Posted on: December 3, 2023 Posted by: Comments: 0

I have a clear brief when shopping for candles: Luxury hotel lobby vibes. If you’ve ever walked inside a hotel and been greeted by a comforting, expensive scent that instantly makes you feel at home, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s the perfect accompaniment to plush furnishings, hardwood floors, and low-lit lighting. Often clean, usually warm, and always luxurious, it is exactly the vibe I’m after.

My obsession began in 2017 when I first stepped into the Monbijou Hotel in Berlin (side note: highly recommend). The lobby decor is chic but urban, muted colour-wise, and filled with low-level seating, ambient lighting, and artfully-arranged coffee table books. In the winter there’s an open fire and in the summer fresh-cut flowers. However, the first thing I noticed was the scent. It’s part green and leafy, part musky and smoky (I’m certain there are notes of pepper and violet) but above all it smells expensive. It’s vibrant and luxurious, but in an understated, cosy way. The home fragrance equivalent to wearing a skin-scent like Le Labo Santal 33 or Escentric Molecules 01.

I’ve stayed at the Monbijou multiple times since and still have yet to discover exactly what the scent is (unfortunately my rudimentary high school German doesn’t extend to fragrance chit-chat.) But needless to say, since then I’ve become obsessed with attempting to recreate that same expensive but welcoming aroma at home.

If you’ve ever wished you could bottle the scent of your favourite hotel and bring it home, keep scrolling, because these luxury candles will do just that.

Like all Aesop fragrances, Ptolemy is interesting from first sniff, but becomes exponentially better as it burns. With notes of cypress, cedar, and vetiver, it’s fresh and woody but rounds down to something earthy and resinous. I find it very welcoming and comfortable, perfect for scenting a hallway or lounge.

Okay, this is a personal favourite of mine. When I need to be in the mood to clean, I light this. Inspired by fresh cotton sheets, it’s fresh and airy, but has a surprising depth and weight to it. The main notes are lavender, freesia, and magnolia, but thanks to a warm, musky base it’s not a conventional floral. I really rate Beauty Pie candles – the scent blends are always interesting and they have great throw and longevity.

I’ve never visited the Caribbean, but I can only imagine this is exactly what the lobby of a fancy beach-front hotel on Antigua would smell like. Part fruity and part woody, it’s a vibrant cocktail of rum, leather, plum, and bergamot. Plus, if you like it as much as I do, you can also purchase an eau de toilette version.

I’m quite certain that every single one of Penhaligon’s candles gives hotel lobby vibes, but I can’t stop smelling this one. Perfect for autumn and winter, Anbar Stone starts off dark and smoky, but become increasingly sweeter, thanks to notes of honey-like amber and creamy tonka (a more mellow alternative to vanilla). If ‘hotel lobby’ brings to your mind book-filled shelves and studded leather armchairs, you’ll love this.

& Other Stories has one of the most underrated affordable fragrance collections, and their candle line is just as good. Palette Cypress is a bright and breezy blend of bergamot, açai, geranium, and cypress, with a heavy dose of leather that gives it a sophisticated edge. It burns powerfully and balances out to be equally warm and floral.

Aromatherapy Associates focuses on creating fragrances that celebrate scent as a form of self-care. Inspired by the calm and tranquility of nature, this comforting and uplifting mix of ho wood, pink pepper, and cyprus doesn’t just smell good – it makes you feel good. If your favourite kind of hotel is a spa hotel, look no further.

If you’re unfamiliar with Soho House, it’s a collection of members-only lounges and hotels with locations in cities such as Berlin, Istanbul, London, and New York. So yes, the company knows a thing or two about luxury home decor, and in 2016 launched a separate interiors brand, Soho Home. Now, Soho House locations are scented with Soho Home candles – so you can quite literally take the hotel lobby scent home with you. My favourite is Pomelo, a citrusy concoction of grapefruit and jasmine inspired by the Miami House.

This one is unique in that it’s actually inspired by a hotel, so it really doesn’t get more ‘luxury hotel lobby’ than this – a spicy and smoky aroma with hints of incense. According to perfumer Jo Malone, The Beaumont is “inspired by old fashioned glamour and sophistication,” and “instantly evokes a sense of 1920s decadence and grandeur”.

Like all Le Labo scents, this is the kind you’ll become addicted to after one sniff. Smoky and leathery but also woody and subtly spicy, Santal 26 is sensual and unforgettable.

Byredo is known for its complex and interesting perfumes, but it also has a collection of scents exclusively available as home fragrances. Inspired by the comforting feeling of freshly-washed linen, Cotton Poplin is delicate and powdery, combining notes of blue chamomile, white cedarwood, and sweet musk. If you could bottle the feeling of climbing into a freshly made hotel bed at the end of a long day spent travelling, it would be this.

Glossier fans will be pleased to know that the brand have taken their iconic body care fragrances and made them into candles. The latest launch is Big Sur-inspired Sandstone. Housed in an elegant green glass vessel, this candle perfectly balances out earthy notes of sandalwood and sage with a figgy freshness. It smells clean but expensive, the perfect accompaniment to hotel bath time.

Many scents have interpreted the wood fire smell, but this is the original and (in my opinion) the best. It perfectly evokes the comfort and cosiness of stepping in from the cold and gathering around an open fireplace.

Not so much hotel lobby, but more luxury hotel bathroom… This candle is inspired by the smell of taking a fancy bath in a fancy hotel. It’s an aquatic blend of blackcurrant leaf, neroli, and lavender, which perfectly captures the sensation of relaxing in a bubble bath.

This soy-based candle, prepared and poured by hand, boasts notes of bergamot, incense, patchouli, and ginger. It’s a great ‘after dinner’ burn, which reminds me of late nights spent in smoky hotel bars.

This powerhouse amber and mandarin blend is a conversation-starting fragrance which instantly fills a room. Drawing inspiration from Parisian nightfall, dark streets, and glinting windows, it’s elegant and aromatic. Burn this when you’re hosting dinner party guests.

When you light this, you’ll instantly notice the contrast between the cool spicy cardamom and warm sweet mimosa. It’s subtle and dry, so would be perfect for burning in a kitchen or dining area.

Ex Nihilo are best known for their perfumes, but also have a small selection of luxury candles. If you want your home to look, feel, and smell expensive, look no further. Rich notes of pear, bergamot, and amber create an indulgent floral aroma.

For festive season, nothing beats Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Mon Beau Sapin, which is released every year ahead of Christmas. It’s fresh, woody, and resinous – burning it is the next best thing to having a real tree in your hallway.

This bright, musky floral is the perfect scent to breathe life back into your home after winter. It combines notes of freesia, rose, iris, violet, and musk.

Next Up: 14 Gorgeous Perfume Sets That A) Make the Best Presents and B) Are Great Value

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