Like many things these days, scented candles are bucking their feminine connotations, and more than a few designers and brands have released fragranced tallows tailored toward mankind. Just don’t expect too much vanilla and citrus, unless that’s your thing. Whether you’re hoping to recreate a Mad Men-era cigar room haze or a classy Bourbon joint aura, the best candles for guys effuse spot-on renditions of mossy forests, smoky campfires and your favourite libations. Oh, and women love coming back to a home that smells great (just saying). Here are five candles guaranteed to put some hair on your chest.
For the woodsman at heart: Carharrt WIP NYC x MiN candle
Long a name linked to clothes designed for swarthy, boot-wearing types, Detroit’s Carharrt has been recently reinventing itself as more than just a heritage brand with its modern Work in Progress label. So it stands to reason that its scented candle offering, created in collaboration with MiN New York, is just as manly as some of the guys that wear its famous jackets. The smoked timber candle boasts a mix of precious woods such as pine, bergamot, cedar and wormwood (of absinthe fame), as well as a 50-hour burn. As with all scented candles, remember to smother the wick when you’re done to allow the fragrances to linger.
For the laid-back dude: (Malin + Goetz) Cannabis candle
This candle is downright sexy and, despite it’s main ingredient, will not make your crib smell like a den of iniquity—far from it. (Malin + Goetz), the punctuation-heavy purveyors of many a grooming and scented product for men, put together several layers of scents designed to get people in the mood for this soy- and vegetable-based wax candle. Cannabis notes clash with fresh lemon and orange, moss and the sweetness of amber-patchouli, which lay a foundation for fig and pepper aromas. It burns for about 60 hours and leaves behind a bitter honey haze.
For the dapper drinker: Baxter of California Ronin CASK candle
The guys at Hong Kong brand RONIN and Baxter of California must be the kind of guys who keep a bottle of top-shelf Bourbon in their desk drawer—we know we are. That’s why we love this soy-based wax candle, which burns for 60 hours and effuses a classy, floral-whiskey scent more easily associated with Prohibition-era speakeasies than with dive bars. Combined with tones of patchouli, woody cedar and a hint of vanilla, this is probably what the inside of an oak cask smells like. We approve.
For the cigar-chomping revolutionary: Cire Trudon Ernesto candle
This one has the ability to transport you back in time to when men were men and fought for their principals. Evoking aromas associated with the Cuban revolution, this candle blends cigar wrapper, leather, gun smoke and sugary rum over a foundation of lacquered bar wood for a fiery cocktail that burns for over 100 hours. Honey, amber and clover linger long after the flame is extinguished. Cire Trudon has been making some of the finest wax in the world since the 17th century, including candles for the royalty of France, so the company has fittingly encased this work of aromatic art in a reusable, hand-blown jar with a gold leaf label.
For the guy who has it all: Joya x Harrods Limited Edition Oud, Leather & Plume Cedar candle
Let’s be as upfront as possible: this is a candle that costs $775 and is expected to release shortly for purchase at Harrods, where it wins the title as the ritzy department store’s most expensive candle to date. With a price tag and pedigree like that, it better be nothing short of a work of art: thankfully, it delivers. Held in a black ceramic cylinder designed by New York artist Sarah Cihat, the body of the candle consists of highly concentrated aromas of oud, agar, vetiver, cedar and santal. The piece is topped with a heavy brass lid designed and handmade by jewellery designer Michael Miller, meaning this candle looks as good as it smells.