Smells like Christmas: festive candles and home fragrances

Now more than ever it makes sense to make your home as pleasant as it can possibly be

Oh, but I love a Christmas candle. They are a symbolic and olfactory beginning to the festive season and this year, more than any in my memory at least, brings with it the urge to purposefully create positive moments and experiences.

It also just makes sense to make your home as pleasant as it can possibly be. A candle is only a candle, yes, but scent creates a mood inside your home. Since the general mood out in the world is not at its most comforting or optimistic, we must take our pleasures where we can and many of us are doing that by embracing Christmas a little earlier than usual.

Besides, since most of us are at home most of the time, home fragrance is a gift you can be sure will be put to good use and since in-person gift shopping may not be as straightforward or accessible as it usually is, most people will be buying online. We’ll be asking a lot of postal and delivery services this Christmas, so it’s prudent to buy gifts early if you can.

I'll guiltlessly enjoy a festive or wintry scent all year round, and don't limit green piney notes to December. If you want something particularly long lasting, or prefer not to burn candles, Jo Loves Limited Edition Christmas Trees A Reed Diffuser (€100 at is the closest thing to a real Christmas tree scent you'll find. The diffuser is generously sized, more stylish than standard, and you can repurpose the spherical vase once the scented oil is gone.


Diptyque Sapin de Nuit Candle (€65 at combines delicious pine notes with refreshing eucalyptus, crisp rosemary and a sharp whisper of peppermint. The whole effect is clean, warm and irresistibly Christmassy. Again, if a diffuser feels like a more elaborate or appropriate gift, Jo Malone London Pine and Eucalyptus Diffuser (€78 at has a similar fragrance but with even more of the verdant freshness of eucalyptus, and the quality of the diffuser enables it to really fill a space with scent for months.

Beautiful Irish fragrance brand Cloon Keen Atelier's Noble Fir candle has been my absolute favourite festive candle for years and will be burnt with joy in my house on Christmas Day, but if you don't share my obsession with forest fragrances, it has just launched a sister candle for the season, Cloon Keen Noble Myrrh (€40 at It is a sumptuous blend of resinous myrrh with cumin and traditionally festive cinnamon. There are also notes of patchouli, sandalwood and vanilla, giving the scent a fascinating complexity; it somehow comforts and relaxes you and is the perfect luxurious Irish gift.

For another Irish option that is wintry without the Christmas tree notes, try Emma's So Naturals Pomander Soy Tin Candle (€11 at Made in Co Louth, this little tin is a great affordable Secret Santa or stocking filler gift, and there are larger versions of the rich spicy orange candle available.