15 Non-Toxic Candles That Smell Amazing

On the hunt for delicious smelling candles that don’t wreak havoc on your hormones? We’ve got you covered.

By Renée Walton4 min read
Pexels/Karolina Kaboompics

As tempting as it is to sniff your way through the HomeGoods candle aisle to find the perfect fragrance for your space this season, resist the urge. You might be breathing in more nasty chemicals than you realize. 

What’s the Problem with Conventional Candles?

I love a scented candle as much as the next girl. Nothing feels more carefree than the fragrance of a citronella candle as the sun sets over a girls’ night on the patio in the summer. The inaugural lighting of a pumpkin spice scent in the fall honestly makes me giddy. And don’t even get me started on the simple joys of evergreen and peppermint candles when the calendar makes its way into December. But with more research coming out on the dangers of artificial fragrances and waxes, the home fragrance world can be tricky to navigate. 

The problem with conventional candles is that they’re typically made from waxes and fragrances that are harmful to our bodies when breathed in. The average candle that you’d find at the mall or a home decor store is most likely made from paraffin wax, which is made from petroleum. When this wax is burned, it releases chemicals like toluene and benzene into the air, which can damage your lungs, thereby weakening your ability to breathe properly and your body’s ability to detox. The synthetic fragrances used in conventional candles are also harmful, since they contain phthalates and other nasty hormone disruptors

What To Look for in a Clean Candle

In the days of greenwashing and label trickery, it can be hard to determine what the terms clean and non-toxic actually mean. When it comes to home fragrance, we mean candles that are made from non-paraffin wax and non-synthetic fragrances. Unless these things are stated on the label or website, it’s likely that your candle doesn’t meet the clean requirements. 

The good news is that everything needed to make delightful, pleasant smelling candles can be found in nature. When buying a candle, look for ingredients that come from the earth. Think naturally derived waxes and pure essential oils. Ideally, the wick should either be wood or 100% cotton. 

Lately, beeswax candles have surged in popularity (although the wax has obviously been used for candle making for thousands of years). Beeswax candles are known to clean the air of allergens, bacteria, and pollutants. While burning, they release negative ions into the air, which have positive effects on your health. 

That being said, pure beeswax isn’t the only natural wax that’s ideal for candles. Coconut wax and soy wax are also good options. Many natural companies use a blend for maximum burn time and evenness. Try to find candles that use the purest form of these waxes (look for words like organic, unrefined, virgin, or raw on the label). 

Worth the Splurge

As is the case with most cleaner products, non-toxic candles typically come with a heftier price tag. That’s because they’re made from natural ingredients that can’t be cooked up in a lab like paraffin wax and artificial fragrance oils can. But don’t let sticker shock prevent you from making the switch. Not only are natural ingredient candles better for your health, but they also tend to burn longer than conventional paraffin wax, meaning your dollar goes further ounce per ounce. 

Ready to make your home smell amazing without slowly poisoning yourself? (Melodramatic, sure, but true.) Read on to see our favorite non-toxic candle brands and scents. 

Primally Pure Bergamot + Eucalyptus, $44 

Primally Pure is known for its clean skincare and thoughtfully made facial tools, but did you know they make clean candles too? For a spa-like atmosphere in your home, try their Bergamot + Eucalyptus scent, made of beeswax, coconut wax, and pure essential oils. Buy here.

Orchid + Ash Eternal Summer, $48

Rest assured that Orchid + Ash’s ingredients are all natural, meaning “zero synthetics or additives, everything quite literally, comes straight from nature.” Their delicious smelling candles are made of a coconut wax blend and a 100% cotton wick, so you can set an ambiance without worrying about what you’re breathing in. For a sweet and sunny scent all year long, try Eternal Summer. Buy here.

Aire Candle Co. Sugared Lemon Zest, $28

100% pure American beeswax, 100% pure essential oils, and 100% natural cotton wick. Those are all the ingredients in Aire Candles. It really doesn't get much cleaner than that. Looking for a fresh, sweet smell that’s perfect for hosting brunch? Try their Sugared Lemon Zest. Buy here.

Basic Bee Candles Aloha, $45

Made of only pure beeswax, organic coconut oil, and high quality essential oils, it doesn’t get much more low tox than Basic Bee Candles. Their Aloha scent is a citrusy blend of lemon, bergamot, and grapefruit, making it the perfect summer candle. Buy here.

Blue Corn Beeswax Botanica Candles Lavender, $52

Call off the search for the cleanest scented candle on the market: Blue Corn Beeswax Candles fit the bill with their simple blend of 100% raw beeswax and essential oils. Their lavender candle pairs perfectly with a relaxing Epsom salt bath, and its herby blend of Italian, Bulgarian, and French lavender oils might just convert any floral skeptics. Buy here.

Fat Works Smokin’ Oud, $22

Beef tallow is popping up in everything from skincare to cooking, so why not bring home fragrance into the mix? Smokin’ Oud by Fat Works is made with only beef tallow, beeswax, and oud fragrance. Its woodsy, grounding scent is perfect for early autumn, and its unconventional main ingredient is sure to be a conversation piece. Buy here.

Terralite Vanilla Orchid, $34

Who doesn’t love the smell of vanilla? Terralite pairs the cozy, classic scent with notes of sweet orchid for a clean-burning coconut wax candle that makes the perfect hostess gift. Buy here.

Applewood Candle Co. Shea Butter + Sandalwood,$48

There’s just no way I could read the description for Applewood Candle Co.’s coconut soy blend Shea Butter + Sandalwood and not put it on this list: Creamy shea butter, raw honey, upscale vanilla orchid and smokey sandalwood melt together for a warm & luxurious fusion. Cue the drool face emoji. Buy here.

Fontana Candle Company Farmer’s Market, $35

Another clean candle option made of only coconut wax, beeswax, and essential oils, Farmer’s Market by Fontana Candle Company features herbaceous notes of rosemary and basil with zesty spearmint for a fresh scent that’s as invigorating as a brisk morning stroll through your favorite local market. Buy here.

Big Dipper Wax Works Patchouli and Nutmeg, $25

Looking to add some earthy magic to your space? Big Dipper’s Patchouli and Nutmeg candle is the perfect solution with its spice-colored glass vessel filled with essential oil scented beeswax. Buy here.

Slow North Bouquet, $69

I simply cannot get over how stunning Slow North’s Bouquet candle is. Its double-walled glass showcases real dried flowers, hinting at its rosewood, citrus, and jasmine scent notes. It adds the perfect feminine touch to any room. (And when you’re done burning it, clean out the vessel to use for cotton balls, makeup brushes, pens, or whatever else your heart desires.) Buy here.

Heaven Scent Life Waterlily + Rosehip, $45

I’m a sucker for a wooden wick and a bright floral scent, making Heaven Scent Life’s Waterlily + Rosehip my ideal late summer candle. It features notes of citrus, water lotus, rosehip, and ocean pine and is made of pure raw beeswax, virgin coconut oil, and pure essential oils. Buy here.

Lomar Farms Fig Noir, $35

If a candle is fig scented, I’m buying it. Bonus points for Lomar Farms Fig Noir since it’s made of only pure beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter. The result is a long-burning candle that’s rich and sensual. Buy here.

Urthy Scents Lido, $38

If you love a beach day, you’ll love the Urthy Scents Lido candle, made of clean-burning coconut and vegetable waxes. It’s a watery fragrance with notes of sea salt, bergamot, and a little bit of amber that’s as refreshing as an ocean breeze. Buy here.

Brooklyn Candle Studio Catskills, $42

Brooklyn Candle Studio uses 100% soy wax from American grown soybeans for their candles and scents their products with premium, phthalate- and petroleum-free fragrance oils infused with essential oils. For an earthy, woodsy smell, try their Catskills candle. Buy here.

Closing Thoughts 

Whether your taste in fragrance is woodsy, fresh, floral, or anything in between, make sure the candles you scent your home with come from nature. Your hormones, lungs, and nose deserve the very best! 

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