Some people go to bookstores to peruse the titles that line the shelves, while others can’t get enough of the inviting atmosphere those literary sanctuaries provide. Part of that warm and fuzzy feeling involves the distinct scent of books. But what about when you want to go one step further and actually catch some odors inspired by the books themselves? Don’t fret. Sit back, relax, crack open your favorite tome, and breathe in these 11 book-friendly candles for all the lit-geeks out there.
1. HARRY POTTER
If you can’t apparate from your couch to the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade to actually drink butterbeer, why not have a wizard’s beverage of choice to smell instead? This candle, which is called “Wizard’s Pub,” features the nutty and buttery scent of spiced pralines—which is intoxicating enough that even Voldemort would want to take a whiff.
Spireside Candles, $18
Amateur sleuths can follow the clues to cozy up to this candle inspired by 221B Baker Street’s most famous resident, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most notable literary creation: Sherlock Holmes. With a warm fragrance of black currant tea and leather, the only way to round out such an elementary scent would have been with a bit of Holmes’s pipe tobacco. But as is, it’s enough to make anyone break out your deerstalker hats (and, obviously, your wallet) to solve the aromatic mysteries of this candle.
From the Page, $12
In Henry David Thoreau’s nonfiction classic Walden, the Transcendentalist wrote, “I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” If you want to break away from society for a woodsy jaunt just like Thoreau, but also want to make your one-room shack smell nice while doing it, look no further than this Walden-inspired candle scent.
Hearth and Hammer, $18
4. CHARLES DICKENS
Charles Dickens was the bard of the dark and gloomy streets of foggy London with such dreary high school English class staples as Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. But like the scrappy street urchin protagonist of the latter, you’ll be asking for some more, please, when you experience the scent of this Dickens-inspired candle. Made of fragrant notes of tangerine, juniper, and clove, the only thing that could make this more authentic would be some chimney sweep soot under your nose.
5. THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
Don’t panic! While a towel is, unfortunately, not included with this candle inspired by irreverent British satirist Douglas Adams’s beloved sci-fi send-up, it does smell like the most useful item an interstellar Hitchhiker can carry. Order 42 of these and you’ll be all set for a perfectly fragrant journey around the galaxy.
6. THE GREAT GATSBY
Don’t let the false promise of the American Dream circa 1922 get you down. Keep that ambition burning bright with this vanilla and musk-scented candle meant to evoke the green light at the end of Daisy Buchanan’s dock in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. It smells great in East Egg, West Egg, and in any mansion in between.
Hearth and Hammer, $18
7. EDGAR ALLAN POE
Quoth the raven: “Nevermore. Also, wow, this candle smells awesome.” The author behind macabre tales like "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a favorite of fans of morbid fiction everywhere, and his grim essence is perfectly captured in this candle that smells of cardamom, sandalwood, and absinthe. Like Poe’s works and his preference for drink, this candle is intoxicating.
8. THE HOBBIT / THE LORD OF THE RINGS
There can only be one candle to rule them all, but there are so many good J.R.R. Tolkien-related choices from which to choose!
If you’re a peaceful type who would rather spend time loafing around Hobbiton, there’s no better way to get things smelling like a Hobbit hole than the minty and oak moss aroma of the appropriately named Hobbit Garden candle. But if you’d rather go off on an unexpected journey with a mischievous wizard like Gandalf, the smoky tobacco of this Pipe-Weed candle could make one loopy enough to simply walk into Mordor.
Bubble and Geek, $16
9. A GAME OF THRONES
You won’t need wildfire to illuminate this set of nine candles, inspired by the major houses of Westeros in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga; matches will do just fine. There’s a scent for every season: House Targaryen’s smoky red clove is good for months where it's hot as dragon's breath; House Tyrell’s garden-like aroma will make you forget about a Lannister double-crossing in the springtime; House Greyjoy’s ocean and sandalwood will keep you safe during drab autumn; and, since winter is coming, fire up the cool fresh-fir scent of House Stark.
Lumos Candles, $108
10. THE HUNGER GAMES
You wouldn’t think that frosting cakes would give you an advantage in a teenage dystopian battle royale, but Peeta would prove you wrong. This kitschy French vanilla buttercream candle is guaranteed to make you forget about some of the less savory parts of The Hunger Games saga like, say, all the child deaths and Caesar Flickerman’s hair.
From the Page, $12
11. THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
We can’t guarantee that lighting this candle with preserve your youth or beauty, but it sure does smell gorgeous. Its hints of bergamot, cedarwood, and bay leaf are sure to make you feel like you’re doing some Oscar Wilde-approved hedonistic gallivanting in a Victorian-era parlor.
Herbs of Grace, $15