Scent away: Fragranced candles for cosy evenings at home

From eco-friendly refills to cannabis super candles, something for every taste

My mother was always worried about money when we were growing up, but fragranced candles were her weakness – an utterly frivolous purchase that she would sometimes make for herself. I still love candles and associate them with her. They gave her real and meaningful comfort; a relatively ephemeral object of sheer indulgence.

For this reason, they are fixed in my mind as symbols of self-kindness, though scented candles tend to divide people. There are those who “get” them, and always have a few stashed in a drawer, enjoying them on snug evenings at home, and those who find them notions in the extreme – an elaborate way of burning money. The thing is that, at present, all our evenings are “snug” (or insert your preferred expletive here) at home, whether we like it or not. Candles serve absolutely no modern purpose apart from aesthetic and sensorial pleasure, and that is precisely why they are so very wonderful, especially now.

If you’re just not into them, I warrant I won’t have convinced you and you can check back in next week when we will return to more standard beauty products, but for everyone else, I’m happy to share some of the best available online now.

There are heaps of lovely Irish candle brands to choose from, and Max Benjamin Candle Refills (€16.95 at offer an affordable, high-quality option. A Max Benjamin candle retails at €25, but to save on waste, the brand have launched their full 15-strong classic collection in refill form. The refill comes in a biodegradable paper cup, and once you pop it out, will fit perfectly into the glass jar of any Max Benjamin candle you've finished already.  I love Pink Pepper, but there is something for every taste.


VOYA Cedarwood and Bergamot Luxury Candle (€27 at is another sterling Irish option – one of four candles the brand offer. VOYA candles are powerfully scented with rich, intensely fragrant oils. These candles are used in spas around the world to create that gloriously relaxing "spa smell", but you can enjoy them just as much at home.

L'Occitane Harmony Candle (€22 at is a delectable herbaceous option. Normally, a "tree" scent would feel more appropriate for Christmas, but this blend of cypress and eucalyptus with thyme and juniper brings the outdoors inside and is wonderfully fresh without being sharp.

If you have the budget and inclination for a big candle purchase, there are a couple of "supercandles" worth considering. Jo Malone London Fragrance Layered Candle A Sensual Floral Pairing (€180 at features four alternating layers of Pomegranate Noir and Peony & Blush Suede scented wax, three wicks and a beautiful hefty coloured glass tub. It gives 60 hours' blissful burn time.

Malin + Goetz Cannabis Supercandle (€179 at comes in a large, apothecary-jar style container and features three wicks and 180 hours' burn time. Notes include black pepper, bergamot, magnolia, cedar and sandalwood. It's a warm, smoky fragrance that really enriches a room and you can try this fragrance in the standard smaller size if a supercandle feels just too extravagant.