We're calling it: One of the hottest gifts of 2020 is going to be candles. Why? Because candles have transporting qualities, and since we're all quite literally NOT transporting anywhere, they've become necessary decor items. Part of the fun of gifting a candle, though, is scouting one that is absolutely perfect for your giftee, and there are so many fun and specific offerings out there. Here's our selection, which should cover some — if not all — of the people on your list:
For the Friend Who ...
Is a Movie Buff: A24 x Joya Genre Candle, $48
A collab between independent production company A24 (Uncut Gems, Lady Bird, Moonlight) and fragrance studio Joya, these genre-themed candles are perfect for the film nerd in your life. Choose from Horror, Western, Rom-Com, Thriller, Noir, Adventure, or Musical.
Did a REALLY Big Favor for You This Year: Cire Trudon Reggio Candle, $115
As far as high-end candles go, you can't get much fancier than French candlemaker Cire Trudon. Just look at this sexy vessel with gold-hued plating. This gift is truly the proper way to say "thanks" to a loved one who went above and beyond for you.
JUST REALLY LOVES CHRISTMAS!!!: Rifle Paper Co. Limited Edition Holiday Candle, $34
With undeniably Christmas-y packaging and a scent that is literally Christmas in a jar (think heavy balsam fir notes), your holiday-loving friend will be so pleased. (So maybe think about gifting this on the early side!)
Is a Bookworm: Byredo Bibliothèque Candle, $85
From Swedish luxury perfume house, this library-themed candle is a bestseller thanks to its sensual aroma that has notes of vanilla, leather, and patchouli — what you imagine an old book might smell like.
Has That "Je Ne Sais Quoi": Yowie Belmondo Candle, $35
From Philly-based design shop Yowie comes this candle, inspired by Jean-Paul Belmondo, the 1960s French New Wave star. With notes of red currant, galbanum (an aromatic gum resin), and potting soil, it's definitely a scent-blend your friend hasn't tried yet.
Is CRAZY-DONE With Quarantine: Homesick Hawaii Candle, $34
Did you know ... sales of this candle jumped over 500% during quarantine? Makes total sense that people have been gifting this like mad to folks who feel they need an escape. Or even worse: Had to cancel tropical vacations. With this Hawaii-themed candle, they can at least close their eyes and pretend.
Lives a Scandi-Chic Life: Swedish Dream Seaweed Candle, $30
Although these candles are manufactured in Upstate New York, they completely embody the feel of clean, Scandinavian interiors. The Seaweed candle is perfect if your Scandi-loving friend is also a child of the '90s — it smells hauntingly similar to Gap's "Heaven" scent (RIP). If you want something a bit less perfume-y, the Sea Aster scent is more earthy, with a top note so clean, it smells like fresh soap.
Needs Some Fun in Their Life: Anya Hindmarch Pencil Shavings Candle (Small), $75
British designer Anya Hindmarch's candles are pretty irresistible — especially if your pal could use some cheering up (or if they are already a particularly bubbly person!). The Pencil Shavings scent is quite popular, but we'd have a hard time choosing between the rest — there's Chewing Gum, Lollipop, and Sun Lotion.
Who Can't Stop Looking at Cabin Porn: Norden Cabin Jar Candle, $25
Norden's Cabin candle is literally a cabin in a jar, featuring a blend of spicy cardamom, sandalwood, and cedar. Like you walked into a log cabin on a crisp night with a wood fire already burning.
Is Very Vocal About Being an Introvert: Cancelled Plans Introvert Candle, $32
Is Always on Top of What's Cool: Flamingo Estate Adriatic Muscatel Sage Candle, $45
If your friend has their pulse on what's cool months before the New York Times Style section knows what's up, then gift them this candle from Flamingo Estate, a ridiculously chic mansion in L.A.'s Eagle Rock neighborhood that started as a creative hub for events, and eventually started making its own products, many of which source ingredients from F.E.'s gardens.
Keeps Talking About Leaving the City: Otherland Manor House Weekend Collection, $89
Otherland's new collection was created with cozy-time in mind — but with an old world twist. The Manor House Weekend Collection includes scents that are refined yet seasonal, and will put your buddy in a bucolic state of mind, transporting them to the English countryside.
Suffers From Seasonal Depression: P.F. Candle Co. Golden Hour Sunset Candle, $24
Here in California, we have what's called "Golden Hour," and it's one of the best things about living here — the time around 5 p.m. when the sun takes on a special kind of warmth and everything feels all glowy. Gift this candle that embodies that spirit to someone who needs extra light during the winter months. Or, someone who recently left the West Coast and wants to bring it back into their homes.
Is Undeniably Funky: CandleCan, $27
Here's a first: Candles housed in tuna fish-like tins. And the insides are equally surprising, taking the shapes of various foods. Choose from chuckle-worthy combos like Orange-Salmon, Cinnamon-Blackberry, Vanilla-Egg, Mint Beans, or Fruity Cherry.
Says They Don't Like Candles: Tatine Garden Mint Candle, $43
We recently came along this candle by Tatine and were shocked by how unique it is — it literally smells like a fresh bouquet of mint. It's definitely outside of the realm of your usual candle scents; there's no sandalwood or smoky-something or perfume-y smell to this. Just fresh and clean.
Is ... How to Put This ... Tightly Wound?: Spa of Iceland Fjóla Relaxing Candle, $39
For the friend-o who really needs to calm the heck down, try this calming Spa of Iceland candle. (And honestly, no judgement because it's been a helluva year.) The aroma of coconut, amber, musk and vanilla should leave them feeling at least a bit more refreshed.
Loves Zodiac Stuff: Birthdate Candles, $38
There's a candle specifically tailored to every day of the year with a custom scent and and label with star sign info that's undeniably engrossing.
Leonora Epstein is Hunker's Senior Director of Content. She has previously served as Executive Editor at HelloGiggles and as BuzzFeed's Deputy Editorial Director. She is the co-author of "X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story" (Abrams, 2014). Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.