We’re not afraid to say it—we’re candle snobs. A scent can make or break a vibe; too many floral notes make your space smell like a Bath & Body Works, while over-the-top musk turns our living room into a locker room. We appreciate both routes (in proper doses and the right settings), but we prefer candles with scent profiles that put forth an all-welcoming, seductive ambiance—and won’t give us a headache.
Whether you want to set the olfactory tone for a sexy rendezvous, an elegant dinner party, or a lowkey wind-down after a hard day at work, these exquisite unisex candles from our personal favorites lists are smash hits for good reason. We’re talking crisp, herbaceous aromas straight from the farmer’s market, tobacco-vanilla whiffs from rich men at the casino, and botanical notes intertwined with bright citrus. Toss your scented pine cones in the dumpster, and let’s get sniffin’.
Nest Charcoal Woods Classic Candle
Want to feel like you’re in the middle of an enchanted forest that has a heavenly, woodsy aroma? We got the next best thing with this candle by Nest, which fills our nostrils with a nature walk through the scents of cedarwood, charred birchwood, and a hint of black truffle.
Replica Jazz Club Scented Candle
Feeling jazzy is one of our top priorities, and it’s easy to do when Replica’s Jazz Club candle is burning in our home. The fragrance notes mirror those of an exclusive, old-timey lounge—whiskey cocktails on the rocks, and that smoky-sweet air of a cigar box. Jazz Club is an all-gender hit thanks to its sexy-on-everyone combination of fragrant pink pepper, rum, tobacco, and vanilla. One reviewer on Nordstrom’s website calls it “deliciously nostalgic.”
Boy Smells Kush Candles
Get stoned sans a trip to the dealer by enjoying the best aromatic notes of the devil’s lettuce via Boy Smells’ now-iconic Kush Candle. The coconut wax and beeswax blend is imbued with the herbaceous, warm scents of cannabis, white musk, and amber for a full-blown stoner moment without any skunkiness.
There’s a veritable dispensary of Boy Smells candles out there, too, with other variations in the brand’s fragrance arsenal including Purple Kush, which offers a dose of violet and suede; and Cowboy Kush, which makes us say “yeehaw” with saffron flower, raspberry, and tonka bean notes.
If you want to stock up on a fall scent before the weather cools down, Cashmere Kush will warm your home in the colder months with a cozy synthesis of cashmere wood, white amber, vetiver, tulip, and powdery musk.
Jo Malone Grapefruit Candle
Anything citrus is the ultimate summertime scent, but this one by Jo Malone is an invigorating game-changer. Wake up with punchy grapefruit, ~zesty~ rosemary, peppermint, and pimento notes. (Just thinking about it makes us want to actually put in the work to grow an herb garden.) All Jo Malone smells also come in colognes, body lotions, sprays, and more, if you want to create a truly signature smell that you can enjoy at home but also take on the go.
Malin + Goetz Dark Rum Candle
We like to hit the tiki bar whenever the need for a Mai Tai calls, but sometimes, our livers need a break. Enter this Malin + Goetz Dark Rum candle that brings the bar to you, minus the hangover. The dark and spicy aromas of barrel-aged sugarcane spirits meet up with notes of ripe plum, bergamot, leather, and milk, for a scent that’s as sexy as it is unisex (which is to say, very).
Brooklyn Candle Studio Santorini Escapist Candle
Who doesn’t want their room to smell like they’re basking on the shore of a Greek island, looking out upon its crystal waters while reclining beneath a fig tree? This waxy little concoction radiates Mediterranean fig, red currant, sandalwood, and amber aromas. It’s an earthy and warm combo that will transport you on a glamorous vacation without having to go through airport security.
Diptyque Odor Removing Basil Candle
Does your apartment have some freaky corners when it comes to its smell offerings? Let freshness reign with this fancy French candle from Diptyque. This particular scent profile has an aromatic fusion of basil, mint, and tomato leaf, which makes your home smell like a leafy garden in the English countryside. And, unlike many candles, it’s actually designed to help eliminate odors, not just mask them. (It basically counts as doing your chores when you light it.)
Get ya lighters out, and let’s get burnin’.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.