If you come over to my apartment, you can almost be sure that I'll have a candle lit. My roommate and I burn through candles nearly as fast as we burn through coffee (so practically at lightning speed). To us, a good candle helps motivate us when we're working from home and provides an aura of coziness when we're binge-watching a TV show.
Over the past couple of years, I feel like I've tried every candle on the planet. I love my candle collection, but it was beginning to feel a bit stale, so I reached out to people who I knew could pull me out of a candle rut with their recommendations—my co-workers.
I asked Who What Wear editors for their all-time favorite cozy candles, and their answers did not disappoint. From the candle our editor in chief has personally asked D.S. & Durga to turn into a perfume to the candle our senior beauty editor wishes she had an endless supply of, I'm now fully re-stocked with candles that I know I won't get sick of any time soon. Keep reading for their best cozy candle recommendations.
Allyson Payer, Senior Editor
"I'm a big fan of Byredo candles, in general, as the black vessel and wax are as chic as can be, but the one that I like burning on the coldest nights is Amber Japonais. It's not your typical amber—it's far more interesting, in true Byredo fashion."
"Since my fireplace is electric, I'm obsessed with candles that help me to fake a wood-burning one. This one is certainly smoky (in the best possible way) but also a little sweet, which cuts the smokiness just enough. (Plus, how pretty is that peach-tinted glass?)"
Caitie Schlisserman, Beauty Director, Branded Content
"I'm almost always burning incense or a candle, but this scent in particular just never gets old. What I love most is that it's super subtle—I'm sensitive to overly fragrant anything—and somehow this just hits the mark. It's warm and woodsy and makes my home feel extra cozy whenever it's burning."
Kat Collings, Editor in Chief
"This candle is straight-up hypnotic. The scent is meant to conjure up the scent of a tea service at the parlor of a topless psychic. Kind of specific, but sets a mood! There are subtly sweet notes like peach water and coconut milk that are balanced by smoky hot metal, bohea tea, and spicy white ginger. The overall effect feels nuanced and cool, just like you would expect from D.S. & Durga. I've also personally petitioned D.S. & Durga more than once to make this scent into a perfume, if that tells you anything about how much I love it."
Sierra Mayhew, Associate Editor
"These candles just made their way into my home and have quickly become my new favorite thing. I was surprised to discover that they are more than just a pretty face. Not only do they smell amazing but they also look good too. The fragrances were inspired by a garden and each smell distinctly like a pretty plant that you might find in one so the smell is even better when you light them together. I suggest buying a few in different sizes for a very pretty assortment."
Shawna Hudson, Associate Beauty Editor
"This scent is a bit more earthy and feels perfect for the winter season. So basically, it's been burning nonstop here the past few months. It just smells so rich, warm, and like a morning walk in the forest up in northern California. I just love a candle that can transport you to another place simply with the power of smell. This candle is just that."
"Okay, I buy a lot of candles and I'm fully ready to admit it. I'm not super into sweet or candy-like scents so my all-time favorite is this water lily and pear find from the Chesapeake Bay. It's so fresh, crisp, and makes me feel like I'm literally floating in a spa bathtub. It's one I always gravitate back towards, whatever the season. It also envelopes the room in just the right amount of scent. Some candles can be a bit strong and overpowering—this one, however, just leaves a lightly fruity and floral aroma that lingers but doesn't overstay its welcome."
Bobby Schuessler, Market Director
"I've tried many candles over the years, and Diptyque's Feu de Bois is one of my absolute favorites. It's just heavenly in my eyes, and if I could keep it burning all day long, trust me, I would. The woody scent is soothing and delicious. Plus, it looks gorgeous on my coffee table."
"I also adore Outdoor Fellow's cedarwood and lavender candle. I clearly have a thing for outdoorsy scents (even though I'm not outdoorsy in the slightest). I'm instantly relaxed when I light this one."
Jasmine Fox-Suliaman, Editor
"I love supporting Black-owned businesses, so when I discovered this sustainable candle brand, CoolGirl, I knew I had unearthed a hidden gem. Their rose scent is divine, the packaging is so chic, and every time I light it, I know it's supporting two causes close to my heart."
"Whenever I need to get in writing mode, I light a candle. The current candle I'm lighting is my Here for the Burn Morrocan amber candle. With warm wood undertones, its cozy scent puts me in the mood to write, and its cheeky label reminds me that I can meet my deadlines."
"Call me crazy, but candles fall into two categories for me—decorative and functional. There are the candles I'll light up when I need to add a rich scent to my space, and then there are the decorative ones that keep the rich vibe sans fire. For me, this Yui Brooklyn bubble candle is that. It's so damn cute, I can't get myself to light it so it's now a mainstay on my coffee table."
Erin Jahns, Senior Beauty Editor
"If I could only light one candle for the rest of time, it would be this one. I love candles all year round, but my obsession really ramps up this time of year when the weather is cold, and all I want to do is cuddle up with a blanket and whatever Netflix show I'm currently bingeing. Copal Fantôme is your quintessential fall/winter candle, but with enough twists and turns to keep it from veering basic: it features a warm, enchanted forest–esque mix of Mexican copal haunt cedarwood, patchouli, leather accord, whole vanilla bean (and more!) to reach incense level richness. It's the ultimate candle to light for cozy vibes, and I wish I had 20 of them."
"I don't know how Replica does it with this cozy scent, but this candle really is the next best thing to sitting next to an actual fireplace. You can practically smell singed timber, caramelized marshmallows, roasted chestnuts, and a pinch of clove to add a subtle hint of spice."
"Dedcool's 01 fragrance 'Taunt' is a staple within my lineup of perfumes, so I love the fact that the brand went ahead and outdid themselves with not just a regular candle. but a massage candle. You're basically getting two different products for the price of one, and the melding of amber, bergamot, and vanilla, is warm, sweet, and comforting without being dizzyingly saccharine or cloying."
Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY
"This is my absolute favorite candle of all time. I discovered it when I was buying my best friend a birthday present—she loved it so much and we both started recommending it to everyone we know. Now it's one of my go-to gifts (for friends and for myself, ha!). It's both woodsy and earthy thanks to hinoki and moss, yet it has some sweetness to it since it's infused with jasmine. I burn this one year-round, but it's especially cozy during cooler months or when I want to decompress with a self-care ritual."
And since I know you were wondering, here are the candles my roommate and I have burned all the way down recently…
This candle is a classic. More than anything, I'd describe it as luxurious, but it's fruity in a subtle, unexpected way.
I wish more than anything that I could turn this candle into a perfume. It might be one of my all-time favorite scents. It smells like drinking a Sazerac in a smoky bar with leather booths—all from the comfort of home.
Okay, this new candle from D.S. & Durga is next-level. I wish my apartment could smell like this all the time. It smells wild but calm—an alluring blend of salt, rose, mallow, and lichen.
Next: 19 Perfumes That Smell Like Fresh Laundry (In the Best Way Possible)
Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.
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