I Fell for Le Labo's Santal 33 Just Like the Rest of the World and I Don't Care if That Makes Me a Sucker
I mean, even Justin frickin' BEIBER wears it.
I hate fall, mostly because I really hate winter, and fall is a mere blip on Canada’s radar. Every year, we get about two weeks of Instagram-worthy leaves, and then an inevitable seven to eight months of sharp ice pellets flinging at your face relentlessly. Some people like to refer to this as “snow.”
I know. I don’t know why I live here either. I’m working on it.
The one thing that gets me through our god-awful winters is scented candles. And now is the time to stock up, friends. With half a decade of my Canadian winters dedicated entirely to hoarding fancy candles, I think it’s safe to say I won’t steer you wrong. Here are some of my favourites.
I am a diehard PF Candle Co. fan. Ever since I found their Market Roast candle in West Elm years ago, I’ve had a hawk like ability to spot them in every expertly curated shop in the city. These beautiful amber candles are made in California with soy wax, cotton core wicks, and only the best fragrance oils by a team of people who truly love what they do.
No. 22: Mojave ($18, 7.2 oz, 40+ hours burn time)
Mojave is like a big, burly man of a scent; chaparral and desert sage in a thick cedar wood base. It lightens up on the burn, revealing white lavender and rose. I sort of love that it isn’t a dainty, desert scent. It’s rugged, and a little bit complicated.
No. 19: Patchouli Sweetgrass ($18, 7.2 oz, 40+ hours burn time)
This candle transports me right back to my teenage years, during autumn. The kind of cold night where there was just enough bite to the air, creating this crisp, wet, dew on each blade of grass. I’d wipe off the water that had settled into the swing, and sit for hours in the dark, talking for hours to friends I’d leave behind for the city.
This candle has that naive sweetness of my youth; earthy and green. Smoky tobacco and patchouli round it out, with creamy sandalwood softening the edge. Sort of like the naive teenage girl, ready to fight her way through the city.
No. 1: Spiced Pumpkin ($18, 7.2 oz, 40+ hours burn time)
Creamy, buttery pumpkin settle in with cinnamon, brown sugar and my personal favourite spice, nutmeg. For all you pumpkin pie fans out there who are reluctant to be lumped in with the whole “pumpkin spice” phenomenon, this one’s for you. Pumpkin pie was always my favourite damn pie of the year, and I feel no shame saying I love this pumpkin candle. Mix it with the Campfire Candle below and thank me later. You’re welcome.
No. 14: Campfire ($18, 7.2 oz, 40+ hours burn time)
I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t like campfires or s’mores. But to be honest, I don’t think I’d like them; s’mores are the best part of sitting around a fire, collectively avoiding being eaten alive by hordes of mosquitos in the Canadian wilderness. With this candle, you can avoid the bugs altogether. Cozy up in a wool blanket and watch your favourite rerun of Archer, all while the familiar smell of crackling pinewood and vanilla envelope the room.
No. 2: Apple Picking ($18, 7.5oz. 40+ hours burn time)
I haven’t been apple picking since I was a kid, but I can pretend I’m all outdoorsy (or even outdoors) with this candle. Are you into mulled cider? I am. This candle smells like the crunchy autumn leaves I wish hung around for more than two weeks at best in Toronto. My favourite spice, nutmeg, has a home in here, too, with cinnamon, orange and cedarwood to round off the sweet apple in the forefront.
Tonka Noir Majestic Glass ($23.50, 7.6 oz, 64 hours burn time)
This pot is home to a gorgeously complicated scent. Opening up with juicy citrus notes of mandarin, orange and plum, it eventually settles down into a floral gourmand. Once it settles in, the fragrance really digs its roots in, simmering down into a musky vanilla and sandalwood base. It’s like taking a journey through the scents of summer, fall and winter all in one go.
Woodfire 3-Wick Mercury Glass ($38.25, 15.3 oz, 48 hours burn time)
If you love the smell of wood (or campfire) make sure to grab this one. It smells incredible. This candle is jam-packed with all the best scents but doesn’t overdo it. Maybe it’s the smoky leather top note or the oakmoss in the base, but this candle is one no man could turn down. And the glass jar is absolutely beautiful. Do you really need more reasons?
Gilded Amberleaf Pillar Mercury Glass ($40.50, 15.8 oz, 90 hours burn time)
This candle has a powdery amber scent, perfect for anyone afraid of something that might overpower the room. A bright opening with top notes of lemon, mandarin and orange, it settles into a sweet vanilla cedar base. Like a creamy white cashmere sweater, but in candle form.
Pumpkin Peppercorn Daphne Glass ($39, 12.2 oz, 28 hours burn time)
Hands up if you love pumpkin but want something a little different! This one’s for you! Illume has switched it up, pairing the fall staple with chestnuts, pink peppercorn, bourbon and warm oak. It’s the wise, grown-up version of your favourite pumpkin candle.
Balsam & Cedar Daphne Glass ($39, 12.2 oz, 28 hours burn time)
If you want your room (or house) to smell like an Anthropologie store, be sure to pick this up. It is absolutely beautiful, and hands-down one of my all-time favourite candles right now. Opening up with orange, green leaf and berries and settling down into fir, pine and cinnamon means your home is going to smell cozy and sweet all winter long. So. Good.
Casa Pacifica Mini Decorative Tin ($10, 4.5 oz, 25 hours burn time)
California Driftwood sea salt and shore brush. It’s like the fancy autumn you’d get to experience on a seaside vacation. Woody and aquatic. Light and sophisticated. Wildcard reference? Kirsten Cohen. She would love this candle.
Mimosa & Cardamom ($65, 7 oz, 45 hours burn time)
Creamy and spicy, it’s perfect for those days where the sun is out, but you know the cold air is waiting to nip at you between every loose thread. Sandalwood and tonka bean are spun together, softened by a layer of rose and mimosa and topped with crushed cardamom. A calm, bright fragrance to help you bundle up for winter.