Luxury or Let Down: Which Luxury Candles Are Actually Worth It?

It’s candle season, besties!

If you, like me, have burned down all your old candles and are in the market for new ones, there’s no better time to replenish than now. Fall is the season for the senses. So bring on the cinnamon, the pumpkin spice, the nutmeg, and the cocoa scents! The category is cozy. And scented candles are my favorite way to get into the fall mood.

While I do stock up on Target vanilla candles in a pinch, luxury candles are one of my favorite fall splurges. Seasonal depression is setting in after all — don’t we deserve a little treat?

Here’s why luxury candles are usually the better buy:

  1. If they’re good, they’ll have a stronger smell without being overwhelming
  2. To that end, their smell isn’t tinged with that chemical aroma that makes you wonder if you’re filling your home with carcinogens
  3. They have a longer burn time, so you get some bang for your buck
  4. They look nice in your home, letting you reuse them to hold your mascaras and other trinkets
  5. They come in more complex scents – Yankee Candle could never
  6. Again, they’re a fun little treat

But there’s nothing worse than splurging on that aesthetic candle you’ve been seeing all over Instagram just to end up disappointed. But don’t worry. I’ve done the research and wasted the money so you don’t have to. And PSA – Make sure you trim your wicks!

These are the candles that are certified luxuries … and the ones that are certified letdowns:

All products featured are independently selected by our editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

Diptyque: Baies, $72 — LUXURY

via Diptyque

I won’t lie … I was influenced. I saw this candle over and over and over on social media before caving and buying it — so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve also seen it ad nauseum. I didn’t even know what Baies meant. Turns out: it means berries. The candle has notes of blackcurrants and roses. While I couldn’t identify the smell from the candle itself, I did know it smelled good. It’s an unexpected take on floral and fruity. Worth the packaging and the price.

Boy Smells: Cowboy Kush, $36 — LET DOWN

via Boy Smells

Boy Smells is newer on the scene and an Instagram favorite. This alternative, queer-founded brand is famous for its Kush scents, so obviously, I tried the Cowboy Kush scent. The name is cool, and the packaging is great, but the scent was kind of boring. So this one was a letdown — but trust me, I will be reusing the container. I did, however, like their Ash scent because I’m a sucker for anything palo santo. So skip the trendier one and grab Ash.

Le Labo: Petit Grain 21, $82 - LUXURY

via Le Labo

Le Labo is a perfumery that you’ve undoubtedly smelled if you’ve ever walked down any trendy street in a major city. Smell the scent of something smoky, musky, and sweet from every chic person you pass? It’s probably Le Labo. And probably Le Labo’s Santal 33.

While I love the fragrances, I hadn’t tried the candles until recently. I can tell you now: don’t sleep on them! This Petit Grain 21 scent has notes of orange blossom blend with luscious green undertones. It’s rich but light — the perfect transitional scent from summer to fall. Like an upgraded potpourri. Then, as it gets deeper into fall, go ahead and order that Santal candle.

Byredo: Bibliotheque, $90 - LUXURY

via Byredo

When it comes to luxury scents, Byredo is that girl. The unexpected notes, the air of sophistication, the clean and effortlessly cool packaging — they have it all. But are their candles worth it? Their selection is admittedly smaller than other brands. Their candles only come in a small selection of their original scents, which is a shame if you, like me, prefer their newer fragrances.

I grabbed their classic Bibliotheque candle, which famously means “library.” It’s supposed to capture the smells of ink, paper, leather, and wood to mimic a classic library. From the second you strike the match, this candle fills your home with the most sumptuous scent you’ve ever experienced. It’s perfect for fall, and feels sophisticated without being overwhelming or intimidating. It smells how I imagine Hogwarts would. So light one up, put on your Harry Potter marathon or curl up with a good book.

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