Burning question: what’s the best citrus-scented candle?

Three grapefruit candles – and one mandarin orange – are put through their paces

Candella No 4 Grapefruit

Candella No 4 Grapefruit

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Max Benjamin Grapefruit & Pomelo Candle, €24.95

This is a high-end candle at a comparatively good price. It burns steadily and delivers a fresh and almost authentic scent that smells more expensive than the price might suggest. It will deliver at least 40 hours of burning time, and the scent lingers long after the candle is extinguished. One of its big pluses is that when it is blown out, the fragrance is rarely undone by the smell of burning wick, and we like the fact that it is an Irish brand and one that has done so well for itself that it can be found selling in retailers across the country. It will make for a nice present that is not wildly excessive.
Verdict: Simply lovely
Star rating: ★★★★★

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Jo Malone Grapefruit, €52

This is a fine product and you will find it selling in high-end department stores in the run-up to Christmas. It can come beautifully presented with its fancy box and its scented black paper. It also smells beautiful and the citrus scents linger for a long time. All things being equal, we’d struggle to fault this. But things are not equal and the thing that sets it apart from most of its rivals is the price. It is not the dearest candle we have come across – we’re looking at you, Diptyque – but it is twice the price of the Max Benjamin option and it’s hard to justify that sort of price difference.
Verdict: Lovely but...
Star rating: ★★★
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Candella No 4 Grapefruit, €26.50

Candella No 4 Grapefruit
Candella No 4 Grapefruit

This is the new kid on the block. There are couple of things we like about it. First, we like the fact that the candles sit in the bottom of old wine bottles, which appeals to both our fondness for reusing stuff and our love of wine. The candles look lovely and we love the little cloth bag they come in – although it will make wrapping them something of a challenge. The fact that the candles are made by a small Wicklow-based start-up also appeals to us and the use of soya wax is impressive. But what we love the most is the deep, rich scent, which lingers long and seems more intense than its rivals – although that could be in our head.
Verdict: The loveliest
Star rating: ★★★★★
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Aldi’s Lime, Basil & Mandarin Candle, €4.99

We couldn’t find a grapefruit candle in Aldi – although that is not to say it does not exist – but we wanted to include the supermarket as it deserves some credit for selling an excellent scented candle at a very good price. We went for mandarin because at least it has a citrusy character. This will burn as long as its higher-end rivals and, while the scent may not be as strong or linger as long, it is still very good. We’re not sure it would make for a nice present, however, as nothing says “I didn’t really think too much about your present” like a cheap own-brand candle from a supermarket. A nice gift for yourself.
Verdict: Lovely but maybe too cheap.
Star rating: ★★★

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