The 15 Best Romantic Candles of 2023

From elegant floral fragrances to alluring woody scents, these candles will help set the mood for your next date night.

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Best Romantic Candles

Real Simple / David Hattan

With its flickering glow and lavish scent, a romantic candle can help set the mood for at-home date nights and evenings of self-care alike. Candles with romantic scents are also a great gift idea for your significant other, whether for Valentine’s Day or just because. 

To find the best romantic candles, we spent hours researching the scent profiles, wax and wick types, and burn times of dozens of options. We also spoke with Tisya Siswanto, founder of Lanterne Candle Lab, for tips on selecting the right romantic candle for you. 

“Consider the mood you're trying to get into when choosing your scents,” says Siswanto. “Scent is a very powerful way to evoke emotions and to create fond memories with your lover.” 

From delicate rose-inspired fragrances to intoxicating musky scents, there’s a romantic candle on this list for everyone—regardless of your relationship status.

Brooklyn Candle Studio Love Potion Candle

Brooklyn Candle Studio Love Potion Minimalist Candle

Nordstrom

Who it’s for: People who want a floral-scented and aesthetically minimalist candle. 

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer decorative and colorful candle jars. 

This intoxicating scent from Brooklyn Candle Studio, aptly titled Love Potion, will cast an olfactory spell over your space. Exotic jasmine blossom intermingles with calming lavender and vivid mandarin for a delicious floral blend that is sweet but not too strong. Plus, the elegant and minimalist glass vessel will look sophisticated on your nightstand or coffee table. 

Price at time of publish: $28

Product Details:

  • Size: 8 ounces
  • Burn Time: 50 hours
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Wax Blend: Soy

Le Labo Laurier 62 Candle

Le Labo Laurier 62 Classic Candle

Nordstrom

Who it’s for: People who want a luxurious and romantic candle with a versatile scent. 

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer candles with simple scent profiles. 

Le Labo’s sumptuous fragrances have a dedicated following for a good reason—and the Laurier 62 candle is no exception. Notes of rosemary, eucalyptus, thyme, cumin, clove, amber, patchouli, and sandalwood create a complicated scent profile that is equal parts romantic and mysterious. With a nearly 60-hour burn time, this hand-poured soy wax candle is a luxury that’s worthy of a splurge. 

Price at time of publish: $82

Product Details:

  • Size: 8.6 ounces
  • Burn Time: 60 hours
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Wax Blend: Soy

Anecdote Young Love Candle

Anecdote Young Love Candle

Anecdote

Who it’s for: People who want a sweet but not too floral fragrance. 

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer woody scents. 

Balsamic blackberries, bergamot incense, burgundy rose, amber, and musk harmoniously blend to craft this sweet yet musky candle. The coconut soy wax blend and cotton core wick can burn for 40 to 50 hours with no additives, preservatives, or phthalates to dampen the mood. Inspired by budding love, this scent can accompany a romantic at-home date night, whether with a new beau or a long-term partner. 

Price at time of publish: $26

Product Details:

  • Size: 3.4 and 7.8 ounces
  • Burn Time: 25–35 and 40–50 hours depending on size
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Wax Blend: Coconut, soy

Who it’s for: People who want a romantic candle that doubles as a massage oil. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a traditional candle to burn for hours on end. 

While scented candles undoubtedly add an element of romance to any setting, why stop the allure at just your sense of smell? The Maude Burn No.1 Massage Candle transforms into a skin-softening mixture of jojoba and soybean oils after just 10 to 15 minutes of burning. You can pour it directly onto the skin or massage it in with your fingers for a well-rounded sensory experience. The warm scent of amber, cedar leaf, lemongrass, tonka bean, and Medjool date add to the romantic appeal. 

Price at time of publish: $31

Product Details:

  • Size: 2 and 4 ounces
  • Burn Time: 12 and 30 hours depending on size
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Wax Blend: Jojoba and soybean oils

Otherland Boudoir Rouge Candle

Otherland Boudoir Rouge

Otherland

Who it’s for: People who want a romantic candle in a vivid vessel. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a minimal candle with a purely floral scent.

The sweet yet seductive scent of vintage lipstick, Amarena cherry, and glace violet transform any space into a glamorous boudoir. With a coconut-soy wax blend, cotton wick, 50-hour burn time, and elegant jewel-toned vessel, this hand-poured candle deserves a prominent spot on your vanity. You can light it as you get ready for date night or luxuriate in a much-needed evening of self-care

Price at time of publish: $36

Product Details:

  • Size: 8 ounces
  • Burn Time: 50 hours
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Wax Blend: Coconut, soy

Harlem Candle Co. Speakeasy Luxury Candle

Harlem Candle Co. Speakeasy Luxury Candle

Harlem Candle Co

Who it’s for: People who want a slightly spicy and sweet romantic candle. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a small candle. 

Bring the romance and sultry atmosphere of a speakeasy back home with the help of this candle from Harlem Candle Co. It has notes of dark chocolate, palo santo, cardamom, bourbon, licorice, tobacco, and patchouli, which intermingle for a smoky and slightly spicy fragrance. Whether you’re waltzing in the kitchen to your favorite album or mixing up a specialty homemade cocktail, this candle perfectly complements an intimate, cozy evening. 

Price at time of publish: $48

Product Details:

  • Size: 12 ounces
  • Burn Time: 80 hours
  • Wick Type: Not listed
  • Wax Blend: Soy

Lafco Blush Rose Candle

Lafco Blush Rose Candle

Bloomingdale's

Who it’s for: People who love a traditional floral scent. 

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer earthy scents. 

Skip the bouquet and opt for this rose-scented candle instead. The 90-hour burn time will outlast any cut flower, while the fragrance of May roses, damask roses, bergamot, and pink pepper fills your space. The bottom notes of orris, sandalwood, patchouli, and musk leave a lasting impression and balance the floral top and middle notes. 

Price at time of publish: $50

Product Details:

  • Size: 6.5 and 15.5 ounces
  • Burn Time: 50 and 90 hours depending on size
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Wax Blend: Soy and paraffin

Homesick Love Letters Candle

Homesick Love Letters Candle

Homesick

Who it’s for: People who want a subtle floral candle. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a strong and complicated scent. 

The Homesick Love Letters Candle has a floral scent that’s designed to evoke romantic nostalgia, according to the brand. The top notes of rose petals and jasmine are complemented by middle notes of sandalwood and peony, with a subtle citrusy base of lemon and red plum. Light this candle before reading your favorite romance novel in the bath or writing your long-distance partner a love note. (Homesick also has another romantic candle on its lineup called Date Night, which has notes of fig, cashmere, red currant, and patchouli—the aromatic equivalent of a warm hug.) 

Price at time of publish: $38

Product Details:

  • Size: 13.75 ounces
  • Burn Time: 60–80 hours
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Wax Blend: Soy

Diptyque Santal Candle

Diptyque Santal Candle

Nordstrom

Who it’s for: People who like woody, slightly spicy fragrances. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a candle made with soy or coconut wax. 

Woody, fragrant, and slightly spicy, this candle from Diptyque is an unconventional take on romantic scents. Sandalwood is renowned for its aphrodisiac qualities. While admittedly not a budget-friendly candle, especially considering its size, Diptyque is known for its high-quality fragrances and small-batch manufacturing process that account for the higher price tag. 

Price at time of publish: $72

Product Details:

  • Size: 6.5 ounces
  • Burn Time: 60 hours
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Wax Blend: Paraffin

JimmyJane Afterglow Santal Massage Oil Candle

JimmyJane Afterglow Santal Massage Oil Candle

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want an elegantly designed massage oil candle. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a traditional candle. 

This candle from JimmyJane will turn your next at-home massage into a romantic aromatherapy experience. With notes of smokey leather, sandalwood, lemon, and cardamom, this massage candle will fill your room with a velvety, warm scent. It features jojoba, shea butter, vitamin E, aloe, and soybean oil that melt effortlessly into the skin. 

Price at time of publish: $42

Product Details:

  • Size: 15.5 ounces
  • Burn Time: 32 hours
  • Wick Type: Not listed
  • Wax Blend: Soy

Overose Nudesse Candle

overose-nudesse-candle

Nordstrom

Who it’s for: People who want a rose-scented candle with an impressive throw. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a soy wax candle. 

If a trail of fragrant rose petals conjures the image of unequivocal romance, the Overose Nudesse Candle is the next best thing. Its fresh and floral scent comes from the fragrances of multiple types of roses, and its elegant, primrose pink jar implores you to put it on display. While intensely floral, this candle’s scent doesn’t veer too sweet. 

Price at time of publish: $58

Product Details:

  • Size: 8.4 ounces
  • Burn Time: 60 hours 
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Wax Blend: Rapeseed

Voluspa Bourbon Vanille Corta Maison Candle

Voluspa Bourbon Vanille Corta Maison Candle

Voluspa

Who it’s for: People who want a large, affordable scented candle. 

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer transparent candle vessels. 

French bourbon, vanilla bean, and creamy wood notes create a tantalizing, gourmand scent reminiscent of a decadent dessert. “The Voluspa Bourbon Vanille is my ride-or-die candle,” says commerce writer Emma Phelps, who has repurchased this pick several times. “It’s the perfect balance of sweet and musky scent, i.e. perfect for date night.” Plus, this candle comes in a large 18-ounce jar with an impressive burn time of 100 hours, so you won’t need to restock any time soon. 

Price at time of publish: $32

Product Details:

  • Size: 18 ounces
  • Burn Time: 100 hours
  • Wick Type: Not listed
  • Wax Blend: Coconut wax

Venus et Fleur Nue Tuberose Candle

Venus et Fleur Nue Tuberose Candle

Saks Fifth Avenue

Who it’s for: People who want to splurge on a luxurious floral candle. 

Who it isn’t for: People who are shopping on a budget. 

Known for its roses that last for years, Venus et Fleur has earned its place as a dignitary of romantic gifts—and the luxurious Nue Tuberose Candle certainly fits the bill. This candle harnesses the fragrance of a lush garden, with top notes of sparkling bergamot, freesia, and lotus, and middle notes of tuberose, orange flower, and jasmine sambac. Hints of tonka bean, soft musk, and sheer amber are an elegant counterpart to the floral scent. Whether you’re treating yourself or gifting to a loved one, the blush-tinted wax and handcrafted porcelain vessel make this candle worthy of a splurge. 

Price at time of publish: $129

Product Details:

  • Size: 2.4 and 11 ounces
  • Burn Time: 20–25 and 80–85 hours depending on size
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Wax Blend: Soy and coconut

Maison Margiela Replica Jazz Club Scented Candle

Maison Margiela Replica Jazz Club Scented Candle

Sephora

Who it’s for: People who want a warm candle for an at-home date night. 

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer floral-scented candles. 

With this candle from Maison Margiela, you can stay cozy at home with your loved one while feeling like you’re out and about. The notes of pink pepper vanilla, rum, and tobacco leaf transport you to a dreamy jazz bar. While this fragrance might not be your traditional romantic scent, it adds a sensation of warmth and relaxation that is ideal for unwinding. 

Price at time of publish: $65

Product Details:

  • Size: 5.8 ounces
  • Burn Time: 40 hours
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Wax Blend: Paraffin and mineral

Lelo Flickering Touch Massage Candle

Lelo Flickering Touch Massage Candle

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a massage candle made with an oil and wax blend. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a candle that burns for more than 40 hours. 

This massage candle from Lelo is available in three sultry scents—black pepper and pomegranate, snow pear and cedarwood, and vanilla and creme de cacao—so there’s something for nearly every scent preference. The candle features soy wax, shea butter, vitamin E, and apricot kernel oil, all of which melt into a fragrant massage oil that nourishes and leaves skin radiant.

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details:

  • Size: 5.3 ounces
  • Burn Time: 36 hours
  • Wick Type: Not listed
  • Wax Blend: Soy

How to Shop for Romantic Candles Like a Pro 

Scent

Just like your go-to perfume, candle scents typically fall into several broad categories. Popular scent profiles include woody, musk, citrus, floral, green, spicy, aquatic, and gourmand—and many candles dabble in a few of these elements for a layered, multi-dimensional smell. 

When shopping for a romantic candle, Siswanto recommends looking for a few specific types of scents. “We suggest choosing floral scents such as rose and jasmine, or warm/spicy scents like vanilla, sandalwood, [and] ginger,” says Siswanto. “These scents are also considered aphrodisiacs, which could help to set a romantic mood.”

Though all these categories are considered some of the most romantic scents, your unique fragrance preferences should also come into play. You can also look for woody and gourmand fragrances (think: chocolate, almond, and caramel). 

Wax Type

The type of wax your candle is made from will determine how it burns and how long it lasts. Paraffin is an affordable wax used in every type of candle from tea lights to taper candles. Since it’s derived from petroleum, paraffin is considered less environmentally friendly than other wax types. Still, paraffin remains one of the most popular candle waxes as it holds a lot of fragrance and has a strong throw. 

Soy wax, on the other hand, is an eco-friendly alternative to paraffin that is popular for its slow, clean burn and impressive ability to hold fragrance. Even though it’s often slightly more expensive than paraffin, soy wax is commonly found in high-end and budget candles alike.  

Besides paraffin and soy wax, there are also candles made from coconut wax, beeswax, and rapeseed wax. However, many candles contain a blend of multiple waxes: “While every type of wax has its pros and cons, we prefer coconut-soy blends,” says Siswanto. “We find that the candles burn cleaner and smoother than with other types of waxes.” 

Burn Time

Most manufacturers list an approximate burn time for each candle, which depends on the size, wax type, and how well you take care of it. Soy wax and rapeseed wax are some of the longest-lasting candles, while paraffin has the shortest lifespan. “The size of the candle impacts how strong the scent will be in your space,” says Siswanto. “Typically the bigger the candle and the more wicks, the stronger the candle will be.”

To make your candle last longer, always trim the wick to around 1/4 inch before lighting it, burn it for at least two hours to prevent the wax from tunneling, and use a candle snuffer or lid to extinguish the flame.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Quinn Gawronski, associate commerce editor for Real Simple, who has three years of experience writing and editing product reviews and roundups. To compile this list, we researched romantic scents for every type of fragrance preference while also considering factors like wax type, wick type, burn time, and price. For expert tips, we consulted with Tisya Siswanto, founder of Lanterne Candle Lab, a custom candle-making lab in New York City. 

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