There seems to be an unwritten rule amongst us that, once the calendar flips to September and temperatures dip below 70 degrees, the fall candles come out. And most of the time, it's not just any fall candle, but the autumnal "it girl" herself—a pumpkin candle.
But here's a plot twist for you: Not everyone likes a pumpkin scent. Oftentimes, it veers off from spiced and seasonal straight into sickeningly sweet territory, giving us more headache than harvest. You can't escape it—walk into any bookstore or coffee shop in the middle of October and you're sure to be hit with the same, pumpkin-y aroma, over and over and over again. Unpopular opinion: it's overkill.
A PSA for the people who want to explore new fall candle territory, whether or not they actually like a pumpkin scent in the first place. There are actually other fall candles out there that will invoke a cozy, autumnal feel sans any of the orange veggie. And I'm not even talking about other seasonal staples, like apple cinnamon or cardamon chai. From warm, woodsy smells grounded in earthy musks, to classic florals that you'd find in a fall bouquet, I promise there are many other fall candles to spark this season besides anything gourmand at all. (If that's what you're looking for, of course.)
Save the pumpkin spice for your coffee mug—spark these other fall candles below.
The best fall candles of 2022
Classic floral scents
As its name suggests, “Cinderose” will fill your home with a smoky flowery scent. Notes of pink pepper and tuberose give it a lighter, springier smell, while bottom notes of myrrh, oakmoss, and albanum give it a burnt, spicy scent. If you want a floral candle with some edge, it does the trick.
For fans of roses, this new candle from Paddywax offers a fruity twist on the romantic scent. Underneath notes of berry and bergamot you’ll smell rose and saffron mixed with oakmoss and amber. The goblet votive is equally romantic and sets the mood no matter the season.
Still clinging to summer? Get this sunflower candle, which smells like a late August afternoon. It’s a bright, flowery explosion of scents like melon, lemon, cyclamen, and lily, warmed up with a touch of musk and cedarwood. Just remember to save the box for next summer—you can plant it and it will grow into the very sunflowers it’s inspired by.
Fresh, clean scents
Summer might be over but that doesn’t mean you can’t still spark something fresh and clean. L’or de Seraphine just launched three new scents for fall, including this lavender-eucalyptus candle that’s perfect for re-energizing your home when the days get cold and gray.
Why buy a fall candle when you can make your own?! Siblings Co. sends everything you need to make your own candles, minus the vessel. Pour this bright-smelling wax into an empty mason jar or recycled plant pot for scents of, well, mint, cannabis, and sage. (This also makes for a fun indoor activity as the weather cools down.)
Sweet gourmand scents
Want to go with gourmand but don’t want pumpkin? Apples are just as iconic for fall, and smell just as great. This crisp candle by P.F. Candle Co. smells like a fresh picked fruit, blended with slight notes of spicy, mulled cider and cedarwood. Maybe it’s the name but it’ll make you want to plan a trip to the orchard as soon as you spark it.
There’s still room for pumpkin on our list—just not the whole thing. Especially when it smells like home-cooked waffles on a weekend morning. For just $30, this candle will transform your kitchen into a fancy schmancy Sunday brunch with smells of roasted pecans and syrup-y waffles.
Sweet, spicy, and oh-so-sultry, “After Hours” is the candle you want to light when the sun goes down. Its top notes are scented with smoky tobacco, rum, and ginger, while vanilla, wood, and patchouli round it out for a deep, dark aroma. Doesn’t hurt that the votive is a work of art, too.
Turn your home into orchard with this tasty candle. Crisp red apples blend seamlessly with sensual smells of cedarwood and amber, sparking up a candle as good as fresh baked apple crisp. Even better, 10 percent of proceeds are donated to the non-profit Next for Autism with every purchase.
Fruity, citrus candles
Public Good’s hearty black currant candle smells as good as it gets. Between the natural wax, sustainable packaging, and all-clean ingredients, these candles are the definition of eco-friendly. The fact that it smells like ripe berries doesn’t hurt either.
True to its name, “Farmers Market” smells like, “Long lines and tote bags and ginger and meadow grass.” Spark it up and close your eyes—you can practically see the colorful fruits and veggies and hear the crowds of people buying their weekly haul. It’s a little fruity, a little clean, and a little earthy, the way a good candle should be.
Not overbearingly sweet, Sugar Plum & Bergamot smells like the plate of cookies you’d leave out by the fireplace (or a mix of citrus, rhubarb jam and raspberries, and amber). Made of 100 percent soy and non-toxic material, this candle a burn time of 50 hours.
Warm, woodsy scents
It’s okay if you don’t actually have a cabin upstate—this new scent from Literie will take you there. You know the, “I just sat out by the campfire all night,” smell you get after camping? That’s this candle, that’s blended with other earthy notes, too.
Like its name suggests, this $20 candle is candle is warm and earthy, filled with warm scents that are snuggly on a cold, fall day. With over 29,000 reviews on Amazon, it’s a must-have for your candle collection.
Remember hayrides when you were a kid? This candle by Homesick brings back those memories, as it’s meant to evoke crisp, autumn air, fresh hay, and whiffs of sweet maple. Other notes like clove, amber, and birch make this candle more sweet than smoky. Burn time is around 60-80 hours.
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