We Checked Out Homesick Candles to See if They Really Smell Like Our Hometowns

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Here at Hunker — based in Santa Monica, California — we're an eclectic bunch from all across the nation. So needless to say, sometimes we get a little ... homesick. That's why we felt intrigued by Homesick candles (you know, with the social media ads you can't escape?). They're meant to smell like your home state, but now they even have a couple of city-specific options, too. So we ordered the candles that corresponded best with each of our hometowns, and drumroll please, because our reviews are in! Learn if the Homesick candles are worth the hype (at least according to us) below.


Video of the Day

New York City

"The distinctive scents of spring days in Central Park, fine department stores, and concrete capture the energy of the greatest city on earth." — Homesick

"When I think of New York City, I can't say that the world's nicest smells come to mind — it's humid trash, grimy asphalt after the rain, dirty hot dog water, and those candy peanuts that actually smell so good and then taste not at all like they smell. So I'd say this NYC candle is a bit of a surprise. It's described as containing the 'scents of spring days in Central Park, fine department stores, and concrete.' What does that mean? I guess it's kind of orangey-floral with something kind of musky. It definitely smells like something my mom would burn, so in a way, I guess it's kind of accurate?" — Leonora Epstein, Senior Director of Content


"Harken back to warm Sundays and the sweet scents of pecan, cobblers, and pies from the great Natural State. The signature smells of the Ozarks mix with notes of fresh magnolia and hints of vanilla, cream, and maple." — Homesick

"Homesick's Arkansas scent is most definitely reminiscent of candles I owned growing up in Fayetteville — a good sign! It's the kind of 'traditional home' candle scent you can find in any given boutique on any given town square in the state. Not necessarily unique, but that makes it all the more accurate. To be specific, it smells of the sweets granny offers you because you've gotten 'awful skinny' in that big city without mama's home cookin'. You know: pecan pie, cobbler, vanilla ice cream ... all the southern essentials. The scent is not necessarily unique enough to warrant a repurchase on my part, but I'd definitely recommend it as a crowd pleasing gift." — Carolin Lehmann, Associate Editor


New Jersey

"Explore the shores of the Garden State with the scents of candy apples, cranberries, and fresh ocean air blown off the shore. The beachy top note cools down like a summer night, with notes of soft cotton and vanilla." — Homesick

"Thanks to pop culture, many people equate New Jersey with GTL (gym-tan-laundry) and T-shirt time … but not me. I grew up in the Northeastern part of New Jersey; in the most densely populated area of the state. I considered New York City my backyard and always felt like I was living in a melting pot of different nationalities, cultures, ethnicities, and beliefs. The condominiums I grew up in surrounded a mall, so I spent a lot of time in the neighboring pharmacy. This candle smells of that store, and brings me back to being 11 years old, picking greeting cards to buy for friends and family. It's said to smell of 'candy apples, cranberries, and fresh ocean air,' with notes of 'soft cotton and vanilla,' but it reminds me of exploring the wide variety of things the pharmacy sold (from remote control cars to miniature villages) and the friendly Indian-American owners who knew me by name." — Archie Page, Video Director


"Spiced tea with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove; orange citrus and ginger with notes of vanilla sugar recollect memories of the City on a Hill." — Homesick

"I have high expectations for pretty much everything, including candles. Before opening my Boston-inspired candle, I thought about what I'd expect it to smell like: Cool, crisp, and with a hint of what I imagine Tom Brady smells like. (Hey, a girl can dream!) After overthinking this first impression way too much (Will it smell amazing? Will it be too strong? Will I love this candle as much as I love my Boston roots?), I finally opened the box and was immediately reminded of the fall and the holidays, surrounded by family and sitting by the fire. The cinnamon and clove really stand out in the best way possible, and while Homesick's Boston candle probably doesn't smell like TB12, it definitely smells like home." — Stephanie Worth, Senior Social Media Specialist


Los Angeles

"From bright mornings to star kissed nights, enjoy the best fragrance of the City of Angels, from the clean sea breeze to desert sand kicked up from a hike in the hills. Citrus notes of orange zest and lemon slices combine with a floral bouquet of jasmine and rose to perfume any occasion." — Homesick

"My initial reaction: YAY! I love the smell of citrus trees and jasmine. I grew up in the foothills of Los Angeles with lemon and orange trees in our yard. When they would bloom their white flowers, I would spend time picking the fallen buds and placing them in my hair. The aroma is sweet and fills the room quickly, even before lighting. When I close my eyes, I see the perfect sunny day. I'm obsessed, but if you don't love jasmine, this may not be for you." — Garineh Magarian, Senior Social Media Manager


"Take a trip back to the Nutmeg State with the scents of a crisp fall apple orchard. Top notes of nutmeg, lemon, and eucalyptus recall warm-baked pies while hay, clove, and oak moss remind you of perfect, brisk days spent outdoors." — Homesick

"Having spent the first 18 years of my life rooted in The Constitution State, I seriously wondered what a Connecticut-scented candle would smell like. Would it have notes of maritime mixed with gin and tonics? Ivy blended with mountain laurel? I opened the box to find a slightly woodsy, minty scent. It immediately brought to mind (or to my memory sense) the smell of my dad's beloved pipe that he smoked every day of his life: tobacco mixed with a touch of floral essence. While I appreciate the memory, it's most likely not a candle I would have brought home if I had smelled it in the store first." — Laurie Grossman, Editorial Director


Southern California

"Inhale a perfect mix of SoCal lemon and zesty oranges along with fresh sea breeze and aloe. A floral bouquet of rose, carnation, and jasmine completes this invigorating and clean fragrance from California's bountiful south." — Homesick

"When I unboxed the candle, I was immediately overwhelmed by a heavy floral scent. First thoughts were: smells nothing like SoCal. Where was the brightness of oranges, the saltiness of the sea air, the freshness of a cut-open aloe plant? This is more reminiscent of the department store perfume floor that makes your eyes water the second you step onto it, or a bougie hotel bathroom where old ladies have over-sprayed their perfume. After lighting the candle, the florals lightened up and took on a more ... pleasant quality — think a nearby rose bouquet with a hint of jasmine, but still no sense of zesty citrus or fresh sea breeze. Overall, it didn't evoke childhood memories of San Diego and spending practically every weekend by the ocean. Let's just say this candle isn't for me. Disappointment aside, I will say that if you love the scent of roses and jasmine, this candle is for you." — Lacey Won, Social Media Manager


"Enjoy the smell of Americana with the warm scents of desert air, cactus flowers, bright lemon and lime, and selvage denim. A little bit of sweet tonka bean helps balance the woody notes of cedar, patchouli, and cotton." — Homesick

"Having been raised in Las Vegas, I've heard an amusing array of preconceived judgments and misconceptions about my hometown. So needless to say, I was extremely curious to see how the essence of the beautiful desert landscape that I grew up in would be interpreted in candle form. While the elegantly packaged Homesick candle doesn't quite remind me of Nevada, I can definitely smell hints of wild plant life. It has a strong, masculine aroma mixed with warm notes of citrus and soil. Although it's not my fragrance of choice, I will display it proudly on my desk as a charming reminder of home." — Ariane Moore, Associate Editor


Carolin Lehmann is an Associate Editor at Hunker. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and has previously written for HuffPost, Seventeen magazine, and a variety of local news outlets. As a studio apartment dweller, she's always on the lookout for new ways to decorate a rental on a budget.