No wonder candles are among the most universally loved gifts. The options are endless – so they’re easy to grab at a moment’s notice – and they help you slow down with a simple flick of a match. The best versions go even further, by virtually whisking you away to your favorite places in the world.
So here, the best travel and destination-inspired candles to give this Mother’s Day.
Keap Waves Candle, $54
It’s all about sustainablity for this up-and-coming Brooklyn-based brand. Each candle is hand-poured with coconut wax in reusable glass vessels with easy-to-remove labels and wicks to ensure zero waste. And the scents, like this one inspired by sun-drenched days in Sicily, are wonderfully complex and layered thanks to the expertise of master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. Even better? Keap offers a monthly subscription service, so your gift won’t ever run low.
Carrière Frères Sandalwood Candle, $65
Native to the southwestern Indian city of Mysore, sandalwood is an evergreen tree with leathery leaves and flowers that gradually take on a dark red hue. But it’s not the leaves or flowers that make sandalwood so treasured – it’s the aromatic heartwood. The distinctive warm, creamy, and sweet scent has been used for over 4,000 years, and continues to quiet anxious minds.
Abbott Big Sky Candle, $38
Co-founded by friends Jose Alvarez and Michael Pass, Abbott is a clean, genderless fragrance line that transports you to America’s most cherished outdoor destinations. And this candle with aquatic, cypress, and vertiver notes, conjures the invigorating feel of zipping down the powdery slopes of Montana’s legendary Big Sky Resort and breathing in the crisp, brisk air.
Aromatique In The Garden Glass Candle, $34
Available for a limited time only, this hand-poured candle made with a clean-burning wax blend channels all the lush, botanical scents (think ripe citrus, creamy florals, and zippy herbs) of strolling through the enchanting Tuscan countryside. On top of that, the elegant glass vessel and bright green shade make burning this even more memorable.
D.S. & DURGA Bergamot Superior Candle, $65
Sometimes, the best discoveries happen when you least expect it. That’s the case with D.S. & DURGA co-founder David Moltz, when he stumbled upon fragrant bee balm, also known as wild bergamot, while hiking through the woods surrounding Lake Superior. In addition to bee balm, you’ll detect hints of fresh water, birch leaf, and blue-eyed grass in this just-launched candle.
Tocca Marrakesh Candela, $31
Few experiences engage your sense of smell more profoundly than ambling through Marrakesh’s legendary souks and open-air markets. But if a trip to the historic Moroccan city isn’t possible in the near future, consider this pick that brings together intoxicating notes of amber, patchouli, and leather in a thick glass jar that’s ready to be repurposed after the candle is done.
Rukske Hidden Cali Candle, $65
Slip into a chill, SoCal state of mind with this limited-edition candle. (Translation: grab one for yourself, too, while you can.) The black glass and wax are visually striking on their own, but the real magic happens once you light it up. The marriage of white grapefruit, patchouli, and cedar wood (and lots of other notes) is so sultry and seductive it could be bottled up as perfume.
L’or de Seraphine Float Candle,$36
Bring Turks and Caicos home with this candle that looks as good as it smells. The stylish packaging is by textile designer Lori Weitzner, and the blend of sandalwood, citrus, and teakwood recreates the vacation destination’s balmy breezes, turquoise waters, and sugary beaches. Another perk? All the components, like the organic cotton wick, are sustainably sourced.
Sisley Eau de Campagne Candle, $73
Just as Sisley’s luxurious skincare and cosmetics complement all faces, this candle is the perfect accessory to any home. And in true fashion for the Parisian brand, no detail was overlooked. Beragamot, green tomato leaves, and oak moss encourage relaxation, just like a stroll through the French countryside, while the emerald green jar and black wax make a stylish statement.
Apotheke Hinoki Lavender Candle, $42
With this pick from Brooklyn-based Apotheke, enjoy the soul-soothing properties of two beloved destinations. Rich, smoky Hinoki from Japan evokes a blissful sense of tranquility, as does lavender, which was originally a Mediterranean herb. The end result is a wholly unique and beguiling scent that’s equal parts grounded and ethereal.