Dark Academia Candles: The Ultimate Guide

From the moment I stumbled upon the world of dark academia, it felt as if I had unlocked a treasure trove of nostalgia and beauty that had always resided within me. I would find myself gazing endlessly at dimly lit rooms adorned with vintage books, antique furniture, and yes, those beautifully crafted candles, casting their warm, flickering glow. There’s a sense of comfort, an intimacy, in watching the dance of a candle’s flame in a room echoing with whispers of the past.

The deep browns and rich beiges of dark academia have always resonated with me. It’s as if they hold stories, memories, and dreams that have spanned eons. And when I considered integrating candles into this aesthetic, the choice was instinctual. I sought out those with deep, woody scents, reminiscent of old libraries, and those that brought forth memories of cozy, rainy evenings.

Each time I light one of these candles, it’s not just wax that melts. It’s a bridge to another time, a portal to a world that feels profoundly familiar, yet intriguingly distant.

Dark academia inspired candles by the window with cityscape views

Significance of Candles in Dark Academia

Candles, throughout history, have been a beacon of light in the darkest times. In the realm of dark academia, they represent more than just a source of illumination. They symbolize knowledge, enlightenment, and the ever-burning flame of curiosity. The very act of lighting a candle in a dimly lit room filled with books is a homage to scholars of the past who relied on them to delve into their studies. The ambiance they create, with the shadows they cast and the flickering flame that mimics the impermanence of time, is undeniably enchanting.

What Really Makes a Candle Fit Within the Dark Academia Aesthetic?

The essence of a dark academia candle isn’t merely in its scent or the way it lights up a room. It’s in the details: the texture of the wax, the aesthetics of the container, and the very experience it offers. Choosing a candle that embodies this aesthetic goes beyond selecting a pleasant aroma. It must evoke memories of old libraries, of rain-soaked cobblestone streets, and of times long past. The scent profile often leans towards woody, musky, or old parchment notes. Moreover, the presentation – be it the design or the label – should seamlessly blend with the vintage and scholarly vibes that dark academia cherishes.

How to Choose a Dark Academia Candle

Selecting the ideal candle isn’t just about picking the one that catches your eye or has a pleasant scent. It’s an intimate process, akin to choosing a book that speaks to your soul. To fully immerse oneself in the dark academia ambiance, here are some considerations:

1. Ingredients:

  • Wax: Natural waxes like beeswax and soy wax are known for their longer burn time and minimal soot. Paraffin, though synthetic, offers a bright burn but might release toxins.
  • Wicks: Cotton wicks are preferable. They burn cleaner compared to their metal counterparts. Double-wick candles provide more light, perfect for reading or writing into the night.
  • Fragrance: Natural, essential-oil-based fragrances tend to be less overpowering and more authentic than synthetic scents. They subtly fill a room rather than overwhelm it.

2. Craftsmanship: Handmade candles, crafted with care and attention to detail, resonate deeply with the dark academia ethos. It’s not just a product; it’s a piece of art, a labor of love.

3. Burn Time: A quality candle will have a longer burn time, ensuring many evenings of warm, flickering light.

4. Presentation: Beyond the candle itself, the design, label, and even packaging should echo the vintage and scholarly aesthetics of dark academia.

Having considered these factors, you’re now prepared to dive into the world of dark academia candles. Whether you’re drawn to the earthy scent of old books or the freshness of rain-soaked streets, there’s a candle out there waiting to illuminate your journey.

Scented Candles

In the solitude of my room, I’ve often found that the scent of a candle has the power to transport me to another world. A world where every fragrance tells a story, where every aroma evokes a memory long buried. To me, scents are like old photographs – windows to another time, another place. And in the embrace of dark academia, they become even more poignant, more evocative. Here, I share with you the fragrances that, in their own unique way, whisper tales of this aesthetic. Tales that perhaps you, too, hold close to your heart.

Old books:

The unmistakable musk of aged paper and leather bindings is reminiscent of countless hours spent in an ancient library. This scent often comprises tones of vanilla for the pages’ sweetness, coupled with the leather’s depth. Essential oils like cedarwood or patchouli can add that woody, earthy touch, solidifying its connection with worn-out bookshelves and time-tested tomes.

Library 6 oz. Candle - Frederick Douglass Leather and Smoke

Library 6 oz. Candle - Frederick Douglass Leather and Smoke

Crisp notes of pink peppercorn and bergamot blend seamlessly with the depth of black leather, cedar leaf, and dark oak. A scent that embodies the essence of leather-bound books and scholarly debates.

from $29.98

Apple Hill Company Natural Soy Candle

Evoking the ambiance of a hushed library, this candle melds the rich notes of teak-wood, cedar, and sandalwood. Let the scent transport you to quiet alcoves and endless shelves of knowledge

from $24.99

Apple Hill Company Natural Soy Candle

Timeless Comforts:

There’s something incredibly heartwarming about fragrances that remind us of home, of family gatherings, and age-old traditions. In this category, scents evoke the coziness of a fireside chat, the sweetness of baked goods fresh from the oven, or the comfort of a worn-in blanket. Notes like cinnamon, apple, and warm bourbon capture these treasured moments, making them perfect for those seeking solace and warmth in their surroundings.

Calyan Wax Soy Wax Candle, Apples & Maple Bourbon Scented Candle​

Calyan Wax Soy Wax Candle, Apples & Maple Bourbon Scented Candle

The warmth of maple bourbon meets the crisp sweetness of apples. A scent that wraps you in the cozy embrace of autumn evenings and age-old traditions.

from $22.99

Homesick Women's Book Club Candle

Dive into comforting notes of amber and sandalwood, enveloped by the harmonious blend of spices. A scent that captures the essence of a cozy reading session on a rainy day.

from $38,00

Homesick Women's Book Club Candle​
Cinnamon & apple scented candle

Cinnamon & apple scented candle

Evoking memories of brisk autumn afternoons, this candle melds the spicy notes of cinnamon with the refreshing aroma of apples.

from $18.99

Mystical Elixirs:

The realm of the unknown, the arcane whispers of the past, and the allure of ancient rituals come alive in these scents. With an enigmatic blend, these fragrances might remind one of alchemist’s laboratories or seances in candlelit chambers. Oils like frankincense, myrrh, or even a hint of amber can conjure these ethereal moments, where the past and present blur, and magic feels palpable.

Hemlock Park Frankincense Candle

Hemlock Park Frankincense Candle

Infused with the ancient essence of frankincense, this candle brings forward herbaceous aromas, complemented by hints of amber, thyme, and myrrh. Each burn is accentuated by the gentle crackling of its wood wick, reminiscent of a serene evening by the fireplace.

from $24.95

Patchouli & Amber Scented Candles

Earthy patchouli melds with warm amber, evoking mysteries of ancient tales and ageless enchantments.

from $17,99

Patchouli & Amber Scented Candles

Nature's Touch:

Nature, with its endless bounty, has always held a special place in the hearts of those who cherish the dark academia aesthetic. Scents in this category echo the outdoors: the damp woods after a rain, the crispness of fall leaves, or the gentle embrace of a spring morning. They’re reminiscent of strolls in secluded groves, with essential oils like lavender, pine, or eucalyptus capturing nature’s purity and serenity.

LA JOLIE MUSE Scented Candles Eucalyptus & Sage​

LA JOLIE MUSE Scented Candles Eucalyptus & Sage

Dive into a refreshing eucalyptus ambiance, designed to soothe the mind and soul. This candle, set in a glass jar with daisy patterns, combines the crisp scent with the gentle crackle of its wood wick.

from $35.99

Bergamot, Lemon, Sage & Rustic Oak Scented Candle

A harmonious blend of vintage oak, sage, and bergamot, evoking the serenity of a crisp spring morning.

from $15,58

Bergamot, Lemon, Sage & Rustic Oak Scented Candle​

Decorative Candles: Embodying Timeless Artifacts

When I was 17, I stumbled upon my first decorative candle—a miniature Greek bust, intricately carved with the softest of details. I remember placing it on my bedside table, the flame never once touching its wick. It wasn’t about the light; it was the quiet statement it made. Decorative candles, especially those echoing dark academia, have this magical ability to transport us to ancient lecture halls, brimming with whispers of Socratic debates and poetic musings. 

Choosing the right piece can be a journey in itself. Look for candles that have that weathered touch—Greek busts, miniature Roman pillars, or even ones resembling old tomes. A little tip from my own experience: to keep these beauties from collecting dust, I use a soft makeup brush to gently sweep over them every now and then. It preserves their pristine appearance and ensures they remain a central piece in my room’s tableau.

David Bust Statue Scented Candle​

David Bust Statue Scented Candle

Discover the David Bust candle: a harmonious blend of classical artistry and modern design, ideal for the discerning dark academia enthusiast.

from $12.99

Embracing Lantern Decor in Dark Academia Spaces

Lanterns, much like candles, hold within them the allure of times gone by. They hearken back to days of cobblestone streets, cloaked figures, and the gentle glow lighting the path for nocturnal scholars. In a dark academia-themed space, lanterns can be so much more than just another decorative piece. They embody the mystique of secret societies, hushed library conversations, and the soft glow of street lamps in forgotten alleys.

Incorporating indoor lanterns into your decor can effortlessly elevate the room’s ambiance. When selecting the right lantern, consider its design, the intricacy of its metalwork, and the stories it seems to whisper. 

Below, you’ll find a curated list of lanterns that perfectly capture the essence of dark academia, waiting to add that touch of historical elegance to your space.

The Timeless Charm of Candlestick Holders

There’s a certain gravitas that candlestick holders carry with them. They stand as pillars, reminiscent of grand ballrooms, elaborate dinners, and moments where time seemed to pause. For those truly seeking the most authentic and timeless pieces, thrift shops or antique stores are hidden goldmines. In their dusty corners, you might just stumble upon exquisite holders that have withstood the test of time, promising both quality and an aura of history.

Choosing the right candlestick holder can be an intimate affair. It’s not just about the design, but the weight, the texture, and the stories it might have witnessed had it been there centuries ago. These holders demand candles of equal elegance. Slender taper candles or those with a vintage finish complement them best. And here’s a little tip from someone who’s been there: Ensure your candles fit snugly. A wobbly candle can diminish the holder’s regal aura.

To guide your journey into this classic piece of decor, I’ve listed some candlestick holders that, in my eyes, are the epitome of dark academia sophistication. Dive in and let them light up your world, both literally and metaphorically.

Incorporating Candles into Dark Academia Decor: Final Touches

dark academia reading nook

To truly immerse oneself in the dark academia aesthetic, consider these final touches:

  • Reading Nooks: There’s nothing like the soft, ambient glow of a candle to accompany a good book. Place decorative candles or lanterns near your favorite reading spots. Not only will this create a serene environment for deep dives into literature, but it also lends that sought-after vintage charm to your space.

  • Study Desks and Libraries: Adorn your workspace with a few chosen candles. They serve not only as decor but also as silent companions during long study nights. Remember, it’s not about illuminating the space but about evoking a feeling, a connection to a time of handwritten letters and inkwells.

The Essence of Illumination

Dark academia, as a style and aesthetic, seeks to rekindle the romance and mystery of classical education, literature, and the arts. Candles, with their soft glow and evocative scents, are the perfect accessory to enhance this ambiance. By choosing the right dark academia-inspired candles, one can not only add to the aesthetic appeal of their space but also enjoy a multisensory experience that brings them closer to the world of bygone eras.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you click on them and make a purchase. This is at no extra cost to you and helps support the blog.


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Hi! I have a love for all things aesthetic, particularly fashion and beauty, and I enjoy experimenting with different styles and trends.  Read more.

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