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Candles are the most no-brainer gifts on the planet, and that’s a fact. They’re one of the only things (besides maybe, like, a Starbucks gift card) that you can give to anyone regardless of who they are or how long you’ve known them. Mom? Candle. Best friend? Candle. Easy-going landlords who live downstairs? Candle!
But it’s 2017, and we’ve come a long way from Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean. Countless brands have popped up within the last few years at all different price points, offering cooler options that easily double as proper decor. Here’s a cheat sheet on where to shop for the candles your people will genuinely be excited to get. (A warning: You’ll probably have a hard time giving them away.)
The Instagram Faves
Otherland: Impress your friend who has and knows everything with one of these candles from a brand that launched earlier this week. At $36 a pop (or $89 for three of your choice), they won’t set you back too much, and the packaging is adorable and refreshing. Pick from five scents, ranging from a fresh ivy to a smoky wood.
Overose: A candle from this Paris-based brand is a great gift for any one of your friend’s who’s still really leaning into millennial pink. (But even cooler are Overose’s holographic candles.) You can justify the $58 price tag by knowing they’ll probably be used more like decor.
Boy Smells: This brand is everywhere right now — the internet, Nordstrom, my desk — because it honestly has it all: a solid range of nontraditional scents (its first, and arguably most popular, is Kush, lol); not-super-expensive prices ($29 for single candles, $42 for trio sets); and packaging that all but begs you to take a photo.
Byredo: I mean, duh. The candle equivalent of the Cool Girl on Instagram who doesn’t call herself an influencer but has, like, 40,000 followers. At $80, these aren’t candles you gift to just anyone, but you’ll get major points from whomever you do give one to. Definitely check out the limited-edition holiday collection before they’re all gone — the glass comes in a really beautiful red!
Diptyque: The OG fancy candle. Diptyque’s colored scented collection is a good way to mix things up from the original black-and-white branded glass that every Youtuber uses to hold their makeup brushes once they’ve melted down. Not into spending that much $$$? Pick up a $34 mini instead.
Nest: Holiday fave! If you’re specifically looking for something festive, our senior beauty reporter Cheryl recently gushed about why you shouldn’t waste your time on any other option. They come in holiday-ready red-and-gold felt boxes and in traditional, feel-good scents, like Sugar Cookie and the very straightforward “Holiday.”
Malin + Goetz: Malin + Goetz makes a ton of stuff, but you should not — repeat: should not — sleep on its candle selection. The glass packaging and minimal lettering is really cool and chic without looking too try-hard, and the scent selection is great across the board. (Top two: Dark Rum and Neroli!)
& Other Stories: The fast-fashion brand makes some equally good-looking and good-smelling candles that come in cute weighted ceramic pots that you can use to hold random objects when you’ve used them all up. Pick one up for just $25, or a fancy watercolor version for $40.
Keap: This Brooklyn-based brand makes gifting so easy. If you feel confident that you know what your friend wants her house to smell like, you can pick up a single candle for $35, with scents ranging from Wood Cabin to Waves. If you don’t, play it safe and gift Keap’s $12 Scent-to-Home trial kit and a gift card. It’s sweet and thoughtful, and the $12 from the trial kit will be credited toward the purchase of a full-size candle. (Smart, right?)
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