Candles are one of those small details of a home that can actually make a big impact. For one, they provide a little more warmth, personality, and perhaps even a pop of color to any space. But besides their visual appeal, there's the ability the scent has to completely transport you to a different place — which is especially helpful for those who aren't really able to leave their homes this summer. And just as you crave new flavors for different seasons, your sense of smell may desire different fragrances than it did a few months ago. That said, some of the best summer candle scents to try right now could also be a bit more out-of-the-box.
The beauty of fragrance is that it's such a personal purchase. Quintessential scents for summer will be different for everyone. Maybe your mind goes straight to the tropical scent of sunblock from your youth. Or maybe you think of a crisp, fresh linen, reminiscent of a seaside hotel where you'd spend your vacation. But there may also be a scent that you never expected would take you on a mental getaway (for those of you who aren't heading out of town anytime soon) or a nostalgic trip down memory lane with just one whiff.
Some of the most popular candle companies have shared their ideal summer scents with The Zoe Report — and their picks might just surprise you. From a continuously selling-out Black-owned brand to a California classic, these four fragrance-forward businesses offer unique, yet totally seasonal options just waiting for you to discover. Ahead, find intel from Kristen Pumphrey, Owner and Creative Director of P.F. Candle Co., Tay Watts, Chief Chandler at Posh Candle Co., Matthew Herman, Co-Founder of Boy Smells, and Lillian Beitzel, Director of Sales for Brooklyn Candle Studio and then shop the scent that will help make staying inside this summer just a little bit more enjoyable — or at least offer a little refresh.
Summer Candle Scents: P.F. Candle Co.
"This one is bright and ambery, which makes it feel like sunshine in a jar," says Pumphrey. "It's got notes of hay and bergamot, and the yellow tin is a fun pop of color."
"A bit vanillic and floral, this scent is warm and reminds me of a fancy body oil," says Pumphrey. "We were inspired by wildflower blooms for this scent."
"This scent is mysterious," Pumphrey says. "The inspiration was a late night out with balmy weather and a hint of stranger's perfumes. I use this in my bathroom since it's luxe and not too overpowering."
Summer Candle Scents: Posh Candle Co.
"Sometimes you need a lil beach in your life and you can feel like you’ve been whisked away to a tropical vacation by infusing your home with a salty sea breeze aroma," says Watts.
"It’s the season’s top thirst quencher so burning a fragrant candle that reflects the sweet notes of rosé will pair well with brunch," Watts says.
"Nothing says a staycation better than venturing off into the coziness of your home," says Watts. "Enjoy laying low with a fragrant candle that give you permission to be the home body you are."
Summer Candle Scents: Boy Smells
"Although cedar has the connotations of fall forest living, our take on cedar is something all more feminine and delicate," says Herman. "Lingering with labdanum and transparent floral notes, this cedar candle is an unexpected summer burn."
"One might think stone fruits, tobacco, and oud would be too heavy for summer, but Damasque also has beautiful notes for cistus, rose, and cardamom making it an exotic summer scent," says Herman. "Perfect for taking a scent journey, since you are not likely traveling anywhere too adventurous this summer."
Summer Candle Scents: Brooklyn Candle Studio
"With notes of piñon and cactus blossom, woodsmoke and cedar, this candle is perfect for a cozy summer night in," says Beitzel. "It was inspired by the cooler summer nights spent around a kiva fireplace, after taking in the hot desert landscape all day."
"The scent of hinoki (Japanese cypress) is known for its calming and relaxing properties, so this candle is ideal for all the extra time we are spending indoors this summer," says Beitzel. "It's perfect for stress relief; Light while working from home or practicing yoga."