Christmas in the air: Five of the best scented candles

Whether you like the traditional Christmas aromas or something else entirely, there’s a scent out there for you

Diptyque Protective Pine Candle, €60, Space NK.

Diptyque Protective Pine Candle, €60, Space NK.


Fragranced candles are big business at Christmas time, with most luxury fragrance and beauty brands offering them. It might be the dedicated downtime spent at home during Christmas that makes us want to curl up on the sofa with an atmospheric candle burning, or it might just be that they are an easy, age-neutral gift to enhance the season and the home.

Whether you like an intense pine or a spicy home fragrance (or reject the festive scent category altogether), there is a candle for you this season.

Diptyque Protective Pine Candle

A true pine is hard to come by, and in this modern age of artificial trees, that delectably resinous, almost medicinal aroma has to be bought in the form of home fragrance. This is an intoxicatingly cleansing aroma – like pine needles freshly squashed underfoot on a crisp, dry wintry morning. €60, Space NK

Cire Trudon Fir Scented Candle

Another ‘your tree but better’ seasonal option, this pine candle incorporates myrrh, but that is the only counterpoint to the central pine and fir notes. The result is an intensely fragranced candle that will fill more than just the room it sits in with a wonderfully rich, forest fragrance. €85, Brown Thomas

Cloon Keen Atelier Noble Fir Candle

Every year, this candle goes on my Christmas list. From Galway-based perfumery Cloon Keen Atelier, it reigns over every other ‘Christmas tree’ candle. There are the expected pine needles of course, and the notes of sap-fresh fir balsam, amber and cedar. It’s the soft, enveloping thrum of clove and cinnamon, though, that cocoons you and makes this the perfect seasonal candle. €40, Brown Thomas and

Jo Malone London Orange Bitters Home Candle

Christmas tree fragrances aren’t for everyone; nor are the usual spice-based scents. This limited-edition candle takes the tangy zestiness of orange bitters and blends it with the sweetness of mandarin, the dark, Christmas-cakey thickness of prune and a warm base of sandalwood and amber. The result is a ‘Christmas’ fragrance that isn’t really a Christmas fragrance, but has all of the cosiness of one. €52, Brown Thomas

Rituals Orris Mimosa Candle

If the obvious festive fragrances just don’t appeal at all, choose something rich and opulent that also amps up the cosy atmosphere. The green woodiness of orris (which comes from the rhizome of iris plants) has a wonderful powderiness which entwines with the transporting warm-weather honey floral notes of mimosa. It feels expensive and luxuriant. €29.90, Rituals, Grafton Street