BURNING BRIGHT

11 Luxurious Candles Perfect for a Cozy Winter Night In

by Maryam Lieberman

Gwyneth Paltrow photographed by Steven Klein for W Magazine, September 2007.
Gwyneth Paltrow photographed by Steven Klein for W Magazine, September 2007.

In efforts to quell holiday nerves this year, candles will be burning brightly on nightstands, bathtub ledges, and desks all over the world—delivering tranquility, healing aromas, and a certain ambiance. Given that this is the perfect time of year (for mostly everyone, except your uber-calm yogi friends) to unleash stress and 12 months of bottled-up emotions, a candle or two will serve you and your loved ones well by keeping things chill. Candle makers are certainly no fools to the heightened emotions that emerge during Christmastime—and often release limited-edition scents to both celebrate the season and leverage your unsteady emotions.

Since they don’t make candles infused with Xanax, we have put together a list of the finest candles to debut this year, along with a few timeless favorites. Light a candle this winter to ease your mind, or gift one to a fellow stressed-out holiday hostess, who will certainly appreciate it.

Lavish in scent and presentation, experiencing this candle conjures up images of grand winter getaways in the Swiss Alps. The ornate scents of the holidays fill the Gloria candle in deep and happy layers of patchouli, vetiver, cloves, cedarwood, and nutmeg. The candle is encased in red glass with gold touches, and makes a beautiful presence this time of year—it looks great right next to the Christmas tree, if you haven’t thrown it out yet.

All the sweet joys of Christmas are captured in this festive red frosted candle. Pomme D’Amour, the newly released limited-edition candle from the French fragrance house, is the quintessential candle to burn this time of year if you’re into summoning images of snow, coziness, and spices synonymous with the holidays. It’s an attractive scent that lingers pleasantly around your home and doesn’t overly dominate to the point of nausea, like some other holiday candles might.

If you love greener aromas, here’s a candle that perfectly manifests the tranquility one often experiences while outdoors. In collaboration with Nette candles, Tata Harper drew inspiration from the sense of calm she often feels during long walks in the forest near her farm, surrounded by colossal pine trees and freshwater streams. There is an intoxicating blend of cypress, rosemary, a light touch of cardamom, and fir needles in this candle, all of which produce a calming, nature-inspired aroma.

This unique candle—a dual-purpose, limited-edition collaboration between the founders of Liis fragrances and Arc Objects—features the Liis Bo signature scents of redwood, cedar, tobacco, vanilla, and incense, inspired by the Liis Fragrance founders’ early years growing up in costal California. The candle’s encasement is made of sustainably sourced Spanish porcelain, drawing inspiration from the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. Once the candle is done burning, its glass cup can be repurposed as a vase, bowl, or cachepot. A limited edition run of 20 are available, each one signed and numbered.

By far the chicest holiday candle to gift (or indulge in burning yourself) due to its appealing green scent and exquisite packaging. It’s encased in gorgeous gold- and evergreen-speckled glass, capturing the essence of pine with hints of smokiness to add some depth in the notes. This candle fills the room evenly and the duration is appropriately long. It’s a limited-edition piece that only comes around this time of year, but is truly a forever timeless candle.

Jo Malone’s classic scent is tasteful in presentation and always smells appropriately uplifting and merry. This is a very serene scent—one that can burn in the living room when you’re entertaining or function as a lovely gift; it’s bound to please anyone’s taste. There’s an attractive blend of calm citrus as the base with just the right bit of woodsy and spice to properly enhance the vibe of a room. Floral notes in this limited-edition formulation make it comforting and simultaneously invigorating on a cold winter night.

This scent recalls the warm comforts of cabin life, which are captured in a candle crafted with timeless French flair. European beach wood is used as the crackling wick, which evokes the feeling of sitting by the fire. This new scent is a collaboration between Farmaesthetics and Officine Oils of Paris, using a combination of French rapeseed wax, organic apricot oil, and beeswax for the base—with amber, bergamot, and honey standing out. There are also elusive notes of violet flower that lighten the warmer tones to give a clean top note at the very end.

This candle will certainly aid in dealing with the most stressful time of the year, calming your nerves with its specialized formulation. Aromatherapy Associates created a new blend of chamomile, clarifying frankincense, and uplifting petitgrain to help ease tension. Each candle holds almost two bottles’ worth (about 10 ml.) of essential oils. The resulting scent is clean, harmonious, and healing.

Inspired by the bustling streets of Manhattan, the newest candle to debut from Aerangis provides a musky base of sandalwood and cedarwood, while the middle notes carry floral bouquets of jasmine, tulips, hyacinth, and lemon and fig for the very top notes. It’s a lively and fragrant mix of smells that embodies the flavor of New York City.

This clean and uncomplicated fragrance is enlivening to the senses. Citrus and spice notes are the tone of this newly launched candle created with high-grade essential oils. The happy combination of geranium, coriander seed, and vetiver burn cheerily to give a joyful aroma that works well during the holidays—and, frankly, all year round.

Rich notes of deep tobacco, teak, leather, and orange render this candle profoundly scented, but still subtle enough to burn during the day—and well into the evening. The notes are harmonious with wintertime, setting a handsome aroma to any room. Given the quality of its infused ingredients, this candle is surprisingly inexpensive. Burn several of them at once, creating a calming, flickering, lowly lit ambiance on your coffee table.