Scent has a powerful ability to affect our mindset, mood, and energy levels. In fact, scent is so closely tied to thought and memory that it has spawned the entire science of aromatherapy, devoted to discovering new ways that scent affects and influences us.
Scent is an incredibly important component of relaxation, meditation, and calming yourself.
But the wonderful thing about the best scented candles is that they combine these powerful calming fragrances with candlelight.
Candles emit a light that is as psychologically warm as they are physically warm, and the wavelength of light emitted by candles is inherently relaxing. Candles provide a much-needed balance to the cool light wavelengths emitted by our electronic screens and devices.
Simply gazing at a candle flame is a centuries-old meditation and relaxation technique, and naturally promotes alpha and theta brainwaves that are associated with relaxation, intuition, and creativity.
In other words, combining the fragrance and the light of scented candles can put you into a calmer, more relaxed, more receptive state of mind, even without actively trying to meditate or consciously relax.
Scented candles are a powerful way to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere, whenever you need it most.
Besides the relaxing benefits of candles, scented candles also have medicinal properties and are also good for eliminating smoke and pet odors.
In this article, we will look at some of the most important things to consider when buying a scented candle, as well as introduce some of the best picks.
The Trapp Signature Home Collection has one of the most unique fragrances. It’s a combination of warm amber, blonde woods and bergamot. This is the ideal scented candle if you want a strong scent to emanate around the entire house.
If you prefer a berry scent, the Luxury Scented Soy Jar Candle is a great choice. You get scents of blueberry and it’s also eco-friendly.
If you are looking for a candle that can last for a long time and don’t want to replace it so often, then the Smoke Odor Exterminator 13 Oz Jar Candle is a good choice. It has a burn time of up to 75 hours. It’s also perfect for removing pet and smoke odor around the house.
Editor’s Pick: Best Scented Candle
Scented Candle Buying Guide
Scent is deeply personal and difficult to describe in words, which is why shopping online for scented candles can be so difficult.
Unless the name of the scent is specific and familiar, like lavender or chocolate chip cookies, it can be hard to know what the fragrance will be, or whether it will be what you are hoping for. This buying guide will help you choose the best scented candle for your needs.
Things to look for when choosing a scented candle:
Some scented candles can be relatively expensive, so it’s disappointing when a candle has a short burn time. Be attentive to the burn time of a candle relative to the price, so you can determine the value.
Smoke, Soot, and Residue
Some candles emit a lot of smoke, soot, and residue. These are typically caused either by excessive flickering when placed in an area with a lot of air movement, a wick that is too long and needs to be trimmed, or by excessive fragrances, colors, and other additives that don’t burn cleanly.
When burning a scented candle, you want the fragrance of the candle, not the fragrance of smoke, so keep the wick trimmed to about a half-inch long, avoid drafts, and purchase high-quality candles.
Material the Candle Is Made Of
Most high-quality candles today are made with soy-based wax. Candles that are made with paraffin wax can create more soot and smoke, and typically don’t burn as long or as cleanly as soy wax candles. Furthermore, paraffin is a petroleum product, and it’s better to not use it when possible.
Some scented candles smell incredible, but only when your nose is very close to the candle. The ability of a scented candle to create a scent that fills a room is called its “throw.”
Generally speaking, people want scented candles that can fill a space and create an ambience, rather than simply smelling good when up close.
Choosing Scented Candles for Relaxation
If you want a candle specifically for relaxation, look for scents that are known to have relaxation-promoting aromatherapy benefits. Some of the most potent scents for relaxation include:
Lavender is famous for being a soothing, calming scent that deepens relaxation and promotes healthy sleep. It is also the most scientifically studied scent, and has been shown to reduce anxiety and alleviate depression.
Vanilla a deeply evocative scent, and for many it carries pleasant childhood memories of baking and comfort. Vanilla is also a scent that has a calming effect, and can reduce restlessness and lower blood pressure.
Rose and Geranium
These floral perfumes are very similar to each other, and are known to reduce stress and anxiety. Interestingly, rose and geranium also enhance the relaxing effect of other soothing scents when they are combined with them.
Sandalwood has been used since ancient times to promote relaxation and ease anxiety. It also enhances meditation by deepening the brain waves. Sandalwood is also often considered a mild aphrodisiac and is often used in fragrances associated with love and sensuality.
Citrus scents, like sandalwood, can have both calming and stimulating effects. Citrus scents alleviate anxiety and promote a deep sense of calm, without being overly sedative.
Citrus is best used to create a sense of calm alertness and promote creativity, rather than deep relaxation associated with sleep. As part of a deliberate relaxation exercise, simply light a candle, sit comfortably, and watch the flame. Try to clear your mind and not think of anything in particular, just watch the candle burn.
Try to remain still and watch the candle for 5 minutes, then 10. Candle flame meditation is as old as humans and fire, and many people who struggle with traditional meditation find it easier to focus on the naturally hypnotic burning of a candle.
About ‘Wickless Candles’ or Wax Melts
Many companies are now offering “wickless candles,” or wax melts. These pieces of wax are highly fragranced, but rely on an external apparatus to melt the wax and release the scent.
Typically, wax warmers consist of shallow dishes over an electric warming light.
When the light is plugged in and turned on, and wax is placed in the dish, it melts to release the fragrance. There are some excellent reasons to choose wax melts over scented candles, but it’s not the right choice for everyone.
• Clean, pure fragrance without smoke, soot, or the scent of any burning impurities
• Safer than burning a candle, particularly in households with children or pets
• The wax doesn’t evaporate or burn off as in a traditional candle, so the wax melts emit more fragrance by volume
• Wax warmers are an additional expense
• Wickless candles need to be placed near an electrical outlet
• There is (admittedly very small) an energy cost to using these devices
• You lose the meditative benefits of candle light
If you choose a wax warmer that requires a candle for warmth (such as a tealight), then it’s redundant, and you should just buy scented candles.
Some wax warmers, particularly the small ones designed to be plugged directly into a wall outlet, are not well made and level, so the wax can spill when it melts.
Always start a wax warmer with a small quantity of scented wax, to monitor how well it melts and test the “throw” of the scent before adding more.
10 Best Scented Candles Reviews
1. Trapp Signature Home Collection No. 21 Amber & Bergamot Votive Scented Candle, Pack of 4
This Amber and Bergamot scent No. 21 from Trapp Signature Home Collection combines the rich, soothing scents of amber with the lightly spiced, floral scent of bergamot. The scent of amber is calming for the mind and deepens relaxation while increasing heart energy and sensual pleasure. Bergamot is an uplifting scent soothes tension and anxiety and lightens the mood.
These candles come in a pack of 4 2-ounce votive-sized candles, that have an approximate burn time of 15-20 hours. Trapp is known for choosing high-quality ingredients to create beautiful, lasting fragrances. These soy wax candles do not come in a glass or container suitable for burning; when you get the votive size, you will need to supply your own candle holder.
2. Luxury Scented Soy Jar Candle
This luxury candle from Lulu Candles has the comforting scent of blueberry cobbler. The natural fragrances and essential oils used by Lulu Candles somehow manage to perfectly recreate the smell of baking blueberry cobbler, with the fresh, sweet scent of berries and buttery scent of baking, and visitors will swear that you’ve been working in the kitchen.
Lulu Candles uses soy wax that is eco-friendly and naturally biodegradable, to create candles that are paraben and cruelty-free, and burn without creating soot or residue. The 100% cotton wick is slow burning for a long, 6 hour burn time and excellent value in a scented candle. These candles are handcrafted in America, with ingredients, packaging, and labeling made in America. This hand-poured candle comes in an attractive glass, so the candle can be placed anywhere and scent the entire home.
3. Smoke Odor Exterminator 13 Oz Jar Candle Sandalwood
This sandalwood-scented candle from Smoke Odor Exterminator is designed specifically to remove unpleasant smoke odors in the air. The candle contains special enzymes that actually remove scents and clean the air, rather than just covering them up. The scent of sandalwood has been known as an aphrodisiac since ancient times, and the aroma bears a subtle resemblance to human pheromones. Sandalwood also promotes a calm and meditative state, and is frequently used in yoga and relaxation.
The Smoke Odor Exterminator candle is primarily used to remove smoke odors from the air, and as a sandalwood scented candle secondarily, it doesn’t provide as powerful a scent as other scented candles. It has a paraffin and soy blend wax, and a 13 ounce candle burns for up to 75 hours. These candles are made in the US.
4. Scentsy BAKED APPLE PIE Scented Wax
This wax bar is from Scentsy, so it isn’t a scented candle. The scented wax is meant to be melted in a warmer specially designed to hold and melt the wax. Because scented wax bars can be melted over a low-wattage light bulb, many people feel that they are safer than candles to scent the home. This wax smells like a baking apple pie, with autumnal scents of warm apple, cinnamon, and a hint of sugar. It truly smells as though you have an apple pie in the oven.
5. Chesapeake Bay Candle Mind & Body Scented Candle, Awaken + Invigorate
The Chesapeake Bay Candle Mind & Body Scented Candle series is intended to promote wellness through fragrance. The Awaken + Invigorate scent is designed to energize and refresh your mind, with the fresh, minty scents of eucalyptus, peppermint, and spearmint, complemented by the clean, citrus scents of lemongrass, petitgrain, and verbena, with a hint of soothing lavender.
These candles are made of a natural soy wax blend, and have self-trimming wicks. This set contains two medium sized jar candles, with a long burn time of 50 hours. The jars are made of frosted glass, to soften and diffuse the light as the candle burns down. The jars have natural wooden lids, which look very attractive, and add a natural, refined look to home décor.
6. One Fur All Pet House Wax Melts, Pack of 2 - Bamboo Watermint - Long Lasting Pet Odor Eliminating Wax Melts
These wax melts from One Fur All are also intended to be melted over a heat source, and are not scented candles. They are specially formulated to remove pet odor in homes, with a blend of fragrant essential oils and an odor neutralizer to remove pet smells. The mandarin sage scent has the earthy, woody scent of sage with clean, fresh citrus notes of mandarin oranges and bergamot. A touch of cedar, sandalwood, and patchouli add a hint of incense and mystery, with a light minty eucalyptus top note.
The Pet House wax melts are made with 100% hand-poured, natural, renewable soy wax. They are dye- and paraffin-free, so they are non-toxic and non-allergenic, making them completely safe for pet-friendly homes They work in almost any wax warmer, and come in a cute paw print shape that makes them appealing for pet lovers, and they would make a great gift. They are made with high-quality fragrances and essential oils, for long-lasting scents. One Fur All products are made in the US and are backed by a satisfaction guarantee.
7. Chesapeake Bay Candle Scented Candle with Lid, Aqua Marine (Waterlily Seagrass)
The Chesapeake Bay Candle Scented Candle is inspired by the fresh, open shorelines of Chesapeake Bay, and the calmness and serenity inspired by the local landscape. The aqua marine fragrance combines light citrus tones of bergamot, pineapple, and lemon zest, while lily, lotus, and seagrass evoke the sense of a wild beach. Sandalwood and a hint of musk add complexity, warmth, and balance to the fragrance. The scent is strong enough to fill a room, but deeply relaxing and not overpowering.
These candles come in a pack of two small, 7.2 ounce jars, with a wooden lid and a twine loop embellishment that enhances the nautical theme of the candles. They are made from a soy wax blend, and each candle burns for approximately 20 hours.
8. Root Candles Seeking Balance Aromatherapy Spa Candle, Awaken: Basil & Lime
Root Candles Seeking Balance Aromatherapy Spa Candles are designed to combine the benefits of aromatherapy with the benefits of color therapy, and they have wooden wicks that emit a light crackle reminiscent of a campfire. The Awaken scent stimulates and energizes with fresh citrus aromas of lime, orange, and delicate grapefruit, accented with verdant, herbal notes of basil, cilantro, and thyme. The addition of the woody fragrances of fir, musk, and rosewood add depth and complexity.
This candle comes in a 6.5 ounce jar that burns for up to 65 hours. It is made from all-natural soy wax, colored with vegetable-based dyes, and has a sustainable wooden wick that creates a comfortable crackling sound as it burns. The packing is earth-friendly, recycled, and printed with soy inks.
Root Candles are made in America by a family-owned company, led by a 5th generation candlemaker who still makes every candle with care. They are tested for fragrance throw, emissions, soot, flame strength, stability, welling, dripping, and burn time. They meet ASTM quality and safety candles, and are known as the best candles in America.
9. Wax and Oils Soy Wax Aromatherapy Scented Candles (Attraction, Adventure, Excitement)
This 3 pack of Wax and Oils Soy Wax Aromatherapy Scented Candles has three different scents, all designed to capture the appeal of meeting someone special. Attraction combines the light fruity scents of apple, bergamot, and pineapple with more lush tones of violet, cedar, musk, and sandalwood. Excitement is a seductive mix of Madagascar vanilla, jasmine, and neroli with woody botanicals. Adventure is a complex mix of frankincense, lime, and agrumen complemented by carnations, geranium, and ylang ylang.
These candles come in a reusable tin container, and each 8 ounce candle will burn for up to 20 hours. They are made of soy wax with cotton core wicks, and do not contain paraffin, petroleum, or animal products including beeswax. They contain no pesticides, no herbicides, and no GMOs. The packaging is made from 65% recycled materials, and is 100% recyclable. These candles are handmade in the US.
10. Homesick Scented Candle, Alabama
Homesick Scented Candles are famous for creating scents that powerfully evoke specific places in America. Many people are amazed that these candles actually capture the scent of cities and places, and bring them back to their home town. Alabama smells like sweet blackberries or a giant southern magnolia, with scents of nutty pecan and a summer storm.
This 13.5 ounce hand poured soy wax candle will burn for 60-80 hours. Homesick Scented Candles are made in small batches in the US.
These are all excellent scented candles, but our top pick for a scented candle for relaxation is the Trapp Signature Home Collection.
The warm amber notes, balanced with blonde woods and aromatic bergamot, creates a scent that is calming and soothing without being sedative.
It’s an excellent choice to balance your mood and state of mind, and gather the concentration and serene presence needed to make it through a long day, or to deeply relax in the evening.
The light snapping and crackling of the wooden wick adds to the feeling of tranquility and peacefulness evoked by this candle.
We also love that these candles are handmade by a family-owned business that cares so much about quality and integrity in the product, and that these candles are made with environmental consciousness at every stage.
They have a fantastic scent, incredible burn time, and are recycled and recyclable. There’s just nothing not to love about these candles.
Scented candles are used around the world in spas, yoga studios, temples, meditation centers, and everywhere that people seek to create a calm, soothing atmosphere.
It’s something that people know instinctively, which is why we so often see scented candles around a bath or beside a bed. The almost magically soothing combination of evocative fragrance, gentle warmth, and flickering light has a powerful effect on the mind and mood.
Now that you know how to use scented candles, consider using them more often and more mindfully, to calm yourself after a stressful day, or take up candle flame meditation to promote more serenity and ease anxiety. Or simply light a candle, breathe in the wonderful scent, and enjoy how it enhances your home.
Allen Wei is someone who believes in living his best life, focusing on balance, happiness, and relaxation. He fosters a positive lifestyle in terms of his body, mind, and environment, and he is a huge proponent of learning to be balanced via relaxation techniques integrated into our busy lives.