Top 10 Christmas Candle Scents for Ultimate Holiday Vibes
And just like that, Thanksgiving’s over and the Holidays are officially underway. If you’re anything like me, you already started putting your Christmas decorations up (like the day after Halloween). I know, I know! For some that’s the winter equivalent of wearing white after Labor Day. But, you know what? I don’t care. If it means I get to fill my home with magical sparkling lights and nostalgic twinkling tinsel, that’s a rule I’m willing to break every single time. I mean, you’ve got to make the most of it, right? Before you know it it will be January, and that’s just totally “meh”.
Holiday decorations are amazing for self expression, and making your home a cozy retreat from the winter weather outside. But there’s nothing like seasonal scented candles to really set the mood and to take your hibernation hideaway to the next level. The great news is there’s a wide variety of diverse scents that are iconic to this time of year. Each one, bringing its own festive vibe to your space. But with so much choice, which ones should you choose, and what’s the best fragrance for your personal tastes and holiday occasions? Don’t worry, we got you!
Here are our top 10 most popular Christmas scents and best winter candles, guaranteed to fill your home with happy holiday vibes.
1. Fresh Cut Christmas Tree
Is there a more iconic Christmas scent than the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree? I mean, it’s just so darn evocative. Whether it reminds you of a traditional Norman Rockwell style Christmas family outing to the local tree farm, or in my case (as someone who never had a real tree growing up), memories of watching Clark Griswold bumble his way through his Christmas Vacation, it’s a holiday scent that’s super hard to beat.
Christmas trees come in a few different varieties, like pine, fir, or spruce, Frasier Firs are usually considered the most fragrant out of the bunch, with their unmistakable scent that’s crisp, woody, resinous and just a little bit citrusy. If there is a single scent to set the perfect festive ambiance, this might be it.
Smells Like: Frasier Fir, Cypress, Pine, Cinnamon Ginger, Orange Peel, Clove
2. Spicy Cinnamon
Cinnamon and its naturally warm, spicy qualities make it a fantastic and comforting scent for the holidays. Cinnamon has been a hot commodity for literal milenia, dating all the way back to Ancient Egypt. It quickly became a luxury commodity and was in demand all over the world. It was pretty much the Birkin bag of its day. Not bad for literal ground up tree bark! Things have obviously changed a lot since then, and as soon as Starbucks kicks off their yearly Pumpkin Spice Season, everything turns orange and suddenly tastes like cinnamon and sugar. It’s easy to associate cinnamon more with fall than Christmas, but it’s an amazing ingredient to punch up other holiday scents, too.
Festive spices like cinnamon are great for taking otherwise year-round scents and giving them a unique holiday twist. Cocktails and other boozy drinks are a classic example of that. The addition of a spice like cinnamon with regular drinks can transform them into festive mulled wine and cheeky hot toddies. Choosing a scent that incorporates cinnamon is pretty much guaranteed to create maximum cozy holiday vibes.
Smells Like: Apple, Orange, Cinnamon, Bourbon Coconut, Butter, Vanilla, Maple
3. Peppermint Candy Canes
For a scent that’s pretty ubiquitous in daily life, it’s kinda amazing how peppermint remains iconically Christmassy; It being associated with the timelessly cute candy cane probably doesn't hurt much! If cinnamon and other warming festive spices are at one end of the holiday scent spectrum, peppermint has to be its polar opposite. With its crisp, clean and cool fragrance, it’s the perfect way to take a break from the more traditionally warming holiday aromas.
If you’re looking to add some distinct diversity to your christmas candle lineup, choosing a peppermint scent is probably the way to go.
Smells Like: Mocha, Peppermint, Chocolate, Vanilla
4. Cozy Hot Cocoa
Talk about peak-cozy. Creamy, rich and piping hot chocolate has the epitome of low key holiday indulgence. Especially when you top it off with super cute tiny marshmallows! It’s easy to take for granted, but chocolate has a pretty robust and complex aroma. Cocoa is an unmistakable sweet, warm and inviting scent that just screams decadence. Similarly to peppermint, adding this fragrance into your holiday scent routine will bring some meaningful olfactive diversity. It’s great to mix up different contrasting aromas, as it allows your nose to reset, so you can pick out all the subtle nuances that make each scent special.
Choosing a hot cocoa scented candle is a fun way to switch things up this holiday season, and it also smells great through the post-christmas winter months, too!
Hot Cocoa & Cozy Cuddles ($34)
Smells Like: Dark Chocolate, Caramel, Buttercream Vanilla Cream, Almond, Hazelnut
5. Yummy Gingerbread
Who doesn't love a cute little gingerbread house decorated for the holidays? Ginger is a classic holiday spice that sometimes gets overshadowed by its sweeter counterpart, cinnamon. That could be because cinnamon flavored foods like pumpkin pie are usually more palatable to children, whereas ginger retains a more spicy and earthy flavor that can take some growing into. So you could think of ginger as the more grown up alternative to cinnamon. It still packs a similar warming olfactive punch, but is typically less sweet and often has a hint of citrus that adds a layer of complexity.
If you’re looking for a traditional Christmas scented candle, but want something a little more refined, picking a fragrance that includes ginger is probably for you.
Smells Like: Citrus, Gingerbread, Molasses, Sugar, Cinnamon Vanilla, Clove, Nutmeg, Chestnut, Butter.
6. Warm Sugar Cookies
Sugar cookies are pretty much my Christmas kryptonite. Especially the ones cut into fun little festive shapes and covered in colorful crunchy icing. I mean... Come on! The scent of sugar and butter is unmistakable, but the real MVP of these morish holiday treats is vanilla. The sweet, warm and comforting scent is perfect for cozying up on chilly winter days. Vanilla flavoring and fragrance can be found in a variety of products, but it’s often synthetic, and lacks the complexity of the real thing. Natural vanilla is made from the beans of the vanilla orchid so is a pretty precious commodity.
Natural vanilla has a layer of luxury and indulgence the synthetic version just can’t match. So if you’re looking for a sweet, indulgent, gourmand holiday candle, one made with real essential oils will bring a more elevated home fragrance experience.
Smells Like: Sugar, Cinnamon, Butter Honey, Vanilla, Cream
7. Hot Mulled Wine
When it comes to boozy holiday treats, spicy mulled wine is probably the most popular. Every Christmas Eve I make a big sharable pot, filling my home with its complex blend of seasonal fragrances. It’s simply perfection. Mulled wine is a warm and aromatic scent that's both spicy and fruity. The combination of the woody juiciness of the red wine combined with the notes of festive spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg make for a truly unmistakable fragrance that creates peak Christmas vibes.
Choosing a mulled wine scented candle this christmas is a great way to bring a classic and traditional holiday scent that evokes a sense of community, friends and family.
Smells Like: Mulled Wine, Cranberry, Wood Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Lemon
8. Roasted Chestnuts
Chestnuts, with their warm and earthy aroma, hold a special place at the heart of Christmas traditions. For me, the scent of roasting chestnuts immediately conjures memories of walking through adorable traditional Christmas markets in Europe and New York City. That’s what makes the scent unique to me. Other holiday fragrances evoke feelings of being cozied up inside. But chestnuts always remind me of vibrant holiday hustle-and-bustle. It's a timeless fragrance that's both cozy and spirited. The rich, nutty notes mingle with a hint of sweetness, creating an inviting atmosphere that resonates with festive nostalgia.
If you’re looking for a holiday scent that evokes the feeling of bustling holiday markets and winter tradition, picking a scent with chestnut could be a great choice for you.
Smells Like: Chestnut, Vanilla, Clove, Nutmeg, Butter Citrus, Ginger, Molasses, Sugar, Cinnamon.
9. Festive Eggnog
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, few things evoke the same level of cozy Christmas nostalgia as a creamy cup of eggnog. From its humble beginnings as a medieval yuletide concoction, eggnog has definitely cemented itself in festive pop culture and is guaranteed to bring back a flood of happy holiday nostalgia with every sniff. It’s the perfect blend of rich, sweet vanilla and warming holiday spices.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing break between rounds of intense online christmas gift shopping, or are looking to relive some carefree holiday nostalgia, an eggnog scented holiday candle is a great choice for you.
Smells Like: Eggnog, Amaretto, Rum, Vanilla Butter, Sugar, Cream, Spice
10. Juicy Christmas Cranberry
Cranberries are stealing the show this Christmas season. These tiny, ruby-red jewels aren't just a Thanksgiving staple; they've gracefully wafted into the winter wonderland of Christmas festivities, infusing the air with a burst of tart elegance to complement the season's magic. Cranberries have a distinctive scent that is a combination of elegant tartness balanced with juicy sweetness. The aroma is often described as fresh, slightly lively, and fruity.
Adding a cranberry scented candle into your home fragrance repertoire this holiday will bring a natural, timeless fragrance that will smell great well into the new year.
Smells Like: Red Wine, Cinnamon, Cranberry, Black Currant, Green Leaves, Fir, Pine
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone at Ryan Porter! xo