The Most Refreshing, Elegant Candles for Summertime

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Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski sitting on the floor of a living room
Hermès creative director Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski photographed by Lukas Wassmann for W Magazine
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One of the best foolproof gifts you can ever give (or receive) is a beautiful scented candle. Unlike gifting perfume—which is a much more personal choice, and therefore somewhat of an art form when it comes to presents—a candle will always be appreciated, indulged in, or, at least, regifted purposefully. As the temperatures rise and the sunshine begins to peek out from behind June’s gloom, we’ve compiled a roundup of the chicest candles to help set you (or a lucky recipient’s) mood for the summer.

This candle is brimming with elegance—and it’s one of our favorites for summer. Tuileries is among the more sophisticated launches by the revered French candle crafters at Trudon; it takes the simple essence of rose and weaves it richly with pink berry, blackcurrant, and a hint of patchouli.

For those unforgettable summer nights spent lounging on the patio, this intoxicating fusion of Egyptian basil and Nigerian ginger will surely become a favorite. At the end notes, subtle hints of sandalwood and redolent tonka beans give an additional layer of sophistication.

The perfect candle for those with the highest standards in terms of taste. The new Lito line from L’Objet is an ideal choice to gift—or simply to enjoy yourself. The three-wick citrus, moss, and vetiver candle comes in a gorgeous porcelain vessel that would look chic on any side table or mantle.

Meet the outdoor candle of your dreams—a high-intensity offering from Loewe that will bring you plenty of joy, thanks to its floral composition. Geranium is one of the most timeless floral scents; here, it merges sublimely with just the right measure of delicate rose notes.

Book publisher Assouline has crafted a euphoric scented candle inspired by the flavors of Morocco: crisp green cypress notes, luscious clementine, juniper berries, yuzu, and subtle nuances of tobacco leaves, which give a bit of edge to the overall aroma.

The finest candle in terms of quality, Carrière Frères’s product is made from high-grade oils and waxes—as a result, it lasts longer than other brands, and fills the room beautifully. The newest launch, Geranium, is a Versailles-inspired creation that not only has a welcoming, soothing element, it also comes with refills.

The quintessential item to pack for those extended weekends on Shelter Island. Not only does this charming candle burn beautifully over al fresco dinners with subtle lemongrass, orange and neroli—the citronella infusion also helps ward off insects.

Energetic and uplifting, this candle burns gloriously with fragrant matcha tea and lemongrass. Overall, it’s cheerful—but most notably, the sharp lemongrass will appease those who prefer cleaner, greener notes for their candles.

You can’t go wrong gifting this charming candle. We found it especially lovely to burn during an evening bath, when relaxation is key. The scent blend is clean, feminine, and quite grounding, thanks to Frankincense, rose, and vetiver.

I’ll admit: I was reluctant to burn this candle. I thought it would be overly sweet—but boy, was I wrong. An homage to New York City’s Magnolia Bakery, this rather delightful mixture of cardamom, banana, jasmine, and cedarwood blends harmoniously. Now that I’ve tested it out, I so get it, and I love it.

This timely candle brings much-needed attention toward a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body, especially where reproductive rights are concerned. Goop will donate $25 with each sale of the Hands Off My Vagina candle sold on goop.com or their retail locations in New York, California, and Hawaii to benefit the ACLU Foundation’s Reproductive Freedom Project.

For the chicest recipients with the most exacting taste, you can’t go wrong with Bitter Peach by Tom Ford Beauty. This candle is alluring, vibrant, and the embodiment of everything that is alive, sensual, and vivid. The aroma captures the essence of the bitter peach nectar, embodying at the same time the softness and the strength of life harmoniously. Cardamom balances impeccably the fruity floral, to make an aroma worth savoring.

Two gifts in one, this gorgeously handcrafted candle is housed inside a Limoges porcelain case with 24-karat gold accents along the trim. The paraffin wax burns a pleasing Champagne fragrance for hours on end—and once the candle is burned to completion, its delicate package can be repurposed as a keepsake box.

For those who devour every great rose scent on the market, this candle does not disappoint. A polished take on the flower, this fragrance is enveloped with hints of musk, sweet pea accord, and magnolia to even out the ultra-feminine notes.

Beachy, soft, and transportive, this candle perfectly captures the magnificence and gorgeous simplicity of early dawn at the beach. Jo Malone London’s newest aroma brings visions of gentle, soothing wave breaks, the crisp salty air, and fine grains of sand that are soft to the touch. The concoction is woodsy and upbeat, as the crispness of sage becomes a focal point while the candle burns.

From Diptyque’s beloved limited-edition Do Son collection, the scent of tuberose comes alive in this newly released candle. Grown in Southern India, these fragrant white flowers exudes a heady yet fresh and green scent, delicately nuanced with fruity, milky notes.

Inspired by seductive summer nights in New York City—particularly, the blooming linden blossoms in Central Park—this alluring candle has top notes of violet, verbena, and pear, along with a vetiver and cedarwood base that sets a perfect mood for dinner in the garden, or more intimate gatherings inside.

For anyone who loves fresh and joyful scents, the new Ellis Brooklyn Fable Terrific candle captures that very energy beautifully, without becoming cloyingly sweet. The candle is 100 percent vegan, and melds top notes of neroli and black currant with violet and crisp amber.

A calming candle that can be savored during evening baths and bedtime. Using the finest lavender extracted from the South of France, this candle relaxes the vibe in any room. Lavender is not only healing, but also pleasing to the nose and renowned for its pacifying qualities.

Bergamot is the focal point of this D.S. & Durga candle, which contains hints of cool citrus, inspired by the cool waters of Great Lake Superior. Base notes of cone flower and blue eyed grass round out the wafts of this refreshing concoction.

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