The 16 Best Travel
These travel-themed candles are the best thing next to an actual vacation — and there’s no passport required!
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Travel + Leisure / Kristin Kempa
Like any great perfume, a scented candle can evoke feelings of happiness, nostalgia, calmness, and, well, everything in between — and that’s where the best travel-themed candles come into play. Inspired by some of the world’s most iconic destinations and landscapes, they offer the opportunity to explore the globe from the comfort of your couch. You may be unable to pack up and go whenever you get the urge, but you can take a few seconds to light one of these when wanderlust persists. From the streets of Kyoto to the citrus groves that dot the Amalfi Coast, here are 16 voyage-inspiring candles to add to your cart, stat.
This cozy scented candle offers up to 80 hours of burn time.
The sweet, wintertime aroma may not appeal to everyone.
Transport yourself to a rustic ski lodge any time of year by lighting Homesick’s Ski Trip Candle. With notes of amber, cinnamon, cocoa, and vanilla, plus wood and patchouli to balance out all that sweetness, this candle evokes feelings of coziness. All you need is a crackling fireplace — and a steaming cup of hot chocolate — to really set the scene. Alternatively, if skiing (or winter in general!) isn’t your thing, consider snagging up one of Homesick’s other travel-themed candles, which include city-specific scents, along with options for all 50 states and several countries. (We especially love Mexico, which smells like fresh-made tortillas, jalapenos, and spices.) It’s also worth noting that each candle is free of parabens, phthalates, and synthetic dyes thanks to a natural soy wax blend, and premium cotton wicks offer a clean burn (up to 80 hours per 13.75-ounce candle).
Price at time of publish: $38
The Details: 13.75 ounces | Soy | 60-80 hours
Hotel Lobby Candle
It’s a sultry scent inspired by Miami’s swankiest hotels.
The fragrance can linger even after the flame isn’t lit, which may be a turn-off for some.
Hotel Lobby Candle is the brainchild of editor-turned-influencer Lindsay Silberman and her husband, Matt Stevens; the couple decided to turn their love of travel (and luxury hotels) into a full-fledged business creating sophisticated scents you’d find in — you guessed it — a splurge-worthy property. We especially love the company’s Miami Candle, a sultry scent that combines white florals with fresh citrus and cashmere. The 9.75-ounce candle comes in a white box with matching ribbon for an extra-luxe touch and has a 65-hour burn time. It also has a braided cotton wick (said to provide a consistent burn), and a handsome, hand-painted glass vessel designed to be upcycled once your wax is depleted.
Price at time of publish: $56
The Details: 9.75 ounces | Soy | 65 hours
Inspired by Honolulu, this pineapple and sugar cane candle will sweeten up any space — and its sleek black packaging is a bonus.
Some may find the aroma to be too sweet for their liking.
Named after the Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, Terminal B is a husband-and-wife-founded candle brand inspired by their personal travel stories. Chris and Fay Breedlove’s experiences and memories serve as the vision for the fragrance-slash-candles, each known by a destination’s airport code from their hometown LAX to Santiago's SCL. Our favorite is the HNL candle which we think of as a love letter to Hawaii’s capital, embodying everything from its white-sand beaches and cerulean waters to the jaw-dropping peaks and volcanic soil that grows sweet pineapple and sugar cane — which is exactly what this scent smells like. It’s (almost) like a Mai Tai minus the alcohol.
Price at time of publish: $44
The Details: 10.5 ounces | Soy and vegetable wax | 60+ hours
It’s a fantastic floral scent designed to add a touch of luxury to any space.
You may want to ensure you like the scent before buying this pricey candle.
St. Regis Hotels and Resorts boasts an impressive collection of luxury properties around the world and, while you may not actually be able to transform your space into an opulent hotel room, you can buy their trademark scent in candle form. The Arquiste St. Regis Signature Candle was inspired by the lavish Gilded Age balls hosted by Caroline Astor, the mother of St. Regis founder John Jacob Astor IV. In fact, the scent has been specially formulated to capture the flowers she used (including notes of American Beauty roses, white lilies, and cherry blossoms), as well as the potted palms in the hallways.
Price at time of publish: $85
The Details: 9 ounces | Soy | 55-60 hours
Poured Candle Bar
This forest-inspired candle has a wooden wick, allowing for a slower burn time.
Those who prefer a sweeter, less-earthy aroma may prefer one of the company’s other scents.
Poured Candle Bar in artsy Hudson, N.Y. (about 120 miles from New York City) creates one-of-a-kind, hand-blended, and hand-poured candles in a variety of scents. One whiff of the company’s woodsy Kamp Kaaterskill candle will transport you to the serene and scenic Catskill Mountains, where the cool air, tree-covered peaks, and cascading waterfalls offer the perfect respite. The candle — with notes of Fraser fir, balsam, juniper, and hemp — is ideal for bringing the outdoors into any space, large or small, especially when you're currently far from actual nature.
Price at time of publish: $40
The Details: 10 ounces | Soy
It’s just as chic as it is great-smelling.
The lid is sold separately.
Assouline is famous for its wanderlust-inducing coffee table books — so it comes as no surprise that the brand’s collection of Travel From Home Candles is equally stylish and sophisticated. You can’t go wrong with the Marrakech Flair variety. Inspired by the clear desert air and eclectic city, the scent offers hints of cypress, cedarwood, juniper, tobacco, bergamot neroli, and citrus. If that’s not your thing, fear not: Choose from a handful of other travel-centric candles, including Gstaad Glam, Ibiza Bohemia, Moon Paradise, Mykonos Muse, and Tulum Gypset.
Price at time of publish: $80
The Details: 11.25 ounces | Soy and paraffin | 50 hours
Courtesy of Brooklyn Candle Studio
At under $40, this 13-ounce candle offers excellent value with a burn time of 70 hours.
The scent is faint.
With its sacred shrines, vibrant cherry blossoms, and charming tree-lined streets, it’s no wonder why Kyoto was named one of T+L’s best places to travel in 2023. But, even if you can’t get there by year’s end, the Brooklyn Candle Studio Kyoto Escapist Candle will do just fine. The woodsy fragrance (featuring Hinoki cypress, cedar, sandalwood, vetiver, and pine notes) is crafted with premium essential oils in — you guessed it — Brooklyn. The minimalist-chic packaging is the icing on the proverbial cake.
Price at time of publish: $38
The Details: 13 ounces | Soy | 70 hours
Rifle Paper Co.
It’s a lovely lavender-and-herb-scented candle packaged in a beautiful blue-painted glass vessel that’s chic enough to double as decor.
Those who don’t love the smell of herbs may be turned off by this one.
While a summer trip to the South of France is always a good idea, it’s not always possible to hop on a plane halfway across the world to visit. In any case, this Rifle Paper Co. Champs de France Candle is nearly as great as the real deal: With notes of calming lavender, sage, rosemary, and bergamot, the candle is inspired by the idyllic destination’s rolling lavender fields and herb-filled markets. The soothing scent will transform your space into a serene sanctuary, and it comes in especially handy before bedtime as you unwind from the busy day ahead. The candle’s pretty packaging — with painted glass and a gold-foil-accented gift box — is an incredible added bonus.
Price at time of publish: $36The Details: 9.5 ounces | Soy | 40+ hours
The fresh-scented candle features a combination of non-toxic soy and coconut wax to ensure a clean, consistent burn.
This candle comes in a tin rather than a glass.
Parks Project’s Yosemite Pine Candle Tin is especially unique in that it offers a blend of soy and coconut waxes, the latter of which has a clean, slow burn. With pine, granite, meadow dew, and fresh-chopped wood notes, the scent is best described as fresh yet subtle. And, if you needed another reason to snag this Yosemite National Park-inspired candle (which is hand-poured in California), consider the fact that Parks Project has given millions of dollars to parks to help with conservation efforts.
Price at time of publish: $18
The Details: 6 ounces | Soy and coconut | 25 hours
It’s a sparkling citrus-scented candle that’s hand-wicked and hand-poured.
The aroma is quite citrus-heavy, which not everyone will appreciate.
If you close your eyes and take a whiff of Glasshouse Fragrance’s Passion In Positano Verbena and Basil Candle, you’ll practically feel as if you’ve been whisked away to Italy’s iconic Amalfi Coast. Paying homage to Positano, the fresh, citrusy scent features mandarin, lime, and basil as the top notes. Verbena, bergamot, and oak moss come together to make up the middle notes, while the base is the sweet-smelling lily of the valley. The candle’s clear glass jar also pairs perfectly with any home aesthetic.
Price at time of publish: $50
The Details: 13.4 ounces | Soy | 80 hours
As an NYC-themed candle inspired by the joyous holiday season, this hand-poured candle is truly one-of-a-kind.
While warm and cozy, the wintery scent may not be ideal for the warmer months.
There’s something special about visiting New York City during the festive season, when holiday cheer is literally in the air. Somehow, Scripted Fragrance has magically managed to capture this feeling in the form of a scent in the form of their New York City Holiday Soy Candle, which contains a blend of pine, cedar, fir, and holly berry. When it comes to the packaging, shoppers can choose from a large gold tin or a reusable rocks glass complete with a silhouette of the skyline. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds go to Feeding America — so you need not feel guilty about adding this one to your already-brimming collection.
Price at time of publish: $38
The Details: 8 ounces (reusable rocks glass), 7 ounces (gold tin) | Soy | 50 hours
This candle is inspired by Wyoming’s lush landscapes and native flora, making it ideal for nature and outdoor enthusiasts.
Some may find the rose scent to be too strong.
Vast landscapes from enchanting canyons to the winding rivers served as inspiration for the Nomad Noé Muse Candle in Wyoming. Notes of fragrant rose are balanced out by warm, woody sandalwood to create perfect harmony. If you pay close attention, you’ll also find additional floral notes of peony, lily, magnolia, and iris, along with tangerine, cedarwood, musk, and amber. While the candle is hand-poured in the US, all fragrance oils are crafted in France. Last but not least is the candle’s matte porcelain vessel and blue-hued lid, which add a fun pop of color.
Price at time of publish: $75
The Details: 7.8 ounces | Soy | 60 hours
Cali Meets NYC
At under $20, this candle is one of the most affordable options on our list.
It’s only 3.5 ounces.
Melissa Jagessar founded Cali Meets NYC in November 2020 after being inspired by her own love life. (As the story goes, she met her partner while she was living in the Bay Area and he was in NYC — which is why each scent has a different zip code as its name.) The best-selling 94952 Lavender + Ylang Coconut Soy Candle Tin is inspired by the small city of Petaluma in Northern California wine country. According to the brand, the combo of soothing lavender, sweet ylang-ylang, creamy vanilla, and rich vetiver notes will make you feel as if you're driving through Sonoma's own lavender fields.
Price at time of publish: $16
The Details: 3.5 ounces | Coconut soy | 25 hours
It’s an island-inspired scent that transports you to a tropical paradise.
While the candle is over 10 ounces, it only has a 55-hour burn time.
Acclaimed for its clear blue waters, abundance of overwater bungalow resorts, and awe-inspiring marine life, Tahiti has attracted — and continues to attract — throngs of travelers. Sure, a trip here is one for the books, but RareLumiere’s Tahiti Candle is the next best thing. In fact, it’s always island time when you light the Polynesian-inspired candle, layered with tantalizing top notes of Tahitian sea salt, blue sage, and island air; middle notes of lemon blossom, lime, neroli, and coconut water; and a base featuring driftwoods, white teak, and dewy greens.
Price at time of publish: $39
The Details: 11 ounces | 55 hours
Created in partnership with an iconic NYC hotel, it has a distinct sultry scent that’s, in a word, cool.
The scent is an acquired taste — or, should we say, smell.
Made in collaboration with The Standard, High Line — a hip Manhattan hotel with a stunning view — this Snif candle has a distinct, and, according to some, mysterious, aroma thanks to the infusion of spiced rum, tobacco flower, leather, cannabis, amber, and cashmere woods. The seductive scent, best described as effortlessly cool, is quite versatile, too. Light it to set the scene for a date night, enhance the good vibes as you get ready for a night out with friends, or unwind with a glass of wine.
Price at time of publish: $46
The Details: 8.5 ounces | Soy and vegetable wax | 50+ hours
The scent perfectly calls back to the smell of wet redwoods and the California coast.
It’s on the smaller side for the price.
Famous for its towering bluffs, postcard-worthy ocean views, and beautiful beaches, Big Sur — a 90-minute stretch of Highway 1 — is, hands-down, one of the most stunning road trip destinations in America. D.S. & Durga, the Brooklyn-based company founded by husband-and-wife duo Kavi Ahuja and David Seth Moltz, encapsulates the locale’s nature-filled scenery and abundant flora (think eucalyptus groves and towering redwoods) following a rainstorm with its aptly named Big Sur After Rain candle. The fresh, clean scent is best described as calming, with hints of — you guessed it — eucalyptus and wet wood, while notes of magnolia and coastal rain add more depth.
Price at time of publish: $70
The Details: 7 ounces | Soy
Scents evoke different moods, feelings, and emotions, making them so personal and unique to the individual. So, when shopping for the best travel-themed candles, it’s essential to select a scent that you best identify with. Warm woodsy scents often appeal to outdoor and nature enthusiasts, while those who love bountiful bouquets may opt for a floral-heavy scent. To balance out all that flower power, consider a scent — or in this case, a candle — with notes of fresh-cut herbs (the Rifle Paper Co. Champs de France Candle is a great example).
Similarly, to capture the essence of summer in fragrance form, look for citrus-scented candles a la the Glasshouse Fragrances Passion In Positano Verbena and Basil Candle. Food- and drink-inspired scents, like the Terminal B HNL Candle and the Homesick Ski Trip Candle, fall into the gourmand profile and are best characterized as sweet and comforting.
When choosing the best travel-themed candles, size definitely does matter. Generally speaking, the larger the candle, the more wax, which means a slower burn. When it comes to the wick, you’ll notice that most — but not all — of our top picks have a single wick. However, a handful have double wicks, allowing for a more even burn, especially if your candle is larger. Multi-wick candles can fill up your space with scent faster than their single-wick counterparts, which is why they’re great for larger rooms. For this reason, it makes sense that the smell will be more potent (after all, two wicks are more powerful than one).
In any case, trimming your wick(s) regularly is vital when it comes to extending the lifespan of your candle. If left untrimmed, your wick can split, break into the wax, and create debris, which may cause your candle to burn faster and hotter than intended.
While candles don’t have expiration dates, they can degrade over time. Candles with paraffin wax, for example, can be used pretty much indefinitely, assuming you’re caring for them properly (this is your sign to trim those wicks if you haven’t already!). Meanwhile, candles that utilize organic and/or vegetable-based waxes break down faster, though they should last anywhere from one to two years (again, assuming you’re taking good care of them).
To ensure your candle lasts as long as possible, store it in a cool environment (room temperature is fine, but you won’t want to necessarily keep the candle right on the windowsill where the sun can hit it).
The best wax blend for candles depends on preference. Paraffin wax is one of the most commonly used candle waxes due to its versatility (it has a long shelf life and the ability to cast strong scents so that it fills the room) and affordability. However, it’s not eco-friendly.
For a more sustainable alternative, consider soy or beeswax, which are naturally biodegradable. (In other words, because they are made of natural materials, these waxes degrade faster than paraffin.) While these waxes have a slower burn time, they are more expensive — and the candle prices reflect this.
Coconut wax, which is also biodegradable, is relatively new to the candle scene. It’s especially noteworthy for its ability to hold scent, similar to paraffin. Like soy and beeswax, it’s a great natural option and offers a clean burn.
For this article, T+L contributor Lauren Dana Ellman used her background as a travel writer — combined with her love of shopping and candles — to research and evaluate the best travel-themed candles. To narrow down the top picks, she factored in burn time, affordability, wax blend, candle size, and, last but not least, scent profile to ensure that each candle successfully captured the essence of a specific destination or setting.
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