We pulled together this guide to the best candles on Amazon because we’re living in Peak Candle, especially now that the candle has become the default gift. (You know, like whiskey stones, but actually wanted.) Sometime soon—maybe for the holidays, maybe for Valentine’s Day, maybe just to treat yourself—you’re going to be buying a candle.
There’s a massive variety in both scents and vibes: artisanal farm-to-table jars, posh scents from fashion houses, art-world sculptures filled with wax, and designer scents from upstart brands. For lovers of craft candles and aromatherapy, the scented sea of options is a blessing. For those of us doing the buying, it can be a soy-based minefield. Because unless you want your friend’s home—or worse, your home—to smell like a children’s beauty pageant, you have to choose the right candle.
While it takes some work digging through the endless pages of bad products, the best candles on Amazon pass the smell test. In putting together our guide, we looked for candles with great scents, of course, but also factored in aesthetics, burn times, burn quality, throw (how well the aroma fills a space), and user feedback. Many of the winners were personally tested by GQ writers; a few earned their way onto the list by way of glowing reviews from Amazon users.
From indie fragrance brands like Boy Smells to masculine scents to candlemakers that’ll get your mom fired up, these are the best candles on Amazon. The aromatic A-listers, if you will.
The Best Candles on Amazon at a Glance:
We’ve been hunting down the best scented candles online since 2010. Amazon’s great for affordable candles, though you won’t find fashion labels or more off-the-wall types like, say, geometric unscented candles. If you don’t see something you like here, check out the GQ guide to the best scented candles for every mood.
- The Cult Favorite: Boy Smells Hinoki Fantome Candle, $38
- The Most Gift-able Candle: Birthdate Co. Birthday Candle, $50
- The Best-Seller: Lulu Candles No. 17, $20
- The Crackling Wood-Wick Candle: Hemlock Park Wood Wick Candle, Palo Santo, $25
- The Masculine-Scented GQ Favorite: P.F. Candle Co. Teakwood and Tobacco, $37
- The Artisan Candle: Paddywax National Parks Collection, $38
- The Extra-Long-Lasting Candle: WoodWick Fireside Candle,
- The Winter Candle: La Jolie Muse Fir & Cedarwood,
- The Best Zodiac Candle: The Tarot Candle by Birthdate Co, $45
- The Best Mom Candle on Amazon: Homesick Winter Mantel Scented Candle, $38
The Cult Favorite: Boy Smells Hinoki Fantome Candle
By now you’ve at least heard of (if not inhaled for yourself) Boy Smells, the gender-bending fragrance brand. The company makes perfume, home fragrances, and even underwear, but candles are its specialty, with standouts like Cowboy Kush and De Nimes, which smells a bit like denim and the French city it’s named for. It’s most popular scent, Hinoki Fantôme, blends together traditionally “masculine” scents like smoky Japanese cypress and hinoki with more “feminine” notes like jasmine petals to create a smell so good, even your dad will start questioning the gender binary.
The Most Giftable Candle: Birthdate Co. Birthday Candle
Yes, candles can be a really cliche present, but not so with Birthdate. This brand has 365 unique candles for every day of the year, with both the scents and the labels inspired by the Zodiac. For horoscope-obsessed aromatherapy lovers, it’s a standout gift idea. And now that you can buy these candles on Amazon (yes, all 365 are available in the drop-down menu), they’re ready to fulfill all your oh-crap-I-forgot needs. We doubt anyone outside of Birthdate has sampled all 365 fragrances, but we’ve yet to try one that didn’t smell great.
The Amazon Best-Seller: Lulu Candles No. 17
Lulu Candles keeps it simple, using quality soy-blend wax, cotton wicks, and essential oils. In that sense, it has a lot in common with plenty of other candles on Amazon, but with one noticeable difference that earned it best-of status: It’s not overpriced. Look, we appreciate a designer scent-flex as much as anyone, but at $20, you can burn a Lulu candle (the brand has dozens of scents) every day, and save the fancy one for company.
The Crackling Wood-Wick Candle: Hemlock Park Wood-Wick Candle, Palo Santo
So-called “men’s” candles tend to lean into masculine, woodsy scents, but Hemlock Park takes it a step further by using actual wood. The slow-burning wood wick crackles like a real fire, giving all the ambiance without needing to crack a flue or get rid of ashes. We also like that it sets off all the heartier notes (palo santo, cedar, black peppercorn) with citrus hits of blood orange and yuzu.
A Citrusy Wood-Wick Candle: Hemlock Park Yuzu Citrus Candle
We love wood-wick candles so much that we couldn’t resist including one more option from Hemlock Park. This candle puts the brightly electric yuzu citrus notes front-and-center, and—despite being the same volume of smooth-burning coconut wax—promises a 25% longer burn time compared to palo santo candle above. Which means you get that much more time to pick out the subtler hits of sea salt, bergamot, and grapefruit.
The “Manly” Favorite: P.F. Candle Co. Teakwood and Tobacco
Wood. Tobacco. Leather. There are certain aromas that just make you want to pour a scotch on the rocks and do a bad impression of Ron Burgundy. This soy candle is a formidable scent, in a good way—able to fill out a large room without being overpowering (thanks in part to notes of citrus evening out the musk and smokiness). There’s a reason it’s long been a top pick in our guide to the best scented candles.
The Winter Candle: La Jolie Muse Fir & Cedarwood
Even if you never burn La Jolie Muse’s candle, it’ll still give off warm vibes. The rippled glass jar and matching lid looks like something you’d claim from grandma’s house—or, more likely, pay dearly for at a flea market that also has food trucks and $100 vintage band tees. You’ll only appreciate La Jolie Muse’s work even more when you light the cotton wick and fill the room with fir, cedar, amber, and musk. And obviously, far as the best gifts on Amazon goes, a candle that looks as good coming out of the box as it smells seems like a home run.
The Limited-Edition Candle: Boy Smells Limited-Edition Slow Burn Candle
Ever since Boy Smells released this limited-edition candle, a collab with country-pop queen Kacey Musgraves, it’s become one of the brand’s hottest commodities. Smoky notes of incense, black pepper, smoked papyrus, and guaiac wood (which is earthy and musky) headline the show, underlined by notes of raspberry and amber.
The Bright and Bold Candle: Phlur Tangerine Boy Candle
Phlur is one of the many artisanal candle companies that popped off during the pandemic, as countless Americans tried to soothe their anxiety and claustrophobia with soothing essential oils. The stuck-inside era is over, but Phlur is still going strong, for good reason. Tangerine Boy uses natural ingredients selected by master perfumers—in this case, its a bold scent made of lemon, ginger, and tangerine (balanced by notes of apple, jasmine, and amber)—wrapped up in a calm, clean ceramic jar that’ll play nice with even the most chaotic interior design.
The Artisan Candle: Paddywax National Parks Collection
With notes of white pine, fresh air, and hemlock and a smoky wood wick, this hand-poured candle was inspired by the sights and smells of Glacier National Park in Montana. The candle is part of Paddywax’s National Park series and contained within a rustic textured vessel that can be repurposed as a planter pot or storage container once all the vegan soy wax is burned off. That sandy texture isn’t just nice to look at: you can strike matches directly on the side of the candle, too.
The Quick-Burning Candle: Paddywax Hand-Poured Artisanal Tobacco & Patchouli Candle
Also from Paddywax, this candle brings a little more yee-haw thanks to a Western-inspired blend of tobacco and patchouli. Like many gunslingers, this candle lives fast and dies young: its four-hour burn time is less than a tenth that of plenty of Amazon’s best candles. That’s partly a result of the dual wicks, which ensure that it burns evenly. The upside: we can appreciate a candle that doesn’t overstay its welcome.
The Extra-Long-Lasting Candle: WoodWick Fireside Candle
Okay, so what if you want a candle that does last extra long? WoodWick’s fireside candle (which uses wood wicks, duh), promises to last for up to 100 hours. If coziness could be distilled into a smell, this fireside-inspired fragrance—notes of amber, vetiver and musk—would be the result. It may be the best possible substitute for someone who doesn’t have a chimney in their living room.
The Best Zodiac Candle: The Tarot Candle by Birthdate Co
Also from Birthdate Co, this candle takes its inspiration from Zodiac signs and tarot decks. This is another GQ-favorite candle, and we love its combination of fragrances: bergamot, lemon leaf, cardamom, water orchid, eucalyptus, violet flower, and amber. When you’ve finished burning this candle—which lasts for at least 60 hours—you’ll find a tarot charm inside the jar.
The Best Mom Candle on Amazon: Homesick Winter Mantel Premium Scented Candle
To be clear, when we call this a “mom candle,” we mean that enthusiastically. Moms are the best. Homesick has an “Yankee Candle for millennials” style that hits the nostrils with some upscale nostalgia. The brand’s Winter Mantel candle combines fraser fir, holly berry, mistletoe, sugar, spruce, and cedar—the aromatic equivalent of watching A Christmas Story. Except the organic cotton wick and soy-blend wax should last all winter, unless the holiday decorations you’ll have to box back up on January 2nd. (Okay, January 15th.)
Malin+Goetz Highly Scented 60-Hour Leather Candle
Malin+Goetz is a New York City brand that makes bath and fragrance products for the modern home. While the brand’s candles aren’t its most well-known products, they showcase the perfume genius it brings to things like deodorant. In addition to this leather fragrance, Malin+Goetz also offers up dark rum and cannabis candles.
The Craft Pick: Rewined Pinot Noir Candle
Rewined is a Charleston, South Carolina-based small business that makes crisp-smelling candles inspired by your favorite wines. The thick glass jars even look like repurposed wine bottles. We’ve sampled and loved the brand’s wine candles ourselves, and the Pinot Noir is a particular favorite, even when we don’t have a bottle (or two) uncorked.
The Designer Pick: Jonathan Adler Muse Noir Candle
Most people don’t realize that Jonathan Adler’s whimsically baroque designs can now grace your house in two days or less, via Amazon Prime. Made to resemble some of Adler’s most famous vases, the Muse Noir candle’s slightly translucent porcelain container looks so good you won’t want to light it. When you finally give in, you’ll love the notes of bergamot, black plum, amber, and vetiver. And then when it’s fully burned off, you can toss in some flowers.
The Sleeper Hit: Capri Blue Volcano Scented Candles
This is a well-known candle among candle lovers (we see you, candleheads), and it comes in a colorful cobalt blue jar that isn’t afraid to stand out. Yes, the sugar and citrus notes skew more towards the warmer months, but this is a year-round best seller on Amazon for a reason. And given how long it last (19 ounces is huuuge), it may actually last you through a full year, anyways.
The Travel Candle: Wax and Oils Soy Wax Aromatherapy Scented Candles
This candle earned a shoutout from a GQ staffer in a recent guide to the best scented candles and incense for the modern home, for good reason. It’s an affordable and crowd-pleasing pick, and it’s from a small business in Sterling, Virginia to boot. We’ve linked to the peppermint eucalyptus variety, but there are dozens more fragrances to choose from. Plus, the size and tin container make this one easy to bring to your next Airbnb rental.