ICYMI: It’s pumpkin spice season! The most wonderful time of the year, where you only drink PSLs, wear sweaters, and get lit on pumpkin candles. But what fall scents does your home need? We scent-tested the ten most popular pumpkin candles on the market and ranked them from worst to best. Consider this your cheat sheet.
10. Apple Pumpkin
The verdict: Very strong on the apple, not so much on the pumpkin. “I’m going to call this gas-station-apple air freshener,” said one tester.
9. Pumpkin Bourbon
The verdict: Smells like strong, cheap booze.
8. Pumpkin Nutmeg
The verdict: This one is true to its name, with nutmeg really coming through. It’s nutty and spicy, if that’s your thing.
7. Cedar Pumpkin
The verdict: This extremely subtle candle has some hints of cedar, but for the most part, doesn’t really smell like much. “Light this bad boy if you barely want anyone to know you’re celebrating [fall],” said one of the testers.
6. Spiced Pumpkin
The verdict: Perfectly described by one scent tester, Spiced Pumpkin is like the Clean Cotton of fall. It’s not overbearing, with a clean yet seasonal scent.
5. Luscious Pumpkin Trifle
The verdict: A fan favorite, this subtle scent smelled like fall dessert in the least obnoxious I-feel-like-I’m-choking way.
4. Pumpkin Pie
The verdict: Basically, this should be called Pumpkin Spice Pie. It has strong aromas of cinnamon and spice, but with a touch of pumpkin. All in all, it’s ideal for PSL season, and you should light it up.
3. Pumpkin Pecan Waffles
The verdict: Without even taking into consideration its scent, this White Barn candle is a favorite for its fall aesthetic. As for how it smells, it provided all of the fall feels with a sweet, spicy smell.
2. Apple Pumpkin
The verdict: This is certainly no Pumpkin Apple (which was also examined—and killed in an earlier round, to get to our top 10 for the final test). “You’re having a Sunday at home, you light this to make you feel happy and cozy,” explained one scent tester.
1. Vanilla Pumpkin Marshmallow
The verdict: Smells like fall sugar cookies that you want baking in your oven at all times. Every scent tester agreed that this was pleasant, subtle, but still had great fall vibes.