How to pick a candle fragrance – 5 things you need to know
The journey of adding a new scent to your candle collection can be long and arduous but it’s a journey which can make you fall in love with a smell so much you dream about it and live and breathe it for months.
Sifting your way through the vast variety of different candle scents can be time consuming but is necessary as when you find the perfect blend and pour the scent is second to none and the joy as a candle making is pure elation.
Similarly like choosing the right perfume or home accessories, choosing a candle fragrance is personal and reflective of what you like.
There is a huge amount of choice and variety in the market, from luxury brands, high street stores, independent makers, small creatives and budget supermarkets which can make the decision so difficult and making it much easier to stick to what you know or like rather than try a totally new candle fragrance. However with a little bit of knowledge and research and a lot of scent smelling, finding your new candle fragrance could be worth it!
1. Find out your Candle fragrance background
The word Fragrance derived from the Latin word fragrare meaning to ‘smell sweet’ with out going into a history lesson the Egyptians were responsible for the origin of perfumes as we know of them even today, using them in daily wear, ceremonies and preparations. Natural ingredients were commonly used such as Coriander, Myrtle, lavender and rosemary to create ointments and balms to provide scent. In the 19th Century Modern perfumery completely revolutionised the industry in general with new technology enabling faster production and a global reach, top perfume houses were established Chanel, Rochas and Dior exploded in the new age of perfumes. I go into more depth about the history of fragrance and the fragrance wheel in my workshops if you are interested and what to know more!
Candles use a variety of different fragrances oils including pure essential oils and perfume oils, mixed with wax at the right temperature the results can be amazing. In candle making there is definitely a difference in quality over quantity this includes the ingredients that is put into a candle. The basic comparisons are:
Paraffin Wax vs Soy Wax
Premium fragrance oil vs Cheaper perfume oil
Paraffin wicks vs Unbleached natural wicks
The list goes on………
Basically what you put in is what you get out of it, but this is not necessarily compared to the price either. Some luxury high street candles are not necessarily better quality than others its just that you are buying the brand and for that you need to fork out a whole lot of money! But that’s your choice and so that’s ok.
A really good question to ask is ‘what oils are used in this candle?’ or ‘what oils do you use in your candles?’
The maker will be ore that happy to answer you because she will know exactly what is in that candle from top to bottom, in fact she will probably be quite impressed!
If you are in a shop, take a look at the bottom of the candle at the label or if it is in a box have a look to see what ingredients are in it. If you are in a Luxury high end store ask the shop assistants, they should know and if they don’t know well there is your answer…….
2. Practical Steps to do
So you’ve established what ingredients and what type of fragrance oils are in the candle now the fun part can begin and this can all depend on what mood you are in, where you are,and who you are with. I always think of it like this ‘Do you wear the same perfume all year around, day and evening? If the answer is no then I would apply the same thinking to choosing a candle fragrance ( if the answer is yes to the above you can still browse as you could be buying a gift for someone else )
The simplest way to choosing the right fragrance is to actually pick them up and smell them, don’t be hesitate take in a deep breathe and inhale, some things to ponder as you are smelling the candle are:
‘Does the fragrance make me feel good?’
Does it remind me of anything?’
‘Would wearing it make me happy?’ ( I kid you not, most fragrances used in candles are used in perfumes in one way or another)
If you are not able to physically smell the candle yourself, the best way to help you decide I think is to go back to natures simplicity and to think about the different seasons in the year and what each one brings to all your senses.
Spring is a time of new beginnings and re birth, bringing feelings of joy and new hope around us ( at least for me anyway!) Blossoms and buds are appearing with new warming light staying longer in the day and colours are appearing again reflecting new awakenings. Scents like peony, bluebells, fresh fruit, citrus scents are reminiscent of this joyful season. We have just introduced in a new Spring floral and fresh candle scent Fig & Cassis which is both full of sweet florals and musky woods in one, alongside the popular and signiture Lime Basil & Mandarin with its fresh clean aroma making the perfect Spring scents
Summer is reminiscent of hot bright and warm days, outdoor living, enjoying family time and holidays together. Summer is filled with beautiful scented colourful flowers, fresh greenery and happy sweet summer fruits. Fresh and clean scents are lovely Summer fragrances for example Sea Salt & Wood Candle is stunning mixture of fresh air, driftwood and citrus grapefruit, Pink Grapefruit and Basil with its fresh botanical scent, floral and herb undertones and wild fresh base notes. Orange Blossom is a beautiful sweet citrus blend with botanical tree blossom middle notes and floral bottom notes of geranium.
5. Autumn & Winter
My favourite season of all and probably why Coco Chanel is my favourite perfume of all time with its deep tones and sultry aroma reminiscent of leaves falling, landscapes turning and more dark orange and browns appearing. The nights are darker and the fire is back on, blanket throws reappear with cosy corners created. Spicy and woody scents are perfect this time of year with there woody base tones and seductive aromas amber and jasmine, cinnamon and spice are popular fragrances and the perfect pick me ups for the Winter ahead. Our Fireside Amber & Bergamot and Raspberry & Peppercorn Candle fragrance is a lovely scent to cosy up to and bring a bit of scent into the home
Although there is an abundance of fragrances to choose from, do not be afraid to ask an expert for advice, ask the shop assistant, the candle-maker before you make your final decision ( I would be very to help you and guide you to make the right choice) In addition it also works well for when you are buying a candle as a gift, ask the candle-maker they will have a good idea which fragrances tend to be popular with different people, age groups and style.
Good luck and happy choosing!