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How to Pick the Right Scent

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

It truly is a personal choice based on your experiences and as a matter of fact, where your nose has been…

Yet, all things considered, there are certain scents you will always find more appealing than others. And we’ve broken down how to find the best candle scents for you into 4 steps

Step 1: Consider Your Space

The first to consider when choosing a candle scent is where you plan to use it. Take, for example, the size of the space you plan to use a candle in. You wouldn’t want to use a big overpowering scent in a small space such as a powder room, but in a large family room, the same scent might smell quite nice.

This can also be said for types of candle scents, a soft floral scented candle such as my homemade lavender mason jars candles can be relaxing in the bedroom, but in the kitchen, it could interfere with food aromas creating an unappealing smell.

So if you are wondering if it’s OKAY to have a different candle in every room, the answer is of course!

Step 2: Choose Your Candle Purpose

Candle Scents for Ambiance Scented candles undoubtedly are one of the fastest ways to create ambiance. They can introduce a warm glow into any space, but it’s the candle scent that often gives the room a heightened ambiance. So consider your purpose when choosing a candle scent for ambiance. A zingy, citrus scent is perfect for energizing a workspace. While an exotic scent such as sandalwood can be stress relieving in the bath.

Odor Neutralizing Candle Scents Many times the purpose of a candle is to mask odors. Fresh citrus and woody candle scents are often excellent at covering up odors. Yet there’s always one aroma that stands out to me for masking any odor – coffee! The irresistible smell of roasted coffee beans is one just about any nose is drawn to. And its bold unique aroma is helpful for banishing any odor – pets, seafood, garlic, even bathroom odors are no more with a coffee scented candle.

Step 3: Choose Your Candle Fragrance Type

Once you’ve picked your space and purpose, the next thing to consider is the type of candle scent. As a candle maker, I’ve been asked many times over, “What is the best candle fragrance type? or “What is the best fragrance oil for candles?” There are three options when it comes to candle fragrance types and each has its own pros and cons. I’ve briefly summarized each below but you read more in great detail here about each fragrance type. Standard Fragrance Oils: This candle fragrance type is most commonly used for scented candles. Often listed as broad terms such as perfume or fragrance to hold the trade secret of a candle maker’s scent. Standard fragrance oils give a great cold and hot scent throw. And the choices of candle scents are basically unlimited. However, many are not made cruelty free and some contain chemicals such as phthalates and parabens that can cause all types of health issues I personally do not buy or make candles with standard fragrance oils, but the choice is yours.

Essential Oils: Essential oils have become incredibly popular for all kinds of things, candles included. Each is 100% natural and made from plant material – who doesn’t love that? Essentials oils are loved for their therapeutic capabilities and are the most common way to experience aromatherapy. But, they are limited to a selection of scents derived from specific plants and they are the most expensive option. Nonetheless, I enjoy using essential oils to make scented coconut soy wax candles.

Step 4: Choose Your Best Candle Scents Category

Now onto the part, you’ve been waiting for – choosing your best candle scents!! All scents can be broken into scent category types. What are the different types of scents? Fresh, Woody, Floral, and Exotic are the four main scent categories that match up with our four primary olfactory groups. Each group has a distinct list of characteristics that I share below. Interestingly, everyone tends to have a scent category that they gravitate too over all other scents. This scent category more often than not reminds someone of a certain time in their life or evokes their sense of style almost perfectly. These scent categories are a great way to uncover what the best candle scents for you are. Then you can look for candles that fall under that category. While some companies do sell their candles in scent categories, others that do not can be easily revealed by reading the descriptions of the fragrance. And if you’re making candles you’ll know what oils to look for. Candle Scent Categories: FRESH The candle scents in this category encompass all things bright and invigorating like sunshine and summer. Think fresh citrus, herbal, and clean aromas that speak cool, light, breezy, and fun. Each is vibrant and creates an uplifting, energizing atmosphere. Signature Fresh Scent Notes:

  • Lime

  • Sage

  • Bergamot

  • Grapefruit

  • Lemongrass

  • Eucalyptus

  • Citronella

  • Angelica

  • Tangerine

  • Verbena

  • Basil

  • Clary Sage

  • Rosemary

  • Thyme

Blends Well With:

  • Sweet, Sugary Scents

  • Light Florals

  • Spicy Warm Aromas

  • Tropical Notes Signature Woody Scent Notes:

  • Patchouli

  • Cedarwood

  • Vetiver

  • Juniper

  • Sandalwood

  • Black Spruce

  • Balsam Fir

  • Cypress

  • Blue Spruce

  • Douglas Fir

  • Oak Moss

  • Palo Santo

  • Pine

  • Willow Bark

  • Black Walnut

  • Birch Bark

  • White Oak

Blends Well With:

  • Sweet Citrus Scents

  • Rich Florals Signature Floral Scent Notes:

  • Rose

  • Jasmine

  • Lavender

  • Geranium

  • Ylang-Ylang

  • Gardenia

  • Lilac

  • Neroli

  • Hibiscus

  • Chamomile

  • Lavandin

  • Hyssop

  • Palmarosa

  • Yarrow

  • Calendula

  • Hydrangea

  • Peony

Blends Well With:

  • Deep Woody Scents

  • Cheerful Citrus

  • Fresh Herbs Signature Exotic Scent Notes:

  • Vanilla

  • Chai

  • Myrrh

  • Fennel

  • Coffee

  • Saffron

  • Cinnamon

  • Frankincense

  • Honey

  • Rosewood

  • Anise

  • Nutmeg

  • Caraway

  • Clove

  • Balsam

  • Elemi

  • Ginger

  • Benzoin

  • Caramel

  • Tarragon

  • Cardamont

Blends Well With:

  • Bright Citrus

  • Woody Scents

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