There are few fall joys that measure up to the experience of lighting a brand new candle and cozying up on the couch. And while we love a splurgy, cult-status candle from the buzziest names in fragrance, sometimes our candle budget can be ... a little out of control. (Especially during this season.) The desire to optimize every single fall evening with a new transportive scent and make the most of these cooler, shorter days is a strong one — but that doesn't mean you need to break the bank.
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Here, we've rounded up some of our favorite scent profiles to indulge in during autumn, along with both "splurge" and "steal" options for getting your candle fix. So go ahead and treat yourself to one of the spendy ones for special occasions ... and then pick up two to three budget-friendly dupes for every day. (We believe that's called "being responsible.")
The scent profile: Orange spice
It wouldn't be autumn without those warming spices, would it? Clove always reminds us of the holiday baking that's right around the corner, but that doesn't mean it needs to be super-sweet. These spicy citrus scents are like your favorite spiced cider.
The splurge: Rukske Hiroko Candle, $60
A citrus-and-spice candle that won't remind you of pumpkin spice, this opulent candle by Rukske is grounded in musk and sandalwood, bringing a more elevated, mature vibe to the autumnal rosemary and clove notes.
The steal: Mythologie Candles Tudor House Library Candle, $24
Another moody and dark take on citrus and clove, this candle layers in patchouli and amber for a deeper fall-ready scent.
The scent profile: Cannabis-inspired
It's not what you think. Unlike the scents wafting down the hall of your college dorm, the new cannabis-inspired home scents are multifaceted, refined, and 100% guaranteed not to get you written up by your RA.
The splurge: HERETIC Parfum Dirty Grass, $70
HERETIC Parfum's all-natural Dirty Grass scent is surprisingly bright and green, with lemon and violet bringing in some botanical notes that are a far cry from what you might associate with the word "hemp." And with its Haitian Vetiver base, even skeptics will quickly find themselves converted.
The steal: Boy Smells Kush Candle, $32
Another bright and verdant take on cannabis-inspired scents, Boy Smells Kush instead opts for notes of invigorating eucalyptus and tulip to fill out its bouquet.
The scent profile: Leather and oud
The splurge: Soho Home Verona Green Marble Leather & Oud Candle, $85
Soho Home's exquisite leather and oud candle comes in an exclusive green marble vessel that's sure to add some rich, textural panache to your fall mantle (or coffee table). The refined sandalwood and patchouli elements are inspired by Soho House Hong Kong, offering a little escapism without leaving home.
The steal: DW Home Spiced Leather & Oud Candle, $20
An under-the-radar favorite that reviewers say they'd pay double or even triple the price for, this scent from DW Home incorporates seasonally appropriate fir needle in addition to the moody, dark oud. The minimalist vessel looks more upscale than the price tag indicates, too.
The scent profile: Green fig
Not a fan of the heavier, headier scents most associated with fall? Then may we recommend fig? Not only does this luxe fruit lend an indulgent vibe to your space, but the brightness and slight acidity of its scent profile also keep things from getting too woodsy or weighed down. In fact, it's pretty much the perfect scent for the last few strains of summer we're still experiencing.
The splurge: Diptyque Figuier Candle, $75
Once the purview of only the in-crowd's most elite, Diptyque candles are now available on—wait for it—Amazon. But one whiff of their enchanting fragrances and you'll understand that they haven't lost their exclusivity factor. Figuier is a cult-fave for a reason — and it's likely to elicit many compliments from visitors.
The steal: Paddywax Vista Collection Fig & Olive, $30
This wallet-wise candle is widely regarded as an excellent dupe for Diptyque's beloved fig scent — and it comes from the surprisingly accessible brand Paddywax. (We like the "Vista" edition for its moody, seasonally appropriate black vessel, too.)
The scent profile: Palo santo meets gourmand
Bakery-sweet "gourmand" scents are a natural fit for the holidays, but we prefer to use their crave-worthy scent to balance out smoky palo santo. The mysterious, ritualistic wood has quickly become one of the most in-demand fragrances for fall, and this unexpected pairing is a unique way to revive its fan-favorite status.
The splurge: OVEROSE Gaiasilk Candle, $58
OVEROSE's packaging will never be anything short of iconic, and this rich vanilla-laden, gourmand take on woody palo santo is equally in demand.
The steal: MIZU Palo Santo Essential Oil Candle, $32
Don't be fooled by the understated name — it takes a lot of work to make a candle this simple. These soy candles features rigorously sourced sustainable palo santo oil from Ecuador along with notes of vetiver, spicy cinnamon leaf, and of course, vanilla.
The scent profile: Warm and boozy
Curling up by the fire with a cocktail? That screams fall to us. Whether you have a taste for whiskey or rum, there's something about a booze-and-cigars-inspired candle that just signals the night is about to get a lot more interesting.
The splurge: Maison Margiela REPLICA Jazz Club Scented Candle, $62
This heady combination of rum, tobacco, and pink peppercorn is one of our all-time favorites to burn throughout fall and well into the winter months. The REPLICA Jazz Club scent was originally billed as a men's fragrance when it was released, so you can expect some darker, more masculine tones.
The steal: Ranger Station Tobac + Musk Candle, $36
Ranger Station's two-wick candle is quite a deal for $36, especially when you consider that its vessel is a heavy-bottomed cocktail glass — perfect for sipping Old Fashioneds out of if just evoking a jazz club isn't enough for you. Their Tobac + Musk scent is similarly masculine, with white peppercorn (instead of Margiela's pink), green tobacco, warming cardamom, and teak wood notes.