In a dream world, every corner of our homes would be dotted – or, should that be scented – with Diptyque candles. Baies, Figuier, Patchouli…we’re not fussy, in fact, we’re yet to meet one we didn’t like. But, at £47 a pop when you are, quite literally, burning money, it’s a habit that we let generous friends, family and other halves fuel at Christmas and birthdays.
If, like us, Diptyque (or Jo Malone, Le Labo, Byredo et al) float your candle boat but not your budget, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of affordable options that deliver on scent and chic-factor. See, 2020 isn’t all bad news. For a scented candle fix you can sustain on a (semi) regular basis, we’ve rounded up the most aesthetically pleasing, delightfully smelling brands we could find for under £30. Because if we’re going to be spending a lot more time at home for the foreseeable future, it might as well smell good, right?
What’s an affordable candle round-up without this cult buy? Ok, so it may be a not-so-subtle dupe of a rather well-known candle brand, but at £3.49 for a 310g, two-wick bad boy, we’ll let our morals slide. Choose from Pomegranate or Lime, Basil & Mandarin and, for some boutique hotel-style scent layering, chuck the matching diffuser in your trolley too. From £3.49, Aldi
Our Lovely Goods
Founded by husband and wife duo Ebi and Emmanuel Sinteh, Our Lovely Goods is a family-run business focusing on products that don’t just look beautiful, but are good for you, your home and the environment. Made from 100% natural soy wax with an eco cotton wick, their candles are handcrafted in small batches and burn for 40 hours. Every scent sounds ridiculously enticing, from One Evening’s cedarwood, jasmine and thyme mix to Into the Woods’ pine, clove and bergamot combo. £20, Our Lovely Goods
When searching for a candle to gift to a friend (what can we say, we just LOVE candles) we were surprised to find that some Rituals offerings come in under £20. The minimalist glass votives come in colours to suit any décor and the scents range from soothing sacred lotus and jujube to renewing cherry blossom and rice milk. From £19.90, Rituals
Earl of East London
Starting as the side-hustle of East London creatives Niko Dafkos and Paul Firmin, Earl of East London is now a covetable lifestyle brand with a flagship store in Kings Cross’ Coal Drops Yard. The duo’s love of fragrance has grown from just three candles to a collection of 11 scents, incense, home mists and bath and body products. Housed in chic amber jars with a pared-back label, the fragrances run the gamut from fresh to woody, inspired by everything from Niko’s childhood summers in Greece to English country gardens and Japanese forest bathing. Atlas Cedar, Strand and Smoke & Musk are always on rotation in my house. From £20, Earl of East London
Using 100% natural GMO free soy wax from sustainable sources, the ombre votives encasing Aery’s aromatherapy-inspired candles make them seriously grammable. From Heavily Meditated – frankincense, patchouli and thyme – to Good Vibes – ginger, rhubarb and vanilla – the scent names are guaranteed to make you smile as much as the packaging. £24.95, Aery
Brought to our attention via the Instagram stories of a Fashion Editor friend (ergo, you know it’s going to be good) Irusu use ethically sourced essential oils in their soy wax candles, which are hand-blended, poured and numbered in North London. Irusu means “to pretend not to be home when somebody knocks” which, admit it, we’re all guilty of. Sorry, not sorry. From £25, Irusu Candles
Bolt & Star
Created by a candle-lover who realised that most brands used toxic paraffin wax – effectively giving off the same emissions as diesel fuel – Bolt & Star’s vegan soy wax candles are handmade in small batches in Southwest London. The black glass jars with their silver, gold or rose gold lids are irresistibly chic, and there are scents to suit every mood, whether you want to relax and unwind or energise and invigorate. The Zodiac collection makes the perfect gift – for someone else or yourself. From £25, Bolt & Star
The Honest Label
Minimalists will adore The Honest Label’s understated luxury. Black glass votives with chic white typography house 220g 100% plant based wax candles. From intense rose oud to crisp clean cotton, there’s a scent to suit everyone. From £14, The Honest Label
Made from natural soy wax, zero palm oil and extremely low soot production mean Blomus candles score high on the environmentally friendly front. Thanks to the beautiful concrete casing, they don’t just do good, they look good too. With scents like Sandalwood Myrrh, Fig and Sea Salt & Sage, a generous medium candle will set you back just £11, or why not treat yourself to a three-wick wonder for less than £30? From £11, Blomus at Naken Interiors
If Scandi-chic is your thing, Meraki is your brand. Made in Denmark, the focus is on clean, mild products with natural ingredients free from parabens, colourants and endocrine-disrupting substances. The fragrances, from Nordic Pine to Fig-apricot, are created using essential oils and high quality basic oils. As you’d expect from anything Scandi, the packaging manages to be both super-simple and seriously covetable. From £6, Nordic Nest