The Best Scented Candles You've Probably Never Heard Of

If you can differentiate your Diptyque Feu de Bois from your No.22 Woodstove (either of which we’d recommend, by the way, for recreating the smell of the open log fire you never had) and are looking to elevate your coffee table, read on.

These are some of our favorite candle scents from lesser-known brands. Whether they're made from leather experts, fine fragrance houses, and fast-fashion brands, these are the votives you need to buy next. And, if you're feeling fancy, maybe even burn…


While you may know Grenson from its beautifully handcrafted leather shoes, the brand's foray into scented candles isn't completely new. Having already collaborated with Haeckels, Grenson 66 is its first solo venture. A combination of fresh citrus, warm musks, bergamot, and leather, it's a crisp and woody scent that every home needs.

Grenson 66, $55, available at Grenson.
Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle

Fine fragrance fans are probably already well-versed with this brand, but do take a look at its candles. They’re delicious and have incredible longevity – we could smell ours for days after it flickered its last. In fact, we almost wish they didn’t last as long as they do, because repurposing the geranium-red hand-blown glass holder is such a joy. Say hello to the fanciest makeup brush holder you ever owned...

Frédéric Malle Santal Cardamome candle, $125, available at Barneys.
Zara Home

There’s this little boutique off the beaten track… okay, just kidding. But, really, what you don’t know about Zara Home is that it takes its candles seriously enough to draft in the most respected noses in the fragrance industry in order to make them. Alberto Morillas has created perfumes for brands like Le Labo and Lanvin, and with his help, Zara offers up beautiful home fragrance at a sensible price point.

Zara Home White Jasmine Cylinder Candle, $25.90, available at Zara Home.
D.S. & Durga

Liberty London’s newest candle hails from Brooklyn (naturally) and creates not so much scents as it does stories. Its ’85 Diesel smells like listening to vintage Fleetwood Mac in the back of a 1985 Mercedes Benz (leather, vinyl, dirt, and diesel smoke), while Portable Fireplace has the most specific blend of campfire components (dwarf pine, atlas cedar, oak ash, tar, resin, and more) we’ve ever known.

D.S. & Durga Portable Fireplace, $65, available at Barneys.
Buly 1803

With all-natural plant wax, pure cotton wicks, and romantically complex scents, Buly 1803 has the integrity of its candles nailed. But what makes us ache for one of our very own is the carved marble jar topped with a shining glass bell, for soot-free snuffing-out, and dust-protective purposes. Généraux d’Empire is an olfactory orgy of rose petals, violet, blackcurrant, peppermint, and musk – a potent explosion of blooms.

Buly 1803 Retour d'Egypte scented candle, $160, available at Net-A-Porter.
Lola James Harper

Buy a candle from Lola James Harper and you’re buying a quirky little window into someone else’s world, each inspired by a bona fide moment, person, or place. The Surf Shop Of Stephane is a waxy, woody paean to Stephane (who does own a surf shop), The Music Studio On Trufo Street is a blend of musk and rose, and The Coffee Shop of JP is a coffee and spice recreation of a Parisian café. Unusual and beautiful.

Lola James Harper The Surf Shop of Stephane Candle, $50, available at Lucky Scent.
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