I love a good candle, especially Target candles. There are so many to choose from, you’re bound to find one (or a few) that you love. And for me, scent is important, because it goes hand in hand with a lot of memories. For example, when I was growing up, my best friend’s house always smelled of Febreze (her mother sprayed it everywhere). My grandma’s house smelled like her perfume, Clinique Happy. And whenever I catch a whiff of Bath & Body Works’ Endless Weekend candle, I’m taken back to the one I burned in my first studio apartment in NYC — the one my friends and I refer to as “the mouse apartment.” (Unfortunately, I shudder whenever I smell that one.)
So when I moved into my new apartment last summer, I wanted to find a signature scent for my home with a candle that was clean yet luxurious-smelling. I wanted guests who came over to immediately think my space smelled amazing, but I didn’t want it to be so overpowering that it’s the first thing they commented on.
With that in mind, I began my hunt at Target, and I landed on its Threshold Santal & Ginger candle from the Studio McGee collaboration. The soy wax blend candle comes in an 18-ounce or 40-ounce size, and it has a simple clear jar with white wax, so it goes with most home decor styles. I liked it so much I purchased it in the mega 40-ounce size for $30, and I’ve been burning it on and off for six months. The candle is fresh and clean-smelling and almost rejuvenating. It’s not too strong, not overly sweet and not too musky — it’s just right. It has notes of cardamom, ginger, musk and sandalwood.
Outside of actually giving your home a good cleaning, it’s the easiest way to make your space smell refreshed. I like to light it in my kitchen to start the day, an hour before friends come over or whenever I do an at-home Pilates class (it makes my living room feel like a posh studio).
I’m not the only one who loves it either. A candle this good has plenty of online fans. One TikToker likened it to high-end brands like Jenni Kayne, Byredo and Le Labo, and described it as an “old money, winter home, library in that home” candle in a video post.
Additionally, more than 150 Target shoppers have raved about the Threshold Santal & Ginger candle in the reviews.
“Makes my house feel expensive,” wrote one satisfied shopper.
“Smells amazing!!!” wrote another impressed reviewer. “I feel like I am in a spa. The smell is so unique. I adore this candle and it’s always complimented. I will buy over and over. It reminds me of Santal 33 which is a very luxurious scent.”
OK, so yes, some Target shoppers think the scent smells like Le Labo’s Santal 33 perfume. Personally, I have Le Labo’s perfume and Santal 26 candle, and while I think they smell similar because of the santal (aka sandalwood), it’s not exactly a dupe. I think that Le Labo’s is much stronger and more musky. Target’s scent is brighter and lighter and a pleasure to have lit for longer periods of time.
Other reviewers compare this Target candle to the 1 Hotel’s signature fragrance: “If you are familiar with the beautiful 1 Hotel, and love the way their lobby smells, you must buy this candle. I own the 1 Hotel candle and this smells exactly like it for a fraction of the cost. ... I cant believe this is at Target!”
Coincidentally, I live around the corner to one of these hotels and go to its restaurant pretty frequently, so I can confirm it is very similar to the lobby’s famous scent. And if you don’t know it, let’s just say it’s a very expensive smell. (FYI, the largest 28-ounce 1 Hotel Signature Kindling Candle retails for $160.)
Some Target candles are limited edition, and since it’s part of a collaboration with Studio McGee, there’s no telling how long this candle will be around. So if you’re looking to upgrade your own home fragrance, now is the time to add this beauty to your cart. Make it your signature scent if you love it. Either way, you have to smell this candle. It really is one of the best, and I’m stocking up.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.