Fragrance Experts are Calling "Garden" Candles the Scent of the Summer — Here's 12 We Love

It began with tomatoes. This year, we want the whole yard.

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It began with tomatoes. Thanks largely to Loewe’s gangbusters Tomato Leaves line and outdoorsy lifestyle brands like Flamingo Estate, the aroma of these red fruits can now be found in any well-appointed home. Much like owning Aesop’s Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash or Diptyque’s Baies candle in years past, catching a whiff of tomato is a surefire sign that someone has taste. The spicy-sweet, fresh, and green scent isn’t going anywhere (at least for now), but this summer, we’re upping the ante. I give you: garden candles.

It’s something I picked up from the zeitgeist: candles perfumed with oregano, mushrooms, even obscure fruits like kumquats. After talking to fragrance experts about the best scented candles for this summer, my hunch was confirmed. ‘Garden scents are having a big moment,’ says P.F. Candle Co. founder and creative director Kristen Pumphrey. ‘I’ve noticed that fruit notes in particular have been very popular — this is a trickle-down from fine perfumery. Cherry, peach, watermelon, fig — true-to-life fruit scents that feel vivacious and fun.' Also in that garden camp are savory suspects: vegetables and herbal scents like rosemary, mint, and eucalyptus — ‘anything that feels like a cooling evening in a summer garden,’ Kristen continues.

APOTHEKE Founder, Chrissy Fichtl, attributes the rise in fresh culinary-scented candles, like tomatoes, to familiarity. Embodying what summer felt and smelled like in years past with olfactory profiles that are "real," rather than classically beautiful, these scents are nostalgic. So this season, we’re saying yes to fruits, which were always a summertime scent staple, but also to vegetables, which are finally getting better PR.

The whole garden is trending, and I’m here for it. Think zesty citrus, sweet peach, and spicy chili — is your mouth watering yet? Sink your teeth into this culinary goodness.

Garden Candles

How Can I Transition My Candle Scents into Summer?

If you buy as many candles as I do, you might find yourself still trying to get through your musky sandalwood scents while the outdoors is already in the 90s (and humid). But don’t put them into storage just yet. Like the fragrance we wear on our bodies, candle scents can be layered too, creating aromas that are entirely one-of-a-kind.

‘Just like with clothes, certain fragrances can provide a bridge to a new season,’ says P.F. Candle Co. founder and creative director Kristen Pumphrey. ‘Herbal scents like rosemary, eucalyptus, and lavender blend the best with warmer scents from previous seasons,’ she explains. For example: Amber and rosemary? Patchouli and eucalyptus? Lavender and vanilla? Now we’re talking. Nuanced and arguably more luxe-smelling than burning these aromas on their own.

How Can I Make the Most of My Garden Candles?

Really good candles aren't cheap: often just around the $100 mark, even for luxury ones, our brains don’t seem to register how quickly the costs can add up (perhaps I’m speaking for myself here). Naturally, we want to stretch the shelf life of our candle scents, amplifying their aroma and getting the full fantasy.

‘You can use a candle warmer to reduce heat in the summer months without sacrificing scent,’ says Kristen Pumphrey, founder and creative director of P.F. Candle Co. ‘The candle warmer lamp warms the top layer of wax and can be set on a timer for busy summer schedules,’ she explains.

Another simple yet effective tactic: ‘Buy a larger candle,’ notes APOTHEKE Founder, Chrissy Fiechtl. ‘The more wicks you have, the stronger the scent throws.’ It might be pricier, but for several times the smell, it’s an idea worth considering.

Style Editor

Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.