A Quick Scented Candles Primer

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Scented candles are incredibly popular and make wonderful hostess gifts, holiday presents and home accents that just about everyone loves. The reason is obvious – they appeal to our love of both visual beauty and wonderful scents. A good scented candle can last for hours and provide us with both the rich, visual warmth of a flickering flame and a wonderful aroma that’s sure to spark pleasant emotions.

In fact, scent is more closely tied to memory than any of our other senses. Choosing the right kind of scented candles for your home can lend a festive, holiday feeling to a room, turn your bedroom into a soothing sanctuary, and stimulate your senses in the morning so you start your day refreshed and alert.

Most fall into one of four categories: Florals, Baked Goods or Kitchen Scents, Outdoors, and Plants or Fruits/Nuts. There are also some scented candles that fall into a special category that’s sometimes referred to as the Occasions category.

Floral are the most popular. These include traditional scents like roses, mixed bouquets and some of the newer, fresher scents like water lilies and freesia. These wonderful scents are romantic and natural, evoking the scent of a full, rich armful of flowers straight from the garden. Some scents will be richer and more powerful than others. Gardenias, for instance, are a rich, sensual scent that makes them ideal for your bedroom. If you want a fresher scent, look for floral scented candles that are described as “green,” or include scent notes like moss and lemongrass.

It named after baked goods or kitchen staples are heart-warming and comforting. You’ll find scents like cinnamon buns, sugar cookies and even coffee. These rich, heady scents will whisk you back to childhood memories of relaxing in your grandmother’s kitchen and give anyone who smells them a sense of comfort and safety. These homey scents induce such a sense of well-being in people that some realtors light kitchen scented candles in houses whenever they hold an open house. If you like a good, old-fashioned scent, kitchen scented candles are a great choice. These are inviting fragrances you can light in your family room, kitchen or dining room any time of the day.

Outdoors run the gamut from soothing to stimulating. These may capture the scent of bracing ocean air or the more exotic fragrances of a Far East marketplace. These aren’t usually pure, single note fragrances. Most of them will feature several different types of plant fragrances as well as other more elusive notes like the scent of fresh air or the salty tang of sea water. Outdoor scented candles with watery notes are usually invigorating and fresh. You may also find outdoor candles that make you think of the cool, shadowy allure of forests. These will include scents like balsam, fir and pine.

Scented candles focusing on fruits or nuts are usually invigorating. Citrus scents are especially a wonderful way to stimulate the senses and give you a quick pick-me-up. Grapefruit, lemon, and orange are zesty, eye-opening scents that are equally at home in any room of your house. Look for scents like watermelon, cantaloupe and blueberry if you love scented candles that remind you of warm summer days.

Today’s scented candles also offer many sophisticated blends that capture an elusive combination of scents that create a mood. For instance, you may find holiday candles that capture a mysterious mixture of spruce tree, sugar cookies, freshly fallen snow and the eucalyptus and poinsettias in a live wreath. You may not be able to identify each individual scent but close your eyes and inhale; you’ll be swept away by the fragrance of Christmas!