How to Use Scented Candles for Home Fragrance

by mark woeppel on March 19, 2021

We love scented candles, but why bother scenting our homes, anyway? We like nice smells, but you can think of fragrance as an accessory. It adds depth and character to your home; it allows you to give each space a different feel.

The flickering light from candles are a way to set a mood for an intimate event, like dinner or a bath. But scented candles are not just for intimate events; the aromatherapy effects of scented candles will help you create a mood just right for your family and your guests.

Choosing the Size

The most important factor in choosing a scented candle is matching the size of the candle to the area you want to scent. The ‘throw’, or projection of the scent, is related to the amount of scent in the candle and the size of the melted wax pool. The industry standard is 7% fragrance to wax ratio, but the more luxurious candles will have up to 11%. A votive candle will only have a wax pool of about 1”, so even though it might have a high percentage of fragrance, it can’t throw it far.

A scented votive is great in a small room like your bath, but don’t expect it to perform well in a kitchen or bathroom. Single wick candles will scent a room like your office or bedroom, but depends again, on the size of the melted wax pool. A good rule of thumb is the larger the room, the larger the wax pool (or multiples). A three-wick candle will fill a larger room, but may overpower smaller spaces. This would be like playing your music too loud. The scent is front and center, overpowering everything else.

Choosing the Fragrance

Think of fragrances as songs. The music you play will create the mood you want. In a living room, you may want this music playing softly in the background. A subtle floral scent is equivalent to that. I like Aubert & Amandine’s Renew, with a lilac scent. It smells like freshly cut lilacs, but with an undertone of greenery, it’s sweet and not overpowering.

For a party where you’d like to get the energy up, you’d want a happy, social fragrance that gets noticed, like Aubert & Amandine’s Joy. Its distinct, bright floral notes are not cloying, it’s got a nice citrusy undernote to take a little of the sweetness out of the scent.

For the kitchen, something that’s has a bright, fresh scent. Avoid floral or musk scents here, they can get in the way of the food aromas. Instead, add something fruity, to make your mouth water a bit. Aubert & Amandine’s Delight works well here, with a black cherry scent that compliments a wide variety of dishes.

For the bathroom, think of a candle with a fresh scent, like Aubert & Amandine’s Peace. It has a citrusy bergamot fragrance with a cedar undernote. Its uplifting scent is perfect for setting a welcoming tone for your visitors.

When you’re working, you want to focus, not relax. Consider more aromatic scents like sage, lavender, or eucalyptus. These scents help you focus.  Aubert & Amandine’s Refresh is perfect for that. The combination of lavender, sage, and peppermint are not as harsh as eucalyptus or menthol, but provide the same benefits of focus with a boost of energy.

Relaxation time asks for a fragrance from the wood family. Sandalwood candles are perfect for this, they have a gentle woody scent, that’s not a campfire, but not floral, either. Aubert & Amandine has 2 of different sandalwood scents, Relax – with Jasmine provides a nice balance between the welcoming floral scents and the pure relaxation of sandalwood and Awaken – with Lotus is more floral forward scent with woody undertones. Either one is a great choice for spa time, or just chilling with Netflix.

You may be seeking balance. Lavender scents promote relaxation and when paired with another scent, you get something more complex. Aubert & Amandine Calm pairs lavender with vanilla, so you get lavender that is not too strong, but adds that musky sweetness of vanilla. This scent is often used in yoga studios or when you’re meditating to promote that calm, balanced feeling.

Thinking of romance? A bight floral scent with Jasmine or Ylang Ylang can help set a sexy tone for the times when you want things just right. Choose Spirit with its wonderful floral jasmine scent to promote a feeling of togetherness. With its strong scent, you’ll want this one in the background.

Choosing a Candle Brand

Open the box and expose the wax. Rub your finger on the wax around the wick to release the fragrance before you sniff. Beware of ‘sweating’ on top, that’s a sign that the scent and wax have not blended. Either there is too much fragrance oil, or it’s not mixed well.  

The price of the candle is usually not a great indicator, as the cost of a candle depends on the place of manufacture, vessel type, packaging, wick, and fragrance concentration. Choose soy, beeswax, or coconut blends. These all-natural candles burn well and do not give off the harmful petroleum fumes of paraffin candles.  

Common Mistakes

The most common mistakes are picking the wrong size candle for the room and sticking with a single scent—say, just jasmine or just lavender. It’s like playing the same song over and over. When they’re new, sure. At some point, you’ll want that scent to be a compliment to your home, not the main element. People may think you’re trying to cover something up. You’re much better off with a multifaceted fragrance that’s hard to pinpoint.

What if We Really Love Jasmine or Lavender?

Go for artful blended scents. That’s why so few of Aubert & Amandine candles are a single scent. A subtle blended scent stands a better chance of becoming your signature scent if you’re not like everyone else.

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