2 Great Candle Companies I Discovered This Year (And My Favorite Wax Melts) Scented wax is one of life's great joys and an easy way to brighten up a dull room.

I’m a fan of candles. They’re a great way to provide warmth, light, atmosphere, and scent to a room. Of course, some candles simply smell awful, especially cheap ones in retail stores like Walmart, Amazon, and the like.

Sometimes Target has great scents, and Kohls and other brick and mortars can occasionally hit a home run, but overall, you need to stick to the mall stores and specialty online vendors for decent-smelling wax.

I constantly reach out to marketers and PR agencies, and there are two candles we came across this year that I’m in love with. These two standouts join my perennial favorite soy wax melts from Happy Wax, which we’ll discuss at the end.

Frostbeard Studios Book Lovers Candles

Book Lover Candles

Frostbeard Studio makes scented candles that are formulated to match fictional worlds, literary characters, and the pleasure of reading. They make a variety of candle sizes and wax melts, and have some amazing pro-book merch too. I love books, book stores, and libraries, so the general aesthetic definitely appealed to me.

Much of Frostbeard Studio’s most popular scents are Harry Potter based, but I found quite a few that I was able to fall in love with, most notably the “Old Books” wax melts which smell like aged paper and dusty shelves. It’s a musty odor that perfectly fits in with the solid wood furniture. Don’t get me wrong – I love Harry Potter, but it does make me wonder what type of licensing they actually have.

Oxford Library and The Inklings smell great too, so whether white labeled or handmade, the candles are definitely great. The tins they come in made great joint ashtrays. Check out more book lover’s soy candle scents at FrostbeardStudio.com, like Back to Wizard School, Bookstore, Divination Classroom, Rainy Day Reads, and Reading at the Cafe.

Ranger Station Vellabox

VellaBox Candles

Vellabox is an American candle subscription company that provides two great services. On the consumer end, it gives you a chance to try a variety of different candles. The box they sent us is the $30/month Vivere box, which includes a 4oz and 8oz candle from a different candle company every month, along with a gift, which this month was a bar of milled milk/shea butter soap and small sacks to the hold the candles.

On the business side, small businesses around the country making small batch, craft, and luxury candles and other scents have an avenue to gain new customers. In this case, it’s Ranger Station, which was founded in 2015 by touring drummer Steve Soderholm. He sought to create earthy scented candles that replicate strong scents from nature.

We got Santalum and Oakmoss in, and I’m actually burning the Santalum as I’m writing this. They’re the perfect scents to supplement the natural scents of fall and winter here in Tucson. Santalum is a musky sandalwood-type scent made from ambergis amyris, and amber resin. Oakmoss is a brighter scent of cedar, bergamot, and red amber to smell like a forest floor after the rain.

Happy Wax Wax Warmer

Klipsch Lenovo Google Assistants Wood Grain

This $40 wax melt warmer from Happy Wax has been steady in usage around my house since we got it back in 2017. Even my stripper ex still uses hers, because we fell in love with a few of their scents (along with the general aesthetic and design – I mean…look how well it fits in with the wood grain speakers. and such.

Their soy wax melts are admittedly hit and miss for me, but they’re using high-quality ingredients, so it’s kinda like judging Jelly Belly because you don’t like vomit. I haven’t tried their holiday treats yet, but their snowmen are amazing, as are their cucumber melon, harvest apple, lavender, grapefruit, and floral scents. I’m still saving up to try their cocktail mix.

The one issue is you have to really keep up with it, as the silicone tray is breathable. This means wax condensates underneath and drips onto the bulb, burning over time. Their customer service is actually amazing about replacing parts too. I’ve never had an issue in the years I’ve been dealing with Happy Wax, so they’re definitely living up to their name to the core.

If you know of any candles or scent companies I’m missing, please send them my way. I love trying new things.


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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