Vanilla scented candles are probably the most common and generally liked scented candles. Pretty much every scented candle and wax company out there has their own version of vanilla. They are often considered boring and bland but personally, I feel that a good vanilla candle is a staple that everyone needs around. A classic vanilla note has so many potentials when it comes to fragrance layering. It works so well with such a wide range of scents that I really love playing around with it and I always have my favorites on hand.
There are a few of the basic vanilla variations. There’s Bourbon Vanilla that has a darker, boozy vibe. There’s Tahitian Vanilla that has an intense but lighter, fruitier vibe and French Vanilla, that’s sharper and drier.
When it comes to vanilla and scented wax, we usually talk about foody or creamy vanilla, floral vanilla, powdery or rather perfume-y vanilla and vanilla extract type.
The best types of vanilla to blend and mix with are creamy vanilla and floral/fruity vanilla.
You can add vanilla to just about anything and you’ll end up with a softer, mellower, sweeter fragrance.
Burned or melted alone, vanilla candles work great as guest friendly candles. Albeit boring and predictable, there’s something to be said for a home fragrance that won’t give people migraines and will not clash with food or drinks you’re serving to your guest.
It’s also a versatile scent in terms of placement. A vanilla candle work in a bedroom, a living room, kitchen and bathroom. You can burn it anywhere and during any season and it won’t feel out of place. For example, burning a pine candle in August is a huge no-go for me. Pine scents only work for me during the winter holiday season. But a vanilla scent I can smell during December or a July evening and it will work.
Loads of good vanilla scents have a cookie theme. Most just end up smelling like vanilla and sugar, missing the “baked cookie” note that would make them smell more complex so I’ll include some of those on the list as well. As for the rest, I’ll stick to plain vanilla candles with the note that loads of my favourite complex fragrances have a strong vanilla note in them, but since they’re layered scents I don’t want them on this list.
7 best affordable vanilla candles that are easily available now
- Ribbonwick Vanilla Sugar
- Yankee Candle Sandalwood Vanilla
- Goose Creek Candles Dark Vanilla Bean
- Goose Creek Candle Lemon Vanilla Cake Batter
- Yankee Candle Vanilla
- Goose Creek Candles Vanilla Cashmere
- Yankee Candle Vanilla Cupcake
Goose Creek Candle Lemon Vanilla Cake Batter candle has scent notes of sweet lemon peels, juicy blueberries folded into a vanilla cake batter.
Burning Goose Creek Candle Lemon Vanilla Cake Batter I get loads of vanilla, some butter, quite a bit of sugar, a nice foody lemon scent and a faint milky undertone. It smells pretty much exactly like a vanilla pudding that you decided to fancy up by adding some lemon peel.
I get zero berry notes here and they’re not on the label (or in the name) either, so I’m thinking it was just a mistake on their website to include that note. But if you were really looking forward to a lemon, vanilla, blueberry situation, layer Goose Creek Candle Lemon Vanilla Cake Batter with their Blueberry Vanilla, it’s a perfect match.
Comparing Goose Creek Candle Lemon Vanilla Cake Batter to Yankee’s Lemon Pound Cake I personally prefer the Yankee because it’s a bit deeper, there’s more lemon and it has a more cake-y vibe while this iscake batter.
I have a small jar of the Yankee Candle Vanilla Cupcake scented candle and it’s actually my second jar of this scent. I bought a small jar of the Yankee Candle Vanilla Cupcake scented candle first, burned through it and then UK Yankee made it the scent of the month so it was 25% off this month and I went and picked up another small jar of Yankee Candle Vanilla Cupcake. It’s a strange choice for a June scent of the month, but hey…my local Yankee store picked Soft Blanket for the scent of the month, and that’s really not a candle I want to burn in June, so I guess these picks are totally random.
The official scent notes for Yankee Candle Vanilla Cupcake scented candle are: vanilla cupcake, lemon, buttery icing.
To me, it smells like pure vanilla cake. Strong bakery note and sweet, creamy vanilla and butter. I don’t get the icing or any lemon.
My small sized jar burns with no issues in my Ikea candle holder, I get an even wax pool after about an hour and the scent throw is a 6.
I burn Yankee Candle Vanilla Cupcake in my kitchen in January and February when I’m done with holiday scents and I need something sweet and yummy that has zero calories.
I got Goose Creek Candles Vanilla Cashmere during my winter Goose Creek scents haul. Out of all the woody notes I like cashmere the most, and paired with vanilla, I figured this might work for me.
The official scent notes in Goose Creek Candles Vanilla Cashmere are: cashmere, vanilla blossom, sugared raspberry, iced coconut, and sandalwood milk.
Melting Goose Creek Candles Vanilla Cashmere, I get the creaminess, sandalwood, and vanilla. I can’t really smell cashmere. Cashmere is a blond wood note and it’s quite distinctive, especially when mixed with vanilla notes, but I just couldn’t smell it here. I also didn’t smell the raspberry or the coconut.
Actually, this smelled a lot like Yankee Candle’s Vanilla Satin. Not an exact dupe, but same notes, done a tad differently.
The scent throw on one piece of the wax melt is a 7. It scented my medium sized office in 10 minutes.
Straight up vanilla scents are always so hard to review, because…what can you say about vanilla, really? Before I was into perfumes I thought about vanilla fragrance mostly in a degree of sweetness. But about 7 years ago I went on a vanilla perfume quest and ended up with a stash of about 30 various takes on the vanilla fragrance, so I now appreciate the versatility and loveliness of this note much better. Still can’t write about it all that much though.
Despite the vast variety of candles in my house, I burn vanilla scents quite often, to the point that whenever I wear a vanilla based perfume my husband informs me I smell like a candle. Which…OK. I guess what lavender note is for some people, vanilla is for me. It’s relaxing, calming and cleansing and goes with just about anything.
The official scent notes Goose Creek Candles Dark Vanilla Bean are: rich French vanilla cream, toasted coconut, caramel butter.
Melting it, it’s buttery vanilla, sweetened with caramel. I don’t care for caramel all that much and it does smell like it’s been left on the stove a bit too long here. It’s got that thick but slightly burned scent that comes with caramel notes so often. Too bad because the vanilla note alone is lovely, not synthetic or vanilla extract like, but rich and creamy.
The scent throw on one piece of the wax melt is a 6. This will scent a good half of a medium sized room. I had it on my desk while I was working and got the full blast but it was very weak at the far end of the room.
Yankee Candle Vanilla is a part of the new set of the Pure Essence collection, the other new scents being White Tea and Verbena. It’s basically a spa themed collection and the scents in it are supposed to give us a relaxed, clean vibe.
I loved the previous set and still have a hoard of Shea Butter and Aloe Water candles and in comparison, this set is not as good and not as on theme as the previous one.
The official scent notes in Yankee Candle Vanilla are sugar, vanilla orchid, white musk.
The vanilla note is OK, I think Yankee always does good vanilla. It’s quite sweet and the creaminess is the same as in Shea Butter, meaning it’s more in the body butter vein than a gourmand creaminess. But the musk is too strong for me here and it throws the whole fragrance from clean and body product type into something very powdery. It ends up being a lot like Angel’s Wings from Yankee, which I do like but it’s too powdery and musky to feel spa-like and clean.
The scent throw on my third of a wax melt was a strong 8.
I mixed it with Yankee Candle Verbena to brighten up the overall fragrance and make it fresher and I liked the mix much more than Vanilla alone.
Yankee Candle Sandalwood Vanilla is back in large jars only and for a limited time. It’s a very winter scent for me and I’m not a big fan of sandalwood in general so I’ll not be getting it but I did have a tart in this scent a few years ago and I dug through my notes for the review.
The official scent notes in Yankee Candle Sandalwood Vanilla are sandalwood and rich, comforting vanilla.
It smells like it says it does. A good mix, heavy on the sandalwood. The vanilla is there to sweeten up the woodsy note but as far as woodsy notes go, sandalwood is on the very cozy, creamy and incense-y spectrum anyway so it’s not like it needs much to amp those things up.
I don’t find it masculine or feminine, it’s somewhere in the middle but I do have a lot of perfumes with sandalwood base that I wear during the winter so that might be the reason I don’t associate the note with men specifically.
The throw on Yankee Candle Sandalwood Vanilla in the current jars is reportedly only around a 6 but on my tart it was a strong 7, scenting a medium sized room with no issues. I honestly wouldn’t want a woodsy fragrance like this any stronger as I think it could get overwhelming fast.
I love Ribbonwick candles. Love how different they look and the fragrance is always on point. They are pricey for the burn time you get, but for parties, they’re the perfect decor piece. The fragrances don’t get overpowering and the long flame paired with the various containers is gorgeous. I often get lucky and find them at my local Moemax store on clearance and if I do, I rarely leave them there.
The official scent notes in Ribbonwick Vanilla Sugar are sugar cane, cake batter, and whipped buttercream.
Burning Ribbonwick Vanilla Sugar, I smell rich, buttery vanilla frosting. The vanilla is very nice, not your generic vanilla extract but rather a richer, bourbon vanilla scent. I don’t get sugar cane but rather just plain sugar. Sugar cane to me has a more watery, green note to it and that’s not in here. The cake batter note…well, cake batter basically smells like vanilla and sugar but there’s no cake or rather no “baked” cake or proper bakery note.
People have told me to stop saying there are no bakery notes in stuff that smell like frosting or cake batter since those are the smells or baking. To me, a “bakery” note is the note that you get after something get’s going in the oven or when something comes out of the oven, not before.
The scent throw on my oval with two wicks was about 7.
This had 20 oz. of wax and burn time of 35 hours. I find that the Ribbonwick burn times are generally exaggerated and the actual burn time on this is closer to 22 hours.
Make sure you don’t place these directly onto the furniture because they do get super hot and will damage the surface of your furniture unless you put something underneath.
Ribbonwicks need extra time to fully light up, so keep that in mind and don’t start them 5 minutes before your guest arrive. I always light them about an hour before and that gives them plenty of time to get going.
I’d burn this any time of the year but especially in February and March in the main living area or the kitchen.
The fragrance in this is the same as in the Woodwick Escape Vanilla Bliss candle.
The best scents to layer with a basic vanilla fragrance are coffee, bakery, strawberry in the food category; lavender and sweet mint in the spa category and sandalwood in the woody category.