Now, Your Entire Home Can Smell Like Your Go-To Beauty Products
Who among us hasn't been swept away by the scent of lathering shampoo, or taken a deep inhale of botanically-infused facial oil and thought, "Why doesn't this brand just make a scented candle to match?"
The answer: It's not so easy to dupe a beauty product's scent in candle form.
"It's practically impossible to exactly replicate the way aroma components diffuse from an oil medium, such as in a body oil or lotion, with how they'd diffuse from a candle wax. Aromas are experienced by human olfactory receptors based on a very wide variety of factors," says Shrankhla Holecek, ayurvedic expert, and founder of UMA Oils, a wellness brand that makes fantastic-smelling skincare products and candles to match.
Other differences — like heat generated with candle burning, flammability, storage condition considerations, and a need for adjusted note layering and aroma concentration — further complicate bodycare replication in candle form.
"There are always internal interactions going on between the aroma-creating molecules, so the end result from adding exactly the same fragrance into a body lotion vs. candle wax would be entirely different," Holeck says.
But despite these challenges, more and more beauty brands know when they've hit on a widely-loved signature scent, which may explain why so many companies are going back to the lab to reformulate the sensory skin or hair care experience. The result is a booming category of candles made to smell exactly like your favorite shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, face oil, and more.
Find a dozen ways to turn your self-care experience into a whole mood, ahead.
Salwa Peterson Rituels Originels d'Afrique Scented Candle
To shop: $69; salwapeterson.com
Salwa Peterson launched Chébé du Tchad Hair Cream in 2021, aimed at maximizing length retention, defining 3c and 4c curls, and nourishing all hair textures (thanks in part to its star ingredient, chébé, which has been used for ages in various African cultures to stoke hair growth). But its incense-y scent is worth the ticket price alone: Oud, patchouli, sandalwood, leather, cedar Somalian myrrh, and more somehow combine without lingering or being overpowering. What's more, the burner packs good energy — the proprietary wax is made from certified fair trade African shea butter, not palm oil. How long until we get a wearable fragrance?
Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit: The Healthy Candle
To shop: $13; lavanila.com
As one of the first American indie beauty brands to specialize in aluminum-free deodorant, Lavanila has amassed a serious following. First used in the brand's top-selling underarm stick, this unique scent — which uses creamy vanilla to take some of the bite off of a true grapefruit fragrance — is now available in candle form.
Le Paradis Bora Bora Bougie Parfumée
To shop: $75; credobeauty.com
In the past few years, we've employed plenty of sensorial tricks to fake the feeling of being somewhere else, including applying Le Paradis Tahiti Body Balm on dry skin whenever we need a heady hit of only-in-the-islands gardenia. A burn of the brand's companion candle creates the same feeling of feigning French Polynesia — no rum cocktails required.
R+Co Stars Align Scented Candle
To shop: $55; randco.com
When celebrity hair stylist Ashley Streicher teamed up with R+Co to make a capsule haircare collection, we were expecting products that delivered unfussy, Cali styles in an instant. What we weren't expecting was a scent so good — like burning palo santo on an arid, Joshua Tree night — that we wanted the scent as a perfume too. With this candle, the brand meets us halfway, giving us the same fragrance and a chic way to conjure a boho aura.
dpHUE Signature Scent Hand Poured Soy Wax Candle
To shop: $40; dphue.com
Thanks to aerated fruity, vanilla, and floral scents, dpHUE's candle — a dead ringer for its Color Fresh Oil Therapy — makes a space smell clean, like you just washed your hair and did all your laundry (even if you haven't budged from the couch).
C & The Moon Sugar Cookie Candle
To shop: $56; candthemoon.com
Remember the scene in Clueless where Cher chucks a log of cookie dough in the oven to make her home smell of mid-century domestic bliss? She would have been better off simply lighting this candle, which smells just like fresh-baked sugar cookies and the best-selling C & The Moon Brown Sugar Body Scrub.
Aveda Shampure Vegan Soy Wax Candle
To shop: $45; aveda.com
Bathe in the intoxicating and unmistakable scent of Aveda Shampure Nurturing Shampoo while skipping wash day altogether with this potent candle that nails the brand's blend of 25 plant and flower extracts.
Seed Phytonutrients Sea Salt & Bergamot 100% Natural Soy Wax Candle
To shop: $25; seedphytonutrients.com
From sunscreen-covered shoulders in the ocean to peanut butter and jelly, sweet-and-salty scents are a classic for a reason. So when the chemists at Seed Phytonutrients calibrated its Everyday Shampoo and Conditioner scent to exude equal parts salty air and floral bergamot, they must have known they'd have a hit on their hands. Sure enough, fans of the best-selling hair care products loved the smell so much, they dropped a legion of DMs and willed this hand-poured candle (made with soy, organic sunflower, and camelina seed oils) into existence.
In Common Light the Way Limited-Edition Candle
To shop: $40; incommonbeauty.com
Why have your apartment smell like a day spa when it can smell like LA's coolest salon — which counts Emma Roberts and Nina Dubrev among clients?
Ouai North Bondi Candle
To shop: $44; theouai.com
Fans of Ouai hair products went nuts for the launch of North Bondi perfume, which was made to replicate the bright floral fragrance — think: bergamot, lemon, rose and violet — found in the brand's styling products. Now, founder and hairstylist Jen Atkin has whipped up another frenzy-worthy product with a similarly-scented candle that's housed in a vessel that looks swiped from a certain Axel Vervoordt-designed home.
Pattern Scented Candle
To shop: $20; patternbeauty.com
If anyone can turn the routine of conditioning curly hair into an sensorial experience, it's Tracee Ellis Ross, who shows us time and again on Instagram that she's mastered the art of living well. (See: homemade tequila swim-up bars for one; artful home interiors enlivened by jaw-dropping floral arrangement; and DIY fashion shoots just because). So is it any wonder she's poured the neroli, rose, and patchouli-driven scent of her products into a chic candle that looks and smells far more expensive than it is?
The Scent of Orveda Green Cardamom & Petitgrain Bigarade Artisan Candle Trio
To shop: $295; orveda.com
When every product in a skincare line is thoughtfully scented with a bespoke fragrance made by one of the most renowned noses of famed fragrance house Firmenich, how can you not make a candle in its likeness as well? Orveda has done just that, with this pillar that not only emits the skin care range's forest-y scent, but is made with a unique, biodegradable microwax exterior in lieu of a glass vessel. The result, a bright scent — thanks to notes like petitgrain bigarade and green cardamom — that leaves zero waste behind.