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Light up your life

... well, your living room at least. Here's our bumper edit of the best scented candles. Perfect for gifts (and, er, self-gifting).

When a woman is tired of scented candles, she is tired of life, wrote Samuel Johnson (erm, possibly. Something like that anyway). Basically, who doesn’t love a wodge of fragrant wax flickering away on their coffee table?

Here’s our new bumper edit of the 12 winter wonders that are currently making Muddy HQ smell divine. We’ve included a mix of price points to appeal to all budgets, and a range of brands big and small (so it isn’t just the usual suspects). Shall we? And inhale….

Diptyque Feu d’Agrumes (£48,

Just look at this sexy beast. The gold dragon and night sky design is a collaboration with French street artist Philippe Baudelocque and looks sizzling combined with the red hot wax.  Diptyque’s renowned scents are always turbo-charged – this wintry, woody, orangey fragrance filled the office before we’d even lit the wick.


Urban Apothecary Verbena Leaves (£30,

I think this is my favourite of the bunch. I like its hipster vibes (although the candles are made in Leicestershire rather than Shoreditch), with the minimal packaging, chic dark green glass and a defiantly non-wintry feel in the verbena leaf and citrus blend. Its gentle freshness would work well in a kitchen or dining room. Good value too.


Miller Harris Digne De Toi (£45,

Everything comes up rosy with a Miller Harris candle, and in this case with notes of lychee, blackcurrant and mandarin too. The cult London perfumer brand doesn’t come cheap but the scents are always scent-sational (*gets coat*) and brilliant quality – I think they hold their own against Diptyque.

SevenSeventeen Silent Night (£24,

There’s a lot to love about this Brighton-based brand – the recycled brown pharmacy jars come with screw-top lids so you can use them afterwards to store knick-knacks, they’re aimed at busy women who need to calm down, and £1 from each sale is donated to mental health charities. Oh, and they smell darn good. This orange and ginger one soothes nerves frazzled by festivities.


The Bird Box Cleanse & Align (£30,

Another cute, Made In England indie-brand that’s well worth a sniff, The Bird Box candles are handmade in Berkshire from sustainable soy wax and they offer a refill service. With frankincense and myrrh, this one has a festive fragrance but it’s not too heavy and the addition of lavender gives it a calming feel. (Calm at Christmas? It can be done.) Thumbs up for the gold feather illustrated jar too.


Donna Ida I’ve Got My Eye On You (£45,

Donna’s jean boutiques offer fantastically flattering denim but her first foray into candles is pretty damn fine too. This one has a Bella Freud feel with its cheeky slogan, while the tomato leaf, fig, cassis and baise wood fragrance is a little bit quirky and a lot delicious.

Blink Indian Rose (£32,

I’ve been relying on Blink’s brilliant brow bars to tame my errant eyebrows for years, but I’ve only just discovered they do candles too. Love the minimal glass jar design which has a spa feel, ditto the gentle rose fragrance. Make space on your bathroom shelf for this one.


The White Company Winter (£20,

These ones are always excellent value for money as they’ve got great throw (that’s candle-nerd speak for ‘filling the room with their pong’) and the low-key packaging means they’ll blend in whatever your décor. This best-seller majors on cinnamon and cloves.


Molton Brown Festive Frankincense & Allspice (£42,

Good old dependable Molton Brown – they’re not hippest of brands but their scents are always excellent quality. This is basically mulled wine in wax form (but won’t make you fall over if you overdo it).

Carthusia Rosa (£30,

In denial about winter? Don’t blame you. This one from heritage Italian brand Carthusia will help you wake up and smell the roses of Capri in summertime. I’m enamoured with the pretty in pink wax too.


Ideo Parfumeurs Esprit de Kadisha (£35,

I love this chic under-the-radar indie brand that lurks in Liberty London’s excellent candle department. For a start the pale grey/rose gold packaging combo is sleek and modern. And the fragrances whisk you off warmer climes (in this case the Kadisha Valley in Lebanon), making it another good  choice for winter refuseniks.


The Chapel Noctula (£65,

It was the jar that first caught my eye, with its surreal imagery (red lips, gold owl, violets – what can it all possibly mean?). The Chapel is a chain of hair salons in London and Kent that has branched out into wax work. This pleasingly hefty candle (320g to the standard 180g) is a melange of fruits, florals and cedarwood.

Words: Kerry Potter

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