I think summer is a good time to indulge. Get that $9 ice cream, use all those vacation days, get tipsy every night, order that burger and fries instead of cooking. Crank up that A/C. DO IT ALL. (Within reason—don't lose your job.) But definitely burn some candles. Here are a few that are just right for the summer months:
Most on-theme: Sunday Forever Tanlines
Basically Mountain Ocean Skin Trip (fan favorite coconut body lotion) for your house. Milky, sweet and remembering to wear sunscreen is what this smells like. I love these kind of fragrances; the really unexpected, bottling a mood and time. Reminds me of Bobbi Brown's Beach and Kai's fragrance oil.
Personal fav: Goop Edition 04
Who knew Gwyneth was so freaky? I love all of her musky, intoxicating, weird scents. This one strays from the first three the most. It's almost like a deep dark version of a traditional Granny Smith-type fragrance. The scent is kind of...wet and sour? And amazing. I'm going to burn this one sparingly, to make it last through Fall.
Truly bougie: Christian Dior Jardin D'Orangers
Fancy, but also really unique. Smells like an orange covered in burnt brown sugar. Super strong when lit, making it just about worth the price tag.
A true campfire: Burkelman That Hudson Valley Candle
Like a Thomas Cole painting in a musky summer cottage, if you lit it on fire. I love this one. It smells kind of dusty, like actual burning wood. Not the slightest hint of sweet or green. This would be an amazing one to light in a backyard over dinner and chats if you don't want to deal with starting a real campfire. I just want it to make your clothes smell like campfire, too.
A clean campfire: Graanmarkt 13 Come on Baby, Light my Fire
Smoky, but with a touch of clean laundry or something; like you put out a fire with soapy water. It's hearty and rich though, and still feels comfortable. A safe campfire candle choice.
Green clean: Keap Hot Springs
Soapy clean mountain stream. Almost like an Irish Spring. Does that tell you enough?
Cut grass: Goest Perfumes Citadel
Smells really fresh, but not clean. Is it fair to say it smells 'expensive?' It does. In a good way. Also—tiny perfect lid with adoarble pompom on it?
I would like a jumbo size, please: D.S. & Durga Big Sur After the Rain
Yup. D.S. & Durga can't do wrong in my book. I think you could buy anything from them—they're all good choices. This one's particularly lovely and I think it reminds me a bit of a Tom Ford fragrance called Oud Minérale: like stones. But also like something else I can't put my finger on at all. And I like that.
A subtle one: Maison Balzac L'Étrangeté
This one's a little more nuanced than most candles. L'Étrangeté has a slight herb garden scent to it.
A sweet one: Le Feu De L'eau Le Feu Peche
A creamsicle candle! Or is it dreamsicle? Whatever—you know what I mean. It's that orange popsicle you'd get from an ice cream truck. This is kind of like that but with a little bit of a summer neroli vibe mixed in.
Reliable and versatile: Malin + Goetz Sage
Room-filling and sophisticated smelling. Which is exactly what you want a candle to be.
Photographed by the author. Flowers by Brrch Floral.