Have you looked outside lately? It’s a pretty deceitful view here in New York. Sun’s out, no snow is on the ground, nothing appears to be blowing dangerously in the wind. Actually get out there, though, and it’s a whole different story. The walk to your bus stop feels 10 times longer when it’s far below freezing. Doing literally anything at all is scientifically proven to be a dumb idea! So the (scientific) alternative to doing anything during the winter is to do nothing. Stay inside instead, with your books and your coffee and your baked goods, and most important: your candles. Because the coziest alternative to a roaring fireplace in your apartment during the wintertime is a really good candle. That’s why ITG rounded up a bunch of nice smelling, wintry candles to make it easier (as if you needed convincing) to stay indoors. Light one or two or all at once—just don’t forget to blow them out before you go to sleep—and get comfy. Here’s the list:
When the cold months on the East Coast or anywhere else where it's currently winter get hard to handle, it’s nice to picture things that are brighter and far away: i.e. the pretty, fragrant orange trees that grow in France, Italy, China, Southern California, Florida, and many other warm places. This candle is a pleasant reminder of that. Plus, with a little spice of clove, it’s also reminiscent of mulled wine. Yum.
If you ever pointed your nose towards the sky, mutterring “sniff, sniff, what this moment needs is the spicy tinge of burnt holiday decor,” then you’ve got some specific tastes. And a friend in this candle, which smells not unlike how a bonfire of pinecones might smell. Woody but not smoky, and a tad of warm sweetness which comes across as cinnamon, but is in fact, amber.
The Bastide candle’s best attribute is its red hand-blown glass jar. When it’s lit it casts a beautiful, spooky red light around the room it’s in while the scent is like a sweeter version of a firewood candle. And its name, at the fireside, is about as wintry—and romantic—as you can get.
Almost as if a eucalyptus tree—you know, your shower salad—was melted into a candle, and then poured into the prettiest ceramic pot. Just add some pampas grass and chubby furniture to complete the formula for Instagram gold.
Wow, Keap! What a great brand discovery. Not only is every scent incredible, but you can sign up for monthly subscriptions to your favorites. If you love tiny cabins and the idea of sitting in front of a wood burning stove with your favorite book, then this one is for you. You won't be able to keep yourself from subscribing.
Soapy! But in a pleasant way. (A little too on the nose for a candle called Romantic Drama, but never you mind; moving right along.) Intermingled with...some kind of wood, it’s like you know how your skin smells right after a long shower where you scrubbed, shaved, did the works? Yeah...soft and fresh like that.
On the one hand, incense is great because it’s incense! A quick flip of a lighter and last night’s fish taco smell goes caput. But at the same time, incense is...incense, and whoa nelly it can be strong. So here lies a happy medium: the distinct spice of church incense (myrrh, frankincense), but without the smoky, overwhelming impact of an incense stick. There’s Coke and Coke Zero, and then there’s incense and La Chapelle. Lighter and zero calories!
When you'd rather go for moody visuals instead of moody scents, just light this entire set of 36 tea candles at once in various scattered (fire hazard-free) corners of your home. Or, light them in a circle on the floor within which to perform your favorite ritual. Whatever you're in the mood for.
Presented by the production company that brought you Moonlight! Lady Bird! Ex Machina! And also Joya, whose affinity for unexpected collaborations is one for the record books (if you recall, the Brooklyn fragrance studio has teamed up with a wallpaper company, a distillery, and a streetwear brand in the past). This movie-inspired candle, aptly called Noire, smells dark. Not in a scary way, more like a garden of night-blooming violets. Rich, floral, and fantasy-like. And then at the end of each whiff, a sharp spice cuts through to nip at your nose. By the way, we don’t even know if violets bloom at night —we’re New Yorkers; horticulture is what happens across the river.
This is one of the best-smelling, most cost-efficient home fragrances money can buy. While smelling a little like an Abercrombie & Fitch in the year 2004, it's in the most ideal way possible. And with packaging that's not overdone or even too minimalistic makes it easy to enjoy all the more.
Ah. Textbook recipe of a cold-weather candle. One part the ruddiness of a universally appealing firewood scent (Feu de Bois is the only Diptyque candle you know how to comfortably pronounce for a reason), and one part the warmth and plushness of a cashmere fragrance, thanks to notes of patchouli and white musk. Like comfort food for your nostrils. Smells like home.
Photographed by Tom Newton.