Our 9 Favorite Clean-Burning Candles For Winter 2023
While there's hardly a bad time to light a candle, the long, dark nights of winter really beg for it. We found nine warm, cozy stunners that evoke all the best perks of the season—from luxe cocktail parties to a fragrant Christmas tree. All of them are clean-burning, meaning they swap out potentially harmful metal wicks, petroleum-derived waxes, and synthetic fragrances for natural ingredients you can feel good about striking up again and again.
1. Northlands (fir, pine needles, absinthe, nutmeg)
Brooklyn-based luxury candle purveyor Keap is obsessive about scent. They work with a master perfumer on a small, highly curated line of candles meant to evoke certain memories—like Northlands, which calls to mind a crackling fire under a forest canopy. This elegant candle would make for a wonderful present; pair it with a card from Keap's new Loving Postcards Set to give the gift of a great night in.
Keap Northlands ($54.50)
2. Warmth (apple, bourbon, rosewood)
Ideal for the craft lover, Siblings lets you pour wax into your own vessel or one that they sell. They provide the wax and wick; you do the rest (don't worry, it takes all of two minutes). One of their latest scent offerings is this toasty apple-bourbon wax, which comes in packaging with custom artwork that's too pretty to throw away—but in the off chance you do, it's compostable!
Siblings Warmth ($26 for wax)
3. Amass (cinnamon, allspice, clove)
This jar is a total work of art. Its minimalist line drawing of an old-timey town square is sure to pique your interest, while its subtle scent (a riff off of botanicals once thought to stop the plague from spreading in medieval Europe) will keep you hooked.
Four Thieves Amass ($48)
4. Digestif (neroli, orange blossom, olive oil)
Digestif by olive oil brand Brightland is designed to be burned during or after cooking to mask any lingering smells. It's a genius idea, and it works! Any fishy or funky scents are no match for this refreshing candle—think of it as a palate cleanser for your kitchen.
Brightland Digestif ($42)
6. No. 1 (jasmine, incense, cardamom)
Everything about this candle—from its black soy wax to its elegant weighted metal cover—whispers lux. The phthalate- and paraben-free scent has strong spicy, floral notes; It smells like a cologne you'd never want to take off.
Les Deux Fragrances No. 1 Candle ($45)
7. Piñon (piñon logs, cedar, and vanilla)
A fan favorite from California cool candle company P.F. Candle Co., Piñon is named for a group of pine trees native to the Southwestern U.S. Prepare to be transported to a forest trail after rainfall with this subtle but craveable scent. We love that this candle comes with a screw lid for easy transport, too—and its amber jar makes for a great storage container or propagation station once empty.
P.F. Candle Co. Piñon ($24)
8. Slow Speeds Welcome (frankincense, fig, amber)
Light it up for the refreshing scent of frankincense and figs; keep it lit for the accompanying poem. With a special filter on the company's Instagram page, all of Spoken Flames' candles spring to life and become surrounded by virtual graphics and the sounds of a spoken word artist. In keeping with its name, Slow Speeds Welcome's poem is a reminder to slow down and take a moment to yourself this season.
Spoken Flames Slow Speeds Welcome ($34)
9. It's Freezing Outside (fir, camphor, pine,)
You can let your candle do the talking with this tongue-in-cheek "It's Freezing Outside" jar from Cancelled Plans. Scented with fir, camphor, pine, clove, cedar, patchouli, and smoke, it will give you all the good parts of a cold winter's night, without having to shed your PJs.
Cancelled Plans It's Freezing Outside ($27.50)
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.