Candle Buying Guide: How to Select the Perfect Scent
When shopping for candles, either for yourself or as a gift, the most important thing to consider is typically fragrance first and appearance second. The reason for this is that scent is such a strong and important aspect of our lives. Pleasant scents can strike a chord with us, relax us, make us happy, or even transport us back into cherished memories. This is why fragrance is the main aspect when looking for new candles – it has the power to soothe and set positive moods. But how do you pick the perfect scented candle? To help you out with that, we’ve written up a helpful candle buying guide.
Consider the Area The Candle Will Be In
Before you actually get around to buying a candle, first consider where you will be keeping it. If you’ll be burning the candle in a smaller room, a lighter scent, such as the Jasmine and Magnolia Soy Wood Wick Candle by Hence the Zen, would be a better choice than an overpowering scent. Likewise, if you’ll be burning the candle in a bigger area like the dining room or living room, a stronger scent would work quite well.
You should also consider what the room is used for. Relaxing scents, such as soft florals, would go well in rooms where you like to sit down and take it easy. In the study, home office, or bedroom, you could really choose any kind of scent you like. There’s absolutely no reason you can’t have scented candles in every room of the house, either!
What Are You Using the Candles For?
Next up in our candle buying guide is to think about the intended purpose of the candle, as it can help you choose the scent. If you’re looking for something to help you unwind after a long day at work or to relieve you of stress, a softer organic scent like that of Delight Homewares’ Lychee and Peony Luxury Scented Matte Black Candle would be a wonderful choice.
If on the other hand you are looking for something a little more invigorating, consider something with a zingy citrus element, such as the Fruity Champagne Soy Candle by L&K Collective. Handcrafted with a blend of exotic fruits and champagne, this candle’s fragrance will instill a sense of joy while energizing the space it's in.
For the purpose of entertaining company, a candle with a more unique scent might be the best choice. Something like the Amber Moss and Teak Soy Candle by Aria Rose Collection will delight your guests and create a pleasant ambience for a night of socializing.
Because fragrance can be such a powerful instiller of emotion and mood, candles like the Wood Sage and Sea Salt option from emmeluxe can instill instant seaside vibes, while an apple and cinnamon candle can impart a seasonal holiday vibe.
Choose the Scent Category That Most Appeals to You
No candle buying guide would be complete without an explanation of the different scent types. Candle fragrances are broken up into different category types: Exotic, Floral, Woody, and Fresh. These four categories align with the four primary olfactory groups we have, and everybody has a scent category (or two) that they prefer over the others. Some examples of the scents you can expect to find in each category are listed below:
- Exotic – Myrrh, vanilla, balsam, ginger, caramel, anise, rosewood, coffee
- Floral – Jasmine, rose, calendula, lilac, gardenia, lavender, ylang-ylang
- Woody – Cedarwood, patchouli, white oak, sandalwood, oak moss, juniper
- Fresh – Lime, bergamot, grapefruit, thyme, verbena, lemongrass, angelica
These are only a few examples of what scents each category contains, so don’t be afraid to do some research to see what else there is that you might like!
Do Some Sniff Testing
The most obvious and reliable way to see if you’d like a candle scent is of course to sniff it. However, keep in mind that the sniff test might not be sufficient as some candles don’t truly release the full fragrance potential until they are burning. To get a better idea, consider sniffing some essential or fragrance oils of the same type. Alternatively, you could sniff some perfumes, lotions, or body mists of the same scent to see if you like it.
In Search of the Perfect Scented Candle
Ultimately, the perfect scented candle is the one that appeals to you most. Whether it’s something energizing or something relaxing, the perfect scent is the one that invokes a mood, triggers a memory, or simply makes you feel at ease whenever you smell it. There’s nothing saying you can’t have more than one perfect scent in a candle, so don’t be afraid to check out a few to see what strikes your fancy.