The Ultimate Scented Candle Buying Guide
Buying a scented candle can be quite a pleasant experience, but also an overwhelming one. A scented candle is the ideal companion for any space you want to create and control the mood. It is also a great way to compliment your interior, providing a stylish and chic accent. Here at Celona London, we have decided to give a helping hand and provide you with a detailed candle buying guide to assist you in the purchase of your perfect candle.
Let's start with…
The Fragrance (Scent)
Arguably the most important aspect of a candle, the aspect that matters most to consumers is the scent. Beautifully and well thought out fragrances can really elevate a room and evoke different memories and emotion within us. Every person has their own unique sense of smell, some enjoy dense, woody scents while others may get joy from lighter, more floral scents. The beauty is that there is a wide variety of different scents out there on the market which are broadly speaking, grouped into the following four families:
Generally speaking, this fragrance family has quite a delicate and soft feel to it. Inspired by nature, these fragrances usually contain one or more flowers or plants (Rose, Jasmine, Orange blossom). Although, you can get quite stronger floral fragrances which contain more powdery, heavier scents such as Violet and Lavender. Check out our Floral Royale scented candle if you like your floral fragrances.
Fresh fragrances usually consist of your fruity, citrusy notes such Lemon, Bergamot, Mandarin etc. Fresh scented candles provide a refreshing and vibrant feel and are great for when you want to uplift the vibe. Our Plum & Pomegranate scented candle straddles the lines between fresh, woody and oriental.
Oriental is one of the broadest fragrance families and can range from ‘floral oriental’ scents to ‘musky oriental’ scents. The name of the family derives from materials that are often associated with the East such as Amber, Frankincense and Myrrh. Oriental fragrances are often sensual, warm and exotic. If you are searching for this type of scent, look no further than our Persian Rugs scented candle.
Dense, warm and earthy, woody notes are often mixed with notes from other families to achieve a really luxurious fragrance. Sandalwood, Patchouli and Vetiver are some of the most common notes you will find in woody fragrances. Sometimes, it is difficult to distinguish oriental and woody fragrances, thus, they tend to work well together. Our Agarwood Oud scented candle is great for all you lovers of woody fragrances.
There are several wax types to consider, each have their advantages and disadvantages which we go through in greater detail in our Understanding Waxes post, however, here is a high level overview of the main types.
This is our choice of wax for our hand poured scented candles. Soy wax is made from the vegetable soybean, which makes soy wax better for the environment because it is renewable and can be sustainably produced.
Paraffin wax is made from petroleum and is considered to be one of the least environmentally friendly types of wax. Many high street brands use paraffin wax as it is cheaper to produce and holds the fragrance of the candle very well. It is also prone to produce a lot more soot relative to other waxes.
Beeswax is created naturally from bees as a byproduct from their honey making-process. It has a natural sweet scent so it can be enjoyed in its purest form.
Coconut wax is derived from Coconuts. It is a very sustainable wax choice for scented candles but tends to be the most expensive option. It is not perfect however. Coconut wax is extremely soft and has a very low melting point, and as a result, it is usually blended with another wax (commonly soy wax) to increase its melting point, and make it better suited for candle making.
The wick is essential to a good quality burn. The wick is the object you light and delivers heat to the wax. Some larger scented candles have two or three wicks but most candles have one wick. Not too long ago, most scented candle wicks had a lead-core, which helped to keep the wick straight. However, due to the health concerns that came with burning lead, the Consumer Product Safety Commission have now banned the use of lead in candle wicks. Some scented candles with lead-core wicks do slip through the net, but you will tend to find this with cheaper imported candles. We recommend always going for wicks that use 100% natural material such as cotton or linen. Our wicks use a combination of both which have been tightly braided together to increase the strength and durability.
Types and Shapes
There are many different types and shapes that scented candles come in. The shape of a candle can really define or add to the look and feel of a space. The main scented candle shapes are:
Small and lightweight, these candles are the cheapest and easiest way to introduce candles into your home. Usually circular in shape, they can be used as standalone candles or used as burners for wax melts.
Similar to tea lights but taller, votive candles are designed to be placed inside votive holders where the wax can fully melt. Ideally, you want your votive holder to be tapered so that the melted wax can pool downwards and be drawn up by the wick.
Pillar candles are larger in shape, moulded from the wax and do not require any external structure to keep the wax in place. The wax is firm enough to burn free-standing.
Tall and thin in proportion. Typically used as dinner candles, they can add an air of sophistication to a space.
Image by Joyce
The melted wax is poured directly into a container, most commonly made of glass or tin, but you can also find other less common materials such as jesmonite. We use Italian made glass for our scented candles.
Thank you for reading and we hope this guide helps you on your candle buying journey.