Fall is a state of mind, so whether or not you're currently surrounded by falling leaves or your climate is cool enough to cozy up with a hot cup of cider just yet, it's possible to create an environment that captures the season — using the help of a few of your senses and a little imagination, of course. And scent can be an especially powerful means of getting you in an autumnal mood, but the ubiquitous pumpkin spice fragrance isn't the only way to transport you; A ton of fall candles can offer a similar effect with notes that are a bit more out of the box, but nonetheless embrace the spirit of the season.
With many people still mostly limited to their homes, there's no better time to make it feel as cozy as humanly possible, and interior designers admit that the addition of a scented candle is an affordable and easy way to totally switch up the vibe. So if you're in the market for a fall refresh in your space, but don't have the means to make major changes, a great place to start is by burning a candle that smells like all the things you love about the season — and not just pumpkin spice.
No judgement to anyone who is a fan of the signature fall scent, but some people would rather keep it limited to their lattes, or just skip it altogether. There are a few other fragrances that are just as effective for creating the most curl-up-with-a-blanket-and-a-book ambience imaginable. Ahead, find eight suggestions for candles that don't need pumpkin to make your home feel like fall, in a range of different price points (starting at under $10) and including some stellar Black-owned brands you should get to know.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
As a through-and-through California brand, P.F. Candle is typically synonymous with scents that feel more like endless summer, but it's added a few new seasonal options to its offerings for a limited time, including this twist on the classic fall scent with bitter orange, cassia bark, and patchouli.
Though not consciously fall-focused, Whitney Port's latest collab with Favor includes three scents that really suit the season, including this speckled pumpkin-like vessel (handmade by ZZIEE ceramics with MacDaddies hand-poured soy wax) that boasts a fragrance comprised of jasmine and teakwood top notes, leather, sandalwood, patchouli middle notes, and Tonka bean and dark musk bottom notes. Even more reason to buy one of these limited edition candles is that a portion of sales will benefit The Loveland Foundation, which offers empowering resources to communities of color.
If you're someone who finds the scent of libraries absolutely intoxicating, this combo of leather-bound books, patchouli, and lemon zest might just be perfect for you — and may even inspire you to tackle that fall reading list.
You may think of rhubarb as a summery scent, but when combined with incense, black tea, and smoked papyrus, the effect is instantly autumnal. Recently released as part of Boy Smell's latest collection, this candle is already sold out — but you can scoop one up when the brand restocks on Oct. 5.
Craving something sweet that's not quite pumpkin spice? Try this Harlem Renaissance-inspired candle, which marries notes of winter citrus (Buddha's hand and bergamot) with neroli, lavender, honeyed vanilla, and crystallized sugar to get your fix.
Prefer flower-inspired fragrances to fruity ones? This mum scented candle captures the essence of the seasonal bloom and adds a touch of spice.
Pomegranate is another fall fruit that could be a perfect pumpkin alternative. Try it blended with blood orange in this beautifully designed tin candle that doubles as decor.
Brooklyn Candle Studio's Escapist collection is all about taking you to a far-off place with the power of scent, and this one was inspired by a cozy cabin in the Catskills. Think woodsy smells, like cedar, cypress, and juniper.