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The scented candle craze didn’t start with the famous end-of-year Bath & Body Works holiday sale (buy one, get one 50% off, anyone?). Whether it’s lavender or fresh linen, scented candles can instantly offer a little aromatherapy to any space. You can get one to burn in your home every day, to establish a signature scent for an event or to help you relax after a long day of work. However, you’ll need to find the perfect scent for you.
There are several factors, however, that can influence your overall experience. From wax type to burn time, picking the right candle can be tricky. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the top scented candles of 2022.
Most eco friendly: Chesapeake Bay
Made of a high-quality soy wax blend, this scented candle is available in a variety of scents. Thanks to its self-trimming, soot-free wicks, this orange scented candle burns cleanly.
For that environmentally conscious friend in your life, this option can make for the perfect holiday or birthday gift (and even serve as a reuseable storage jar once cleaned out!).
Mother Nature has never given a bigger thumbs up! Available in water lily pear, it’s understandable why this scented candle was named Balance + Harmony. With a burn time of approximately 50 hours and made in the USA, you can expect multiple opportunities of leisure with this option.
Made of a high-quality soy wax blend
Orange essential oil
Burns clean due to self-trimming, lead-free wick
The scent throw is faint
Best burn time: Yankee Candle Jar Lilac Blossoms
Made of paraffin wax, this scented candle champions with a burn time of 110–150 hours. Soot-free and made of natural fibers, this candle is also 100% recyclable.
Just like with the above option, once the candle has reached the end of its life you can repurpose the jar by cleaning the remaining wax out. Estimating approximately an hour, all you have to do is bring some water to a boil, let the candle jar sit for a half hour and scrape any remains of the label off with the edge of a fork or knife.
From there, your new jar is good with anything you like! From sugar to dried spices and herbs, the possibilities are endless.
100% natural fibre wick
100% recyclable in partnership with TerraCycle
Non-eco-friendly paraffin wax
Most aromatic scent: Glade Candle Exotic Tropical Blossoms
Perfect for hosting or rainy day hang outs, this scented candle is made with synthetic petroleum wax. The three wicks of this scented candle offer a longer, brighter burn time.
Another plus? If you’re looking to instantly teleport yourself to the tropics, look no further. Traveling has never been more affordable with the help of the 12 aromatic scents of this candle (and a little imagination on your part!) Laced with notes of elderflower and coconut milk, this scented candle is a perfect fit for those midweek slumps. For those who journal or do yoga, Glade can bring you closer to the page and have you rolling up your floor mat feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Longer burn time
Features three wicks
Infused with a blend of twelve essential oils
Non-eco-friendly paraffin wax
Best for small spaces: Aroma Naturals Essential Oil scented Pillar Candle
The pillar design of this candle makes for a perfect bookshelf or desk buddy! Crafted using plant-based essential oils, the cotton wick promises a soot-free experience.
With a 50 hour burn time and manufactured in Southern California, this scented candle’s notes of orange and lemongrass will help ring in daydreams of palm trees and beach front views of the California coast at just about any time of the year.
Aside from its fresh quality, the integrity of this brand is also prided on the organic butters and oils.
Plant-based essential oils
Made in USA
Non-eco-friendly paraffin wax
Most storage friendly: Mrs. Meyer’s Scented Soy Aromatherapy Candle
Known for their soy wax base and cruelty-free products, each garden-inspired candle comes in a small glass jar (perfect for storage and gifting!).
Gone are the days of wondering what exactly to gift your friend or family something they will actually use and not regift. When it comes to Mrs. Meyer’s, one sniff will have them asking where you got it so they can buy a replacement once their candle is finished burning.
Leading with notes of lemon verbena, you won’t have to worry about metal and lead candle wicks. Also recyclable, the burn time for this environmentally friendly option is approximately 35 hours.
Made of eco-friendly soy wax
Insufficient burn time
How to find a high-quality scented candle: a buying guide
Aromatic as they are therapeutic, scented candles can elevate the mood and energy of just about any space, which is why we definitely recommend getting one. Check out our buyer’s guide for all the need-to-know information.
Benefits of scented candles
Burning a candle can transform even the most high-stress spaces into a more relaxing environment. Certain scents (like eucalyptus) are known for their therapeutic benefits and can promote relaxation and mental focus. The time of the day you light your candle, and where, can also mean the difference between a more productive work day or a relaxing day in. Creating a daily routine (or ritual) around burning your scented candle could help you increase productivity or even help you reach some personal wellness goals.
Another benefit is better sleep. For example, lighting a lavender candle when it’s time to unwind and relax before bed could help those with insomnia or other sleep difficulties doze off faster. (Just don’t forget to blow it out before sleeping!)
Elevate good home decor
Candles can add a finishing touch to any room in your home. From turning the bathroom into a spa to transforming the living room into the ultimate Netflix and chill space. Those that come in pretty jars can also be used as a counter or nightstand topper for a little added decor. When they’re completely burned out, you can upcycle the empty candle jars and use them to store small items. You can even take your home decor game a step further by placing your own labels on each jar. Of course, if you’re looking for a vase, you could also fill the leftover jar with a small plant or flowers, depending on how big the jar is.
Another DIY project to try on the weekend? Make your own candle using an empty jar. To start, simply head to your nearest craft store and purchase wax. To personalize your candle, you can even add dried herbs like lavender or chamomile leaves to the top or base of the wax as it’s drying.
Uses of scented candles
Add fragrance to your space
That’s right — scented candles can even mask unpleasant odors (like last night’s dinner). When guests come over, it’s also nice to have someone compliment you on how good your space smells. The right smell can also elevate the mood of the room, to make it feel more relaxing or more luxurious. If you’re hosting, one good tip is to light your candle at least 30 minutes prior to your guests arriving. This will ensure the candle wax has had enough time to melt and for the scent to fill the room. Placing the candle in the room nearest to the doorway can also ensure everyone will be met with welcoming notes of your candle’s scent.
Many candles are a good replacement to aerosol cans if you’re trying to be more environmentally-friendly. However, you’ll need to make sure that the candles you’re using don’t contain paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum. Go for more natural waxes, like soy or beeswax.
Ring in the season
Candles have the power to make every celebration special. Whether that star on your calendar relates to an upcoming holiday party or you’re hosting the family cookout, scents like cinnamon apple or orange can truly ring in the current season.
Lighting a pumpkin spice candle during the fall months, for example, can help establish a cozy, yet fresh mood. It can be especially helpful in places with warmer climates where traditional fall things like the changing leaves, pumpkin patches and sweater weather doesn’t really happen.
Inspires remembrance and focus
Science says that when we smell the same scent twice, our mind enters a space of nostalgia. This is why scented candles can prove useful in paying tribute to a loved one’s loss, meditation and journaling.
Lighting a candle one hour prior to meditation, for example, can help you hone in on those inner thoughts. Combine your session with an app or service that provides a selection of nature sounds, you can imagine how easy it is to temporarily convince your brain it’s raining outside by closing your eyes to the sound of a thunderstorm and letting these notes of flora find your nose.
Factors to consider
Scent capture refers to a candle’s ability to maintain its scent. While unassuming at the face, this is important when it comes to overall life and burn time. And when it comes to gifting, the last thing you want is to rave over a candle’s quality and have the receiver smelling soot instead of tropical flowers.
You can also think of like this: Poorly made candles will lose their scent even if half (or all) of the wax is still in the jar. The better the quality, the less you have to worry about the scent giving up after the second or third burn.
There are all kinds of candle waxes, each having their own advantages and disadvantages. The experience you would get from beeswax or coconut wax, for example, may contrast in both scent capture and expiration.
This is why it’s important to research the available types of wax to ensure your purchase is everything you want. There may be no such thing as a perfect candle, but a near to perfect candle is definitely in your future (and shopping cart) if you gather your facts before you begin your hunt.
When it comes to the rush of the holiday season, research can especially prove helpful on those days you realize you actually didn’t purchase your friend a gift. Instead of thinking of what to buy, you’ll know exactly what to look for and where.
Candle size and shape
Candle size can mean the difference between a shorter and longer burn time. For example, large candles tend to have a stronger scent capture. Smaller candles on the other hand will usually have a shorter burn time.
While not as important to some, size can unintentionally play a role in your dissatisfaction with a candle should its burn life be less than what you assumed. So if all of the other boxes check, and your candle’s smaller size appears to be the reason for its shorter burn life, consider purchasing the largest size option for that particular brand.
People Also Asked
Q1. Are scented candles bad for you?
That depends on the wax type and wick. For example, scented candles made from paraffin emit toxic fumes when lit, so we definitely recommend avoid candles with that ingredient!
Q2. Should I use scented candles if I have allergies?
If you have allergies, stronger fragrances can trigger symptoms. To be safe, consider going the beeswax route. For those who aren’t sure if they have allergies, but have experienced symptoms with certain scents, knowing what scents to avoid can mean the difference between an easy purchase and a trip to the doctor’s office.
Q3. Is a scented candle or essential oil diffuser better?
As always, this depends on your needs and product expectations. For example, your location may favor candles as they promote longevity. Diffusers on the other hand may make for a better office buddy as they don’t require flame or put out soot.
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