Presniff, if you had to walk into a candle shop today (say, Yankee Candle Company), which one would you pick sight unsmelled?
Maybe a more sinister way to ask that question: if you could only smell one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pro tip: sadly if you only had to smell one scent for the rest of your life - eventually you wouldn’t be able to smell it because your brain would no longer recognize the fragrance as “different” or “threatening.”
Still, this line of questioning led me on a journey... what’s the most popular candle scent?
If I was to pick, say, Vanilla… would other people want to live in my universally scented world? Maybe the answer to these questions will tell me the best candle to burn at a party...
So what’s your favorite candle scent?
Obviously, you each probably have your own preferences. However, it may come as a surprise that good smells are biologically hardwired into all of us and the variation from person to person isn’t as wide as you’d think. So - what scents do people most prefer? What are the most universally pleasant candle smells?
Since Yankee Candle Company is the world’s largest candle company, I’m going to make the assumption that their top sellers will give me pretty good idea of what people prefer.
So what are Yankee Candle Company’s top 10 best selling candle scents? What are Yankee Candle Company’s top 10 highest reviewed candle scents?
After pouring through Yankee Candle Company’s annual reports, filtering by “best seller” & “highest reviews” on major websites, on the Yankee Candle website, and reading similar articles to this one - I’ve created a list of Yankee Candle Company’s top selling candles.
1 - Macintosh
Little surprise here for us - Apple Pie to Dirty Fart is our best selling prank candle and the Macintosh smells like, well, Apples. The main difference between the Macintosh and other popular Apple scents by Yankee Candle Company is that the Macintosh doesn’t have any hints of cinnamon. It smells straight up like a bite of an apple. So there is your answer... Apple is the king of candle scents. There is just something pleasant and soothing about walking into a house that smells like a baking apple pie, fresh sliced apples, or a glass of fresh apple juice.
Prank Candles Version: Apple Pie to Dirty Fart
“Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la…” I don’t know what the hell a bough is but I know one of the main reasons that this is one of Yankee Candle’s top selling candle scents is because more candles (or more anything) is bought during Christmas time. It helps when the candle smells like a Christmas Tree! However, spruce, balsam, cedar, and other forest scented candles are bought year round which adds to their popularity. It’s the scent of the great outdoors, it’s the scent of Christmas, it’s the scent of childhood memories - all in a candle. No wonder this is one of Yankee Candle Company’s top selling scents.
Prank Candles Version: Balsam & Cedar to Skunk Spray
3 - Cranberry Chutney
This was the biggest surprise on the list of Yankee Candle’s top sellers. However, it shouldn’t have been. Who doesn’t love a BERRY BLAST? This isn’t just a cranberry candle - it apparently smells like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and of course cranberries too. I’ll ask again though - who doesn’t love a BERRY BLAST? Who doesn’t love fruit? They’re sweet, delicious, nutritious, and they smell great! What could be better than walking into a house that smells like sweet berry jelly? As soon as it hits your nostrils, you’d know immediately that you were in a warm and welcoming place.
When it’s cold outside, I dream about summer. When it’s summer, it’s so hot I want it to be night time so it cools down. This candle is the best of both worlds. It has the strong citrus top notes that you’d associate with summer, with warm and musky middle notes that are comforting and relaxing. This candle is an experience in a jar - it’s uplifting warmth when you need it to be, and it’s a cool relaxation when you need it to be. It’s no wonder that this is one of Yankee Candle’s top selling fragrances.
For most humans, vanilla is either their first or second favorite fragrance in blind smell tests. It’s recognized by as one of the few scents that is universally pleasant. In fact, most chocolate companies add vanilla to their chocolate because it makes the chocolate smell better! Vanilla is in A TON of Yankee Candle Company’s top selling scents and fragrances, however, plain old vanilla comes in at #5 on the list. However, if you added all the varieties that include Vanilla that are in the top 25 most popular Yankee Candle scents - Vanilla Cupcakes, Buttercream, Christmas Cookie - etc.. it would likely be #1 or #2 on this list. Long story short, people love vanilla - so it’s no wonder that it’s one of Yankee Candle Company’s best selling scents.
If there is one smell I love - it’s clean cotton. Clean bed sheets, clean clothes… it just smells so clean. Apparently, I’m not the only one as Clean Cotton comes in at the sixth best selling fragrance by Yankee Candle Company. These candles smell just like that fresh cleaned shirt you just put on. This candle is that warmth hitting your body in the form of a fragrance!
Prank Candles Version: Clean Cotton to Stinky Socks
The fresh smell of herbaceousness and citrus! Similar to the berry scents listed above - there were a wide variety and number of citrus scents spattered among the top selling scents and fragrances. Many of the Yankee Candle Company’s best sellers were, in fact, either herbaceous scents or citrus scents. However, this one took the cake. Something about the pairing of sage, lavender, and citrus is beyond pleasing to the senses. In fact, when we visited Yankee Candle Company’s website and sorted by “best selling fragrances” - this particular candle was so popular it was sold out!
Of course - Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Spiced Pumpkin Candles! No surprise that this came in at #8 on Yankee Candle Company’s best sellers. Apple Pumpkin was also a top seller bringing together the best of both worlds (#1 & #8). Pumpkins have become synonymous with fall and autumn. Some of the top companies in the world have profited from our love of Pumpkins in the fall and Yankee Candle Company is no different. The best thing about Spiced Pumpkin candles is unlike Pumpkin Spiced Lattes (aka PSLs) is that you can enjoy them year round. Take that Starbucks!
Sun & Sand doesn’t ACTUALLY smell like Sun & Sand. Because duh that would be gross. It smells like summertime! So what does summertime smell like? Similar to Sage & Citrus, Sun and Sand is packed with a ton of Citrus! It also has calming and relaxing notes of Lavender and Eucalyptus. It also has musk notes for the sand! It’s heavenly. So kick back, relax, and enjoy summer in a candle! It’s exactly what you’d expect heaven on a beach to smell like. That’s likely why it’s one of Yankee Candle Company’s top bestselling candles!
Remember what we said about vanilla? Imagine vanilla, citrus, AND berry fragrances all packed into one candle. It’s everything you could ever want in a candle. All the goodness of fragrance packed into one nosetastic journey. Just like Sage & Citrus, this candle was sold out on the Yankee Candle website when we filtered by best sellers. Other than maybe #14 (Fresh Cut Roses) - this may be the best date night candle on the Yankee Candle Company best seller list.
Bringing together the best of Yankee Candle Company’s #1 (Macintosh/Apple) & #8 (Spiced Pumpkin) best selling fragrances, Apple Pumpkin is about fall as fall gets. This is autumn in a candle! When it starts to get chilly and the leaves start changing colors - this comforting blend of Apple and Pumpkin will help you warm up faster than that fall coat you just dusted off!
Of course! More vanilla! Creamy vanilla, sweet vanilla, some cinnamon, and more vanilla! The only difference between this candle and French Vanilla (Yankee Candle Company’s #5 best selling scent) is the addition of nutmeg, cinnamon, and butter. Nothing quite gets you in the Christmas season like the smell of Christmas Cookies baking in the oven. Now you can smell that candle year round… or maybe just around Christmas time when you can actually indulge in the actual thing.
Lavender has been used for centuries for it’s soothing and relaxing benefits. The ancient Greeks used Lavender for medicinal purposes and it’s even mentioned in the Bible. In World War 1 it was utilized in hospitals on wounds. To this day, it is a well hyped homeopathic herb that is widely used in aromatherapy. It’s scent properties come from the fact that it is in the mint family & like mint, it produces a very strong aroma. While Lavender comes in at #13 on the list of Yankee Candle’s top sellers… a few other varieties with Lavender almost made the list. These include Lemon Lavender, Lavender Vanilla, & Lavender Sunset. Like other scents on this list - it may have gotten a higher score had it not been for these similar but competing scents.
Everyone knows roses are beautiful. However, what’s the first thing every girl does when she gets a rose? Smell them! That’s because they smell incredible as they look beautiful. However, roses have a very unique scent and rarely is that fragrance mixed with other candle scents. In fact, this is the only Yankee Candle Company candle that has “rose” in the name. This also likely helped Fresh Cut Roses rank higher on our list of Yankee Candle’s Best Selling Candles. Fresh Cut Roses is a blend of rose colors which each have unique scents of their own. It has notes of apple, citrus, and musk rounding out an amazing smelling candle. It’s about as perfect for date night as perfect gets!