We absolutely love the smell out of the great outdoors. Every time we go outside, we’re reminded exactly why we’re so lucky in the fall. The smell of raw pine and dirt, of charred wood, cedar, and dying leaves—it’s great. But sometimes it doesn’t smell like that inside, and for us, that’s a problem. Luckily, it’s a problem that has a solution.
We’re not talking about those nose deadening candles from the mall. We’re talking good stuff with mild scents that don’t force your olfactory nerve into a permanent coma. A well-made candle is a perfectly subtle way to take you back to the places you love.
While the description for this candle had us laughing (“Escape into bountiful nature and seek out mystery while connecting with your inner forest nymph”), the Pine Forest candle from the team at Black Arrow is a solid pick if you’re looking for a fragrant reminder of a beautiful pine forest. A base of juniper and spruce, with hints of cedar wood and a little spearmint give this candle a distinct aroma that screams, “nature.”$14
The Trophy Room candle was probably poured with, well, a trophy room in mind. And while it’s not explicitly inspired by the great outdoors, the trophy room they’re probably referring to is filled with stuff you killed outside, so it fits. The rich aroma of mahogany, cedar, and pungent oak, coupled with faint hints of lavender and geranium, give us the feeling of a trip to the cabin. Because it’s a soy candle (like most of the other entries on this list), the smell isn’t overbearing—just strong enough to remind you of what you’re missing out there.$26
Tastefully released by the folks at Skandinavisk, the BAL candle is reminiscent of smokey fall bonfires, and time spent looking up at the stars. There’s also no way we were going to make a list like this and not include campfires. Made from subtle perfumes and high quality vegetable wax, you’ll get a 50-hour burn from just one candle. That leaves a lot of time to reminisce, no?$39
The folks at P.F. Candle Co. just get it. Their Amber & Moss candle burns with a clean mossy start, and slowly releases fragrances that evoke “a damp, wooded forest floor, layered with soft oakmoss.” You’ll note hints of lavender and sage, and even a little orange to ensure the room doesn’t just smell like dirt and mold. That’s considerate of them, since sometimes you want to smell the woods without considering what’s actually in them.$18
Prospector Co. deserves a tremendous amount of respect for the care and craft they put into their products. Their hand-poured candles, mixed with pure essential oils and vegetable wax are no different. Their Cavern Moss Flame releases a musky scent of Spanish moss, with a slight pine mix and subtle floral perfume hanging gently overhead. There’s some Southern charm in this candle the others don’t have, so we’re reserving it for special occasions.$18
Brooklyn Candle Studio releases small-batch, hand-poured candles, created and poured with care in Brooklyn, New York. They offer a few outdoorsy candles to help remind us of our experiences outside four walls, but our favorite is their Spruce Man Candle. These candles are wonderful. Pine and spruce and even a slight hint of spearmint come together to make your room smell like a weekend hiking trip in the Appalachians—which is exactly what we need on those cold mornings when we’re stuck inside doing nothing.$16
There’s not too much to say about this candle from Farmhouse Candle Company, other than they’ve really nailed the experience of a hike through the woods on a rainy spring day. So not a fall candle, but since spring’s basically fall’s mirror image, it’s close enough that we’re including it. The Treemoss + Cedar candle is made from natural soy and comes from the same small-batch, hand-poured DIY ethic we admire in a candle company. If you’re looking to try something different, and a fragrance that you’ve probably never smelled before—but won’t ever want to do without again—this wax is perfect.$18
We can always trust the folks at Good and Well to fill our office with a fragrance we love, and their Black Oak candle definitely didn’t disappoint us. Strong oakwood, coupled with Peru balsam, laurel, and a hint of sandlewood, this candle will take you for a walk through your favorite trail, and leave you longing for the day you can go back. You’ll practically hear the woodpeckers off in the distance and the wind rustling through the trees, and feel the warm sun on your skin.$22