Some aromatic answers to finding a good scented candle. Also find out what’s in your candle and some tips on giving scented candles as gifts.
With so many styles, sizes and scents of candles – how do you pick the right one for you? It can be a daunting task because a quick look online will reveal that there are hundreds of fragrances to choose from. So let’s answer a few questions to help point you in the right direction.
- What are the most common scents?
Probably the first thing to do is define the most common scent categories and then find a scent in the category you find most appealing. Common scent categories include: Food or Baking, Floral, Fruity, Tropical, Fresh Scent, and Spa or Fantasy. So decide on the scent category that you want for the area you wish to create a particular “mood”.
Some common scents you’ll find – Food: Vanilla, Banana Bread, Cinnamon – Floral: Lilac, Rose, Gardenia – Fruity: Strawberry, Watermelon, Apple – Tropical: Coconut, Lime, Hibiscus – Fresh Scent: Cotton Linen, Orange Citrus, Lemon – Spa: Lavender, Mint, Eucalyptus. This barely scratches the surface; so let’s ask another question.
- What will the candle really smell like?
Easy if you’re shopping at a store, not so easy if you are shopping online! Short of someone developing a “scratch and sniff” computer screen here are a couple of ideas that can help you. First look for a web page that gives a written description or pictures to help give you an image of what a fragrance is similar to. For example most everyone has a good idea of what cinnamon, vanilla, rose, or coconut smells like; but what about a candle called “Hawaiian Breeze” If it was described as – “a tropical mix of orange, pineapple, peach, strawberry with jasmine & lavender” – you can start to get a feeling of what that candle might smell like. Another way to find out what a scent smells like is to see if you can order a sample or small votive candle. That way you can find out exactly what the fragrance smells like without spending lots of money.
- How well will the candle smell when it’s burning?
What you want to know here is what is your candle made of? Most of the scented candles in the “Big Box” stores are made from paraffin wax which is a petroleum-based product. It can affect the way your candle fragrance smells when it is burned and will cause to some minor toxins and black soot to be put into the air of your home. The other option is a natural wax candle. The most common are: Soy wax, Bees wax, or Palm wax. The easiest and least expensive to find is Soy wax. The major advantage of Soy wax is that because it is clean burning it will do a much better job of dispersing fragrance. You will also find that Soy wax candles will burn more evenly and last longer than paraffin wax candles.
- What should I consider when giving a candle as a gift?
Unless you know the recipients “taste” preferences, you may want to stay fairly generic. Go with well-known scents like: Vanilla, Cinnamon, Lemon or Lavender. Citrus scented candles will help create a fresh scent feel to a home. Lavender, Mint or Rose will bring a calming effect when burned. Also seasonal candles like: Apple or Pumpkin Pie, Pine or spice scents are good pick at this time of the year. Stay away from anything that sounds strange, exotic, or really pungent.
Keep this in mind when picking a candle – an average 16 oz. jar candle will burn about 75 to 100 hours. So if you burn your candle 3 to 4 hours a day – that’s 18 to 25 days your candle will last. So you want to make sure the candle fragrance is one you will enjoy!
Scented candles really can bring enjoyment to your home. The soft light and dancing flame helps create a certain mood and even more important is the aroma that fills the room where your candle is.