Second to my love of books is my love of book-inspired items: coffee mugs and posters, notebooks and mouse pads, e-reader covers and cell phone cases, perfumes and candles that smell like my favorite books or the authors who wrote them… or, at least, candles that make me think of my favorite authors, since technically I have no way of know what Sylvia Plath or Jack Kerouac actually smelled like. In my imagination they perpetually smell like wet ink, aged paper, and dusty roads — but this is probably a tad romanticized, TBH. But only just a tad.
Book and author-inspired candles are popping up all over the place lately — and I confess, I’m obsessed. There’s nothing better than filling a room with the scent of salty sea air while reading Moby Dick or closing my eyes and inhaling the smell of a cool breeze off the Yorkshire moors while indulging in Wuthering Heights for the tenth time. It’s almost like having Herman Melville or Emily Brontë in the room, looking over my shoulder as I flip through the pages of their most iconic works of literature. If you know exactly what I’m talking about (and don’t even pretend you don’t) definitely check out these 14 candles you’ll love, based on your favorite authors.
1. J. K. Rowling
The Candle: Divination Classroom by Frostbeard Studio
Can’t you just picture J.K. Rowling composing her next great novel from the incense-clouded classroom of Hogwarts Divination professor, Sybill Trelawney? With Frostbeard Studio’s dragon's blood, bergamot, frankincense, and myrrh-scented candle, you’ll feel like you’re there too.
Divination Classroom Soy Candle, $18, Frostbeard Studio
2. Jane Austen
The Candle: Manor Classic: Library by True Grace
When I think of Jane Austen, one of the first things that comes to mind is the Bennet family’s library. True Grace’s Library-scented candle is infused with cedar, sandalwood, amber and moss—and you’ll be able to picture Austen herself writing by this candle’s light.
Manor Classic Candle, $50, Amara
3. Jack Kerouac
The Candle: Open Road by Hearth & Hammer
What did Jack Kerouac’s open road smell like, you might wonder? Well wonder no longer, because if you love the wanderer responsible for the classic novel On the Road, you’ll love Hearth & Hammer’s Open Road candle, scented with notes of meadow grass, sandalwood, and sun.
Open Road Literary Candle , $18, Hearth And Hammer
4. Agatha Christie
The Candle: Read by R. Nichols
As the writer of 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, if any scent invokes the spirit of bestselling author Agatha Christie, it’s the scent of books. Read by R. Nichols smells like aged paper, ink and leather—perfect ambiance for diving into all those classic crime novels.
READ Candle, $38, R-Nichols
5. Herman Melville
The Candle: Ocean by The Onyx Exchange
When I think of Herman Melville I think of one thing: Moby Dick. And what speaks to Melville’s story of the great white whale more than the smell of the ocean? The Onyx Exchange’s ocean-scented candle will bring the salty sea breeze and splashing waves into your own personal library, with its infusion of star jasmine, ocean water, white cedar, musk, and Sicilian orange. (This candle probably smells a LOT better than the Pequod, to be honest.)
Ocean (Travel Tin Candle), $13, Amazon
6. Emily Brontë
The Candle: Moonlit Moors by Hearth & Hammer
Another of Hearth & Hammer’s book-inspired candles, Moonlit Moors will take you directly into writer Emily Brontë’s Yorkshire landscape, with its full-bodied notes of violet, orris, and musk flower. You’ll be able to imagine the most mysterious of the Brontë sisters taking a solitary walk along the moors once you light this one.
Moonlit Moors Literary Candle, $18, HearthAndHammer
7. Cheryl Strayed
The Candle: Forest by Great Bear Wax Co.
There’s no scent more perfect for the woman behind the beloved memoir Wild: Lost and Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Great Bear Wax Co.’s Forest candle will bring the woodlands indoors — speaking to the wild wanderer in you, without you ever even having to get up from your favorite reading chair.
Forest Soy Candle, $15, Great Bear Wax Co
8. Laura Esquivel
The Candle: Hot Chocolate by Lindsay Lucas Candles
Laura Esquivel’s novel Like Water for Chocolate is filled with unrequited passions and family obligations — and is hot, hot, hot, just like water for chocolate. Cozy up with Lindsay Lucas Candles’ Hot Chocolate candle, which will fill your space with warm notes of chocolate, vanilla, and fudge.
Hot Chocolate Scented Candle , £4.99, Lindsay Lucas Candles
9. Arthur Conan Doyle
The Candle: Sherlock's Study by Frostbeard Studio
Another awesome scent from Frostbeard Studio, this pipe tobacco, cherrywood, and fresh rain-scented candle will make you feel like you’re living in your very own Arthur Conan Doyle detective novel.
Sherlock's Study Soy Candle , $18, Frostbeard Studio
10. Stephen King
The Candle: Blood by SickWix Laboratory
Who can forget the pig’s blood-filled prom? Not for the faint of heart, SickWix Laboratory’s Blood candle is a lot to take in, even for die-hard fans of contemporary horror and supernatural fiction author Stephen King. This candle offers a salty/sweet and metallic scent… and I’m getting totally freaked out now, so I’ll leave you with that.
Spooky Candles, Price Varies, Etsy: SickWix Laboratory
11. Henry David Thoreau
The Candle: Icy Blue Pine by Votivo
When I think of Henry David Thoreau I think of one thing: Walden Pond. Specifically, Walden Pond in the winter, iced over and freezing. Which is why Votivo’s Icy Blue Pine, with notes of prickly pine, cedar bark, crystallized ice cubes, is the perfect candle to invoke all the Henry David Thoreau vibes your readerly heart desires.
Holiday Candle Icy Blue Pine , $32, Votivo
12. Harper Lee
The Candle: Summer Wish by Yankee Candle
What often comes to mind when I think of Harper Lee is her ability to recreate the atmosphere of hot, dusty, vividly-innocent childhood summertime days — which is exactly what she did with Scout, Jem, and Dill in To Kill A Mockingbird. Yankee Candle blends warm winds, green fields, and fresh flowers into their Summer Wish candle; exactly what I imagine Maycomb County, Alabama smelled like.
Summer Wish, $14, Yankee Candle
13. Sylvia Plath
The Candle: New York by 42 Pressed
Although Sylvia Plath spent most of her life away from New York City, her month-long position as guest editor at Mademoiselle magazine, which took her to New York and disillusioned her forever, seems to be the central event upon which the rest of her life revolved. 42 Pressed’s New York-inspired candle offers a blend of amber, mineral, birch, and patchouli.
New York Soy Wax Candle, $20, 42 Pressed Co.
14. Willa Cather
The Candle: Fresh Cut Hay by Grey Horse Candle Co.
Nobody wrote the American Great Plains, and the struggles and the beauty of frontier life, quite as vibrantly as Willa Cather. Which is why Grey Horse Candle Co.’s Fresh Cut Hay candle, scented — as you can imagine — like fresh cut hay, with hints of orange and sandalwood, is the perfect candle for this author.
Fresh Cut Hair Organic Soy Candle, $17, Etsy: Grey Horse Candle Co