Just about this time every year, the angle of the sun shifts ever so slightly, and I catch myself thinking wistfully about cozy knits pulled tight against the crisp air, weekend baking projects, and pumpkin picking. But I live in Los Angeles. In actuality, I'm still sweating it out in front of a fan and ordering delivery because it's too hot to cook and I know it will be like this until December. The seasons may change in your heart, but outside, it will almost invariably be sunny and warm. The whole effect can be pretty emotionally confusing!
Maybe this year you've noticed a dismaying stubbornness in the hot weather where you live, too. I see you, I hear you, and I'd like to personally welcome you to the club. While there isn't a ton we can do to induce that tell-tale chill to make it feel like Fall, we can at least treat ourselves to a little something that will make things smell a lot more festive. Light up one of these ten candles, and let it transport you to a snugglier, cozier place.
Homesick Candles is a company famous for their ability to capture the aroma of a memory, and "Autumn Hayride" delivers just that. Sweeter notes of fresh hay, warm amber, and maple bark are brought back down to earth by patchouli and oakmoss in this natural soy wax candle that will have you reminiscing about the uncanny magic of a bumpy nighttime tractor ride.
Book and Reverie specializes in evocative, romantic scents, and the reviews on this (and every) candle in their Etsy store are bordering on rhapsodic. "Book of Shadows" may have been inspired by the iconique '90s show "Charmed", but really, it's for anyone who has ever buried their face in the pages of an old leather-bound novel and inhaled deeply. Leather, vanillin, and amyris wood round out this magical scent.
Perhaps you are someone for whom Autumn nostalgia means a certain yearning for back-to-school smells like floor wax or the fine chalk dust that hangs in the air after you clap two erasers together. "No. 2 Pencil" is like opening a fresh box of your favorite writing implements with notes of newly shaven wood, cedar, and graphite. Perfect for any teacher's pet.
This candle is as close to having a working fireplace as many of us city-slickers will ever get. Pine and fir smoke mingle with orange spice in a fragrance that is unmistakably homey. Available across the internet, my personal favorite way to shop for this beauty is HausWitch, a boutique in Salem run by real, practicing witch activists!
Don't at me, but I tend to prefer the apple-ier aromas of the season over pumpkin spice. "Mulled Cider" smells like a steaming mug of tart and spicy comfort. The purest scent of apple, cranberry, and orange dominate with subtler undertones of aromatic spice.
Another Etsy find, Mazuko Home's five-star reviewed "Fallen Leaves" is serene, earthy, and musky. Green stem, lemon, and cedar are buoyed by the midnotes of spiced apple, pine, and a floral melange. The wood wick crackles merrily as it burns, adding a beautifully acoustic element to the ambiance.
Okay, okay, I know what you came here for: it's pumpkin time. The "Pumpkin Clove" jar candle from Capri Blue is a buttery pumpkin scent set in a base of warm vanilla and cinnamon, lifted by bright, citrusy orange. A major Reduce/Reuse/Recycle bonus? Once the candle burns, out the empty jar is perfect for your personal stash of Halloween candy!
An elevated version of the classic seasonal pairing of pumpkin and masala chai spice, this vegan candle boasts nearly 10,000 reviews on Amazon. Splurge for the three-wick size, and you've got 80-100 hours of aromatic pumpkin-scented sophistication.
Now, if you're looking for a candle that smells good enough to eat, "Spiced Pumpkin Latte" from Voluspa is an olfactory feast of kabocha pumpkin, whipped coconut, vanilla marshmallow, and cinnamon spiced brulee - it may very well sate that hunger. And the jar is so pretty that you'll love leaving it out year-round.
I saved my personal favorite for last. Diptyque makes luxury candles. They are not cheap and they do not smell cheap, so if you decide to give this as a gift, expect the recipient (which could be you!) to swoon a little. "Ambre" is a heady, sexy, ancient-smelling elixir of woods, vetiver, patchouli, aniseed, incense, and tonka. Several years ago, on a too-bright and too-warm LA fall day, I spent more time than was appropriate with my nose plunged into this candle. Highly recommend.
Looking for even more cozy candles that will have you snuggling deep into the covers? Take a look at our piece all about the best wooden wick candle picks.