Call me basic, but when it comes to candles there is one aroma that I'm always drawn to when scenting my home: vanilla. Sweet, bright and cosy, there's something about this uplifting note that I always come back to. Is it because it basically makes my house smell like a dessert? Perhaps. Or maybe it's because it has a comforting familiarity. From sweet, vanilla-scented childhood toys and home-baked birthday cakes to my first perfume from The Body Shop, vanilla candles smell like home to me.
However, I'll be the first to admit that a vanilla candle doesn't necessarily spring to mind as the most sophisticated option to scent your home with. The associations that many of us have with this sweet note from childhood mean that even I went through a stage of trying to eschew my penchant for vanilla candles in favour of more grown-up aromas like leather, woods, and earthy florals. But after some pretty extensive testing and trialling I am here to assure that no vanilla scent is created equal—and the list ahead contains some of the most complex and delicious vanilla candles on the market.
From spicy, gourmand blends to earthy homages to the vanilla pod itself, there's a vanilla candle for everyone in this edit. (Oh, and of course there's a few that smell good enough to eat for the vanilla purists like myself.) Ahead, keep scrolling for the 10 best vanilla candles to make your home smell incredible.
1. Beauty Pie The Birthday Candle
Please note, price listed is the Beauty Pie member price.
This smells like an absolutely delicious vanilla cake—but one from a fancy patisserie, not a kid's birthday party. It's sweet with vanilla and almond, but also has an unexpected spicy hit from black pepper and amber. Truly delicious.
2. Diptyque Vanille Candle
3. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Candle
Do vanilla candles come any more chic than this one from Tom Ford? It's an incredibly aromatic blend of tonka bean, tobacco flower, vanilla and cocoa which combine to create a rich, smoky scent that smells seriously expensive. This is vanilla for the grown-ups.
4. Jo Malone London Myrrh and Tonka Home Candle
I discovered this scent first in its cologne form, and was so taken with the warming vanilla notes that I was over-the-moon to discover it existed as a candle, too. It's inspired by warm desert dunes and is a celebration of the Namibian myrrh tree with creamy tonka beans adding a touch of grounding sweetness to the heady opulence.
5. Maison Margiela Replica Whispers in the Library Candle
One of my most repurchased candles ever, this complex candle is inspired by an afternoon spent in an Oxfordshire library and it captures that cosiness perfectly. Cedar wood and pepper create an almost log fire scent, while vanilla and benzoin deliver that familiar brightness.
6. Laboratory Perfumes Tonka Candle
7. Rituals Private Collection Suede Vanilla Scented Candle
This luxurious candle smells as good as it looks. It's a gourmand scent in that it has hints of cardamom and rosemary, but it avoids the sickly-sweet tropes of vanilla. Instead, adding patchouli and vetiver to create a sweet-yet-aromatic fragrance that I think is a real crowd pleaser.
8. Byredo Bibliothèque Candle
This scent is so complex that to call it a vanilla candle is truly underselling it. Instead, it's a transportive aroma that blends fruits and florals with woods and gourmands. At first, it smells fruity with peach and plum before giving way to peonies and violets. But as the scent continues to billow through your home you'll notice hints of leather and patchouli before that familiar, sweet vanilla note. It's breathtaking and I adore it so much that it was actually my wedding day perfume.
9. Floral Street Vanilla Bloom Candle
This is a real mood-boosting candle that, unsurprisingly given that it's from Floral Street, smells more like a freshly-cut bouquet than a freshly-baked cake. There is definitely vanilla, but there's also plum, musk, amber and cashmere woods to give this candle a real depth.
10. Vyrao Rose Marie Scented Candle
All of Vyrao's fragrances are a celebration of self-love and healing, and this is the one I've been reaching for when I get a cosy night in alone. It's a fragrant, floral blend of rose, violet leaf and patchouli, but there's also sandalwood and earth vanilla which create an almost sensual scent. It's really beautiful and the jar is so chic too.