For absolutely bloody ages I had an aversion to buying candles because of ONE line in ONE Sex and the City episode where Samantha says "Women with candles have replaced women with cats as the new sad." Well Samantha, you can take your candleless existence and shove it because there is nothing more relaxing then sitting back on the sofa with a lovely scent wafting through the apartment. A bit of a gift-giving cliche they may be but for good reason - you can go as cheap or as luxe as you like (perfect for those pesky office Secret Santas), you can go minimalist or extravagant with the packaging, and even if they're not used right away I guarantee that at some point in the future, the recipient will remember that lovely candle they got for Christmas and light it up! Here's my picks for this holiday season. 

I am a big Andy Warhol fan so of course I love anything that references his work, especially the Campbell's soup motif. I was going to link to an outfit post featuring a soup-print dress I own but it must have been purchased in the no-blogging years! Anyway, these candles not only feature a votive printed like the infamous soup can but they also smell like tomato soup (tomato, basil and mint to be precise). How cool is that?! And they have a great range of candles with votives by various artists which you can see here. Sticking with the Warhol theme, I'm quite drawn to the Brillo one! The Campbell's candles are also available in two other colourways, but I'm really feeling pink and red at the moment so I think this one is absolutely perfect. 

If it's an unusual and out-of-the-box scent you're after (and you don't really give two hoots if it's packaged up nicely or not), then this candle company is right up your alley. Choose from slightly odd scents like buttered popcorn, fresh bread or no.2 pencil, to the downright bizarre aromas of burrito, gasoline or light it up and... do whatever you do when you have a burrito-scented candle burning, I guess. I am a big fan of pickles - I fully embraced the pregnancy craving cliche and ate them by the jarful - so I'm intrigued to see if this dill pickle-scented candle is true to the real thing. 

Toiletpaper are known for their odd and arresting photographs, and if you want to own (or give!) a little piece of unusual art to someone this year, why not do it in candle form? My personal favourite is the "Charnel" (and I flippin' love that name), it's just so wonderfully weird. This one is unsurprisingly a bold, sexy, musky scent, with notes like sambac, tuberose, and amber. 

I love the range of Replica perfumes from Maison Margiela - with names like Lazy Sunday Morning, Beach Walk and By the Fireplace, the fragrances are designed to provoke memories and really encapsulate the feel of a place or a time. My absolute favourite was the Jazz Club, which contains some unusual notes like tobacco, leather and blah to really bring to mind the image of an old, gold-varnished, smoky speakeasy. The perfume was a little too strong for me though, so I was thrilled to find the candle version! They have the same clean, minimalistic packaging as the perfumes and would be an amazing gift, the perfumes are so unusual and special and luckily the candles are just as great. 

It's always a good time for The Pogues but Christmas is an especially apt time to get this Fairytale of New York candle! If you haven't heard the song please go and listen to it immediately - one of my all-time favourite Christmas songs (songs in general, actually) and perfect for belting out after a couple of shandies. The candle is similarly festive, with notes of 

DIPTYQUE BAIES CANDLE, 26€ for 70g - 48€ for 190g
For such a luxurious brand these candles are actually fairly decently priced, especially if you're after a special gift. If the gorgeous, simplistic packaging isn't enough to draw you in then the beautifully delicate fragrances should get you there! I picked the Baies candle because I think that the rose and blackcurrant scent would be absolutely heavenly and I think it's one of Dipytique's most iconic scents. Can't go wrong sticking with a classic at Christmas!

I have spent more money than I care to admit on various trinkets from Typo - they're cheap and cheerful AND they make great gifts. If the offerings in this post are a little too feminine then might I suggest this burger candle? Perfect for your mate who's always up for a Macca's run. The website doesn't have a scent description for this one - I don't imagine it would be quite as strong or complex as some of the other candles on this list but come on, it's a flipping burger candle, you're not really buying it for the scent are you?

Another super luxurious option for a gift - with this candle you're not just getting a scent, it's worth buying for the insanely amazing packaging. And once the candle burns out you can use it as a vase/box/trinket holder/whatever takes your fancy! They are on the pricey side so would make an excellent gift for someone who deserves an extra-extravagant gift this year! This lips version features a lavender and thyme top note, with a heavier base with notes of incense and birch. A very special scent indeed!

At first glance this looks like a sweet little geometric cat candle, but as it burns, it reveals a little cat skeleton inside! How freaking mental. You can get a range of different animals to burn down, you sadist, so you can choose from owls, rabbits, dragons and deer if that tickles your fancy. Make sure you check out the pictures of what they look like when they're burning on the website because they look incredible and also kind of gross. I would recommend maybe picking up one of the dishes as well because they look like they spread quite a bit as they melt, and as rad a present as they might be, the recipient probably won't love having to chip candle wax off their furniture as the candle burns down! 

If you've ever been in a Peter Alexander store you would have smelled a Glasshouse candle. These babies are STRONG, but quite reasonably priced considering their massive size and their pretty impressive range of scents. Since this is a Christmas list I had to include one of their limited edition Christmas candles, Under the Mistletoe (cute name!), which is a spiced apple and berry aroma - very festive indeed and such gorgeous packaging. I do have to throw out a mention to the Tahaa candle, which is a caramel and vanilla scent, which I just noticed is included in all the orders (a 30g size, but still!). 

Believe it or not this eerily realistic hand is in fact a candle. It would take a lot for me to light this one up because it looks so great as it is! It would look fantastic on a bookshelf next to some records, don't you think? Another great candle for someone who likes their house to smell nice but isn't so much into the flowery, frou-frou stuff. 

Paddywax is a fairly new brand on my radar (love the name too!). I love the idea behind their Library collection, which features a bunch of candles inspired by authors like Jane Austen (a zesty, feminine scent) and Edgar Allen Poe (which is more of a warm, gourmand offering - which I found a bit unusual considering his work!). I do have to make a special mention the Charles Dickens scent, which is perfect for Christmas with a spicy citrus top notes, a lovely warm middle note of vanilla, tonka bean and clove, an with a very festive base of fir and eucalyptus. And since Oscar Wilde is one of my favourite writers I would feel disloyal if I didn't feature his scent, which features a heavy, woody base of patchouli, amber and cedarwood, and with a nice citrus finish - but an unusual mix of eucalyptus, thyme and indigo poppy too. I'm so intrigued by that mix! 

Well, off I go to add a few of these to various Christmas presents (and maybe one or two for me...). Happy shopping!


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I'm a freelance writer who blogs about Perth (my old home), Paris (my new home), fashion, food, and everything else that takes my fancy. Have a look around and enjoy!