HELEN MCGINN rates the best cocktail candles this Dry January

Is a cocktail candle the key to Dry January? With booze the new home fragrance trend HELEN MCGINN gives her verdict on the best buys

  • Attempting Dry January but missing the booze already? These candles may help
  • Forget florals —the new trend in home fragrance is tipple-scented candles
  • Daily Mail drinks expert Helen McGinn tests out a selection of cocktail candles  

Attempting Dry January but missing the booze already? Light up one of these delightfully alcohol-inspired candles instead.

That’s right, forget the florals —the new trend in home fragrance is a surprising one: candles scented with your favourite tipple, from cider and whisky to mojitos and espresso martinis.

But would our drinks expert wax lyrical about them? Or do they simply smell a bit rum?

Here, Helen McGinn puts a selection to the test…

LONG-LASTING CIDER AND CINNAMON

Yankee Candle Home Inspiration Cider Tasting 538g, £14.99, ryman.co.uk

Yankee Candle Home Inspiration Cider Tasting 538g, £14.99, ryman.co.uk. Good value but not very boozy 

As with most Yankee candles, the scent is not exactly subtle. In fact, it’s not really that cidery either; more baked apple and cinnamon spice with a subtle woody note which, say the makers, is a nod to whisky barrels.

Made from premium-grade paraffin wax, it certainly smells more natural than some of the eye-watering Yankee candles I’ve tried over the years. And with a burn time of up to 125 hours, it’ll see you through many a long winter night. Good value but not very boozy. 6/10

TRY AN UPCYCLED ESPRESSO MARTINI

Upcircle Espresso Martini Soy Candle 180ml, £21.99, upcirclebeauty.com

Upcircle Espresso Martini Soy Candle 180ml, £21.99, upcirclebeauty.com. It’s sustainable and the burn time is 35 hours. Seriously impressive

Co-founder Anna Brightman and her brother Will secured investment on BBC’s Dragons’ Den for their waste-fighting beauty brand Upcircle.

Made using leftover arabica coffee grounds sourced from artisan coffee shops, then infused into soy wax, these candles have a smell that’s more cappuccino than espresso martini — but hats off to the company for creating something so good from ingredients that would otherwise go to waste. It’s sustainable and the burn time is 35 hours. Seriously impressive. 8/10

HEADY AROMA OF DARK RUM

Malin + Goetz Dark Rum Candle 225g, £46, malinandgoetz.co.uk

Malin + Goetz Dark Rum Candle 225g, £46, malinandgoetz.co.uk. It might leave those who prefer something light and floral overwhelmed, but rum fans will be hooked

If you like Dark & Stormy highball cocktails, you are going to love this candle from the hip American apothecary brand founded by friends Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz back in 2004. Inspired by the colour and scent of dark Caribbean rum, this natural wax candle contains 16 per cent perfume oil. At first, the smell is almost sweet but then comes the spice and the result is wonderfully warm and heady.

It might leave those who prefer something light and floral overwhelmed, but rum fans will be hooked. Pricey — but with a 60-hour burn time, it’s pretty good value. 10/10

WARMING NOTES FOR WHISKY FANS

Arran Hot Toddy Candle 30cl, £25, arran.com

Arran Hot Toddy Candle 30cl, £25, arran.com. Not really that boozy but beautifully done, with a long, lingering scent

Produced on the Scottish Isle of Arran, this limited-edition festive scented candle pays homage to the Hot Toddy. Contrary to popular belief, the drink wasn’t invented in Scotland but in India in the 17th century, and was originally based on fermented palm sap. However, the Scots made it their own by warming it up and adding whisky to the mix.

This particular take is certainly warming, with a mix of spicy nutmeg and patchouli — and the woody notes are a nice nod to whisky. Not really that boozy but beautifully done, with a long, lingering scent. 7/10

MAKE MINE A SUMMERY MOJITO

Malin + Goetz Mojito 225g, £46, malinandgoetz.co.uk

Malin + Goetz Mojito 225g, £46, malinandgoetz.co.uk. If heavy scents are not your thing, this lighter take on the boozy candle trend is likely to hit the spot

Another one from the U.S.-based skincare and fragrance brand, this contains a generous shot of mojito perfume oil. The overall effect is positively spirit-lifting, with lots of fresh lime and muddled mint aromas upfront, just like its namesake.

With notes of lavender and musk too, it evokes English summer rather than cold, cosy January. But if heavy scents are not your thing, this lighter take on the boozy candle trend is likely to hit the spot. 8/10

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