If you’re looking for a new holiday candle why not make your own with one of these holiday fragrance oils from Candle Science?
I made 14 candles with Holiday & Christmas fragrances from Candle Science and had my family do a blind scent test to figure out the best of the best!
All of the candles were made the same way using Golden Brands 464 soy wax. I used 16 oz of wax,1 oz of fragrance, and CD 8 wicks in 4 oz tins to keep things consistent.
Learn How to Make Soy Candles
After letting the candles cure I gathered my family and made them smell candles. Compared to the time I showed up to family dinner and told them I’d bought a cow it was pretty tame.
We went candle by candle and I made them guess what each was. I took notes and we all had a great time arguing over what we were smelling.
Especially my stepdad who ‘doesn’t smell candles’ and my marketing genius fiance that can spin anything.
In the end, I told them the actual names and asked whether or not they were ‘Christmas Candles’.
Along with guessing what the scents were, I also asked which candles they would actually want to burn in their houses. Scented items are very personal but we were able to come up with which candles really kicked the holiday spirit into overdrive!
Candle Science Holiday Fragrances
There are a lot of fragrance oil supplies out there and over the years I’ve tried a lot of them. Candle Science has always knocked it out of the park with quality.
I might not always like the scent itself but I can’t think of any that didn’t smell like anything or smelled bad. The one-ounce sample bottles are about $3 but if you buy larger amounts the prices per ounce go down quickly.
They offer a lot of holiday scents so I tried to pick ones that sounded unique and identifiable. There are at least 8 pine-heavy fragrances in the full line and it didn’t seem like it would be exciting to make everyone smell that many Christmas tree candles.
I originally planned to make a dozen candles but I found 4 bottles that fit the category in my FO stash so I bumped it up to 16.
This was too many, and by the time we got to the end people were making up words. That’s on me, I forgot the coffee beans.
Even with the overload, there were a few I really wanted (I’m looking at you Peppermint Mocha) that were out of stock so I sadly missed out but there is always next year!
Getting into the fragrances and my very opinionated family’s decisions here is the breakdown! I’ve separated them into categories that I assigned:
These scents are all very spice and vanilla-heavy, while they are all different I don’t think the average person would have much use for more than one or two of them.
This was one of the universal favorites as far as fragrance goes but there really isn’t anything Christmasy about it. My mom said it would be a better Thanksgiving candle.
The biggest comment from everyone is that it’s really sweet. If you’re looking for a sweet, vanilla cream fragrance you can’t go wrong with this one.
Creme Brulee is Soap & Lotion safe and has a 5-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes listed on the site are: Coconut, Caramelized Sugar, Rum, Custard, Benzoin, Vanilla, Maple
This was one of the most divisive fragrances (also a divisive holiday drink). My mom and I both liked it but the rest of the family was either neutral or in my sister’s case, hated it.
Everyone picked up on sweet sugar or caramel notes but I think the thing that sets it apart from all the others is a distinct nutmeg note. It’s not a super common scent, you probably won’t recognize it unless you go in thinking about eggnog.
If you love eggnog and you want a bakery fragrance that’s a little different this is a great pick. If you hate eggnog, skip it.
Vanilla Eggnog is Soap safe and has a 4-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Amaretto, Rum, Vanilla, Butter, Sugar, Cream, Spice
This is where things get a little repetitive. There isn’t that much of a difference between Snickerdoodle, Vanilla Eggnog, and Creme Brulee.
It’s another sweet, caramel & spice candle, my family also mentioned butterscotch and eggnog while I got a cinnamon popcorn vibe (possibly from the butter?). It’s worth noting that my entire family said this was a Christmas candle without a moment of hesitation.
So there is something in the basic bakery fragrance profile that says Christmas more than Creme Brulee.
Snickerdoodle is both Soap & Lotion safe and has a 4-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Cinnamon, Sugar, Butter, Honey, Vanilla, Cream
This is the first fragrance I had in my stash, I’m pretty sure I bought Cinnamon Chai because it lists cardamom in its fragrance notes. I love cardamom in food (everything with apples in it should have cardamom too) and it makes the generic candle spice blend (ahem.. cinnamon) more interesting.
My family agreed, this was actually the first candle everyone smelled and they said it smelled like a cinnamon pine cone at Christmas.
I don’t think that they’re right, I really don’t get any pine vibes from it but it is a really good holiday spice candle. Unlike the rest in this category, you aren’t overwhelmed by sweetness.
Cinnamon Chai is not Soap or Lotion safe and has a 4-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Orange Peel, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Peppercorn, Cream, Nutmeg, Black Tea, Vanilla, Clove
The next category is a little bit bakery, most of these fragrances have some spice to them, but the shining star is the fruity notes.
Hot Apple Pie
The first thing that hits you with this fragrance oil is fruit. Then your brain settles a bit and you realize it’s not just fruit, it’s apple.
After that, you get a bit of the spice and the butter but it’s mostly just apple. One person did pick up on the orange which shocked me because I don’t get that at all but someone else said fabric softener which does fit in an odd way.
This is not a Christmas candle, you could pass it off for Thanksgiving but I think it would be best during the summer when you want a lighter fruity scented candle.
Hot Apple Pie is Soap safe and has a 4-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Almond, Orange, Apple, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Pie Crust
Apples & Maple Bourbon
If you had your heart set on an apple candle for the holidays this is where you want to be.
The notes from my family were: Apple Pie, Sugar, Mulled Cider & Hot Toddy. Which was probably the most accurate out of everything we tested.
It’s a deeper, darker version of the Hot Apple Pie where you get more than just a sweet bite of apple. Don’t get me wrong, the apple is still there but you also get a bit of spice, some caramel and a hint of citrus.
This would be my pick for the best nontraditional holiday candle but I’d also burn it during the fall and winter.
Apples & Maple Bourbon is not soap or lotion safe and has a 5-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Apple, Orange, Cinnamon, Bourbon, Coconut, Butter, Vanilla, Maple
This is the only one in the bunch I’d consider a dud. It smells like something but not really anything at the same time. In defense of this fragrance oil, it might be that we’re not familiar enough with chestnuts to appreciate it.
This one caused the most confusion in my family, highlights include:
- Old lady bathroom
- Christmas Gingerbread
- Cinnamon Buttercream
- Rancid Eggnog
Away from the rest of the scents, it’s not bad, it’s just blah.
Sugared Chestnut is both Soap & Lotion safe and has a 4-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Sugar, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Amaretto, Chestnut, Clove, Caramelized Sugar, Butter, Tonka Bean
With a lot of candles, it all makes sense once you know what it is supposed to be. This is the best example of that in this whole batch.
Initially, it smells sweet and fruity but you can’t quite place it. My family said: sweet fruit, sweet, strawberry?, strawberry daiquiri, and sweet tarts.
They got on the strawberry train and went off the rails as a group.
Then when I told them it was orange, the light bulbs came on. It doesn’t have the artificial orange fragrance that you might expect, it’s like peeling an actual orange.
The results for “Is it Christmas?” were mixed so I’d place it in the nontraditional group. If making clove-studded oranges is part of your holiday tradition it’s a great pick.
Peppercorn Pomander is both Soap & Lotion safe and has a 5-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Orange Peel, Peppercorn, Apple, Mandarin, Vanilla, Tonka Bean
Another sweet one, this smells more like lotion or a flowery shampoo than a holiday candle.
The red currant and green floral are pulling extra duty and you lose everything else. It doesn’t smell bad, it just smells like a generic flower candle.
Pomegranate Bitters is both Soap & Lotion safe and has a 5-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Lemon Peel, Grapefruit, Peppermint, Red Currant, Pomegranate, Rhubarb, Green Floral, Rosemary, Geranium, Cedar
It was the first candle everyone smelled and they had lots of opinions right out of the gate. The general consensus was that it was a very sweet and fruity scent that was in no way Christmas or Holiday related.
My sister claims it smells like Zebra Gum and someone else said watermelon.
This is another one of the fragrances I had previously purchased, I really liked the idea of adding fruit to the almost overdone pine and bakery notes. I agree with my family that it’s not a holiday fragrance but I think it works really well for a winter or even all-year scent.
Cranberry Woods is both Soap & Lotion safe and has a 5-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Red Currant, Cinnamon, Cranberry, Black Currant, Green Leaves, Vanilla, Fir, Pine
The funniest note from this whole experience was for Woodland snow, my brother-in-law identified it as a winter hippy van. My guess is that’s from the patchouli and incense.
To me, it’s very clean and wintery thanks to the tingly mints & eucalyptus, it’s the best part of Vick’s vapor rub without being even slightly medicinal.
It didn’t pass as a Christmas or holiday candle but it’s a great choice for the rest of the cold winter months. Personally, I’d skip the candles and use this one for soap or bath melts.
Woodland Snow is Soap & Lotion safe and has a 4-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Mint, Ozone, Camphor, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Cypress, Sage, Patchouli, Juniper, Cedar, Spice, Incense
Peppermint & Eucalyptus
Unlike Woodland Snow, Peppermint & Eucalyptus really leans into the Vick’s vibes and this baby will clear your sinuses. The group was mixed on whether or not it makes a good Christmas candle but I think it would be a good pick for someone who doesn’t like the more traditional cinnamon or pine-heavy options.
Also great if you have a cold, maybe, this is not medical advice just candle making.
It is a bit tingly in the best way from the peppermint and I get absolutely no Patchouli, Vanilla, or Powder from it at all.
Peppermint & Eucalyptus is Soap & Lotion safe and has a 4-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Clove, Cedar, Patchouli, Vanilla, Powder
Dry Gin & Cypress
If you’re looking for a complex pine candle, this would be my pick. There is a bit of a forest floor scent, like walking through a conifer forest vs smelling a pine tree.
This was one of the last candles I made and it didn’t have enough time to settle before I forced it on my family, in the beginning, it had some Pinsol vibes but after sitting for a week it’s mellowed quite a bit and gotten more interesting.
Their notes were: laundry scent crystals, floor cleaner & Pinesol. But they did agree it was a Christmas Candle.
Dry Gin & Cypress is both Soap & Lotion safe and has a 4-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Juniper, Gin, Red Currant, Oak, Cedar, Cypress, Balsam
Frankincense & Myrrh
This is one of those scents that could trigger a memory, the kind of memory you won’t place until you hear the name.
It smells like church incense, or more generally, to me, it smells like a Catholic church. Depending on your religious beliefs this might be the perfect Christmas candle for you. If you aren’t religious it’s going to be a pass.
Frankincense & Myrrh is both Soap & Lotion safe and has a 4-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Bergamot, Amber, Frankincense/Olibanum, Myrrh, Oud, Powder
Mistletoe is the least piney of the pine candles. Which might be exactly what you’re looking for!
This poor candle was one of the last we tested and my only notes are “my nose hurts” and “Christmas” but it was voted to be a Christmas candle.
It’s much lighter than the other outdoorsy fragrances, you get a little bit of the eucalyptus & camphor but it’s not medicinal like the Peppermint & Eucalyptus, and you get some pine without feeling like you’re in a forest.
Mistletoe is both Soap & Lotion safe and has a 4-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Eucalyptus, Camphor, Red Currant, Clove, Pine, Fir, Patchouli, Cedar
This is one of the fragrance oils I had in my stash and I think the name is absolutely perfect. You get a strong evergreen scent but there is also a smoky note that reminds me of a toasty fireplace fire in a room with a freshly cut Christmas tree.
This is hands down, THE BEST Christmas candle fragrance. It’s pine without dipping into floor cleaner territory and spice without cloying sweetness.
The only note I wrote down from my family
torture sniff session was “Oh that’s a Christmas candle” because it is and you can fight me on it but you’ll be wrong!
Christmas Hearth is both Soap & Lotion safe and has a 4-star rating on Candle Science. The fragrance notes are: Cinnamon, Ginger, Orange Peel, Clove, Cypress, Pine, Fir
When it comes down to it, you probably don’t want to make 14 different holiday candles, so here are my recommendations:
- Cinnamon Chai – Best Spice Candle
- Snickerdoodle – Best Sweet Candle
- Apple & Maple Bourbon – Best Nontraditional Holiday Candle
- Best Pine – Dry Gin & Cypress
- Christmas Hearth – Best Christmas Candle Ever
Even though they made lovely candles I think some of these fragrances would make even better bath and body items. I know I’d love a set of bath melts made with Woodland Snow or soap made with Peppercorn Pomander.
I had a lot of fun making all the candles and my family had a great time smelling & arguing over which was which.
So much fun that my mom had me turn it into a party game for the family Christmas Party.
If you enjoy this post let me know in the comments and I’ll do something similar with a different source or a different type of fragrance (fall, pumpkin, bakery, fruit, every pine tree fragrance I can find etc.).
Check out my DIY Candles Page for more info or start here: