10 Tricks To Find The Best Gift Candles & Candle Brands

There's nothing like lighting your favorite candle. In one action, you're immediately transported to a tropical paradise, a line full of fresh laundry, a juicy berry patch or a mystical, earthy Zen zone. Yet, you can't get there with poor-quality, inferior products. Though your nose may be able to sniff out a great candle a mile away, the trick is where can you find them? Today, we're sharing ten tricks that can lead you to the best candle brands on the market, so you can skip straight to the good stuff. Ready to learn more? Put down that department store variety and let's get started.

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1. Look for Transparency

This is the #1 rule when looking at candle brands.  You should be able to find everything about the candle on the company website, from fragrance notes to ingredients.  Although things like ingredients and fragrance notes are very important for you to know exactly what you're getting, let's face it, you buy scented candles for the scent.  And if you're looking for LUXURY scented candles, you are certainly looking for something wonderful, right?  So, if you're looking at a new candle brand, how can you possibly tell how fragrant it will be if computers and phones don't have scratch and sniff?  Even if that were a thing, you'll never really  know until you get it home and burn it, right?  WRONG.  There is a super helpful scale called the Fragrance Scoring Scale™.  This is fragrance scoring for any scented product, ranging from 1-10, where "1" is the least fragrant and "10" is the most fragrant possible.

2. Check the Return Policy

Beyond the Fragrance Scoring Scale™, a sure-fire way to tell exactly what the manufacturer thinks of their own candle products, is to check the return policy.  How long is the return window and what are the "small-print-rules"?  If a candle company is confident that you will absolutely love your candle and/or that you will not even consider returning it for sub-par performance, lack of fragrance or just bad burn qualities, they will give you all the time you need.  "All the time?", you ask?  Yes, that's right.  Of course, when considering the fact that you just don't like the product as much as you thought you would, that's one thing but you can't back your product 100% unless you offer all the time a customer needs to find out it doesn't burn well, isn't fragrant or other undesirable issues.  There should be NO cut-off window for those types of returns/exchanges.  After all, you can't learn those things for 30-90 days right?  So, how is a 30 day return policy going to be useful?

3. Prioritize Quality not Quantity

The first thing we mean by that is, if you can get the candle for little more than a song, you're not getting the best.  Things just don't work that way unless you're a loyal customer getting special offers.  Sure, that does happen.  But understand, in the fragrance world, "You Get What You Pay For" rings true every single time.

The best candle brands don't leave you scratching your head, looking for more options but they also don’t leave you guessing as to which of the variety is the best.  So, if you’re left selecting from less than 20 fragrances, you might find that’s due to the selective nature of the brand, with a commitment to great fragrances.  It may mean they intend to give you solid quality in every fragrance. From clean and fresh fragrances to decadent gourmand scents or 20-200 scents, you should experience a similar strength in each fragrance from scent #1 to scent #200.  

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4. Product Variety Counts

Look for lines that include different product types in the same fragrance.  If you see  premium fragrance sprays in addition to candles that’s a start. First, similar to layering perfume, candles and complementing room sprays give you a way to keep a consistent fragrance through your space. In addition, if a company has invested in creating scented room sprays that complement their candles, they are confident the fragrance is a good seller.  If you happen to run across a fragrance offered in melts, sprays, sachets and so on, you’re almost guaranteed to find it’s a solid top seller.

5. Read Ingredient Lists

Not only is a cheap candle quick-burning and artificial-smelling, but you'll be able to tell for sure when you read its list of ingredients. Look for brands that don't have anything to hide. For instance, our candles feature a proprietary wax blend, along with a zinc-core wick (the absolute cleanest burning wick on the market), that delivers a clean, even and long-lasting burn. In addition, our Gift Candles are packaged with a fine fragrance card that includes further details on the background, notes, and development of each fragrance. 

For instance, our rich Vanilla Robusto candle outlines the top notes, mid notes, and base notes included in the formula, so you know exactly where that hint of anise or pink ginger comes from.  Other brands use muddy wax blends that consist of multiple wax types, artificial dyes, fillers and other chemicals, such as microcrystalline or stearic acid, that lengthen the ingredients list and frustrate buyers. 

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6. Look at the Packaging

Do you love giving candle gifts? If so, take a second look at the packaging on your presents. 

The top candle brands spare no expense when it comes to their package design and often give  you a candle packaged well enough to be given as a gift without added effort on your part. Although you still need to look for that “Made in China” sticker to be sure you’re not just stumbling over something well packaged on the outside only, with an eagle eye, you can avoid those.  Brands that care, deeply, about presentation, tend to also care about candle quality,  featuring distinctive elements such as frosted fine glass, silk coverings, and embossed luxury boxes. This makes a candle OR the candle in the package, attractive enough to sit on an open shelf in your office, add romance to your bedroom or accessorize your living room coffee table. 


7. Notice Burn Time

Have you ever noticed that when you first burn a candle, things seem to be going well, but after the second and third burn, your burn time is dragging out?  Sure, long burn times sound great but if you see claims of extra long burn times that seem too good to be true, you might be getting ready to experience a candle that burns slowly because it doesn’t burn well.  On the other hand, short burn times on candles that seem like they should burn longer, either means there’s funny business afoot or the wick is too big for the wax pool.  That means you’re in for a fun-filled soot-fest, better known to the general public as a smoky candle.  Look for average, reasonable burn times.  Physics is physics and any given amount of wax can only burn for a specific amount of time, so claims of the longest burning candles in the world should raise BOTH your eyebrows!

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8. Ensure Against Fillers

Why your other candles don't smell great for as long? Most employ cheap tactics to lure you in at the store but leave you disappointed at home.  For instance, some candles utilize scentless fillers in their core, meaning the scent is only distributed to the outer edges and once you burn those off, it's gone. Others use a two-layer pouring process that concentrates the fragrance to the top layer. So, when you reach the inner layer, that botanical or masculine scent you adored is nowhere to be found.  Look for brands that avoid the use of fillers, dyes, diluents or other such tactics. When there's true craftsmanship  in the candlemaking process, it's easy for us to identify but for the consumer, you need a little help.  When you open the candle to smell it in the store there are a few tell tale signs that you should steer clear. 1) Check out the top of the candle.  If you see a perfectly circular center through the transparent wax on top, put it down.  It could be that fragrance free core.  If you see very visible bubbles throughout the candle (in a hard wax candle) it’s a sign of air-whipped wax, which is a new trend in fillers.  Air puffs the wax to fill the candle with less, offering a much faster burn time to bring you back for the next purchase sooner and it creates a quick, hot melt pool that expels fragrance quickly in the room.  This gives the illusion of stronger fragrance in the candle but it’s actually just burning through the fragrance much faster.


9. Don't Settle for Slightly Scented

A premium candle is one that cold-carries. In short, that means you can still smell its rich scent even if the wick is miles from a flame. To distinguish a luxury candle brand from the rest of the pack, notice how close you have to get to the candle to smell it, even when it isn’t burning. Sure, there are the naturally powerful fragrances like almonds and cherries, but we’re talking about the complex fragrances that aren’t single or double word descriptive (cherry bomb, almond cake).  Candles that are clearly not your average fragrance, can be gorgeous and complex like fine perfume, but if you have to have your nose directly over it, within an inch to find the smell, then the fragrance is at a very low percentage in the candle.  You can fill candles with the most premium fragrance available but if you only put it at 1%-3% in the candle, it’s no longer premium.  If your nose must be inches from the unlit candle to distinguish fragrance, you may not be dealing with low quality fragrance but you aren’t dealing with much high quality fragrance either.  Want something better?  Candles by UnEarthed®  scent 1,000 to 4,000 square feet of room space, with the market’s most premium fragrances! We utilize Advanced Fragrance Technology® to produce a clean-burning candle that delivers incredible scent with every burn.  

10. Find Robust Customer Support

Candle brands you want to come to know and love, don't just provide a premium product and call it a day.  You know, those brands that you are so excited about then when you get it home there’s an issue as there can be with any brand, but when you try to call, either no one picks up the phone or when they do it’s a never-ending automated circle of voice prompts or a return/exchange policy that doesn’t fit for you.  Companies that are worth dealing with take things to a level consumers at least hope for and those you want to memorize are the ones who take it a step further.  You are looking, minimally, for a company with customer support personnel available to answer questions and provide feedback. How do you know if you’ll find that?  Unfortunately, that’s usually a quality you only learn with the first experience, so it can be a gamble.  Our suggestion is to try your best to follow as much of this direction as you are able and customer service will follow.  After all, why would a company spend so much effort and resources to make a candle the best on the market and then drop the ball on customer relationships?

Customer Service Is Not Optional

Why We're One of the Best Candle Brands

As for UnEarthed®  products and company ethics, we go well beyond average expectations.  It has become almost a company competition to be the most accommodating of our team.  We are  always on hand to listen and it’s our philosophy that you should feel as though you're part of a fragrance family, where your opinion is deeply valued. We're committed to providing only the highest-quality fragrance products, that feature natural ingredients, impeccable craftsmanship and unmatched attention to detail.

When you purchase any item from our extensive lineup, you can rest assured that you're teaming with one of the best candle brands available. We've made it our mission to transform and enrich every home with premium, luxury fragrance, from our concentrated room sprays and travel tin candles to our oversized 65-ounce, three-wick beauties

Try one today and experience true premium quality in scented candles. We're confident you'll see and smell the difference from Day 1 and you’ll never look back.