Staff at B&M Bargains on Bridge Street, spotted Keith Coward stealing the Yankee candles, worth £53, and he was arrested on December 18.
“He initially denied it, but later told police he had been taking a lot of mamba,” said Robert Carr, prosecuting.
Coward, 33, of Queen Street, admitted theft when he appeared before magistrates in Mansfield on Wednesday.
David Verity, mitigating, said Coward had been struggling with accomodation at the time, and his benefits were stopped.
“He needed money for food and wanted to buy Christmas presents for his children,” said Mr Verity.
“He was in a fairly desperate situation.
“He mentioned drugs in the interview. Since then he has more or less stopped. At the time he was dabbling in mamba.”
Coward was ordered to pay compensation to the store and was fined £40.