PEOPLE Editors Pick the Best Holiday Candles of All Time — Starting at $3!
As the days get darker, there's no better time to have a little flame burning bright — and filling your home with festive fragrance!
When it comes to holiday candles, there are seemingly endless options to choose from (some of which are better than others).
So PEOPLE's Home, Beauty and Style editors set out to determine which candles are worth your money — evaluating scent, burn time, packaging and more — and came up with a list of what we believe are the best holiday candles that are available this, and every, year.
After a thorough testing process, burning and sniffing dozens of perennial options, each of the picks in this gallery has been given the GOAT (greatest of all time) title.
Read on for the best scents you can buy right now to get you in the holiday spirit!
NEST New York Holiday
"NEST knows how to make a holiday candle, and this one feels like a gift straight from St. Nick," our staffer gushes, noting that it's easy to see why this scent is a bestseller year after year. Notes of pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, clove and cinnamon blend with hints of vanilla and amber for a fragrance that another staffer says is "just the right amount of spicy, woody and sweet... it fills my soul with Christmas cheer!"
Buy It! $42, nestnewyork.com
Jo Malone Roasted Chestnut
"While this candle may be geared toward the chilly weather season, I would light it 365 days a year," our staffer says of this smoky-sweet designer pick. Spices like nutmeg and cinnamon are mellowed by a touch of caramel in a simple-yet-chic votive for a luxurious scent another editor calls "very cozy" and "in-front-of-the-fire appropriate."
Buy It! $72, jomalone.com
Yankee Candle Christmas Cookie
Some dessert-scented candles can be sickeningly sweet, but this glass-jarred fragrance actually smells like sugar cookies fresh from the oven. "Want to convince your friends and family that you've been slaving away baking cookies all day? Just light this baby up," says one tester, commenting on the rich notes of vanilla bean, nutmeg and butter. Another notes that they "don't normally like super-sweet fragrances," but this one is a "clear winner."
Buy It! $29.50, yankeecandle.com
WoodWick Frasier Fir
Our entire testing squad fell in love with the crackling wood wick on this candle ("Perfect for the apartment-dweller without a functioning fireplace," comments one editor), which boasts a fragrance inspired by a crisp winter morning. Notes of fresh eucalyptus, red berries, fir needles and musk mingle together for a scent that's different from your average "Christmas tree" candle, but is still oh-so festive. "What an underrated hit!" said one of our testers.
Buy It! $20, woodwick.yankeecandle.com
Febreze Fresh-Cut Pine
It doesn't get much more budget-friendly than these mini-candles from Febreze. At just under $3 a pop, these simple, forest green vessels are great for bringing holiday spirit to any small space — "perfect for a powder room," says one staffer. Another comments that the pine fragrance comes through "surprisingly well for the size."
Buy It! $5.50 for 2-pack, febreze.com
LAFCO Feu de Bois
If you wish you could spend the holidays in a snowy ski house, this is our pick for you — no plane ticket required. Notes of sandalwood, smoky leather and frankincense burn bright in this simple yet elegant votive, with a scent that reminds one tester of "a rich hippie's cabin in Big Sur." Perfect for gifting throughout the colder months, another staffer says they "would burn this all winter long."
Buy It! $65, lafco.com
DW Home Christmas Tree
This bestseller from DW Home is aptly named: It smells exactly like a fresh-picked fir straight from a Christmas tree farm, with notes of balsam, woody pine and eucalyptus. Our testers note that the metallic green vessel is "super cute and giftable," and the candle itself "has an impressive burn time, especially considering how affordable it is!"
Buy It! $14.40, dwhome.com
Simple and clean yet still incredibly festive, one staffer describes the scent of this single-wick as "musky, smoky and woody," noting, "overall it looks and smells expensive." In addition to balsam, the fragrance is imbued with notes of freesia, sage, jasmine and redwood. "Everything about this candle feels luxe," another editor promises. "It's worthy of the GOAT title."
Buy It! $36, agrariahome.com
Otherland Fallen Fir
Our favorite of Otherland's holiday offerings, this winter scent will put you in a festive mood at first burn. Balsam fir, winter spice and musk define the fragrance, and one tester describes the vessel and its packaging as "a work of art that screams 'luxury.'" Woodsy, spicy and incredibly robust, another tester jokes, "This makes me want to host a holiday dinner party in an alternate reality where holiday dinner parties are a thing."
Buy It! $36, nordstrom.com
Bath and Body Works Fresh Balsam
"I go back to this scent every year. Honestly, I think they just bottled up a Christmas tree, and I love every bit of it," one editor says of this refreshing pick. Essential oil imbued with notes of balsam, fir branches and cedarwood, this three-wick candle will fill a room with scent in seconds — and the festive fragrance has serious staying power. "It makes me nostalgic for holiday shopping trips to Bath and Body Works with my mom and sister when I was younger," another editor says, describing it as "the OG holiday candle."
Buy It! $24.50, bathandbodyworks.com
NEOM Perfect Peace
Though less traditional than some of the other candles we sampled, this pine, myrrh and lime peel-scented number from NEOM represents everything we're looking for in the new year: Perfect Peace. The delicate, Nordic-inspired fragrance is intended to melt away tension and create a reprieve for the mind. Our testers deemed the single-wick perfect for small spaces, and said the luxe gold lining the vessel "creates a pretty glow."
Buy It! $36.50, us.neomorganics.com
Harlem Candle Co. Holiday
A favorite among several staffers, this unique holiday scent was inspired by the late singer Billie Holiday's favorite perfume, called Emeraude, boasting notes of spruce, pine needles, mint, and spicy cedarwood. Described by staffers as "intoxicating" and "Christmas in a jar," the candle features two wicks (uncommon in a vessel this size) to ensure an even burn, something testers appreciated greatly. "I couldn't stop sniffing it as soon as I opened the box," one notes, "and it looks absolutely gorgeous on display."
Buy It! $45, harlemcandlecompany.com