Christmas is looking a little different in 2020. This year, it’s just my little pod of three at home. All of our family visits are happening via Zoom, and all of our gift-giving is happening via USPS.
That’s why it’s been more important than ever for me to retain a bit of Christmas magic at home. I put up my 7-foot-tall fake Christmas tree that I inherited from my parents, and even put up all the cheesy handmade ornaments my sisters and I made as kids, which my parents had somehow saved all these years even after we stopped hanging them up.
Even though I have a fake tree, my house still smells like an evergreen forest all December—I use candles for that! For me, smooth, woodsy scents and flickering flames that twinkle like holiday lights are just as cozy as the tree. I’ve used a bunch of woodsy candles to achieve this effect. Here are some of my favorites:
|Illuminations Wild Woodlands|
This is the fragrance I’m using while I write this! With top notes of fresh evergreen needles above cedarwood, amber, and clove, this is a spicy winter wonderland of a scent. I used to love Illuminations as a teenager, and now that the brand is back after ten years, it’s not just great, it’s nostalgic too.
|Makers of Wax Goods Birch Wooden Wick |
With gorgeous typography and a metallic votive that reflects the light, Makers of Wax Goods candles look great. Their woodsy scent Birch includes a wooden wick that makes a satisfying crackle as it burns. I photographed their discontinued Applewood scent up top, but I now prefer Birch and so do a lot of people—it’s their number one bestseller!
|Basic Bee Candle Co Christmas Tree Candle |
I was an immediate fan of Basic Bee’s cult hit Pumpkin Spice. This season, her Christmas Tree candle is no less enchanting. Shaina’s candles use all-natural ingredients but they still pack a sensory punch. A mix of pine and eucalyptus makes for a woodsy and herbal fragrance.
|WoodWick Frasier Fir |
This candle’s crisp, sweet scent reminds me perfectly of a fir tree. And there’s a reason I keep going back to candles with wooden wicks, especially when it comes to woodsy scents—it evokes all the romantic feelings of sitting around a snowy winter bonfire, while you’re still snuggled up in the warmth of your pajamas.
|Nest Birchwood Pine |
This is my high end pick, because when I smell this Nest candle I immediately envision a luxe Christmas tree festooned with crystals, feathers, and marabou trim. It blends its pine scent with amber and musk for an elegant atmosphere.
|Candlecopia Balsam and Cedar |
Soy based and vegan-friendly, the secret to this Candlecopia jar candle is that it blends the piney scents I crave with a familiar helping of calming eucalyptus. That means burning it doubles as stress relief. It’s a Christmas miracle!
|Pet House Candle – Evergreen Forest |
This candle is designed to smell so strongly of Christmas spirit, it doesn’t matter if you’re burning it right next to the litterbox. I don’t have any pets, but I can assure you that this is among the most powerfully scented candles in my collection, and it’s a gorgeous, foresty scent.
This post was updated on December 5, 2020.