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Best Overall: SKANDINAVISK Fjord Scented Candle at Amazon
"It takes its cues from Norway's fjords, coniferous forests, waterfalls, and abundant fruits."
Best Budget: Yankee Candle Beach Walk at Bed Bath & Beyond
"This wax candle has hand-straightened wicks that are centered for the best possible burn."
Best Mexico: Homesick Mexico Candle at homesick.com
"The top notes are butter and smoke, with mid notes of jalapeño and caraway."
Best France: Tocca Florence Candle at Sephora
"Has notes of bergamot, pear, and gardenia for a immersive romantic and timeless vibe."
Best Japan: Brooklyn Candle Studio Kyoto Candle at West Elm
"This scented candle is a stunning Asian holiday in a beautifully minimalist-designed jar."
"Draws inspiration from the city of Taroudant at the base of the Anti-Atlas Mountains."
Best Los Angeles: Flores Lane Los Angeles Candle at shopfloreslane.com
"Includes antioxidants and phytochemicals that may help reduce stress."
Best New York: Homesick New York City Candle at homesick.com
"Notes of bergamot, lemon, grapefruit, and florals remind us of spring days in Central Park."
"Its sparkling citrus-y fragrance could evoke any tropical bean in the world."
Best Alpine: Abbott Sequoia Candle at abbottnyc.com
"A portion of all the proceeds is donated to environmental causes."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: SKANDINAVISK Fjord Scented Candle
This Norwegian-inspired candle is hygge defined—which we could all use a little more of, whether we’re dreaming of being out on the road or embracing staying cozy at home. The Skandinavisk brand comes from two English men who fell in love with two Danish girls and spent 15 years traveling around Scandinavia—and you can feel both the love and the destination coming through in the scents. Of course, the brand offers a candle called Hygge. But the one called Fjord is also very hygge-inspiring. It takes its cues from Norway's fjords, coniferous forests, waterfalls, and abundant fruits. Think of the smell as woods, orchards, wild berries, blackcurrants, and raspberry flowers.
Best Budget: Yankee Candle Beach Walk
Yankee Candles are known for their great value, and this large, two-wick, 22-ounce tumbler—which burns for up to 110 hours—offers a particularly good bang for the buck. The refreshing scent called Beach Walk is fully evocative of vacation, with notes of saltwater and sea musk, as well as tangerine and orange blossom; think peaceful sunset strolls in the breeze. This premium wax candle has hand-straightened wicks so they’re centered for the best possible burn, and it comes with a brushed metal lid to cover and protect when not in use.
Best Mexico: Homesick Mexico Candle
Homesick’s Mexico candle is actually hand poured in the USA—but the scent reminds us of Mexico in the dreamiest ways. For this one, think of aromas that waft from the kitchen: it evokes freshly made corn tortillas, spices in a simmering pot, and tequila shared among friends. The top notes are butter and smoke, with mid notes of jalapeño and caraway, and base notes of tortilla, cream, and sugar (so you might find yourself relaxed, wanderlusting, and also hungry). This 13.75-ounce candle is made from an all-natural soy wax blend and burns between 60 and 80 hours.
Best France: Tocca Florence Candle
Despite its Italian-sounding name, Tocca’s Florence candle is très French in all the best ways: it’s meant to conjure the beauty and sophistication of old-world Paris through and through. Florence has notes of bergamot, pear, and gardenia for a fully immersive romantic and timeless vibe. Florence comes in a beautiful and versatile custom made white cut-glass vessel. The 10-ounce version burns for 60 hours.
Best Japan: Brooklyn Candle Studio Kyoto Candle
Brooklyn Candle Studio’s Kyoto scented candle is a stunning Asian holiday in a beautifully minimalist-designed jar. Hinoki cypress, cedar, and sandalwood evoke Kyoto’s tree-lined streets and wooden architecture. The fragrance feels deep and layered with additional notes of vetiver and pine. These 13-ounce candles are hand poured in small batches and are made from 100% soy wax.
Best Morocco: KAHINA Giving Beauty Taroudant Candle
KAHINA Giving Beauty joined forces with the master perfumers at ULILI Moroccan Scents for their second candle collaboration, this time drawing inspiration from the city of Taroudant at the base of the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco. This scent has a refreshing base of neroli, an aromatic orange flower. Additional notes include laurel, basil, and rosemary. KAHINA works with local NGOs and co-ops to enrich the quality of life for Morocco’s Berber women and their communities by supporting local educational, environmental, agricultural, and clean-water initiatives—so you can feel good about this purchase. These candles are housed in handmade, hand-glazed, reusable ceramic vessels created with master craftsmen in Casablanca.
Best Los Angeles: Flores Lane Los Angeles Candle
Flores Lane offers a whole collection of Los Angeles-themed candles, with a range of specific neighborhoods—named for areas from Malibu to Beverly Hills to Silver Lake and regions in between. But there’s also a delightful option generally named Los Angeles, made from a blend of palo santo and spicy cardamom. This candle has oils that are directly harvested from Ecuador and includes antioxidants and phytochemicals that may have aromatherapeutic effects to help reduce stress, pain, and inflammation. This blend of essential oils, soy wax, and all-natural, charcoal-based dye comes in a recycled black glass jar. The full size burns up to 40 hours.
Best New York: Homesick New York City Candle
New York City is all about vibrant energy—and Homesick’s New York candle effectively conjures that feel. Notes of bergamot, lemon, grapefruit, and florals evoke spring days in Central Park. Mid notes include concrete that reminds us of New York’s many buzzing roads and sidewalks. Base notes include oakmoss, sandalwood, and musk to round out a fragrance that channels the sense of exuberance in the city that never sleeps. The mid-priced 13.75-ounce candle is made from an all-natural soy wax blend and typically burns between 60 and 80 hours. It’s hand poured in the USA.
Best Beach: Archipelago Botanicals Palm Beach Luxe Candle
This 13-ounce candle was inspired by Palm Beach, Florida, but its sparkling, citrus-y fragrance could evoke any tropical beach in the world: the scent is fresh and uplifting, with notes of agave nectar, lemon zest, and warm sandalwood. These coconut-wax candles are made in the USA—hand poured into white glass jars and topped with pretty wooden lids. Each burns for about 100 hours.
Best Alpine: Abbott Sequoia Candle
Abbott’s Sequoia Candle has a woodsy and smoky fragrance inspired by the towering forests of Sequoia National Park in California. The top note here is smokey incense, the mid note is cedarwood, and the base note is sandalwood. These beauties are hand poured in Saratoga, New York with 100 percent natural soy wax and cruelty-free oils. The total burn time is between 40 and 50 hours. Abbott donates a portion of all proceeds to environmental causes, which should further increase your enjoyment of this evocative scent.