I know some people will be horrified when I say this, but I count down the days until summer ends every year. I impatiently wait to trade in sweltering temperatures for crisp, cool air—and perhaps equally as exciting, I look forward to trading in summer scents for comforting fall fragrances. Once autumn arrives, I immediately take out my large collection of seasonally appropriate candles and burn them for the following few months to add to the cozy ambiance.
Over the years, I’ve refined my fall fragrance taste—coming to the conclusion that I prefer smoky, spicy, and unique scents to super sweet gourmands that seem to define much of the fall fragrance market. So if your preferences align with mine, keep reading because I’m sharing my favorite fall candles of the year. From a boozy option to amber-forward candles and everything in between, I’ve got you covered.
Keep reading to see my top picks for the best fall-scented candles of the year.
Maison Margiela REPLICA Matcha Meditation Candle
If you’re cozying up under a blanket on a cool fall day and want a candle to add to the peaceful vibes, I highly recommend this new one inspired by the Maison Margiela Replica fragrance with the same name. While I think it works year-round, there’s something about the combination of matcha and white chocolate that makes it feel especially fitting for fall. It’s sweet, fresh, and totally unlike any other candles in my extensive collection.
Key Notes: Bergamot Essence, Matcha Accord, Moss Accord, White Chocolate | Size: 5.8 oz
Price at time of publish: $65
Boy Smells Hinoki Fantôme Candle
Smoky candles take me straight back to the fireplace in my childhood home, and this one is the best, classic smoky scent I’ve come across to date. Cedarwood and hinoki give it a cool weather-appropriate and addicting quality, while black pepper, smoked amber, and oakmoss provide the earthy, smoked finish that feels so familiar.
Key Notes: Black Pepper, Cedarwood, Hinoki, Smoked Amber | Size: 8.5 oz
Price at time of publish: $36
Voluspa Baltic Amber Petite Embossed Glass Candle
The second I smell amber, I’m immediately transported to fall. The warm, sweet note is the olfactive encapsulation of cozy, and this amber candle is a seasonal staple for me. Vanilla orchid and amber resin give it its signature warmth I adore, and sandalwood provides the ideal hint of woodiness.
Key Notes: Vanilla Orchid, Amber Resin, Sandalwood | Size: 5.5 oz, 18 oz, 44 oz
Price at time of publish: from $20 for 5.5 oz
Skylar Fall Cashmere Candle
If you like fall scents that aren’t super heavy on one specific note, I think you’ll love this pick by Skylar. The name says it all—it’s a comfy fragrance that perfectly represents the season. Notes of roasted almond and cinnamon bark ground it with a sweet base, and ginger gives it just the right amount of spice to yield an intoxicating finish.
Key Notes: Cinnamon Bark, Roasted Almond, Spiced Ginger | Size: 8 oz
Price at time of publish: $45
Snif Instant Karma Candle
If I were to host a fall dinner party in my home, this is the candle I would burn. It’s spicy, woody, and fresh—and I love that the sophisticated scent still maintains a unique, fun personality. The combination of cardamom and cedarwood with fresh black plum, nashi pear, and black tea makes this one of those candles that you won’t get tired of. None of the notes are overdone, rather they work together to create a harmonious fragrance perfect for the fall season.
Key Notes: Cardamom, Nashi Pear, Black Plum, Cedarwood, Black Tea | Size: 8.5 oz, 50 oz
Price at time of publish: from $44 for 8.5 oz
Diptyque Maquis Candle
As I’ve honed my taste, I’ve come to appreciate what a leather note can do to a fragrance—and this candle is the perfect example. The otherwise earthy fragrance is given an approachable burnt quality (in the best way) thanks to leather, as well as a hint of warmth from the addition of amber. Together, each note plays a role in creating a candle that feels both familiar and aspirational.
Key Notes: Dried Earth, Amber, Leather, Immortelle Flowers | Size: 6.7 oz
Price at time of publish: $72
Malin+Goetz Dark Rum Candle
Despite not being a bourbon drinker, I absolutely love the note in fragrances. This boozy candle is balanced by fresh plum and bergamot, and given a slightly herbaceous quality from the inclusion of patchouli. It’s bold, addictive, and sexy—the perfect candle for an at-home date night.
Key Notes: Bergamot, Plum, Rum, Leather, Patchouli | Size: 9 oz
Price at time of publish: $58
Byredo Bibliothèque Candle
Byredo is known for creating truly unique, elevated fragrances and candles, and in my opinion, this is one of their best for fall. Notes of leather, birch woods, and patchouli give it a rich, earthy identity, while violet lends to a subtle floral quality. My favorite part is the addition of plum, cinnamon, and vanilla which provide a very subtle sweetness to round out the fragrance. It’s a sensual, sophisticated scent, and if you’re looking to splurge on a luxe candle, I think you’ll be really pleased with this one.
Key Notes: Plum, Leather Accord, Violet, Birch Woods, Patchouli | Size: 2.5 oz, 8.5 oz
Price at time of publish: from $45 for 2.5 oz
Anecdote Candles Flannels & Fedoras
There are countless things to love about fall, but one of my favorites is the ability to layer up my cozy clothes—and this candle perfectly epitomizes that satisfying feeling. Grapefruit and sandalwood give it a fresh, clean laundry type of smell, while oakmoss and amber provide warmth and a familiar, earthy element.
Key Notes: Grapefruit, Oakmoss, Amber, Sandalwood | Size: 3.4 oz, 7.8 oz
Price at time of publish: from $14 for 3.4 oz
Nest Autumn Plum Candle
If classic fall candles are up your alley, do yourself a favor and check this one out—it smells absolutely delicious. Immediately, you’ll be hit with a wave of wild plum, but it’s balanced out by spicy cinnamon, cashmere woods, and patchouli. Despite its boldness, I don’t find it to be so fragrant that it causes a headache. It’s an addictive, autumnal candle with the right amount of projection—and it’s worth noting that the gorgeous, eggplant purple jar looks beautiful on display.
Key Notes: Wild Plum, Cinnamon, Cashmere Woods, Patchouli Leaf | Size: 2 oz, 8.1 oz
Price at time of publish: from $18 for 2 oz
Otherland Cardamom Berkshires Granola Candle
Constant cozy vibes are what I’m after every autumn, and this candle helps me achieve them. I typically steer away from super gourmand fragrances, but oat milk, toasted granola, and pumpkin seed create the perfect confectionary blend that isn’t sickly sweet or overpowering. It smells like a local bakery on a chilly fall day, and it immediately makes my home feel warm and inviting.
Key Notes: Creamy Oat Milk, Toasted Granola, Pumpkin Seed | Size: 8 oz
Price at time of publish: $36
Harlem Candle Company Vintage Garden
Green, floral scents are not what come to mind when I think of fall, but somehow this renaissance garden-inspired candle feels so suitable for the season. Plants and herbs, like marjoram and angelica, give it its signature, earthy green scent, but the addition of absinthe, strawberry musk, and birchwood creates subtle hints of warmth and booziness. Together, the notes combine to create an alluring fragrance that instantly transports you to nature.
Key Notes: Marjoram, Italian Mandarin, Absinthe, Angelica, Birchwood | Size: 11 oz
Price at time of publish: $48
Homesick Pumpkin Picking Candle
This list simply wouldn’t be complete without a classic pumpkin candle, and this is the best one I’ve tried in a long time. While traditional pumpkin candles often reek of artificial notes, this one smells like a combination of pumpkin bread and an actual pumpkin—in other words, the real thing. You can tell that it’s pumpkin-scented immediately, but notes of nutmeg, ginger, and clove give it a little something special. It’s equal parts sweet and spicy, and if you ask me, it definitely belongs in your fall candle collection.
Key Notes: Pumpkin, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove, Vanilla | Size: 13.75 oz
Price at time of publish: $38
DS & Durga Portable Fireplace Candle
The name of this candle is what first spoke to me, but the scent is what's kept me coming back to it over and over again. I've always loved the coziness of sitting by a fireplace, and I find the fragrance of a real fire to be super nostalgic--so being able to capture it in a candle and pretend I have a fireplace in my NYC apartment is a little luxury I truly appreciate. Notes of pine wood, cedar, smoke, oak ash, and birch create a realistic, intoxicating take on an authentic fireplace scent. It's smoky, a little bit sexy, and a perfect candle to take you from fall into winter.
Key Notes: Pinewood, Atlas Cedar, Smoke, Oak Ash, Birch | Size: 7 oz
Price at time of publish: $65
What to Look for When Buying Fall Candles
Candle lovers know how disappointing it is when their go-to candle reaches the end of its rope—or wick. So if you’re someone that burns them often, be sure to take note of the burn time before purchasing. Look out for brands that offer their candles in various sizes so that you have plenty of options. Typically, the larger the candle, the longer the burn time. But always be sure to check the packaging for an accurate estimate. If you’re looking for something that will last you a good while, the Snif Instant Karma comes in a 50 ounce size—so you won’t have to worry about burning through it quickly.
If you’re like me, then candles serve as decor, too. I love displaying them on my nightstand, on my vanity, in my kitchen—essential wherever I can. So, finding candles that fit your aesthetic as well as your scent preferences is key. If you have a more minimalist aesthetic, the Nest Autumn Plum is a great choice. The jar is a deep purple, but the design is really understated. If you like to keep your decor light and airy, the white jar that houses the Maison Margiela Replica Matcha Meditation will be perfect for you.
If clean ingredients and sustainability are important to you, then you might want to take the wax type of the candles you purchase into account. While many candles are made from paraffin wax or beeswax, others are made with materials like soy or vegetable wax, which are often thought to be more eco-conscious. If you’re looking for candles made with plant-based ingredients, the Anecdote Candles Flannels & Fedoras and the Snif Instant Karma candles are great options.
Why Trust Byrdie
Alyssa Kaplan is an experienced writer in the beauty industry and product tester specializing in cosmetics. She received a bachelor’s degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology where she studied marketing and product development in the cosmetics industry. She has experience developing fragrances and has tested countless candles over the years. Alyssa has been a commerce writer at Byrdie since 2022, where she covers all things beauty.