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I don’t know if it’s just a West Coast thing, but literally, about 75 percent of the Angelenos that I know (both male and female) call Le Labo’s ubiquitous Santal 33 fragrance their signature scent. In fact, I actually love it too — just not spritzed on my neck or the contours of my wrists. Instead, I like the sultry scent emanating throughout my apartment by way of musk-heavy candles that smell like Santal 33.
While I’ll admit the unisex cologne smells pretty amazing on almost everyone, it’s not only kind of pricey, but it’s also a bit on the smokey side for an everyday scent, if you ask me ( and please, don’t @ me, I know people live for this beloved perfume, and I totally understand why).
You see, I’m very much into home fragrance lately, and candles just so happen to be the easiest way to give your place a personalized aroma your guests will probably fall in love with. As I said, as much as I love Santal 33 like everyone else, I prefer it infiltrating through the corridors of my apartment as opposed to radiating off my wrists and neck.
Le Labo does make their own candle that smells like the beloved cologne, Santal 26 (the candle actually inspired the perfume and not vice versa), but again, you don’t have to spend Le Labo-level sums of cash to give your interiors a dash of the niche cologne’s sandalwood-spiked sweetness. With that being said, I’ve rounded up a few affordable candles that smell similar to the luxe scent, but won’t break the bank.
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Le Labo Santal 26 Candle
In case you do want to splurge on the original, it definitely is worth it.
No. 13 Jasmine, Oud & Sandlewood Candle
This slow-burning soy candle will actually make your place smell like heaven on earth (pinky promise). It also offers an extra-long burning time (up to 40 hours, according to the manufacturer) so you can enjoy the luxe aroma for hours on end. As a bonus, this made-in-America candle is also made of soy, making it an eco-friendly choice.
Trapp Signature Home Collection Candle No.7
This top-rated scented candle is praised for its intoxicating fragrance that fills the room and burns smoothly for up to a whopping 50 hours. The blend of sandalwood, cedar and patchouli notes smells pretty darn close to Santal 33, and it’s much less expensive.
Maison Louis Marie No.04 Candle
This luxe candle is a spot-on dupe that smells almost identical to Le Labo’s scent. One of my colleagues has been wearing the brand’s cologne in the same scent for years as an alternative to Santal 33. The similarity between the two fragrances is pretty uncanny.