Home & Living

We Tested 16 Pumpkin Spice Candles And Rated Them For You

"Welcome to my home. It smells of pumpkin spice."

Fall is the season of pumpkin spice everything, so it's fitting that there are also now pumpkin-spice-scented candles. Because nothing says fall more than a pungent, seasonally-specific candle.

We'll be the first to say it: A lot of these autumn-themed candles smell like a bit much. But we still want to get in the spirit and burn one of these babies all season long.

But which one? How do you find the perfect autumn candle? We took it upon ourselves to test 16 different candles. We lit each candle, put it in a room and had innocent victims come in and rate each on its "pumpkin spice" factor, the strength of its scent and the look of the actual candle. The scale ran from 1 to 10 -- 1 being absolutely horrible; 10 being the best thing they've ever experienced. We then averaged the three scores for each candle.

Here are the results ranked from best to worst:

1
Mixture's Soy Arctic Fill in "Pumpkin Spice"
What the website says:"Rich pumpkin, fresh spice and a hint of baked crust fill the air."What we say: "Lots of cinnamon" "Lemony, nice and faint." "This smells like laundry."
2
Bath & Body Works' "Pumpkin Pecan Waffles"
What the website says:"Indulge in delicious, warm pumpkin pecan waffles drenched in pure maple syrup and sprinkled with brown sugar."What we say: "Coconuty." "Maple-like, with butter and spice." "I would have it in my home, but not as a pumpkin candle." "Smells like dessert." "NO. NO." "This smells like that fake buttered popcorn jelly bean tastes and it is SO bad."
3
Yankee Candle's Pure Radiance in "Crackling Ginger Pumpkin"
What the website says:"Dessert gets a spicy twist in this delectable, fresh-baked blend of ginger, pumpkin and cognac."What we say: "Can you even give this a number?" "No, no, no." "Smells burnt, but hasn't even been lit yet!" "It smells like a way-too-sugary, store-bought pumpkin pie that I would never want to eat."
4
Anthropologie's Bistro Candle Tin in "Pumpkin Chai Latte"
What the website says:"Cinnamon, ginger and cove are blended with caramel cream, coconut milk and warm vanilla bean."What we say: "I can't really smell it." "It smells like some sort of, like, lotion or a body butter." "Light and crisp, cinnamon-y." "It's not so potent... in a good way."
5
Bath & Body Works' "Pumpkin Sugared Donut"
What the website says:"A sweet autumn treat of freshly baked pumpkin doughnut with sugar & spice."What we say: "Pretty accurate pumpkin spice-ness." "Really sweet... Oh my god... no. This smells like burnt sugar." "This does not live up to its promise! At all!!!!!"
6
Glade's "Pumpkin Pie Diner™" Jar Candle
What the website says:"Enhance the atmosphere in your home with comforting candlelight and the indulgent aroma of pumpkin pie kissed with cinnamon and topped with whipped cream."What we say: "Super waxy." "Generic (if that's a smell)." "Kind of nauseating." "Smells kind of caramel-y/apple-y." "Smells like putrid butterscotch."
7
Yankee Candle's Pure Radiance in "Pumpkin"
What the website says:"All the warmth of the season in a creamy blend of pumpkins with a touch of cardamom and brown sugar."What we say: "Smells like rotten lemon, cinnamon and cardboard." "The wood wick and the textured glass make it too tall." "Ick!" "Smells like artificial citrus and insanely potent spices." "Smells like soap." "Not like fall."
8
Anthropologie's Boulangerie Jar Candle in "Pumpkin Soufflé"
What the website says:"Freshly grated nutmeg and warm pumpkin, combined with rich maple syrup, ginger and sweet vanilla"What we say: "Definitely on the sweeter side." "Ew." "Citrus! Crazy, crazy citrus."
9
Yankee Candle's "Spiced Pumpkin"
What the website says:"Enjoy the Fragrance of Pumpkins baked with clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and sweetened with brown sugar."What we say: "Definitely spiced." "More like Christmas than Fall." "Hints of pine in there." "It is spicy, but I wouldn't light it in my home." "This smells like beer and perfume." "This smells like a cinnamon-spiced candied apple. But not pumpkin pie."
10
Bath & Body Works' "Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun"
What the website says:"Treat yourself to the fragrance of a fresh from the oven pumpkin cinnamon bun with gooey cinnamon swirls & creamy vanilla icing."What we say: "It does smell like something is baking... and it's on the verge of burning." "This smells like a pastry in a bakery... but I hate that smell."
11
Yankee Candle's "Pumpkin Ginger Bark"
What the website says:"The perfect autumn treat . . . an indulgent recipe of snappy ginger, warm pumpkin and rich vanilla sugar."What we say: "Guess it does smell wood-y/bark-y." "Is this buttered popcorn?" "This smells more like gingerbread than pumpkin pie, but it's ok?"
12
Hillhouse Naturals' "Autumn Harvested"
What the website says:"After the fruits of the earth have been gathered in, relax and savor their restorative scents of cider spiced with nutmeg and ginger in this Soy Blend votive candle."What we say: "The colored glass is pretty." "Too citrus-y." "It's more orange and clove than pumpkin." "This is very innocuous." "This is perfume-y like a candle should be, but it does not smell like food."
13
Yankee Candle's "Pumpkin Buttercream"
What the website says:"Buttercream gets a spicy twist . . . a traditional recipe of pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon and clove."What we say: "I can see where they were going with the butterscotch accent." "Too sweet though." "Weird after-smell." "There goes the spice!" "Has a bad honey smell." "Very subtle, but pretty accurately pumpkin-ish."
14
Yankee Candle's "Apple Pumpkin"
What the website says:"Homegrown apples and pumpkins, two of fall's classic aromas, come together for a warm, cozy, inviting fragrance that fills the home with the delicious warmth. The slightly sweet, earthy notes from the pumpkin and clove, with a little bit of spiced apple added, bring the season home and offer a arms-open-welcome to family and friends."What we say: "The apple actually helps balance out the pumpkin spice." "Not bad, but not sure I want my home to smell like this." "Those notes just don't go together." "Why is this red?" "This is fruit punch, this is NOT pumpkin spice."
15
Diamond Candle's "Pumpkin Chai Ring Candle"
What the website says:"Our Pumpkin Chai Candle features a unique aroma of delectable roasted pumpkin and warm chai spices."What we say: "Terrible graphic." "Lid's too big." "Oof very strong." "This is horrid." "This somehow actually smells like pie crust!"
16
Paddywax's "Pumpkin Spice Little Happy Candle"
What the website says:"Our signature Soy Wax, paired with Pumpkin & Spice fragrance notes, hand-poured in a white glass vessel, and packaged in a festive box with an inspiring message."What we say: "Looks like soap." "Doesn't smell anything like pumpkin or spice." "This smells like nothing, with a hint of butter." "This is perfectly pleasant, but it's not anything like pumpkin spice."
Beautiful Fall Flowers