What Scented Candles Actually Work? Let's Find Out!

Updated on May 31, 2021

There are many scented candles on the market, and they all claim to provide a relaxing environment. But do any of them actually work?

The answer is that it depends on your personal preference! 

Scented candles are usually marketed as a way to improve your mood, or help you relax. However, not all of them work the same way- some scents can be too strong for what they're trying to accomplish.

Scented candles can be a nice addition to any room, but they often fail to produce what they promise. They smell great for the first few minutes and then it's back to your standard candle scent.

At best you'll get a hint of lemon or lavender every now and again if you're lucky...but even that is usually fleeting. So how do scented candles work? And why don't all of them have those promised long-lasting smells when lit?

Table of Contents

Why scent doesn't always produce what it promises:

A candle can have a scent that smells good in the jar but what you get is something different.

This is because some scents are more volatile and evaporate faster than others do.

For instance, citrus notes tend to be less stable so they don't make it across the room like vanilla or sandalwood does.

When you purchase a candle online, this may not be an issue since there's likely to be at least one person with knowledge of candles who has written about how well their fragrance travels before deciding whether or not to buy one themselves for home use.

You could accidentally turn down your nose at just about any given smell if it doesn't suit your needs due to its intensity as much as anything else (especially if you're not in the room).

You may have to try a few different fragrances before you find one that works for your living space and preferences.

It is also possible, of course, that no fragrance will work well enough for what you want it to do without making things worse than they were before by adding something else into the mix--like when someone spends all day working on a clean house only to come home and light some candles or burn incense because their nose can't take the normal scent anymore.

Most Popular Candle Scents (best and strongest candles compared)


This is one of the most popular fragrances in the candle world because so many people love its sweet smell; however, if you don't like floral smells then jasmine probably won't do much for you other than just making your house smell nice.

The best uses for jasmine would have to be before bedtime when someone wants a calming atmosphere but isn't looking for aromatherapy


This scent is probably the most versatile because it can be used to help you sleep, give off a relaxing feeling and even create an energetic atmosphere depending on what type of candle you use (lavender essential oil in a tea light for example would help with insomnia while lavender scented soy wax candles are great for bedrooms).

It's also one of the best scents to have around if someone has allergies since it doesn't contain any allergens itself.

The downside is that some people may find lavender too strong so they should only include this one sparingly or mix it with other fragrances like vanilla extract which will make your home smell delicious without being overpowering. Learn more about the 6 Benefits Of Lavender Candles here.


Lemon isn't just a citrus fruit, it's also one of the best scents to clean with. The same principle goes for lemon-scented candles which can help you create an inviting atmosphere and get rid of any odors in your house like cooking or pet smells without being overpowering as well.


Peppermint is great because it has such a strong smell that will always fill up a room quickly but won't be too overwhelming at all (making this very kid-friendly).

It not only smells good but provides lots of benefits as well including calming effects and improved focus so while you're getting work done on holiday break after lunchtime sugar crash, just light up some peppermint wax tarts!


Vanilla smells sweet and rich with hints of spice. There's no specific meaning behind vanilla but some say it makes them feel more relaxed while others describe it as fresh smelling and "clean."

Balsam Cedarwood:

This fragrance combines cedarwood notes with aromas of citrus, bergamot and other herbs. It is said to be both grounding and uplifting at the same time which is why many people find it so pleasant.

Orange Blossom:

This scent can remind you of your childhood while also bringing a sense of warmth into your space like that from an evening campfire. The flower has been used in different cultures for centuries as well, always being seen as a sign of happiness and celebration.

Cinnamon Spice:

Cinnamon spice has a warm aroma with notes reminiscent of baked goods or spicy apple cider simmering on the stovetop. A perfect wintertime fragrance!

How To Get The Most Out Of A Scented Candle:

Light the candle and allow it to burn for a while before blowing out. This will ensure that your scent is released into the room.

Keep in mind that if you are sensitive to smells, it may be best not to light the candle at all as some scents can cause headaches or nausea.

Do what makes YOU feel good!

It's important to find what really works with your body chemistry because everyone has different preferences when it comes to smell.

Plus, don't forget about allergies- make sure you read labels of candles carefully and do not lit any scented candles around pets or children without first checking whether they're safe for them too!

Choose the right candlewick.

The wick is what carries the flame to the wax and controls how quickly it will burn.

There are two types of wicks: those made from string, which can be braided or twisted into a coil; and cotton rope that has been dipped in some form of oil (such as paraffin) then wound around a metal rod for stability.

A larger diameter candle requires a thicker wick, whereas smaller candles require thinner ones.

Choose your size first. It's also important to know whether you want an open flame or not because this type of wick isn't always necessary if there won't be any interaction with air once lit.

 Choose a candle with the right kind of wax.

Pick a candle that has soy wax as it burns more cleanly than other types of candles.

Candle scents like apple and cinnamon are popular during the fall season, but don't forget to check out what's in store for winter!

If you're looking for a fragrance that will light your room with its aroma, consider what kind of candle wax the scent is in.

Choose from a wide variety of candles, including soy wax, beeswax and even natural barberry. Read more about the Benefits Of Soy Candles that it can give you.

 Only light your candle once every 24 hours

One of the most important things to remember when using scented candles is to only light your candle once every 24 hours. This will ensure that you use less wax and keep your room smelling fresher for a longer period of time!

Keep the flame away from moving air.

In order to get a strong scent coming off of your candle, you'll want to make sure that it is burning in an area where there isn't too much movement.

One way to do this is by placing something underneath your candle so that the flame can burn without being disrupted. If you are using a wax taper, try putting it on top of some sandpaper or another textured surface which will allow for better heat distribution and help prevent excess smoke as well.

 Keep your candle dust-free.

Candles can get dusty from the wax cleaning process, so keep yours dust-free with a quick vacuum.

Clean your wicks regularly to maintain their shape and effectiveness.

Turn off your candles before you go to bed or leave home for an extended time period. When they are lit unattended, they've been found to cause fires in 16% of cases — one reason why fire departments recommend avoiding them altogether when children are present or making sure that all flammable materials like curtains have at least three feet of clearance around them while burning.

It is important to understand that not all scented candles are the same. Some of these products will have a waxy feel, while others may be softer and more like wax. They can also vary in terms of how quickly they burn or their scent throw. In order to make sure you get value from your purchase, it's best you do some research before committing to anything.

Smell is one of the human senses which can flow through the whole body. I am the Founder of NeoCandle.com where we talk all about scented candles. Known as Candace the Candle Girl, I know pretty much all there is to know about scented candles. I make and sell them on Etsy and Ebay - so be sure to ask if you have any burning questions :) (pun intended ;) )

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