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Is Yankee Candle really as good as its reputation?

Smells just like what Grandma used to bake

On left, burning "Home Sweet Home" by Yankee Candle. On right, "Home Sweet Home" by Yankee Candle with lid on. Credit: Reviewed / Cheryl Fenton

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I have a friend. Let’s call her The Baker. Every time I visit The Baker’s home, no matter the time of day or night, she has clearly just baked something. A tray of cookies, a loaf of bread, or a sheet of piping cinnamon buns ready for frosting. Her house is always filled with mouthwatering aromas. And yet, I never saw any of the fruit pies of her labor.

At one point, I had to address this constant flow of mystery baked goods from her kitchen. She admitted a shocking revelation: She doesn’t bake. She doesn’t even watch The Great British Baking Show.

Addressing her home’s wonderful aromas, she set the record straight: Instead of baking, she burns candles—Yankee Candles to be exact. They hit all the right notes for anyone with a sweet tooth, in flavors like blueberry scone and chocolate layer cake, salted caramel and buttercream.

When you aren’t in a baking mood, Yankee Candle also touches down with savory scents (hello, Kitchen Spice), florals, and linens.

Here’s the 411 on Yankee Candle and the specific candle we ordered to test

Yankee Candle's
Credit: Yankee Candle

This timeless candle will transport you back to a simpler time when the cookies were warm and the aromas were plentiful.

Who doesn’t love a humble beginning? Back in 1969, 16-year-old Mike Kittredge DIYed melted crayons into a Christmas candle for his mom. When his gift caught the eye of an interested neighbor, he sold the candle and used the profits to make two more (one for his mom). And so began Yankee Candle, today the country’s best-selling candle brand in its iconic glass jar.

As the majority of Yankee Candles’ products are made in Massachusetts by master candlemakers (or chandlers, for those in the know), this Boston-based writer decided on the 22-ounce original large glass jar Home Sweet Home scented candle. As one of the company’s oldest fragrances still available, Home Sweet Home touts itself as a heartwarming blend of cinnamon, baking spices, and a hint of freshly poured tea.

We lit a match and got to testing. Here’s what happened.

What we like

Yankee Candle's
Credit: Yankee Candle

The Home Sweet Home candle leaves nothing to the imagination, and makes sure to pack in sweet, yet spicy notes throughout the glass jar.

Upon removing the glass stopper top to the candle’s jar, I had a quick blast of scent. This left me wanting more so it was time to light the wick.

The wick, made from 100% natural fibers, is quick to light and flickers like crazy before settling into its burn. The flame is intense and tall, burning pretty hot the entire time it was lit.

First up are the top notes of apple and cinnamon spice. Clearly, this is what prompted my husband to pop his head around the corner and hopefully ask “are you baking something.” Sorry, honey. This sticks around, floating in and out of the mid-notes of nutmeg, cherry, and juniper. You can clearly count me among the thousands of five-star reviews this candle earns from reviewers. The spicy smell is extra homey.

As the scent comes out of the gate so strongly and lingers even after it’s extinguished, I was worried about the particles that my family and I were taking in with every whiff. Luckily, each candle is made with premium-grade paraffin wax and each wick is a natural fiber wick.

Yankee Candle features more than 600 fragrances and you really can’t go wrong. Caveat: You can go wrong if you light up the Movie Night popcorn candle attempted a few years ago, and I also never really understood the 2’x4’, First Down, and Man Town Man Candle scents released back in 2012. But Yankee Candle is otherwise a good bet.

What we don’t like

Yankee Candle's
Credit: Reviewed / Cheryl Fenton

Could this cozy candle thrive in a beach house setting? We wouldn't be surprised–it's just that good.

This is more of a quizzical observation than a negative note. While the Home Sweet Home fragrance in particular has a very specific cozy nature to it (think blankets and toasty cinnamon buns), the photo on the glass candle holder boasts seashells. With the heavy nature of Home Sweet Home, I personally wouldn’t market this candle with a beach house vibe. But who am I to say where you bake your cinnamon buns and snuggle up to your cozy.

Should you buy a Home Sweet Home candle from Yankee Candle?

On left, Yankee Candle's
Credit: Yankee Candle / Reviewed / Cheryl Fenton

This candle is an absolute winner, worthy of its long-standing reputation.

Yes. I couldn’t find any negative reviewer comments for this tried-and-true candle icon. Sure the flame burns super bright, but isn’t that something we can all use a little more of these days?

The only thing that might be considered a turn off is how long it takes to stop wafting out white smoke after you blow it out. But even this is a stretch. The mid-range price, long burn time, and huge scent catalog make any Yankee Candle candle a perfect companion to your own home sweet home.

If you’re not into a warm fresh-baked scent, Yankee Candle’s collection features more than 600 fragrances and runs the gamut in size, from tiny votives all the way up to the largest jar candle with 150-plus hours of burn time. Or, you can splurge on a fancier, more floral option from Jo Malone.

Get the Large Glass Jar Yankee Candle in Home Sweet Home for $29.50

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