From High-Tech Diffusers to Fancy Room Sprays, Here Are Our Favorite Candle Alternatives

The 10 best home fragrance items of the season—no flame required.

Lighting candles isn’t the only way to make your home smell amazing. Malik Dupree for Observer

As much as we love candles—both giving and receiving them—how many pillars and votives does one really need? Also, what do you buy that paranoid friend who suffers from an intense fear of falling asleep and leaving a fire going all night? Enter the candle alternative. Below, we’ve pulled together our favorite flameless home fragrance items, from gold-accented room sprays and wax ovals to classic reed diffusers and some of the best-smelling incense on the market.

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Frédéric Malle’s rubber incense. Courtesy Frederic Malle

Frédéric Malle Rubber Incense 

You don’t even need a lighter for Frédéric Malle’s chic, simple take on incense. Just place these little blocks throughout your home and voilà. $120, Frédéric Malle.

Vitruvi's stone diffuser.
Vitruvi’s stone diffuser. Courtesy Vitruvi

Vitruvi Stone Diffuser

Vitruvi’s porcelain stone diffuser has a light that emits a candle-esque glow and a safety switch that turns it off at a set time. The brand offers a huge selection of essential oils to choose from, such as lavender and rosemary. $119, Vitruvi.

Cire Trudon’s Cyrnos room spray. Courtesy Cire Trudon

Cire Trudon Cyrnos Room Spray 

Cire Trudon was founded in 1643, and its opulent offerings are as much about presentation as scent. This luxe room spray comes in a vessel fit for French royalty, with a gold emblem and an antique-style atomizer. $215, Cire Trudon.

Le Labo’s nebulizer diffuser. Courtesy Le Labo

Le Labo Nebulizer 

Leave it to Le Labo to combine a diffuser with a lightbulb and nebulizer. This splurge-worthy piece lets you adjust its light and scent intensity with the twist of a knob, allowing the brand’s beloved Santal 26 to waft through your home just the way you like it. $597, Le Labo.

Nest Fragrances’ liquidless diffuser. Courtesy Nest Fragrances

Nest Fragrances Liquidless Diffuser 

Nest delivers a new twist with its diffuser, which doesn’t use any liquid. Instead, just put the ScentSticks of your choice in the silver vessel, take a deep breath and never worry about spillage again. $60, Nest Fragrances.

Diptyque’s wax oval. Courtesy Diptyque Paris

Diptyque Paris Scented Oval 

diptyque offers plenty of candle alternatives, including its wax scented oval, which can be hung anywhere in your home or just placed in a drawer or nightstand. $52, Diptyque Paris.

Saje Wellness’ time ultrasonic diffuser. Courtesy Saje

Saje Natural Wellness Aroma Time Ultrasonic Diffuser

A diffuser and clock all in one, this high-tech device is equipped with two tanks and a timer so that you can pre-set it to diffuse two separate blends at your preferred hours. Wake up to an energizing blast of freshness, then call it a day with a soothing scent that will lull you to sleep. $190, Saje.

Byredo’s Fleur Fantôme room spray. Courtesy Byredo

Byredo Fleur Fantôme Room Spray

Byredo’s latest room spray is Fleur Fantôme, a subtle floral scent with hints of rhubarb, violet, tulip and suede. One spritz from the stylish black bottle is enough to give your home an aromatic makeover. $120, Byredo.

Courtesy Net-a-porter
Oribe’s Côte d’Azur incense Courtesy Net-a-porter

Oribe Côte d’Azur Incense 

You might associate Oribe with hair products, but it has also partnered with the Japanese incense makers from Awaji, who’ve been making the stuff since the 1850s. They definitely know what they’re doing with these decadent scented sticks, available in bergamot, jasmine and sandalwood. $65, Net-a-Porter.

Lafco’s reed diffuser. Courtesy Lafco

Lafco Reed Diffuser 

Lafco’s 15-ounce reed diffuser comes in a large, handblown glass vessel with hand-cut reeds, and you can refill it with your scent of choice. It’s bigger and more potent than a lot of other diffusers on the market. $115, Lafco.

From High-Tech Diffusers to Fancy Room Sprays, Here Are Our Favorite Candle Alternatives