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It is fall, and I love it.

Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph in SNL skit for It’s hard to give up an Alaskan summer, but as a prior Texas girl, one of the things I love about Alaska is the cool, crisp autumn.

This year it came early, and I found myself prepping for the new season by taking down my bright citrus summer wreath on August 1st and replacing it with my jewel toned brown, yellow and orange leafed one by 10 am that morning. Crunchy leaves, “sweata’ weatha'” and all things pumpkin get me in the mood for fall. 

I realized after putting up my “Happy Fall, Y’all” sign that my house looked autumnal but was lacking that cozy feeling that candles bring. I started to light the ones I had, but couldn’t find the fall-ish pumpkin one I was craving. I decided to try several new ones (cleansing my nose with coffee beans between candles) and report my findings to all of you! 

My credentials for candle testing include:

  • Being a person who loves candles.
  • Being able to smell when the milk goes sour before anyone else in my house.
  • Being someone who smells things in their sleep.
  • Being someone who loves cozy and hygge things.

I tried some popular pumpkin scented candles that are available at Target, your local grocery store, or a BX/PX. For a reminder, Fairwinds Candle has great candle care tips about trimming the wick, how long to burn, and what to do on the first burn. The best pumpkin candles make you wish you were eating pumpkin pie or cookies, but don’t make you feel like you’re barely choking down straight Starbucks Pumpkin Syrup. Consider these your pumpkin pie in a jar or your PSL burning all evening long. Snuggle in, get cozy and check out some of these candle recommendations.

Hello Gourdgeous: Pumpkin Spice Latte by Bath and Body Works

Hello Gorgeous candle
via Bath & Body works

In Fairbanks, we don’t have Bath and Body Works store, but our PX on Ft. Wainwright carries a few of their products. Burning this made me feel like I was visiting the store. Sadly, I was still in my house and not buying excessive amounts of sanitizer, body butter, or body spray.

I love the name of this candle. I’m not too proud to admit that I enjoy having a candle that compliments me every time I light it up. It smelled creamy, full, and good enough to eat.  No wonder: one of the scent notes is homemade whipped cream. Cute pumpkin graphics decorate the jar, so no need to hide this one away. This candle was used mostly in my bedroom, perfect for the 7 oz size. It burned a little sweeter at first than others, but the longer it burned, the more depth and scents were released.  

Alicia’s Ranking: #1

Strength of Scent: 5/5

Pumpkin Butter by WoodWick

Woodwick Pumpkin Butter candle
via Amazon

The first thing I noticed with this candle was the crackling wick. Upon lighting, you hear a cozy sound which makes one want to put on slippers, get out a good book, and lounge on the couch. Unfortunately it was 10:30 am, so I picked up my daughter from preschool and decided to try my picturesque scene later that night after the kids were in bed.

Trying it multiple evenings with a good book, I loved the strength of the smell. It was full but not overpowering. Some reviewers on Amazon mentioned a problem with soot, but as long as I pinched the wood wick at the top before lighting it, I had no sparks or issues with soot. 

Alicia’s Overall Ranking: #2 

Strength of Smell: 4/5 

Pumpkin Spice by Chesapeake Bay Candle 

Pumpkin Spice candle
via Target

Another Target pick, but this is also available at other stores. The warmth of the scent felt like being hugged by a cinnamon sugar pumpkin (but not in a creepy way). I had this candle going for 2 hours, and it barely dipped down! So burn time would likely hit the 60 hours listed for the 19-oz glass jar. 

This scent is very cinnamon heavy, darker, and a little spicy. It felt better to burn in the evening, after the sun was down.  


Alicia’s Ranking: #3

Strength of Scent: 4/5

Candied Pumpkin (Soy) by Opal House

Candied Pumpkin candle from Opalhouse
via Target

This candle boasts 50 hours of burn time for 15.1 oz. I did not measure the burn time precisely but found that it burned evenly and lasted well over the weeks. 

Candied Pumpkin had a hint of a caramel apple. The scent was strong but not like you were actually baking a pie. The website says it, “will soothe nerves and give a refreshing vibe.” It’s going to take significantly more than a candle these days to soothe my nerves, but I will agree it had a clean smell and was refreshing. 

Alicia’s Favorite: #4

Strength of Scent: 3

Pumpkin Spice Things Up by Glade

Pumpkin Spice Things Up candle by Glade
via Amazon

This scent really lasts a long time. I burned it in the morning and it still kept the scent, even with the windows open in the afternoon. For the price (under $10) and the fact you can pick it up at the grocery store along with your eggs, toilet paper and milk, this candle was a win.

Pumpkin Spice Things Up is a limited edition candle, so grab it this season if you’re interested. I could really smell the caramel. But after burning it for several hours, it got a strong syrup smell, almost like I imagine Cinderella’s pumpkin coach expired as the clock struck midnight. I wish this candle came with a lid!

Alicia’s Ranking: #5

Strength of Scent: 4

My family has been living in the scent of your local JoAnn craft store for the last month as I have been burning the midnight, noonday and oth
er random times oil candles.

I’m not sure if it’s like I’ve been living inside a pumpkin, bathing in a Pumpkin Spice Latte, or being baked in a pie. I fear I’m going to need to use a Neti Pot after October to clean things out of my sinuses, but for now I’m still going strong. 

If you’re on the pumpkin train, I hope you find a cozy candle that you love. Let me know if you try one of these and what you think!


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