Scents of the season: my favorite winter candles

Every season has it’s scents. Here’s my take on the best candles to burn in the winter, and the best ways to use them.

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Scents are the unseen decor of your home, but just because they’re unseen doesn’t mean they don’t have a massive impact on the whole vibe. Imagine walking into a beautiful mansion but it smells like absolute shit. Suddenly it wouldn’t seem so beautiful.

But on the flip side, even a subtly decorated home can be transformed into cozy oasis if the scents are poppin. My collection of candles sometimes gets a little out of hand, but I definitely use them everyday, so at least they don’t go to waste.

Obviously you gotta change it up season to season, though, because what smells amazing in the summer can just feel a little wrong in the winter. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite candles for the winter season, and what I think they bring to the table.

Damn. I really wish we could do a scratch and sniff through the computer. I’ll try my best to explain the smell, but you might have to just go give ’em a sniff yourself. Luckily all of these are available online, so I’ve linked to the websites for every candle.

An all-time favorite: mahogany teakwood (bath & body works)


I’ve had a years-long love affair with this candle. The first time I smelled this had to be in like 7th grade or something. I don’t know what it is about scents that smell like men that get me so much, but sheeeesh this smell is addictive. I don’t even know how many of these I have bought/received over the years.

The description on the Bath & Body Works website is “set the mood to woodsy and mysterious,” and that couldn’t be a more accurate description. It’s such a rich and masculine scent that adds depth to any room it’s in.

This is a quick hack to add warmth and comfort to your space. Although I will use this literally anywhere and anytime in my house, it’s the perfect scent to cozy up to when you’re watching movies or reading, heading to sleep, or, ya know, romantic time.

For entertaining: sweet almond blossom (opalhouse – target)


This was a random Target find that I’m so happy I came across. Not only is the container so gorgeous and elegant, the smell is amazing. I think that vanilla used to be pretty much the decided-upon warm and cozy smell, but this candle really makes the case for almond to bump vanilla out of its place. You get the same cozyness, but it’s more of a unique smell that will get people asking what it is. (It’s also a little less nauseating than a really strong vanilla scent can be… is it just me?)

Perfect time for this: when you’re entertaining. It has a subtly sweet smell, so it’s really inviting. Remember when Cher in Clueless *tried* to bake cookies before her date came to impress him? Basically the same thing here, except you don’t have to bake.

For relaxing: volcano (capri blue – anthropologie)


Another beautiful container that just happened to match my “mercury glass winter wonderland” christmas decor.

This is THE perfect winter bathroom candle. They somehow made it smell fresh and warm at the same time. Don’t ask me how they did it. I have recently started treating myself to bubble baths with a nice glass of wine (by nice I mean the $4 bottle from publix, whoops), and this candle has become part of the tradition as well. It takes me to a whole new level of relaxation.

The scents in this are: tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons and limes, redolent with lightly exotic mountain greens

Just a good, cheap candle: smoked caramel fireside (better homes and gardens)


This was a random walmart find that I’ve been burning nonstop since I got it. It’s honestly pretty similar to Mahogany Teakwood, just a little creamier-smelling (and much cheaper).

The scent description on the website is: Nuances of pink peppercorn, bergamot, clove swirled with caramel melded with leather, tobacco, aged oak, Agarwood, smoked Guaiac, and Burlwood.

My obsession with manly-smelling scents is showing again. But I just can’t help it.

Like I said, I’ve just been burning this basically all the time. I’ve actually been using it a lot when I’m being productive. I just light it sitting on the edge of my desk, and the yummy, manly smell keeps me going. It would also be a great nighttime, curled up in bed reading scent.

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About me

Hey my name’s Hannah Michelle Lambert, the voice behind homey homies. I’m an LA-based designer, writer, and content strategist. I’m passionate about the intersection of productivity and creativity. I love talking about creative habits, technology, processes, and everything in between that helps me blend the Type A and Type B parts of my brain.

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