Whether you want to make the room brighter and warmer, set the mood for relaxing or just smell flowers throughout your house, scented candles are always a good idea. But candle shopping can be quite overwhelming, with the plethora of fragrances to choose from and confusing descriptions (what even is amber?). Here are a few tips for the next time you buy candles online or in store.
Consider the Wax and Wick
A few common types of wax are used to create candles. Soy wax is natural and biodegradable, providing a clean burn and strong, long-lasting scent. Paraffin wax is more commonly used beyond scented candles and produces more soot when burning. Beeswax has a high melting point, making it more long-lasting and less prone to dripping. However, beeswax also has natural honey smell, which can clash with the scents inside.
The material and number of wicks also matter. Cotton wicks will burn more evenly and require less maintenance (e.g. cutting) than wiry wicks. If you want stronger smell or brighter lights, candles with double wicks will serve your needs better.
Understand the Scents
If you’re unfamiliar with fragrances, a thing that can help is identifying your favourite “fragrance family”, as Tim Rossi from Nest Fragrances calls it. Common families include floral (rose, jasmine, geranium, lavender), fruity (berries, peaches, figs), citrus (lemon, grapefruit, orange, bergamot), clean/fresh (linen, cotton, rosemary), gourmand (vanilla, almond, chocolate), spicy (cinnamon, pepper, cardamom) and more.
Read the Room
Done getting to know your preferred scents? Now is the time to place them around your house. Consider the space and the activities you’re doing in each room, so that you can choose a suitable candle scent. For example, it is commonly recommended to put on relaxing candles in the bedroom to help you relax and wind down, while having fresh, clean scents in the bathroom helps evoke a sense of hygiene.
Scented candles create a multi-sensory experience that is different for each person – so to find your best choice, you may need to experiment and try out a few scented candles before finding your signature. Take your time and have fun!