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No doubt, a candle can transform the energy and mood of a room. Candles have a rich history in human culture, used at everything from celebrations and religious ceremonies to providing a small source of ambient light in a cozy living room.

Aromatherapy candles, essentially candles crafted with essential oils, can stimulate your senses. They can help relax and calm the mind and body.

The market is flooded with options for all kinds of candles for aromatherapy. We rounded up some of the best aromatherapy candles out there to help you make your selection.

The base of the candle is wax, the essential oil, and a wick. The mixture is poured into a container and then cooled to dry.

There are many natural scents available. For example:

  • lavender
  • eucalyptus
  • orange
  • lime
  • lemon
  • sage
  • roman chamomile
  • rose
  • myrrh

Various scents have been shown to have a calming effect on anxiety, even leading to better sleep. That being said, studies on aromatherapy’s effects are scant and mixed in results.

  • A 2017 review showed lavender oil exhibited “desirable properties of an anxiolytic agent, including a calming effect without sedation, as well as a lack of dependence, tolerance, or withdrawal.
  • A 2015 study found lavender oil diffused into the rooms of patients with coronary artery disease had a positive improvement on sleep quality and anxiety.
  • Peppermint oil has been shown to have a positive impact on gastrointestinal issues when inhaled, such as irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain, and nausea, according to this 2018 review.
  • Tea tree oil is used as a topical antiseptic because of its antimicrobial properties. It’s commonly used to fight acne, dandruff, or skin fungi infections. 2015 research showed tea tree oil is highly effective against various types of bacteria and fungi that thrive on the human epidermis.
  • A 2012 study of 40 males who were given sweet orange essential oil, tea tree oil, or water, and then submitted to a model of anxiety showed that sweet orange oil had an effect in reducing anxiety in the study’s participants.
  • A 2014 study of 22 menopausal women in their 50s showed that inhaling clary sage oil significantly decreased the women’s cortisol levels.

Humans have about 300 active olfactory genes devoted to detecting thousands of scents. A 2016 review of studies discussed the effects that inhaling fragrances have on spontaneous brain activities and cognitive functions, measured through an electroencephalograph (EEG).

“The studies have suggested a significant role for olfactory stimulation in the alteration of cognition, mood, and social behavior,” the article said.

To compile this roundup of candles, we looked at online reviews, prices, and the quality of ingredients. Essential oils (if they’re not the quality kind) could have additives like synthetic fragrance or inexpensive filler oil. The majority of these companies used only “pure essential oils,” meaning extracted directly from the plant.

If any synthetic fragrances were used, which often include endocrine-disrupting phthalates, we noted it. As for the wax and wick, we looked for certified organic materials. Also, If the company was registered with the Better Business Bureau, we noted it.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $25
  • $$ = $25–$50
  • $$$ = over $50

Best organic option


  • Price: $$
  • Wax type: coconut and soy blend
  • Burn time: 45–80 hours depending on size
  • Pros: organic, GMO wax blend, reusable/recyclable vessel, free of artificial chemicals and carcinogens
  • Cons: pricey

Sanari aromatherapy candles come in about 11 different scents of certified organic essential oils and are made with organic cotton wicks. Some scents include: Sorbetto (blood orange, coconut, and vanilla), Aria (tangerine, ylang ylang, and lavender), Biscotti (vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon), and others.

The vegan coconut-soy wax blend is hand-poured into a whisky tumbler or wine glass. Every candle is made with certified organic essential oils and 100% plant-based ingredients, according to Earth Hero.

A nice perk is that you can use the glass when you’ve burned through the candle. Sanari recommends pouring boiling water into the holder, allowing it to sit for a bit, then grab a pair of pliers to remove the wick from the bottom. Wash with soap and reuse it for your after-work beverage of choice.

One online reviewer commented the flame burns above the container and Sanari responded by saying the wick should be cut before use.

Best for supporting a good cause

Wild Beautiful Free Organic Coconut Wax Candle

  • Price: $$
  • Wax type: organic coconut
  • Burn time: 60 hours
  • Pros: organic, supports endangered species organizations
  • Cons: limited fragrance selection, one size only

These candles are sleek, elegant and make a big statement.

The candle is made with organic coconut wax, an organic cotton wick, and pure lavender and vanilla essential oils. The website’s homepage says all products are “100% organic, vegan, and cruelty-free.” It burns for about 60 hours.

The candles are meant to bring awareness to three endangered animals: elephants, gorillas, and lions. Some proceeds go to help endangered species organizations, such as The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

The glass cylinder has a gold inlay with one of three endangered animals on it. It’s a 7.5-ounce container and can easily be reused.

One reviewer said: “Very nice quality candle! The glass is solid and beautifully done, candle burns evenly, scent is perfectly done, not too much or too little.”

If you’re looking for a unique gift that supports a good cause, this one may be a good choice.

Best for art lovers

AMASSThe Art of Staying In Candle

  • Price: $$
  • Wax type: soy
  • Burn time: 60 hours
  • Pros: sophisticated scents, reusable vessel
  • Cons: some reviewers found the scent throw is minimal

Artists and introverts will like staying in with this aptly named candle. Its black matte glass with intricate designs is a fitting addition to any artist’s home.

AMASS was founded by a Los Angeles-based distiller and the company sells tons of chic products, in addition to this candle.

The vegan soy wax has a blend of grapefruit, light florals, and cozy wood-smelling scents. The key essential oils in this candle are grapefruit, jasmine, palo santo, rose, lavender, cedarwood, juniper, chamomile, and Haitian vetiver. If you’re looking for a fruity, citrusy essential oil blend, this candle may be for you.

The estimated burn time is 60 hours. When you’re done burning the candle, use the container as a holder for pens, or jewelry, or display it on a shelf.

“Takes WFH to the next level. Love love love,” says one reviewer.

Best splurge

Aesop Ptolemy Aromatique Candle

  • Price: $$$
  • Wax type: paraffin
  • Burn time: 55–65 hours
  • Pros: sophisticated fragrance blends, vegan friendly
  • Cons: made with synthetic fragrance, very limited scents, only one size available

Aesop’s Ptolemy Aromatique Candle mixes a blend of cedar, cypress, and notes of vetiver for a woodsy, earthy scent. It is more spice-forward than some of the other calming scents like vanilla and lavender and not sweet like the citrus oils.

These candles are made with “vegan-friendly ingredients” but it also uses organic and synthetic fragrances.

Per the company’s website: “Our Aromatique Candles contain a combination of fragrance ingredients — of both botanical and synthetic origin — in a base of Paraffin and Rapeseed Oil, which we consider to be an optimum vehicle for carrying a true and long lasting fragrance, from first use to last.”

Best eco-friendly option

Peacesake Neroli & Musk

  • Price: $$
  • Wax Type: GMO-free soy
  • Burn time: 30–60 hours depending on size
  • Pros: good selection of fragrance, GMO free
  • Cons: includes fragrance oils

The candle is hand-poured into a black-matte recycled glass container. It’s topped with a natural cork top.

The scent features an uplifting blend of orange blossom, petitgrain, and bergamot top notes, with a heart of neroli, amber, and jasmine, and a grounding base of musk, cedar, and sandalwood.

Each Peacesake candle is made of GMO-free soy wax. The cotton wicks don’t contain metal cores and only essential oils and fragrance oils that are free of phthalates are used to make the candles. The website doesn’t give more sourcing information, but some homeopathic and natural living blogs have mentioned Peacesake for their nontoxic aromatherapy candles.

Each candle is shipped in recycled crinkle paper and recyclable corrugated shipping boxes that can be recycled. The website suggests using them as a seed starter for your garden, too. If you can’t recycle the container, it can be returned to the company, where it will be recycled.

Best for a spicy scent

Ellis Brooklyn Pseudonym Terrific Scented Candle

  • Price: $$$
  • Wax type: soy, coconut, carnauba, candelilla blend
  • Burn time: 50–60 hours
  • Pros: inspired scents, organic ingredients, recycled vessel
  • Cons: high price point

Ellis is a Brooklyn-based company that has five nontoxic candles. The company takes care to use organic ingredients with a blend of soy and coconut wax.

The Pseudonym Terrific Scented Candle blends essential oils such as fig, jasmine, pepper, and sandalwood.

All Ellis Brooklyn candles are hand-poured in upstate New York, and use a soy wax blend, using domestically grown soy. The container is made by hand from recycled, lead-free glass.

“It’s such a rich and refined musky scent. It’s so simple yet complex. It’s not overwhelming at all,” said one buyer.

Best for long burning

Lafco New York Fragrance Candles

  • Price: $$$
  • Wax type: soy
  • Burn time: up to 200 hours, depending on size
  • Pros: good amount of scent throw, self-extinguishing wicks, reusable vessel
  • Cons: made with paraffin wax

Lafco candles come in reusable hand-blown glass vessels that come in gray, chartreuse, white, and pink, among other colors.

Lafco uses refined and pure essential oil-based fragrances. The oil blends are free of dyes, propellants, and other synthetic ingredients. A small amount of paraffin is used in the candle’s production.

Once the candle is burned down, pop the glass into the freezer and the soy will shrink, allowing it to easily snap out. You can compost the remaining soy and reuse the beautiful container.

Wicks are 100% cotton and designed to self-extinguish for added safety, according to the company website.

One 5-star reviewer said:

“Lafco makes the best candles! This scent is delicious, not overpowering, just a soft, lovely scent that warms the room.”

Best for overall wellness

Pure Plant Home

  • Price: $
  • Wax type: coconut wax
  • Burn time: 23–40, depending on size
  • Pros: no synthetic fragrance, recycled packaging, eco-conscious
  • Cons: scent throw is on the light side

These coconut wax candles are made from plants from start to finish, and this includes the dyes used to color the packaging.

There are eight 6-oz scents available to buyers and one small tin candle. Some scents include jasmine-vanilla, ginger-vanilla, valencia orange-grapefruit, and more.

All candles are hand-poured. The reason Pure Plant Home chose coconut wax, their website said, is because it’s a renewable resource. At the same time, they are supporting farmers by purchasing it.

Its essential oils are extracted from plants and flowers and cold-pressed from fruits. No synthetic fragrances are used in production.

Finally, the products are made in a solar- and wind-powered facility and packaged in recycled paper.

Best for a subtle scent

Fontana Candle Company French Press Coffee Essential Oil Candle

  • Price: $
  • Wax type: coconut, beeswax
  • Burn time: 20–60 hours, depending on size
  • Pros: good selection and sizes, MADE SAFE and Leaping Bunny certified, nontoxic
  • Cons: some reviewers note the fragrance throw is on the lighter side

Fontana Candle Company is a small family-operated company hand-pouring candles made with minimal ingredients. They use beeswax, coconut oil, natural essential oils, and wood wicks to make their nontoxic candles, which are entirely free of petroleum byproducts, stabilizers, fragrance oils, and dyes.

According to the company, Fontana candles are the first to be MADE SAFE certified, and they’re also certified cruelty free by Leaping Bunny.

The company’s range of fragrances can be shopped based on scent strength. French Press Coffee is made with essential oils sourced from real coffee beans for a delicate throw. If you don’t like overpowering fragrance and you love coffee, this candle could be your new favorite.

Best for large spaces

Candlefy Maui

  • Price: $
  • Wax type: coconut-apricot blend
  • Burn time: 60 hours
  • Pros: strong scent throw, great selection of scents
  • Cons: made with aroma oils

If you’re dreaming of a tropical getaway, the Maui candle from Candlefy could be the next best thing. It’s made with a nontoxic coconut-apricot wax blend. According to the company, that makes for an unrivaled scent throw intensity great for filling big spaces. In fact, Candlefy says its candles throw 50% more scent than even the strongest on the market.

The Maui candle is one of a new line of Hawaiian scents. Candlefy does use aroma oils for the scent profile of coconut, mango, and sea salt, but the company says these oils are free from carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and other potentially hazardous chemicals.

Best budget-friendly candle

Just Bee Pomegranate and Lemon Rind

  • Price: $
  • Wax type: soy, beeswax
  • Burn time: 20–70 hours, depending on size
  • Pros: good range of sizes and scents, highly aromatic
  • Cons: includes fragrance oils

All of the candles from Just Bee are made with natural soy wax, organic coconut oil, naturally gathered beeswax, a cotton wick, fragrance, and essential oil. Wherever possible Just Bee uses organic essential oils and the company notes that its fragrance oils are aromatherapy grade and toxin-free.

Just Bee candles are offered in a good selection of fragrances, including summer mint, lilac, and pomegranate & lemon rind. The blend of essential and fragrance oils makes for a highly aromatic candle, so it’s a good option for those who like a strong scent.

Best for winding down/sleep

Terralite Wild Lavender

  • Price: $$
  • Wax type: coconut
  • Burn time: 28–40 hours
  • Pros: eco-friendly, made with essential oils and plant extracts
  • Cons: higher price point

Terralite botanical candles are made with coconut wax, pure essential oils, plant extracts, and a chemical-free hemp core wick. The candles are hand poured in California into recycled amber glass vessels, with recyclable tin lids and paper labels.

The company offers a range of natural scents. The wild lavender candle uses pure lavender essential oil for a calming, relaxing scent, making this a good option if you’re looking to unwind.

Type of wax

There are many types of wax to choose from. Paraffin, soy, beeswax, and granulated wax are just a few. It may be helpful to decide if an all-natural wax is important to you because commercial candles can contain additives. Some mass-produced wax contains byproducts from crude oil. Natural candles tend to be healthier options because they burn cleaner and typically don’t irritate those who have allergies.

Type of wick

There are three types of wicks in most candles: paper, cotton, or zinc. Zinc is the most rigid followed by paper and cotton. If you have allergies or sensitivities, it’s important to research not only the additives in the candle but the wick as well. Some producers coat the wick in substances that make it sturdier over time.


Pay attention to the source of the candle’s oils. Some are “pure essential oil” from plants, while others may contain perfumes or other ingredients. The term “fragrance” can be a warning sign because it’s often a catch-all for a mix of chemicals that are used to create a specific aroma.

On the other hand, some candle companies use synthetic molecules because they’re chemically identical to ingredients found in nature and allow for more complex scent profiles. That’s why it’s important to vet a company before making a purchase.

Wax type is another important consideration. Paraffin wax is petroleum based, and while health risks have yet to be confirmed, you do have other options. Plant-based waxes, such as soy and coconut, as well as naturally-harvested beeswax, are worth exploring.

Make a point of checking labels closely. Wax blends mean a company can label a candle with just a minimal amount of soy as “soy-based,” so be sure that you’re comfortable with a brand’s transparency.

If you’re avoiding even the potential for toxins in a candle, play it safe and look for phthalate-free candles made with 100% essential oils and no paraffin wax.


As with the rest of a candle’s components, a container is something else that varies in quality. You can get containers made of glass or clay, which are more eco-friendly than ones made of plastic.

Burn time

Burn times often depend on the wax quality and type of wick. Softer waxes, like soy and coconut, can use wicks that burn cooler, such as cotton, for a slower burn. But best practices are important for longer burn times too:

  • The first time you light a candle, make sure to let it burn long enough for the melted wax to reach the edge of the container. This helps prevent tunneling, which seriously reduces burn time.
  • Keep the wick trimmed to about 1/4-inch high for an optimal burn.

Candles for aromatherapy are everywhere these days, from grocery stores to clothing boutiques. It’s important to look for quality ingredients because candles can cause indoor air pollution.

The most important factors to examine are the wick’s ingredients, essential oils or synthetic fragrances used, what type of wax make up the base, and the vessel. These candles, in all price points, would make a great gift or an addition to a space you want to illuminate.

Tracee Herbaugh is a writer and journalist who lives in the Boston area. She writes about culture, lifestyle, health, and family relationships. You can view her work online or find her on Twitter.