by Marisa Marcantonio

Scented candles have become the gift that keeps on giving.  Yes, the market is saturated, but, they are a pretty way to say thank you, and guarantee hours of scented bliss. No wonder they are such a popular item to give, they aren't complicated and everyone has a scent they adore. When selecting the best scent to give, try and do some fragrance homework by asking what perfume your friend wears. This tip-off should provide enough intel to select up the appropriate aroma and corresponding candle, and I've selected some fragrant candles based on their beautiful packaging and high quality aromatic oils.

Photo courtesy of Byredo

Winter is a time to hibernate with a good book. Friends who would rather spend a Sunday under a cashmere throw in a wing chair reading Anna Karenina can burn this romantic, evocative Bibliothèque candle by scent superstar Byredo, to escape the everyday. The scent, including fruity essences of Peach and Plum, is accented with leather and Vanilla. Totally rich and decadent.

Photo courtesy of Aerin

There's nothing like the allure of gold around the holidays. It just makes everything more festive. It's a good thing Aerin launched her Fireside and Fir scent just in time for the winter. A gold-leafed glass container holds a woodyy Aspen-inspired scent ,comprised of Mediterranean Cypress, Fir Balsam, and a bit of black amber along with white Birch.

Photo courtesy of Niven Morgan

Niven Morgan names his scents after the locales that inspire them. His Mustique 1958 soy candle has notes of florals, fruits and herbs such as Bergamot, fresh citrus and Neroli mixed with musks, amber, moss and blonde wood.

 Photo courtesy of L'Objet

The nice thing about

L'Objet's scented candles is that they come in porcelain and gold bowls that can easily be repurposed to hold earrings or coins. Winter is a good time to go for richer fragrances at home, so the spicy Cinnabar scent in this candle fits its ornate red exterior well.

Photo courtesy of Belle Fleur

Belle Fleur is known for their pure fragrances and clean packaging. They have just introduced a new assortment of scents with a more exotic allure.  For those that love fig, and there are many of you out there that do, myself included, Casa Malaparte, named after the famed modernist villa on Capri will enchant with Grapefruit, Heliotrope, Jasmine, Rose, Fig Leaf and Cedarwood.

Photo courtesy of Jo Malone

Tis the season for limited edition candles. Woodsy and warm with a hint of Cinnamon, the Blue Spruce deluxe candle from Jo Malone will have you singing carols in no time.

Photo courtesy of Matouk

Even when they are not lit, Matouk's White Garden candle with scents of Lilly, Orchid and Freesia give a subtle scent to the air. Like their well-designed crisp bedding, the candle is packaged in subtle white glass packaging.

Photo courtesy of Diptyque

If you are like me, and white flowers like Tuberose make you swoon, then the classic Diptyque candle is a fail-safe choice. It now comes in this red tinged glass, very holiday festive.

Photo courtesy of Cire Trudon

Know a hard to gift for captain of industry that has everything? Get this hard-to-gift-for titan a luxe leather-scented candle from Cire Trudon to burn while they read their FT in their cozy wood-paneled library. Yes, this is yet another special limited edition candle.

 Photo courtesy of Agraria

To add a bit of sparkle to the powder room, the Mediterranean Jasmine Crystal Cane Candle from Agraria comes in a petite size and will fit on the edge of a sink. Made of vegetable based soft wax, the bright blue hue keeps things interesting.

Scented in Ebony Teak, you can select which color ceramic vessel you would like with this cashmere brand heavyweight's candle - there is an assortment of pale hues offered. Made in Italy, Brunello Cuccinelli's wood wicked scented candle is quite extravagantly priced. So whomever gets it as a git  is definitely worth it.

 Photo courtesy of Astier de Vilatte

Know any aspiring actors that feel the pull of the great White Way? This Broadway scent with a high energy mix of citrus and caramel from Parisian tabletop line Astier de Vilatte will remind them to work hard and they might just make it.

Photo courtesy of Frederic Malle

Frederic Malle's scents are so pure, they are like burning his precious purfume. This season, for the traditionalists, he has created a special limited edition candle with top notes of pine, cinnamon and a bit of cotton candy (?!) . Clad in his usual red glass vessel, the Joyeux Noël scent, designed by "nose" Dominique Ropion, is packaged in a box illustrated by artist Konstantin Kakanias.  Is there a way I can frame the box afterwards? The artwork is just too good!

 Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren Home

I tend to rotate my candle assortment for seasonally-appropriate fragrances. Last December, when my Red Currant, Evergreen and Juniper-scented candle was down to the wick, I was disappointed it was all finished. I am glad this classic scent pairing from Ralph Lauren is back in rotation every holiday season, or I would be forlorn.

Photo courtesy of Tom Dixon

Evoke reverie by escaping to exotic lands with Tom Dixon's rich Orientalist-scent candle. It come in a streamlined brass vessel with a marble lid and looks super chic in any setting.

 Photo courtesy of Lafco

If you are feeling stumped on what scent to get, there is always the safe bet of Chamomile and Lavender. Lafco's room appropriate scented candles are a no-brainer, and since so many people have trouble sleeping, this bedroom blend could be just the thing.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Deck your halls with delicious fragrances over the holidays and into the new year. Candles have become ubiquitous, but a few have the scent and package presentation that really rise to the top. Companies have come up with inventive new ways to diffuse air with a nice aroma. Potpourri being potpourri is still not pleasant-- wood chips in a bowl is never a good thing.

Photo Courtesy of Agraria
Years back, the Bitter Orange candle used to be their defining moment. After doing signature fragrance lines with Michael Smith and Charlotte Moss, Agraria has become chic again. One of their newer products, The TasselAire, is a scented tassel, and a great idea. You get the scent delivered in a pretty package, and can use it on a door knob, as a tassel, in a drawer or on a hook.

Photo Courtesy of Kai
After Fracas, one of my all time favorite fragrances is Kai. Well, it turns out Kai has a new Room and Linen Spray. Being surrounded by the exotic white flower fragrance at home makes nesting even more appealing.

Photo Courtesy of Anthousa
The Aegean Sea Collection, inspired by the landscape and light blue waters of the sea is one of the newest transporting scents from Anthousa. Sea Grass, cactus water, lime leaves, and green clover blend with sea notes to create a vacation anywhere.

Photo Courtesy of Belle Fleur
White Orchid Tea is the newest Celebration candle scent to hit from Belle Fleur. With a double wick and white glossy package, it a nice gift for a bridal shower, hostess or someone that adores a white flower fragrance with Champagne notes.

When entertaining at home over the holidays, a nice candle in the powder room always sets a nice tone. The mini's from Belle Fleur are understated in their tortoise glass casing.

Mayan Tuberose Fragrance Spray works well on linens. To sleep better spray away. Ring in the new year with a good night's sleep.

Photo Courtesy of Diptyque
Diptyque's Roasted Chestnut Candle reminds me of street vendors in Paris and is a Christmasy scent that is not too holiday. The red and gold packaging adds a festive glow.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Sweet gifts are a special way to to celebrate the big day.
Photo Courtesy of Dyptique
Get The Roses Rose Dyptique candle to put Valentine's Day in the air. That way, your house will smell like you got fresh roses.

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart
Give flowers that are well priced and pretty. White lilies from Martha Stewart for 1-800 Flowers smell delicious and come in a clean and simple footed vase you will want to reuse.

Photo courtesy of Belle Fleur
Peonies! My favorite flower is arranged to perfection by Belle Fleur. To send their beautiful blooms in the tri-state area, visit their site.

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Crafts
Make your own valentine's. You don't need to be a little kid to get crafty. Mix and match pink and red cards and detail them with heart stamps from Martha Stewart Crafts.

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Crafts
Adorable ribbons are a special touch that make all the difference on a gift. Also from Martha Stewart Crafts.