When summer finally breaks through after months (and months, and months..) of rain and cloud, I jump at the first chance to breathe new life into all areas of my beauty routine, in particular giving my perfume and candle collection a much needed seasonal update.
The woody, spicy and sweet-gourmand notes that warmed me throughout the winter months suddenly feel as ill-fitting as a scratchy wool jumper in 30 degrees, and are quickly phased out for a new line-up of refreshing summer scents.
Deciding on the scent you want to fill your space with is no easy decision (after all, you don’t want to be sick of the smell after the first few burns). Fresh fruits, green florals, zesty citrus and clean cotton notes are often synonymous with summer scents, but for something that really transports you to another place, pick out notes from a fragrance you’ve worn on holiday and find a candle scent that carries the same accords to recreate those sun-soaked memories.
After all, for every cosy winter night in with the curtains drawn, a classic film on and a woody candle lit in the corner, there’s an equally pleasing hazy, warm evening just waiting for the perfect summer candle scents to fill the space.
The 6 best summer candles
Below, read our edit of the best candles to compliment those long summer nights.
Sun.Day Of London III. Rooftop Garden
When it comes to candles, I’m looking for a 50/50 split between the actual candle itself (fragrance, scent throw, burn time) and the design of the candle holder. This abstract design from Sun.Day of London ticks both of those boxes, with an aromatic scent that features notes of thyme, basil, ylang ylang and lavender, and a holographic dappled glass design. The fragrance is ideal for lighting on a summer evening to help you unwind and relax.
H&M Wild Meadow Scented Candle
Any chance I get, I zip into the H&M next to our offices and head straight for the home section to sniff out the newest candle drops. H&M’s candles are, in my opinion, the best on the high street. Not only do they come in fun and unique designs (its Loewe candle dupe is a must-see), but the scents are complex and long-lasting. This fresh floral candle with notes of bergamot and orchid recreates the exact atmosphere it says on the tin, and for under £10. Win win.
Jo Loves Mango Thai Lime Scented Candle
Jo Loves has launched a candle counterpart to its Mango Thai Lime perfume just in time for summer. Brand founder and fragrance queen Jo Malone says the fragrance, which contains dreamy notes of golden mango, lime, black pepper and mint leaves, is inspired by Thailand and its culinary flavours — and you can absolutely tell. So, if you want to fill your home with a scent that transports you off on an exotic holiday, go for this one.
& Other Stories Sicilian Sunrise Scented Candle
If you can’t sun yourself under Sicilian blue skies this summer, this candle might just be the closest thing to it. If you like fresh scents with a masculine undertone, this is the option for you. At first burn, notes of lemon and grapefruit cleanse the air, before cedarwood and musk ground it as you continue. While the size looks pretty standard, I’ve found you get some serious bang for your buck when it comes to burn time with this one.
Boy Smells Les Candle
I’ll be honest, I’m a sucker for a cool candle. Scent status symbols are my Achilles heel, and Boy Smells has become one of my most coveted brands. Les is by far the superior choice for summer. It’s inspired by the streets of New York, apparently, but I promise this fills the room with a much fresher scent. Ripe blackcurrant, pear and peach blossom transport you back to childhood summer picnics, but the cardamom and white cedar (not to mention the lacquer-effect black glass vessel) make this a true “I’m a grown up” candle choice.
Nivea Sun Scented Candle
Yes, you read that correctly. There’s no scent that triggers memories of summer quite like the waft of sun cream, and Nivea has only gone and distilled just that into an affordable candle. It’s sunny, powdery, and quite frankly, happiness in a candle.