Your nose is a powerful tool. Not only can it help you sniff out the difference between tasty food and that which has turned bad, but your sense of smell is also said to be the sense most closely tied to memory. That also means your nose has the ability to somewhat shape your mood, impact your stress levels and potentially set the pace for the rest of your sensory experience on any given day. But you don't have to worry about being at the whims of whatever smell wafts your way if you don't want to. Rather, you can "hack" your sense of smell by actively picking out some aromatherapy home goods — candles, in this case.
Simple and time-tested, candles have been an easy means of setting a sensory mood for generations. And while once largely dominated by floral smells, the candle industry has, in recent years, expanded its horizons greatly. Now, there's a candle out there for every kind of person — from car enthusiasts to outdoorsmen, brutalist architects to backyard barbecuers and everything in-between. Whether you're already on board with the idea of filling your home with candles or you're entirely new to the concept (or even need a gift), you'll be able to find one from one of the candle brands below. These are the best candles for men.
Known for its array of high-quality, vegan skincare products, Aesop might seem out of place amongst the rest of these candles brands. However, the brand's trio of burnable aromatherapy accessories is more than worthy of making an appearance here. Made to the same standards as all of Aesop's other offerings, these minimalist candles are a great addition to any home and can even fit in amongst most decor.
As mentioned, all three of Aesop's candles are worth consideration. But we're quite fond of this one with its smoky, leathery, woody notes. With a burn time of somewhere between 55-65 hours, this candle will provide its warm and welcome scent for plenty of time.
Interestingly, the founders of Boy Smells (who are partners in real life, as well as business) actually come from the world of design and product development. Well, whatever secret sauce they got out of their experiences, it translated beautifully over to this candle brand, which is one of the big movers and shakers of the last few years. The brand's popularity explosion has even resulted in partnerships with the likes of Kacey Musgraves, Ganni and Sky Ting.
In the words of the brand itself, this candle gives off an aroma reminiscent of "enjoying a joint at the rodeo," which is just as mellow and interesting as it sounds. Made with actual cannabis leaf (without the THC), alongside ingredients such as saffron, suede and patchouli, this 50-hour candle is a favorite of ours and we think it'll be one of yours, too.
Founded in Stockholm, Sweden back in 2006, Byredo is a force to be reckoned with in the aromatherapy industry. Built on the connection between scents and memories, this brand specializes in both perfumes and candles, all made with the absolute best available ingredients. And while the names of these scents are sometimes a touch esoteric (more often referring to ideas or experiences rather than tangible things), they're all quite spectacular.
As its name suggests, this 60-hour offering from Byredo is meant to conjure up images of fully-stocked stacks, like those you might find in an old library. No, it doesn't smell of dust and musk, but rather offers notes of peach, plum, vanilla and patchouli — coming together to envelop you in the kind of comfort found at, say, a Scholastic book fair from your childhood.
Believe it or not, it's actually somewhat odd to find what one might call a "legacy" candle brand that's delved into less floral endeavors. Diptyque, however, has been around since 1963 and appears to only be getting more adept at crafting memorable, unique scents with each passing year. If you want a candle brand that qualifies as time-tested yet still toes the line of what candle scents can be, trust in this one.
Straddling the space between traditional scents and novel ones, this candle is made to smell like a campfire — just without the ashes, excessive smoke and all that cleanup. And while that means it's a lot easier than building a fire, it's still just as warm and welcoming (metaphorically speaking, of course). This is the kind of scent that will remind you of good times spent with friends and family.
This brand is certainly on the higher-end side of the spectrum, and its prices are reflective of that. Yet, we'd also go so far as to say that the prestige is certainly earned. Owned and operated by a real-life couple and with all of its offerings made in NYC, D.S. & Durga has captured the noses (and hearts) of thousands that know the power of a good scent. And while they have plenty of great standard offerings, the brand's collaborations are also something very special.
As mentioned, you can't go wrong with a candle from D.S. & Durga. But if you want one that stands apart, you absolutely must smell this collaboration with Johnnie Walker, based on the distiller's lauded Blue Label whisky. Light this one up and you'll be transported instantly to the hills of Scotland. And yes, it pairs wonderfully with a glass of scotch.
It's probably safe to say most scent-focused candle brands find some inspiration in the world around them. But few, if any have a founder that actually went out and lived that inspiration. Well, Megan McLaughlin of Good + Well Supply Co. did just that, traveling from national Park to national Park, sleeping in a tent, and taking in the sights, sounds and smells therein. The brand's catalog of offerings is the direct result of those experiences.
In all honesty, there's not a scent from this brand we wouldn't suggest checking out, which is made all the better by the retro-inspired oil tins these candles all come in. But if we had to highlight one, it'd be the Yellowstone-inspired, 80-hour offering you see here with its notes of pine and sandalwood.
Not everyone has the luxury or desire to remain in their hometown, but lots of us pine for the comforts of our past from time to time. Well, the folks at Homesick, as the brand's name implies, made candles for those times. Like bottled nostalgia, each of these scents is meant to transport you to another time and place to bring you comfort and peace when you need it most.
How does one capture the spirit of a place like NYC in a scent? Well, we imagine it starts with natural soy wax, a cotton wick, and notes of things like bergamot, concrete, musk, waterlilies and more. And that's exactly what you'll find in this outstanding 60-80-hour candle.
The first thing that catches your eye about La Montaña's candles is the 1930s-inspired travel-style artwork on each one. But the thing that will really stay with you is the intoxicating scents, each meant to capture some part of the brand's homeland of Spain. Refreshing and perhaps a bit more summery than many of the other options, these candles are great for sun-loving adventurers.
If you wanted to capture the concept of relaxation and put it into a scent, it might end up a lot like the Siesta candle you see before you. With a 45-hour burn time, this candle boasts notes of lavender, juniper and thyme to help put you at ease on even the most stressful of days.
Independently owned and operated since 2008 by Kristen Pumphrey and Thomas Neuberger, this California company is both dedicated to outstanding scented products made with the highest-quality ingredients, as well as sustainability — meaning they don't cut corners for any reason. Creating a nexus between good design, quality products, environmentalism and community, this is a brand worth investing in.
Made from natural soy, this is the candle that started it all for P.F. Candle Co. And it also happens to still be one of the brand's best. Called the "boyfriend scent" by fans of the brand, this scented burnable boasts notes of leather, teak and orange. Truly, you can't go wrong with this one — or anything from this brand, for that matter.
Certainly best known for its watches, Shinola is far from being a one-trick pony and also offers a massive catalog of everyday carry gear and home goods inspired by Americana, especially as it relates to the brand's home city of Detroit. As it turns out, this staple brand also offers up some candles which are also inspired by Detroit — and they're wonderful.
Even with just three options to choose from, it's hard to say which of Shinola's candles is our favorite. But this one is certainly a worthy pick, if we had to settle, which draws its inspiration from both the natural and man-made wonders of Detroit, especially during the rainier season. It also burns for 55 hours and was poured by hand.