Candle Fragrance Tips

How do you find that perfect candle that will surround you with your favorite fragrance?  Trial and error mainly.  You’re usually safe if you buy name brands like Yankee Candles or Votivo.  If you’re buying at craft fairs, ask questions and sample the products.  Keep reading for some candle fragrance tips that will give you ideas for selecting a candle with fragrance that will delight you.




Did you know that the actual candle scent comes from the pool of melted wax? The larger the “melt pool” the stronger the scent.  So it stands to reason that you’ll get more scent from a larger candle than a smaller one.  If you like small candles, it’s okay, you’ll just need to burn more of them.  I rarely burn candles larger than 3” or 4” in diameter and I get plenty of scent.

From my experience, the secret to a great smelling candle is using high quality products – wax, wicks and fragrance – rather than loading up on scent.

With some waxes, the more scent that is added, the poorer the quality of the candle.  It might smell great, but it might also smoke more, or be ‘greasier’ from scent leaking out.

I use soy wax and find that I don’t need to use extra scent to get a strong fragrance.  However, I have also learned through trial and error that not all fragrances burn as well in soy wax.  Just adding more fragrance doesn’t help, and sometimes makes it worse.

I test burn new scents, and have friends try them out.  That’s the only way I know whether I’m going to get great scent.

Some scents are naturally stronger than others.  Peppermint, cinnamon and lavender are very potent.  Citrus scents are milder.  Keep that in mind when looking for a candle with your favorite fragrance.  If you prefer a highly scented candle, lemon meringue might not be the best choice.

Personal preference also plays a huge part.  What’s overpowering to one person might be just perfect to someone else.  I don’t care for strong scents, which is why it’s important for me to have other people test my candles.  Ask your candle-maker whether they test their own products and to give you their opinion.

The ultimate question is, will the candle pass the blind-fold test?  Sometimes I’ll hand someone a candle and ask them what they think.  I won’t tell them what the fragrance is.  It’s fun to watch them as they try to figure out the “flavor”.  They might not know that it’s Harvest Apple Spice, but if they guess fruity and spicy, I know I’m in the ball park.

Candle scents should be ‘true’.  Lemon should smell like lemon, rose should smell like rose and apple should smell like apple.

Some fragrances are a little more illusive.  What does mountain air smell like? Does it smell like a snow capped mountain in the winter?  Or a tree-covered mountain in the fall?  And what does ocean smell like?  Sand?  Coconut?  Fish (yuck!)

I guess some fragrances should create a mental image.  If someone smells Island Breeze or Jamaican Night and says it reminds them of their vacation at the beach, then I’m happy.

But don’t get hung up on the name of the scent.  If your candle scent is called Lemon, and you don’t think ‘lemon’ when you smell it, you’ll be disappointed.  But if the name is ‘Summer Days’ and the fragrance reminds you of lemonade, then it’s a pleasant surprise.

Above all, have fun with your choice of candle fragrance.  Pick fragrances for every mood.  Even though I have personal favorites (green tea and caramel apple) I’ve often been pleasantly surprised by trying something different.

Experiment and try something different on occasion.  You, too, might be pleasantly surprised.

Now that you know what to look for in candle fragrance, stop by your favorite candle store and enjoy the experience.

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