The Best Scented Candles You've Probably Never Heard Of

If you know 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 you're looking to elevate your mantelpiece, read on.

These are some of Refinery29's favourite scents from the lesser known brands. Find your new signature scent for a luxe addition to your coffee table or for the perfect gift in our round up.

Whether they're made from leather experts, fine fragrance houses and florist-born brands, these are the candles you need to buy next. And, if you’re feeling fancy, maybe even burn…


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

Grenson 66 Candle, £35, available at Grenson
Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle

If you know your fine fragrance you’ll know this brand already but do take a look at the candles. They’re delicious and have amazing 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 cotton bud/makeup brush/pen pot you ever owned.

Frédéric Malle Santal Cardamome candle, £80
By Appointment Only

So you don’t have a music room, summer house or snug? Not a problem – upscale London florist By Appointment Only has recreated all these (and more) in candle form. Having dressed every space imaginable, from stately homes to Mayfair hotels, we trust them when they tell us a powder room smells of jasmine, musk, vanilla and bergamot. Poured into Italian crystal, this is the candle other candles want to be when they grow up.

By Appointment Only Perfumes Powder Room candle, £55
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 Généraux d’Empire scented candle, £132, available at Net-A-Porter
D.S. & Durga

Liberty London’s newest candle hails from Brooklyn (naturally) and creates not so much scents as stories. ’85 Diesel is the smell of 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 compents (dwarf pine, atlas cedar, oak ash, tar, resin and more) we’ve ever known.

D.S. & Durga Portable Fireplace, £58, available at Liberty
Rachel Vosper

British chandler Rachel Vosper puts as much thought into her candle containers as she does the wax inside – currently available are crystal bowls, bark-like patterned ceramic or simple glass jars with optional vivid leather sleeves. She’ll also fill anything you bring from home, from teacups to random family heirlooms. Fragrances are heady and floral – we love Hellebores, with peony, wild rose, sap and patchouli.

Rachel Vosper 1 Wick Hellebores candle, £30
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, £32
Zara Home

There’s this little boutique off the beaten track… But, really, what you won’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 everyone from Le Labo to Lanvin (his own line, Mizensir, is sold at Harrods and Colette). With his help, Zara offers up beautiful home fragrance at a sensible price point.

Zara Home White Jasmine aromatic candle, £19.99

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