Expensive candles are worth paying for, but when it comes to seasonal varieties of wax and wick, it's hard to want to pony up more than $15 for a scent that should only hang around for a couple of months.

Expensive candles are worth paying for, but when it comes to seasonal varieties of wax and wick, itís hard to want to pony up more than $15 for a scent that should only hang around for a couple of months.

Chain grocery and department stores have less expensive options. I picked three Target finds in the fall-est scent of them all, pumpkin pie, and burned each for an hour in my bedroom. Of course they all smelled good, but hereís which Iíd recommend for what purpose. (Warning: Burning a pumpkin pie candle will result in frantic search for and consumption of actual pumpkin pie.)

Chesapeake Bay Candle, Pumpkin Pie

Cost: $7

Buy it if: you need something inexpensive and subtle

The price is nice, but the scent doesnít reach very far. If placed nearby, this candle would be like whipped cream on the pie during an evening spent sitting on the couch reading or watching TV.

Natureís Wick, Pumpkin Nutmeg

Cost: $13.50

Buy it if: you burn candles as the main source of home scent

The wooden wick produces a tall flame and crackles when lit ó a nice acoustical reference to fall nights by the fire ó and, dang, does it smell yummy. Itís very cinnamon-y and strong. If you canít smell this candle as itís burning (which it promises to do for up to 96 hours), get your olfactory system checked.

Heritage Candle, Pumpkin

Cost: $10

Buy it if: you want to set a mood

This two-wick candle has the cleanest, just-out-of-the-oven smell that will hug the whole room. Like a lovely perfume, it treats you to a wonderful whiff every so often. Itíd be great for a fall party.

Photo by Jodi Miller