New York City in December can be less than charming. Sure, when there’s a layer of freshly fallen snow and you happen to be strolling down an elaborately decorated Fifth Avenue or a neighborhood of Brooklyn brownstones, that’s one thing. But it’s another thing when Mercury’s retrograde, slowing down anything and everything you try to do; it’s frigid and gray outside, and everyone on the subway is sniffling and sneezing; and you’re cooped up inside way more than you’d normally like to be just because the prospect of trudging out in the slush is more depressing than staying in.
We’ve discussed before how to make your home a place you want to be when you live in a climate that requires you to hibernate (whether you want to or not). Key to accomplishing that, in our book: plush throws, pretty art, excellent books, comforting yet healthy recipes, and—of course—candles.
Candles are an integral part of my winter survival routine. Whenever I’m home, I burn them pretty much starting from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep. I light one while I’m showering to give me 10 minutes of pretending that the world is a warm, comfortable place. I keep them going while I’m working, cooking, and watching TV. I’ve even gotten my typically no-frills fiancé hooked (his current favorite: diptyque’s Pomander).
It’s not just the scent and the little flickering flame that makes candles comforting (though it is definitely those things). It’s also the fact that just sparking one up feels like the tiniest act of self-care—a move that makes your abode more welcoming, comforting, and cozy; a space that feels homier and happier instantly.
Looking to treat yourself and your home to this magical effect? The candles ahead will help you create a warm, scented haven that you’ll love spending time in, rather than feeling like a prison you can’t leave until spring.
This warm, smoky scent—featuring cedarwood, fir needle balsam, sweet apple, orange bitters, and elderberry—prompted a delivery person at my door to say, "Damn, it smells good in here."
Ingrid Pine & Balsam Candle, $29 at Bijou
This non-toxic, high-quality soy candle adorns my bathroom sink and is the best accompaniment to a long shower—especially appropriate for believers in astrology.
The Moon Made Me Do It Candle, $35 at The 125 Collection
So calming that 20 minutes after lighting this one, you'll wonder whether you're really at home or if you stepped into a super-high end spa.
Lavender & Peppermint Candle, $25.20 at C.O. Bigelow
When it's too cold to actually go for a stroll in the snowy woods, this blue spruce and cedar-scented soy candle is the next best thing.
NO. 05: Spruce Soy Candle, $17 at P.F. Candle co.
Cloves, cinnamon, and orange make this candle smell as pretty as it looks on your coffee table.
Pomander candle, from $34 at Diptyque
Emitting a divine, earthy fragrance, this combination of spruce, pine, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, and nutmeg is just what you need to get in the holiday spirit.
Canadian Christmas Tree Essential Oil Soy Wax Candle, $33 at Oojra
If the red matte votive didn't sell you, the cranberry, nutmeg, ginger, red wine, and sugar scent will.
Cranberry Spice Sparkler Soy Candle, $55 at Sicily Hill
Another holiday winner, this candle features notes of juniper berry, pine tree, and oakmoss—mmm.
Fabled Juniper Berries & Lapp Pine Single Wick Candle, $49 at Molton Brown
A hand-mixed soy gem of a candle, featuring notes of black and red currant, bergamot, and wood.
Le Feu De Leau Candle, $65 at Reformation
Ideal for candle-holics like me, this adorable set of four votives has you covered with fragrances designed specifically for four key times of day: Wake, Magic Hour, Dusk, and Nightcap.
AM to PM Scented Candle, $59 at Brooklinen