candles 2015

I’ve got about a million amazing candles to talk about this year, but I thought I’d start off with my carefully selected edit of Ones That Smell Like Christmas. I got into trouble with Mr AMR when I was filming the lit candles – I didn’t want any of them to end up with wonky wax, so left them burning for over an hour. All thirty-two of them. He was nearly sick. It was too much of a scent mish-mash, kind of like what it would smell like if there was an orange-and-fir-tree bonfire lit inside a chocolate cathedral.

Burnt individually, however, they are all gorgeous and wintery and really get me into the Christmas spirit. Not as much as a large glass of something incredibly alcoholic would, but as I am still for the most part abstinent the candles (and daily Mint Choc Magnum) will have to do.

mrs todd christmas candle

Let’s kick off with a beautiful candle from my good friend Kim, aka Mrs Todd, who has gone from strength to strength with what started off as a little kitchen enterprise. I regularly check in on her Instagram to see photos of her orders being packaged up – dozens of them! Her Citrus and Cinnamon is just the perfect winter blend – warm, spicy but with a good hit of fresh citrus and jasmine that makes it nicely modern and thoroughly interesting. Kim does every step of her candle-making by hand – you can order scent samples, find out more info and buy candles at her website here.

best christmas candles

Next in line, Rathbornes Rosemary, Fougere & Camphor candle, you can see it in the centre of the photograph above. This smells like Christmas tree without – somehow – being like one of those toilet freshener things that you attach to the rim. Rathbornes are apparently the oldest candle company in the world and I have to say that the centuries of experience definitely shows! The candle burnt evenly and the scent was gentle and sophisticated – herby with a touch of lavender. You can find Rathbornes candles here – this one is £30.

christmas candles 2015

Another Christmas Tree candle – this one is from Jo Loves (right of photo above). Again, a beautifully delicate pine scent, Christmas Trees has a lovely warmth from the lavender, amber and incense. It’s ever so slightly less “green” than the Rathbornes, if I had to split hairs: Rathbornes is an outdoor Christmas tree on a snowy night, the one from Jo Loves is an indoor tree next to a roaring fire! You can find it here – it’s £50.

christmas candles 2015

Now for three candles that are just pure luxe. Ormonde Jayne’s Nocturne is part-Christmas, part-nicest-perfume-in-the-world, so if you actually don’t love traditional Christmas scents that much, this is the one for you! It’s soft and warm – woody but with the cushiony smells of amber and tonka and cardamom. Find it here.

diptyque oliban candle

I got incredibly excited when I saw that Diptyque’s frankincense-scented candle was back on the shelves. Oliban was my favourite Christmas smell a couple of years ago and I desperately wished that I had stocked up on it. It’s very churchy, but I love that – childhood memories and all. You can find the Oliban candle in two different sizes at Space NK here.

cire trudon melchior candle

Then there’s Cire Trudon’s amazing Melchior, with its rich, spicy scent. If I close my eyes and burn this candle I can imagine myself in some faraway palace, lying on a massive silk cushion, having my hair brushed and being fed ripe figs. I know that doesn’t sound that Christmassy, but it is – the myrrh, the musk, the spices… A large 270g candle is £70 here but you can also get this as part of a coffret of three 100ml winter scents, that costs £160 here. (The big size is far more cost-effective; Cire candles seem more expensive than other luxury brands but 270g is a whopping great big candle and doesn’t work out to be any dearer than Diptyque.)

neom, molton brown, lolas apothecary

On the home stretch now, folks, and I have to speed up because Masterchef The Professionals is about to start and I’ve been editing candle stuff for hours and hours! I’m all candled out! From left to right, then, we have the delectable Orange Patisserie candle from Lola’s Apothecary, £34 here. If you want to go sweet and tasty rather than myrrh and pine-y then you’ll love this one. It’s like a warm slice of marmalade-filled sponge cake.

Then NEOM’s Christmas Wish, which is perhaps the most unusual of all of the candles here. (£34.95 with free delivery at LookFantastic – save 15% with code LF15 here.) The cinnamon and mandarin together are somehow very clean-feeling, despite being warm and traditionally Christmassy. This scent is part of the De-Stress range and actually, it’s very effective. I’m chilled, at any rate.

molton brown oudh accord and gold candle

Finally we have Molton Brown’s Oudh Accord & Gold candle, £36 here with free delivery. (Again use code LF15 to get 15% off.) This is one sexy scent – it’s quite masculine, I think. A man candle. Or a “mandle”? Ha. It’s totally luxurious and the kind of smell I’d love to find in a body product – a quick Google and my prayers are answered, because this scent also comes in a body wash! (You can find that here.)

Your favourite Christmas scents? Let me know in the comments below…

Read more Christmas posts….

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  1. G
    December 3, 2015 / 1:13 pm

    I don’t understand why Parks candles are not popular. They have amazing, luxury scents and you can easily get them at Tkmaxx for a fraction if price. They are ‘clean’, they burn well, the scent selection is great (especially Christmas and Black Magic collection) and they make any room.smell expensive. Same with Lampe Berger, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single blog post on them and they are just a whole different level of home fragrance.

  2. December 3, 2015 / 1:37 pm

    I am currently burning a Bath+ Bodyworks one that smells like an outdoor christmas tree or the “Black Tea & jasmine” one from Wax Lyrical (much more intense). Both not exactly Christmas scents, but deep enough to get me into the mood.

  3. Claire L
    December 3, 2015 / 3:36 pm

    Haha, poor Mr AMR! I can sympathise with him, some fragrances leave me with a migraine and feeling nauseous! I love this post though and it’s so very Christmassy with all the lit candles and the treelit background. I love Neom candles but I’m lusting after one of the Diptyque stained glass candles lol x

  4. Naomi
    December 3, 2015 / 4:12 pm

    I love a festive candle! One of my favourites is L’Ambre by L’Artisan Parfumeur. It’s a really warm and sophisticated scent that is a step-up from some of the more well known Amber fragrances around.

  5. Karyn
    December 3, 2015 / 4:55 pm

    I must thank you for introducing me to Mrs Todd’s candles, after reading about them on one of your previous blog posts, I bought a couple and loved them. They last ages and smell gorgeous.. Kim offers such a wonderful service too and the candles are beautifully presented. I adore Cire Trudon candles but can’t always afford them so Mrs Todd’s candles fit the bill well. May I ask what the blue Cire Trudon candle is in your pic please Ruth? I would like to add that I’m really enjoying your YouTube videos with baby AMR, I love to hear her gurgling in the background, such a joyful sound!

  6. December 3, 2015 / 8:54 pm

    I’m a huge fan of giving scented candles as gifts! They always make me happier and make winter cozier. I didn’t do a candle gift guide this year just because I was worn out by the other 5 I did! Glad to see some of our choices would have overlapped!

    • December 3, 2015 / 10:34 pm

      It is so much work doing gift guides, isn’t it?! I don’t know why, but it knackers me every year! x

  7. December 5, 2015 / 2:14 pm

    I personally think Yankee Candles are hard to beat, either the wee melts or the jar candles themselves. They are one of VERY few candles that don’t tunnel and the wax melts evenly. All their Xmas scents are truly gorge, ‘Season of Peace’ being my newest fave!! Also quite reasonable in comparison to the candles above, beautiful as they are.

  8. Helen
    December 5, 2015 / 6:20 pm

    Great post Ruth, I love a good Christmas candle! I would highly recommend that you try Noël candle from Crabtree & Evelyn, it’s £29 and a gorgeous scent. I use the fragrance oil version of the scent which is equally good.

  9. December 5, 2015 / 9:01 pm

    I love Christmas candles! There’s just something about that festive scent wafting through your house. I personally love Yankee candles, they smell beautiful and are so affordable, but I really want to splash out on Jo Malone one and possibly a Woodwick – the ones that crackle like a fire. Now I’ve had to add pretty much all of these to my list… Thanks for that.

    Lovely post!
    Georgina x | petite thoughts

  10. December 6, 2015 / 7:47 pm

    I am a candle maniac!!!

  11. Polly
    December 6, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    Ooh I’m so glad you mention wonky wax, because that’s exactly the issue I’m facing at the moment. I’ve just dipped my toe into the world of luxury candles (having subsisted on tea lights and essential oils for years) with diptyque’s Baies, and I adore it but by day three the wax is very wonky and looks like I’m going to have to cut (and waste) quite a bit. As a candle aficionado, would you mind advising me as to what I’m doing wrong please? I wonder if I’m just not to be trusted with pricey candles (hope not, I was all set on Mrs Todd’s Figs in the Forest next…!). Thanks in advance :)

    • December 6, 2015 / 10:08 pm

      Oh, bane of my life these luxury candles! They each have their own little directions, like make sure you burn for an hour, or less than an hour, or sing lullabies for the first ten minutes… I shall ask around and see if I can come up with some advice! xx

      • Polly
        December 7, 2015 / 1:43 pm

        oh thank you so much, that would be wonderful. You know i never thought to look for instructions – or to read them if i had. there i was thinking it was just about lighting the candle and not forgetting to blow it out/ burn the house down by accidentally leaving the post sitting on top of a lit flame. I had no idea it was so involved and yet, here I am with my wonky wax. Thanks for your help

  12. December 7, 2015 / 1:12 pm

    These all sound amazing, I love spicy and Christmassy scents the most. I’m loving Yankee Candle Cosy by the Fire and Balsam & Fir just now, I tend to switch it up daily with wax tarts because I’m fickle nosed!

  13. magda
    December 14, 2015 / 1:15 pm

    Loved this post. Thank you for introducing me to Mrs Todd candles. My recent favourite for the winter is Cedar by true grace company

  14. Julie TD
    December 16, 2015 / 8:48 pm

    The L’Occitane Rameaux d’Hiver is very gentle but smells of actual pine forests. Not too overpowering which is good as I’m pregnant and would find the heavy or sickly ones too much I think. It’s only £15 too.

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