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Trail Scents: 15 Candles Inspired by the Great Outdoors

by Carissa Stanz

outdoor inspired candles
Photo: Kyle Niemier

Anyone who has taken a walk in the woods can attest to the healing powers of nature.

Decreasing anxiety and improving mood, the natural world does wonders for the soul. Studies even suggest the smell of nature alone has the ability to heal. The downside to this: we can’t always make time to get outdoors but fortunately, there’s something we can do about it. Enter: our favorite outdoor-inspired candles.

For those times when life gets in the way, you can bring the great outdoors to your home with candles that smell like getting lost in the wild. Cedar, pine, sage, and honeysuckle are a few examples of the wonderful scents you’ll find.

Whether you feeling like taking a stroll through the giant redwoods or kicking back by the campfire under the desert sky, you can light one up and breathe in the journey. In our opinion, this is the best kind of aromatherapy.

National Park Candles

Photo: Kyle Niemier
Photo: Kyle Niemier

When too much adulting keeps you from taking that National Park road trip you crave, there’s the National Park Collection from Good + Well Supply Co.

Getting her start as a soapmaker, founder Megan McLaughlin left her business in search of something grander: the majestic landscape of America. Inspired by the National Parks and public lands she called home, she decided to capture their very essence and deliver it to your home.

Sort through the ethically sourced all natural soy candle collection and you’ll find all your favorites, from mountains to sea. We’re particularly digging the balsam fir and citrus scent of Rainier and the charred pine and labdanum of the Grand Canyon. – Buy here

Acadian Night Candle

acadian nights candle
Photo: Manready Mercantile

Manready Mercantile is living proof of the American Dream. From stove-top to Houston shop, the humble roots of this Texas company prove hard work and dedication pay off in the end. Made in the USA with honesty and integrity, Manready Mercantile produces quality apothecary goods with a gentleman’s touch.

If you think candles aren’t for men, we defy you to take a look at their small-batch Acadian Night Candle and still make that claim. Scented with wood, leather, and smoke, it smells like that jacket your girlfriend refuses to give back because the smell reminds her of you.

Hand-poured and made from soy wax for a clean burn, she’ll probably steal your candle too. – Buy here

White Sage Candle

white sage candle
Photo: Juniper Ridge

Here at Territory Supply, we know a thing or two about the sweet arid aroma of the Southwest. So take it from us, if you find yourself missing the familiarity of your Southwestern home, then you’ll find comfort in lighting the cotton wick of the Juniper Ridge White Sage Candle.

It’s constructed from non-GMO soy wax and 100-percent essential oils using old perfume methods. Needless to say, this candle is legit. Where other candlemakers gather their scents from synthetic fragrances, Juniper Ridge harvests it straight from the source itself, nature.

Herbaceous and spicy, you’ll appreciate the candle’s aroma along with its responsibly wild-harvested essence.

As a bonus, 10-percent of all profits go towards Western Wilderness Defense organizations. – Buy here

Campfire Smoke

campfire smoke candle
Photo: Makers of Wax Goods

Beyond the scent of fresh pine in the air and soil under our feet, there is one scent which truly makes us feel alive, campfire. The heart and soul at the end of every outdoor journey, you can bring the campfire to your humble abode through Makers of Wax Goods’ Campfire candle.

Although similar, each campfire has subtle scents reminiscent of the area in which the wood is gathered. This particular candle accents the wood smoke with notes of peppered greens, white herbs, and spiced olibanum. Bust out the marshmallows, it’s campfire time. – Buy here

No. 05: Spruce

spruce candle
Photo: P.F. Candle Co.

After losing her job during the recession, founder Kristen Pumphrey turned candlemaker and launched Southern California based P. F. Candle Co. in 2008. Since then, the candle line has been picked up by West Elm turning it into a globally recognizable brand.

Their No. 05 Spruce is among one of our favorites. Produced from 100-percent soy wax and phthalate-free fragrance oil, it has an enticing aroma of an old-growth forest filled with blue spruce and cedar. Light the wick and enjoy your journey through the snow-covered peaks of the Rockies. – Buy here

Woodsman Candle

woodsman candle
Photo: In God We Must

When John Elijah Richards found himself out of a job and in dire need of a way to pay medical bills, he turned towards his skill-set for an answer. With ingenuity and dedication at his side, he pioneered through tough times and launched In God We Must.

The Woodsman candle is their tribute to pioneers living off the land. Scented with Frasier, smoke, and pine, it invokes the spirit of a cozy cabin hidden deep in the woods, heated by a wood stove and only lighted by the candle at your side. – Buy here

Alpine Cottage Bark

alpine bark candle
Photo: We Took to the Woods

South Carolina retail shop We Took to the Woods offers an impressive line of handcrafted candles any woodsman, or woodswoman, will appreciate. If you find yourself longing for that cottage in the woods, immerse yourself in the floral aroma of Alpine Cottage Bark.

Woods on the outside and spring cottage on the inside, the candle features a tea rose scent with a unique rustic bark exterior. At 8.5-ounces, you can enjoy your alpine cottage fantasy for 40-plus hours of burn time. – Buy here

Big Sur After Rain

big sur after rain candle
Photo: D.S. & Durga

Have you ever wished you could capture a moment not by photo, but by scent? D.S. & Durga does. Every candle in their collection tells an aromatic story letting your imagination run wild.

Today, let your imagination bring you to the dramatic coastline of California with their 7-ounce candle Big Sur After Rain. To nail down this scent, D.S & Durga developed a range of smells ready to excite your senses.

Take a whiff and breath in the eucalyptus shoots and coastal rain. Then turn on your path to welcome the inviting aroma of magnolia and the Pacific ocean spray. When you’ve just about ended your journey, finish with the wafting notes of wet wood and eucalyptus leaves.

Albeit a bit pricey, it’s all about the experience – Buy here

Agave + Honeysuckle

agave honeysuckle
Photo: Sydney Hale Co.

Virginia Based Sydney Hale Co. has hand-produced all their products with carefully selected ingredients and packaging material since 2008. Drawn to give meaning in all they do, they donate 10-percent of their annual profits to different animal rescue organizations.

If you’ve got a soft spot for the critters as much as they do, take a whiff of their sweet and floral Agave + Honeysuckle candle. This 14-ounce premium soy wax blend candle features blue agave nectar and milky honeysuckle. Light it outside and see if you can beckon butterflies to your yard with this intoxicating aroma. – Buy here

Balsam Fir

ranger station candle
Photo: Ranger Station

Ranger Station founder Steve Soderholm loves turning nature’s fragrance into collectible memories, while all at the same time helping out female survivors. Partnering with Thistle Farms in Nashville, Tennessee, the project gives women survivors a chance at a fresh start by helping hand-pour candle wax into reusable cocktail glasses.

While they have a stellar line-up of scents like Oak Moss, Leather + Pine, and Birch Bark, Balsam Fir calls to us. The woody notes of cedarwood, Fraser fir, and juniper make us want to toss another log on the fire and slowly sip a snifter of bourbon while the snow turns everything anew. – Buy here

Alpine Frontier

field issue candle
Photo: FIELD – ISSUE

If you’re an outdoorsy fella tired of homewares targeted toward women, then you’ll appreciate Field – Issue. The Sydney based company features a collection of goods ranging from body wash to stone prints.

For those who identify with the alpine crowd, they’ve got a special candle for you, the Alpine Frontier. Like the ranges you seek, you’ll find a range of earthy scents including pine needle, cedarwood, patchouli, and a hint of vanilla. It also features a wood wick for a rather unique twist.

Made from 100-percent soy wax, this candle offers an 80-hour burn time so it will burn well into the night while you leer over the map to plot tomorrow’s route. – Buy here

Joshua Tree Candle

joshua tree candle
Photo: Norden

Southern California based Norden has made it their mission to produce carefully selected, quality home goods based on places they’ve traveled.

Whether you’re a desert dweller, dirtbag, vagabond, or National Park-loving tourist, you’ll want to add their Joshua Tree Candle to your collection. Unlike anything else, this candle needed to be one-of-a-kind to match the surreal park to which it pays homage.

To do this, Nordern chose to use a hand-thrown stoneware exterior featuring a speckled finish resembling the desert landscape. They then scented it with herbal, wood, and eucalyptus notes. Taking it one step further, they opted out of soy wax and made it truly unique by using coconut and apricot wax. – Buy here

Mountain Peak Out-of-Doors Candle

mountain peak candle
Photo: United by Blue

Besides making one of our favorite camping mugs, United by Blue also makes one of our favorite outdoor-inspired candles, Mountain Peak Out-of-Doors. This candle is perfect for all those times when you can’t take off on the outdoor adventure you so desperately crave.

One whiff and it puts the desert at your feet and the mountains on the horizon with its refreshing scent of wood and green sage. Hand poured with care, this 8.5-ounce candle is made from GMO-free soy wax and a cotton wick. For the final touch, the mountain label attached to the colorfully tinted glass is hand-drawn. – Buy here

White Topography Candle

topo candle
Photo: Uzumati Ceramics

Uzamati Ceramics features a collection of artistic homewares inspired by the High Sierras. For every purchase you make, 1-percent of sales is donated to an environmental cause.

If you find yourself daydreaming about the contours of the Sierra Nevada range, light up their White Topography Candle. Made from high-fire ceramic stoneware, this 8-ounce candle features a gorgeous topographic design with a wood wick.

With scents of leather, whiskey, campfire, and pine, it will send you right where you want to be, chilling with your boots kicked off at high camp.

Hand thrown, carved, and poured to order. – Buy here

Glacier National Park Cedarwood Forest Candle

national park candles
Photo: Parks Project

We’re all about the Parks Project. Proceeds from goods sold are used to upkeep our precious lands by funding backlogged National Parks projects. Sort through their collection and you’ll find everything from apparel to homeware featuring all your favorite National Parks.

If Glacier just so happens to be yours, they offer a candle that smells just like the Crown of the Continent. With notes of fresh cedar right after the rain, you can relive a walk through this park even when you’re thousands of miles away.

Oh, and if you were curious, a purchase of this candle directly supports Glacier’s bear box program.

Never been to Glacier? There’s a Yosemite, Zion, Yellowstone candle and more waiting to send you on an outdoor journey through the National Parks. – Buy here

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