One of the many joys of gardening is the smell that comes off the blooms and plants, a wonderful, comforting reward after all your hard work over the seasons. In winter though, with more time spent indoors, we need other ways of getting that reassuring scent of nature. The best scented candles are, we think, those with a botanical twist, as they are the perfect way of reminding ourselves of the brighter seasons to come. Christmas candles can also bring an instant, joyous burst of festivity into our homes. Here we have combined the two and compiled a list of 13 botanical Christmas candles to get you both into a cosy wintry mood, and also feeling optimistic for the gardening year to come. They’d also make a wonderful gardening gift for that special gardener in your life. And love all things botanical? Check out our tried and tested botanical gins for Christmas here.
The best scented candles with a botanical aroma
What is the correct way of burning a candle?
It may seem like a silly question, but burning a candle in a way that doesn’t create that annoying ‘tunneling’ effect is all down to the way you first burn it. Tunneling is when only a small amount of wax is melted, leaving the rest to annoyingly gather around the edges. To avoid this, you should burn your new candle for one hour for every inch in diameter on its first burn until the whole top layer of wax is burning. So, for example, if your candle is two inches in diameter, you should let it burn for two hours to melt the top layer evenly. Lastly, always remember to keep your candle wick trimmed to around 3mm to avoid soot building up around your candle jar.
Now that we know how to burn our candles correctly, let’s dive into our top 12 best scented candles for Christmas…
Aery Botanical Scented Candles
Liven up your senses with this set of three candles from the vegan candle and diffuser brand Aery Living.
This is one of their botanical collections (they have two) and it reminds us of wintry evenings by the fire and crisp, cold days out at a National Trust garden. The set includes a Herbal Tea candle with essential oils chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass, coriander & thyme; a Green Bamboo candle with essential oils cypress, patchouli, orange, sandalwood, pink pepper and herbs; and lastly, a Black Oak candle with essential oils cedarwood, cardamom, nutmeg, oakwood, oakmoss and spices.
The green brand uses 100 per cent soy candle wax from sustainable European-grown soy for an eco-friendly, clean burn with lead-free cotton wicks. Alongside the gorgeous scents, this is a wonderful gift for eco-savvy gardeners.
Burn time: 15 hours
Orange, cinnamon and clove scented candle
- Buy now from Collingwood (£38)
This delightful Christmas candle from the Frome-based, Somerset brand Collingwood, is new for Christmas 2020 and it really is Christmas in a jar! The scent is immediately reminiscent of firesides in pubs, cinnamon sticks and mulled wine. The smell is strong but not overwhelming and it burns nice and evenly, or deep and crisp and even should we say?!
The botanical notes of orange, cinnamon and clove make things spicy yet fresh and the scent feels distinctly natural. The candle wax is made from an eco-friendly mix of mineral and coconut wax and the scents are made from pure fragrance oil. This is a scented candle we’ll be burning all winter long.
Burn time: 40 hours
Natural Cockles and Heart bergamot and thyme scented candle
- Buy now from Cockles and Heart (from £22.50)
Brand new eco-focused herb-obsessed, home-made candle company Cockles and Heart offers quirky, unique candles, using all natural materials, with smells and scents grown on a smallholding in Devon. The candles themselves are made using natural coconut and rapeseed wax (the candles have literally no nasties) and they have organic cotton wicks. What’s more, they all come in beautiful little individual porcelain cups with saucers, mugs and more.
The herbs used are grown organically and the candles are also scented using essential oils. We particularly love the bergamot and lime offering (but there’s thyme, lavender and plenty of other scents), and the lovely china holders are delightful too.
Burn time: Between 15 and 35 + hours
The Botanist scented candle
- Buy now from Chase And Wonder (£48)
This eye-catching scented candle from British lifestyle brand, Chase And Wonder, evokes smells of freshly cut lawns and a greenhouse full of ripe produce. Once lit, you’ll notice luxurious aromas of herbs, cut grass, mint, iris and pine wood. This would make the perfect gardening gift for a loved-one, or keep it for yourself and burn when you need a dose of heavenly, garden scents!
It comes in a beautiful ceramic jar, hand decorated with real 22-carat gold and the wax is hand-poured and made from vegan-friendly soy. Once you’ve reached the end of the scented candle (sob) the ceramic jar would make a lovely pot for pens, pencils or even as a little jar for seed storage. And lucky for us garden lovers, the botanical scent also comes in the form of a diffuser and a three-wick candle.
Burn time: 90 hours
Earl of East Greenhouse scented candle
- Buy now from Earl of East (£20)
Known for their beautifully intense scented candles, Earl of East has somewhat of a cult following. Hand-poured in small batches in East London, we love their whole range but Greenhouse is the scent we’d recommend. Thanks to the blend of vine tomato, parsley seed and basil, it has a fresh fragrance, reminiscent of summer days in the garden.
Poured into amber apothecary glass, these eco-soy candles have a minimalist vibe. They can sit fairly subtly on the shelf, but when lit, the smell gently drifts you into relaxation mode. A must-have for anyone who loves to host.
Burn time: 35-40 hours
Circe English garden scented candle
- Buy now from Polkra (£48)
Creator Katie Scott took inspiration from her favourite gardens, Great Dixter and Sissinghurst, to create this beautiful scented candle which conjures up scents of a traditional English garden. Scents of basil, black pepper and cedar wood work together to evoke memories of garden parties on freshly cut lawns, still wet from a typically-English rain shower.
Made from 100 percent natural coconut and beeswax, the scented candle comes beautifully wrapped and burns within an eye-catching ceramic jar which can be used for all sorts of trinkets after the candle has burnt out.
Burn time: 45 hours
Christmas Trees scented candle
- Buy now from Cult Beauty (£55)
What could be more festive than the scent of a freshly-potted Christmas tree? As wonderful-smelling as the iconic Jo Malone candles, this scented candle from sister-brand Jo Loves perfectly captures the warm, familiar, crisp pine scent of a Christmas tree. The pine notes accompany aromatic lavender, incense and amber, to create an altogether festive and comforting scent.
The Christmas candle comes in a classic, silver glass candle holder with a lid to keep dust off the wax. The candle wax itself is hand-poured and cruelty-free and all comes in sustainable packaging. Jo Loves also offers personalisation, so you can leave your own message on the candle as an extra-special touch to your gift.
Burn time: 37.5 hours
Botany Bay candle
- Buy now from Selfridges (£55)
Inspired by Botany Bay in Kent, this candle, from Margate-based natural product company, Haeckels, is an encapsulation of the natural wonder of the British coastline. The scent is a light elegant citrus with a ‘fresh ozone’ heart and base notes of green florals.
This unique and innovative scented candle comes encased in a mycelium (fungi) container which is lightweight, and fire and impact resistant. After being used for its intended purpose, the natural packaging can be reused, composted or even planted in your garden to improve soil quality. If you’re looking for a gift for a gardener who has everything, this might be the candle for you.
Burn time: 40 hours
The Outdoor Collection candles
- Buy now from Holistic (£20)
Bring the outdoors in with this new collection of candles from scented candle brand, Holistic. Made from a bespoke blend of essential oils and hand-poured soy wax, this selection of candles make a great choice for those wanting a wintry scent that’s not too obviously ‘Christmas’ and can be used year-long.
Their Firewood candle evokes the wilderness of outdoor life, while their Forest candle evokes the calm and purity of a Nordic forest, and their Meadow candle evokes scents of lavender and rose fields.
Burn time: 40 hours
Agua de Jardin candle
- Buy now from SpaceNK (£45)
This is a deliciously scented candle from cult candle brand Boy Smells. It’s inspired by ‘lost civilisations’ and evokes scents of tropical, luscious gardens.
The scented candle includes notes of pimento berry, coconut water, jasmine, fig leaves, macadamia nut, ambrox and salted musks. The palette is velvety and nutty, with rich, exotic notes – perfect for a dark, winter evening, reminiscing of holidays past. The candle wax is hand-poured and made from coconut and beeswax, and all encased in a striking, moss-green glass tumbler.
Be sure to check out Boy Smells’s Gardener candle too, which has notes of tomato vines and honeysuckle.
Burn time: 55 hours
Ptolemy Aromatique candle
- Buy now from Aēsop (£80)
If you really fancy treating yourself or a loved one this Christmas, the Ptolemy Aromatique scented candle from luxury skincare brand Aēsop would make an unforgettable gift, and a long-lasting one too! This botanical candle evokes scents of an ancient Japanese forest; cedar, cyprus and vetiver conjure up rich, earthy, woody notes, perfect for a winter’s day tucked up inside.
The scented candle is made with vegan-friendly ingredients and comes in a stylish, minimal jar – a perfect gift for a style-savvy gardener.
Burn time: 65 hours
First Light scented soy candle
- Buy now from Botanical Candle Company (£28)
This botanical scented candle is made by The Botanical Candle Co., professionals in naturally-derived candles and is made with vegan-friendly soy wax and essential oils. With a clean and peppery scent, this freshly scented candle is designed to be lit first thing in the morning, to give you that fresh-air feeling that you get after an invigorating winter walk.
Notes include menthol, tea tree, camphor, kino (eucalyptus resin) and pepper – all zingy ingredients to help wake you up! Alternatively, it’s a great candle to burn when you’re feeling stressed and need to unwind or shake off the day.
Burn time: 80 hours
Our Lovely Goods Winter Spice scented candle
- Buy now from Our Lovely Goods (£20)
Make your home smell like Christmas with this uplifting Winter Spice scented candle. Made in small batches, Our Lovely Goods use 100% natural soy wax and an ECO cotton wick to make their candles. This one smells spicy, sweet and warm with notes of cinnamon, orange zest and cardamom. An easy way to envelop your home with cosy vibes.
We’d also suggest checking out Into the Woods, another scented candle for those who want a fresh, natural, woodland smell to drift through the house. It’s made with pine, clove and bergamot.
Burn time: 40 hours