Beauty Shopping

Make “Scent Memories” This Holiday Season With These Gorgeous Candles

By Thia Laurain
Three holiday candles on a festive background

The holidays are all about spending time with loved ones and making memories that will last for years to come — and inspire new traditions in their wake. Since olfactory memory can intensify the clarity of the memories we make, we’re major proponents of amplifying the joys of the holiday season with gorgeous, glamorous candles. (Carefully placed away from any pine boughs, of course.)

Whether you’re picking out a thoughtful hostess gift or the fragrance that will scent your own festive fête, one of these Spotlyte favorites can set the mood and light the way (literally!) for a holiday you’ll always remember. Below, nine of our favorite memorable candles to give and get this holiday season.Find Diptyque Holiday candle | SpotlyteDiptyque®’s holiday collection is always exquisite, and this year’s limited-edition offerings — Sapin De Lumière, Baume D’Ambre, and Amande Exquise — are no exception. While each scent is special, the Sapin De Lumière ($72) is a particular favorite for its glowing fragrance of fir trees mingling with warming cedar on a snowy morning. We think it’s the perfect gift for the city dweller who’d rather be spending the holidays in a snowbound forest.Find Byredo Chai candle | Spotlyte Byredo®’s Chai Candle ($85) is inspired by the rituals of Indian tea ceremonies, and evokes a warm, nostalgic feeling akin to clutching a warming cup of tea on a cold, rainy day. The top notes of cardamom, ginger, and clove give way to a base of birch, guaiac wood, and latte and sure, it’s a lovely gift, but we can almost guarantee you’ll end up keeping it for yourself.Find Cire Trudon Gizeh Candle | Spotlyte The pyramids of Egypt have awed scholars, mathematicians, and travelers alike for thousands of years. Now, these architectural marvels have inspired one of Cire Trudon™’s limited-edition Egyptian holiday fragrances, Gizeh ($105 for 270g). With a heart of candied firewood, delicate top notes of chestnut glace, and a smoky base of patchouli and musk, the scent evokes an age-old history as great as the pyramids themselves.Find Jo Malone | Orange bitters candleThis nuanced candle contains top notes of both sweet and bitter orange, sitting atop a sensual, warming base of sandalwood and amber. Bring a welcome bit of brightness to your holiday scene by lighting one (or three!) of the Jo Malone® London Orange Bitters Candles ($72) on a mantel draped with a garland of fresh pine.Find Lumira Nuit de Noel | Spotlyte Under-the-radar Australian brand Lumira®, has created a candle that its team calls “the essence of Christmas.” With Nuit de Noel™ Candle ($65)’s festive four-spice accord and top notes of brandy-soaked fruits and amber atop a floral heart and base of pine and cedar, we think you’ll agree. The impressive size — 300g and 80 hours of burn time — and simple green glass vessel also make it a man-pleasing favorite for any guy on your list.Find F*cking Fabulous Candle | SpotlyteTell someone how truly fabulous you think they are with this sexy candle from Tom Ford (who else?). A sensual base of tonka bean and lavish leather is topped off by a tete-a-tete of bitter almond and vanilla, with a vibrant prelude of clary sage top notes at the opening. This Tom Ford F*cking Fabulous™ Candle ($108) makes an excellent unisex gift, with a sleek and modern matte black vessel every design-lover on your list will covet.Find Elemis Joyful Candle | Spotlyte If you’re looking for a candle that smells like Christmas, this is it. A bright and festive blend of vanilla, orange, and cinnamon, this scent quickly fills rooms (and hearts!) with the joyful glow it is named for. And, because it’s adorned in a beautiful snowflake-bedecked box, this Elemis® Joyful Glow Candle ($44) makes a perfect hostess gift.Find Baccarat Rouge | Spotlyte With a timeless scent and festive red and gold flourishes, Maison Francis Kurkdjian™ Baccarat Rouge 540™ Candle ($110) makes a perfect gift for your mother-in-law (or any other woman of discerning taste!). An exotic blend of saffron, jasmine, amber, and cedar, this clean white candle releases a distinctive olfactive signature with characteristics from each of the floral, oriental, and chypre (woody) fragrance families.Find Diana Vreeland | Spotlyte The Diana Vreeland® Devastatingly Chic™($90) soy-blend candle was inspired by Diana Vreeland’s decades spent working in fashion — and the style it exudes is undeniable. Bright top notes of mandarin and pink peppercorn sparkle on a floral core of rose and carnation, while a woody base of patchouli creates a warm finish. With dark gray wax housed in a bold yellow glass vessel, both scent and design feel unexpected, modern, and elegant.


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Some products were gifted to the author for the purpose of writing this article.

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