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Some people might relegate candles to the winter months, convinced that hygge is only really necessary when it’s sweater weather. I believe this to be grossly misguided—your home’s scent should be able to receive some TLC whenever you desire, it’s just the scents that need a bit of an update. As we all try and move past the drizzly horrors of winter, what better way to treat ourselves than with the best spring candles this planet has to offer?
So I’ve done the absolutely grueling work of diving deep into the world of candle scents, spending hours doing extensive sniff work and—and this is 100 percent true—giving myself several severe headaches in the process! And now I have emerged victorious with these, your spring scents. These scents fall under a couple of themes which I’d like to divulge up front:
-It’s Beach Time, Baybie, AKA Rapid Winter Defrost Setting: These are, probably self-explanatorily, the scents that conjure up images of beach trips, sand, surf and the soft wafts of sunscreen up in the hotel room after a long day of soaking up the sun. Fill your home with scents that are so undeniably beachy that that lingering winter will get the hint to GTFO.
-Places That Aren’t Your House: It’s your old friend escapism, only now in smellable form! Why admit you’re still stuck in your thin-walled apartment when you could be in the Bahamas, or at least Ojai?
-Visions for a Fancy Future: You know the smell you smell when you’re in the home of someone who has it together? Fresh-cut flowers, aggressively clean linens, fruit bowls with real fruit and some kind of incense you wouldn’t even know where to buy if you could afford it. What if you could get your hands on a little of that smell power (or, if you will, “smower”)? Get the manifestation ball rolling with some fancy smell vibes (or, if you will, “smibes”) for yourself!
-The Great Outdoors: Look, we all love hiking (or at least saying we love hiking on our Bumbles) but what if you could have pretty much an identical experience while also watching The Umbrella Academy so you can have something to talk about at work? These fresh spring scents are chock-full of the nature you crave, but don’t always have the follow-through to seek out!
-Flowers (Minus the Allergies): Probably the scent most synonymous with spring, who doesn’t love the smell of a rosebush in bloom, a bouquet or a cluster of wildflowers? My picks on this list, though, aren’t your average floral scents—these babies are complicated.
And now, without further ado, I invite you to explore the best candle picks for this spring, all described in bumbling, nontechnical language by me, an absolute candle fiend.
1. No. 10 Sweet Grapefruit, $18 at P.F. Candle Co.
This is the candle I light 15 minutes before company comes over to trick them into thinking I’m healthy enough to have fruit around. It fills the room with a soft, sweet scent that’s subtle, warm and just a little tart.
2. Claudette, $29 at bijou
The scents of white flowers and vanilla wafting through your home will make you feel like the starlet this candle is named for. This candle is great to light just before bedtime, filling your room with a sweet flowery smell that isn’t overpowering.
3. PIRETTE Soy Candle, $48 at PIRETTE
This candle smells exactly as soft and sweet as its creamy coloring would suggest. It smells like the best kind of sunscreen (you know, that coconut-y kind) mixed with fresh salty sea air, and the wooden wick provides some delightful crackles if you’re into that kind of thing.
4. Bitches Who Brunch, $20 at Evil Queen
This beautiful orange candle smells exactly like the only kind of alcohol I can be bothered with: sweet. It projects the scent of the perfect mimosa, bubbly and obviously full of sweet orange flavor.
5. Round Hill, $24 at Ralph Lauren
A sophisticated scent that smells like a mix between a nice cologne and beachy air, this candle is subtle and exudes powerfully fancy vibes. It’s a subtle mix of wild plants, lemon and spices that delivers on its promise to deliver you to a faraway beach.
6. Ojai Escapist Candle, $38 at Brooklyn Candle Studio
Let me tell you, these guys know what Southern California smells like. For anyone who lives here, this smells like a walk through your favorite state park including all those plants you don’t know the names of, and for anyone else, maybe it’ll help you feel like that Cali sunshine isn’t so far away.
7. Beach Cottage, $30 at Homesick
This candle smells like your first step into that beachside AirBNB you decided to splurge on. The scent somehow captures the smell of salty ocean air and sun drifting in through clean linen curtains. Explain this one, science.
8. Meteor Shower, $20 at Space Coast Candle Co.
This candle promises the scent of the air right before it rains, and it definitely delivers. The scent is lighter than most, but that just helps contribute to the soft rainy atmosphere. Great for days that feel too dry—and basically every other day, too.
9. Coastal Sunset, $20 at Woodwick
How does this one manage to smell like the color pink? This sweet, bright scent summons up fresh coconut and beach wildflowers with a hint of crashing waves. If there’s ever an evening you need to envision a gorgeous sunset over white sands, light this baby up.
10. Starfruit & Whipped Cream, $38 at Simper Goods
I’m not going to bother everyone with my thing about wanting to eat candles all the time (which I really do), except for this one time, because this one was really pushing it. A delicious combo of fruit, sweet cream and sugar makes the air feel like a treat. I didn’t know you could make a candle smell like whipped cream, but Simper Goods proves it’s possible.
11. No. 32 Sandalwood Rose by P.F. Candle Co.
If you’re looking for a new take on the classic rose scent, I’d recommend you get in on this one. A subtle floral smell that also brings a nice grounding scent I can really only describe as “desert-y.” (To be clear, desert-y, not dessert-y—though that’d be nice, too.)
12. Sunshine Limone, $55 at The Perfect Provenance
The Sunshine Limone candle smells like the perfume of the most glamorous woman you know, if that woman also happened to be the ocean. The scent really sparkles with a fresh ocean quality plus it comes with a wax stamp, so you know it means business.
13. White Strawberry Bellini, $30 at Yankee Candle
Another great booze-themed candle, this one evokes sweet, fresh strawberries and truly makes the air smell like a strawberry shortcake. This one’s definitely the candle for you if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
14. Green Cardamom, $35 at Rituals
More wax stamps! I couldn’t be a bigger proponent of this fancy candle trend. This candle manages to produce a scent that I’d describe as irrepressibly fresh, like a wooded area after a rain shower. It’s a simple, bright smell with just a hint of fresh spice.
15. Rose Traveler Candle, $14 at Great Bear Wax Company
This candle literally makes it smell like you’ve got a full dozen fresh-cut roses in your home, wafting all over the place. It’s a bright, clear rose scent that’s subtle and simple rather than overpowering.
16. Silk Blossom, $72 at Jo Malone
Light this candle when you want to give yourself an extra dose of fanciness—this candle’s got a gorgeous floral perfume to it that’s especially good in bigger rooms, and perfect for any formal or semi-formal events you’ve decided to host. This candle will be available for purchase starting in April, which is basically right around the corner at this point.
17. Sunday Morning, $24 at Brooklyn Candle Studio
Sunday Morning’s goal is to recreate the fresh smells of a farmer’s market in your home with flourishes of fresh flowers and fruits, and it definitely delivers on the happy vibes.
18. Bloom, $38 at Elyse Maguire
This candle produces a gorgeous flowery perfume with a little hint of fresh sea air. I’d call this one a perfect bath candle—the complex florals mix well with humidity and really enforce that spa quality.
19. Hibiscus Horizon, $20 at Space Coast Candle Co.
I’m not sure I came across any other candles that utilized hibiscus in my extensive candle globetrotting—it’s a perfectly light tropical scent that transports you directly to the Florida beaches this candle came from.
20. No. 21 Golden Coast, $18 at P.F. Candle Co.
There are the classic beach scents, like salty air and coconut (which, if you’ve read this far, you already know I love and would die for), and then there’s this candle, which somehow manages to produce a different kind of beach—namely, one bordered by rocky cliffs and wild overgrowth. This candle is great for a late afternoon when you need a little stress relief. It produces a darker, muskier smell that can be quite soothing if you’re in the mood for that kind of thing.
21. Blood Orange + Jasmine, $20 at Herbs + Oils
For some reason I feel like this is the perfect kitchen candle—it smells like a particularly juicy blood orange that’s just been cut open, and it’ll make your kitchen smell like one of those fancy, stainless-steel countertop deals where you regularly prepare and consume such upscale fruit.
22. Velvet Pear, $42 at NEST
You don’t often hear pear on the list of classic spring scents, but I’d like to make a sincere case for its addition into the pantheon. Fresh and crisp—but by no means autumnal—this light pear candle sure produces some delicious air.
23. White Barn White Tea & Sage, $25 at Bath & Body Works
This soothing three-wicked candle is the perfect choice when you want to fill your home with a soothing low-key scent. The fresh herb smell is perfect if you’re looking for a scent that’s green without being flowery.
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